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Acceptable responsibility for a nanny?

(45 Posts)
StiffyByng Sat 01-Dec-12 21:10:50

I'd be grateful for nanny opinions on whether this would be a reasonable set up. A friend and I currently have 18 month olds, at nursery. We are both pregnant and due a month apart, and live on the same street. Neither of us can afford two sets of nursery fees so are considering a nanny share. Would it be OK to ask a nanny to look after two one year olds and two three year olds? We'd hopefully have the three year olds in pre-school for half the day.

sunshinenanny Tue 04-Dec-12 21:25:43

I often used to work with these sort of ages and ratio's and yes I loved it! But not sure about the share aspect of it as everything has to jell just right.smile

Have sent you a message!

StiffyByng Mon 03-Dec-12 11:30:24

It does! That would be really helpful, thanks. We could at least have a chat with a couple of them and get their views.

I think I know where you live Stiffy, does the museum begin with an H? If so I can probably recommend a few good agencies in your area. Let me know!

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 03-Dec-12 01:39:55

If I was a nanny - I'd rather do the full 5 days for you, with the 3 days of shared care with the other family.

StiffyByng Mon 03-Dec-12 00:26:13

Our car is only an S-Max. It's easy to drive!

We can both afford the nanny share. We just can't afford two sets of nursery fees, which for just three days would be almost £2000 per month. So other options need exploring.

My little girl would at least have it all staggered. A year between the baby arriving and me going back to work. Probably pre-school starting around the same time as the nanny but I wouldn't be full time for about four/five months after I go back, so not all at once luckily.

My husband is anti-childminder which is why I wanted to avoid it as a full time option, along with my own feeling that big childminding operations sit halfway between nursery and nanny. But I think we need to work out exactly what we're after. I know kids who split their time between nursery and childminder and seem to enjoy it-most childminders round here do mostly part-time places from what I understand. But I would prefer them to be with the same person if at all possible of course.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 02-Dec-12 21:13:57

I would consider using the nanny for the full five days rather than getting a childminder as well. Could you afford a nanny just for your children for the 2 days a week? For 2 children you would only need to pay £10 net ph I would think and the higher rate just on the 3 days a week you share. I think having your older child welcome a sibling, move from a nursery to a pre-school, then have you go back to work, then bond with a nanny and then have a childminder as well, may be a bit too much. Better, if possible, to have continuity of care.

nannynick Sun 02-Dec-12 19:50:09

It's like the Direct Payments situation... you register as the employer (if you are not one already, which in your case you are) and you operate PAYE, so pay the nanny a gross salary from which you make Employee NI and Employee Income Tax deductions. You pay Employers NI to HMRC, so it's a cost on top of the Gross salary.

Would childminders in your area provide just 2 days of care... maybe something to look into, which would then help you decide if you should look for a full time nanny, and share (or not share) them with your friend.

marriedinwhite Sun 02-Dec-12 19:34:29

Neither of you can afford a nanny. Would a child-minder be a better option perhaps? Personally, as the mum of teenagers, I think it is too big an expectation. 4 small children and two sets of parent relationships rather than one and presumably if neither family can afford their own nanny and things are tight, the perks are likely to be a bit on the thin side too.

I'm over 50 and have been driving for 30+ years. I find driving a largish mpv quite overwhelming at times.

StiffyByng Sun 02-Dec-12 19:25:51

And forevergreek, you sound great. It's good to know there are nannies out there like you. We had a lot of trouble finding a carer for our eldest, but I think 15 hours a week rules a lot of people out as they want full time work.

StiffyByng Sun 02-Dec-12 19:24:49

Hi. Sorry to sound so emphatic! My stepdaughter's physical needs aren't really the issue - she has dementia so takes an awful lot of attention - tends to do mad things, needs reassuring every five minutes etc. Bearable with the other kids for short bursts but I wouldn't want to sign someone up to it every day.

Childminders are about £50-55 per day here, so for two kids, I'd be paying at least £100 per day. So the nanny is perhaps not outright cheaper, but cheaper for the difference in what you get for the money in terms of control, convenience etc. Lots of the childminders round here have assistants and run quite big operations. I'm sure they're brilliant, and like I said, I think they'd be our choice for at least two days a week, but my daughter's current nursