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Hiring a P/T Nanny (Chester) - Please Check My Job Specification before I Advertise

(29 Posts)
Zhen Sun 01-Jan-12 23:08:52

Hi all,

I would like to hire a nanny 3 days per week, when I return to work in mid-2012.

Haven't done this before, so would be grateful if you could check my spec before I post it and let me know if I have missed anything out.

I am planning on advertising on childcare.co.uk, Nannyjob, (possibly) Gumtree, and Netmums and Mumsnet if I have no luck. Is there anywhere else I should post?

Because of the bilingual aspect, I was also thinking of sending this to the local Chinese association - are there any risks that I need to be aware of, if I am looking outside of childcare-focused sites? I would complete a CRB check and ensure up-to-date first aid training if necessary for the new nanny.

The draft can be found here.

Many thanks!

brazenhussy Sun 01-Jan-12 23:34:39

Hi Zhen - I have messaged you smile

Zhen Sun 01-Jan-12 23:47:51

Thank you smile. Will be in touch.

nannynick Mon 02-Jan-12 00:07:16

Holiday entitlement looks wrong.

Holiday Calculator - I get 16.8 days (which can include Bank holidays). So rounding up, 17 days. So if you give 12 days, then you have to have 5 working days every year falling on a working day to make it up to 17 days.

A Monday is NOT in the working days you propose, so I don't think you will get 5 bank/public holidays falling on the working days (tue, thur, fri).

Have you checked against a calendar to confirm what the actual number of days off would be say during 2012, if they were to be working Jan-Jan (I know you are doing May-May)?

.25 hours, hmm... have you allocated some time for handover? Is having some additional overlap worth while, say for occasions when you might be a little late, or is that already accounted for in the hours?

I make salary roughly £8.99 an hour Gross. Not sure how that compares to nanny jobs in Chester - advertise the job and see what you get.

There is a potential issue... you would like someone Ofsted registered but you would also like some with a recent CRB check. If someone is Ofsted registered, their CRB check (candidate copy) could be several years old as it is done at the time of initial registration. Ofsted say they then get updates... but the candidate never gets their paper copy updated.

If you want someone to have a recent CRB check and they don't have one which is recent enough in your view... how will you get a recent one - parents can't apply for one and neither can nannies (unless they go via a nanny agency). I am guessing you don't want to pay agency fees... so how will you get an up-to-date CRB check?

Trial period - is 3 weeks enough?

Babysitting - no mention about payment.

You may want to mention what meals for nanny are included, given the working hours I expect you would want nanny to eat with the children for Lunch and Tea.

nannynick Mon 02-Jan-12 00:08:22

Sorry, should have proof read:

So if you give 12 days, then you have to have 5 bank holidays every year falling on a working day to make it up to 17 days.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 02-Jan-12 00:14:07

as you are hiring a 3 day nanny you need to give more then 12 days holiday - think it is 17, rounded up from 16.something as you cant round down, only up

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 02-Jan-12 00:14:38

lol - snap nick - didnt refresh page after reading ad

nannynick Mon 02-Jan-12 00:18:09

Reasonable expenses for travel - you will probably want to expand on that at interview. For example, what do you consider is reasonable mileage per week/per month? Also at what rate will mileage be paid - see HMRC: Travel Rates

Local Chinese association sounds a good idea to me. As you are wanting a live-out nanny, your focus for advertising is local - they need to live probably within 15 miles of your home so they don't have that long a drive to/from work.

Also look at other places locally to advertise - local newsagents shop, at local children's groups perhaps.

Zhen Mon 02-Jan-12 00:36:24

Thank you for your advice - I will change holiday entitlement to 17 days, including any bank holidays (was unclear about this as I currently don't work on Mondays and had real trouble getting an answer from my HR department re. bank holidays). I would like to be able to nominate a certain number of those days myself (2-3 weeks, say, when we are on holiday ourselves and don't need a nanny) - is that generally acceptable?

I would be leaving the house around 8.00-8.15 returning around 18.00-18.15, so there is handover time accommodated.

Having a quick look on sites, it seems the going rate in Cheshire is around £8-11 p/h gross. There is room for negotiation, we would certainly pay more for the right person.

A mid-May start would give me around 3 weeks-1 month before I return to work, so hopefully a 3 week trial period before this would be enough as I'll still be around for the first month of "contracted" employment. Not sure what I'm going to do if the trial proves unsuccessful though confused.

Babysitting would be extremely occasional as we already have a few options in place, however should I mention that it will be paid, or exactly how much per hour in the spec?

Thanks for the tip about meals - I expect nanny would definitely have lunch with the children. If tea (around 17.30) was not too early, then yes to that too.

I don't know much about CRB checks, just that I was checked when volunteering. Hmm. Will need to give that some consideration.

Thank you for all your help so far.

Zhen Mon 02-Jan-12 00:56:54

Also, is there a standard template available for use when drawing up a contract? I'm guessing places like Nannyjob or Nannytax may have one.

MrAnchovy Mon 02-Jan-12 03:03:42

Payroll agencies have boilerplate contracts so if you are planning to use one you will be fine (I can't recommend a payroll agency for reasons I won't go into now, but others may mention a suitable one). I wouldn't recommend either of the contracts on Nannyjob.

I am not sure how many Cantonese-speaking, experienced qualified Ofsted registered nannies that live within 10 miles of Chester are looking for a job on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: I think you may need to cast your net a bit wider. Many nannies who take part time jobs are really looking for something full time so although everything may seem to be going well, don't be surprised if they don't stay three years.

MrAnchovy Mon 02-Jan-12 03:06:18

Oh, advert looks OK now although I would say babysitting is 'available' rather than 'required' - makes it sound like a way of earning extra money rather than mandatory slave labour.

Karoleann Mon 02-Jan-12 18:17:20

I think its a good ad, I'd keep the babysitting as required though, you don't want someone that won't babysit!
I'd download a few contracts from the internet and cut and paste the bits you like. Nannytax and nanny job and bhave good ones.
Personally I think 3 week handover is way too much, if you're employing a good nanny a week is fine.
Good luck with your search - make sure you ask what they intend to do the other two days of the working week when you interview any potentials.

Fishpond Mon 02-Jan-12 19:08:55

Ad looks ok, can you explain though where the 7mo would be during term time?

nannynick Mon 02-Jan-12 20:07:12

Why would applicants say what they were doing the other days of the week Karoleann? I would not imagine that they had to say what they did during that time, as long as it does not affect their ability to work on the contracted days.

Might be useful to know though, if an applicant will tell you, should your working days ever change.

I agree that a 3 week or so handover is not necessary. 1/2 a day is probably ok, maybe even 1 day. But an experienced nanny won't be needing a lot of handover, they will hit the job running.

Consider rewording 3-week trial, to x months probation. Pick a number for x. During probation either of you can then terminate the arrangement if it's not working out with 1 week notice. After probation, notice period would go to whatever you are proposing... probably 4 weeks, possibly longer.

MrAnchovy Mon 02-Jan-12 21:07:39

I'd keep the babysitting as required though, you don't want someone that won't babysit!

Why not? The OP is already fishing in a rather small pool; if I had these requirments I would be much happier with an experienced, bilingual, local nanny who couln't work evenings plus a babysitter for the odd evening than someone who is a poor cultural fit with no experience from miles away who is happy to work evenings.

MrAnchovy Mon 02-Jan-12 21:17:03

I would take the 'trial period' (which doesn't actually mean anything in terms of an employment contract anyway: you are employed from the moment you turn up on your first day) out altogether - how does it help attract people to your job? A probationary period is something to be discussed when talking about the detail of the contract: it does need to be tied in to the notice period in the contract of course.

Zhen Mon 02-Jan-12 22:45:19

Thank you for your advice - you have given me a lot of food for thought.

Fishpond, the nanny would need to care for both pre-schoolers during term time, but all three children during the school holidays. Does that not appear clearly in the specification? I will need to change wording if this is the case!

MrAnchovy - you're right, my criteria are rather narrow, which is why I hoped the essential vs desirable requirements would explain our priorities. Husband not that fussed whether nanny can speak Chinese or not - myself more so, but it is not the deciding factor.

Probationary period of 1 month rather than trial period of 3 weeks sounds like a useful change. I need to consider when to start this - return to work is in June, so I could start the nanny earlier whilst I am still at home.

I actually need childcare Mon-Fri, and currently have the two youngest booked full-time into nursery from when I return (toddler already attends part-time). The wraparound care for the eldest is the tricky bit, and I am uncomfortable at the thought of them spending so much time outside of the home environment, hence the thoughts about hiring a nanny.

What this means though, is that it could be any three days of the week with the nanny (or 4 or 5 days, but I think that the fabulous nursery has really benefited my two elder children), and three consecutive days may be more attractive to a prospective nanny than 3 with a break in-between. Also, this gives the opportunity for live-in, if I were to widen the area for my search (am thinking of the larger Chinese populations in Liverpool and Manchester).

If I were to put "3 days per week (days to be confirmed), with potential for increasing to 4 or 5", do you think this would be too vague? This would then make the salary indication more vague too, depending on live-in/out status.

Am too tired to make these changes tonight, but will try tomorrow based on your feedback, then need to get the whole thing translated!

nannynick Mon 02-Jan-12 23:05:51

Start date could be flexible to an extent to fit with the ideal candidate. Perhaps advertise it as a Late May start, then discuss exact start date with candidates.

I think you need to decide how many days per week you want someone. It may be easier to advertise it as a 5 day a week job (adjusting salary to suit), but say you will consider someone doing 3 or 4 days.

Do you really want someone to live-in? Yes it could open up the pool of potential applicants but you then have someone living with you 24/7.

Fishpond Mon 02-Jan-12 23:14:29

No...I obviously understood that as I asked where the baby is during term time - I think a nanny will ask for clarification as usually nannies look after all the children so think it would be applicable to know confused

Fishpond Mon 02-Jan-12 23:16:25

Ahhh have just twigged your 5 yr old is in school. Yes I would change the wording as I would not associate the word preschooler with a 7-month-old, I'd suggest "look after the baby and 2-yr-old in term time and all 3 in holidays".

Zhen Tue 03-Jan-12 15:57:37

You have all been so helpful, thank you again. It has made me really reconsider my childcare choices.

So, after some soul-searching, I have decided to advertise for a full-time, live-out nanny. My 2-year old can still attend his nursery, as he will qualify for free sessions by the time the nanny starts, and I can hold off sending the baby until he is a little older, which I am very happy about.

I have made the changes to the draft, and would really appreciate if you could look again to make sure it all reads clearly. Hoping to translate and advertise in the next few days.

The link to the draft is in my OP - sorry, struggling to re-post the link on my mobile.

Karoleann Tue 03-Jan-12 21:37:53

nannynick I always ask a part-time nanny what they were going to be doing on the days when they weren't working for me as if you employ a part-time nanny who really wants full time work they end up leaving as soon as they get a full time job. As has happened to several people I know recently.
For example my current nanny has her own business she works on during her off days, the one before that was also studying and the first nanny already had another job.
I personally think its too risky training up someone, introducing them to your children, who then build up a relationship with the nanny and then have them leave after a few months.

Zhen I sure you'll get a far better candidate if you advertise for a full time nanny.
I hope your search goes well.

marcopront Tue 03-Jan-12 22:19:50

Can I ask why permanent right to work in the UK is essential?
I can understand that you want someone long term, but what if a potential candidate would be applying for indefinite leave to remain in a years time, would they be OK? I think as you want a Chinese speaker you may need to be flexible on that.

Zhen Thu 05-Jan-12 14:07:32

Basically, I can't be bothered faffing with visas. However, have changed "permanent right" to "right", so allow some room for someone who may be working towards indefinite leave to remain.

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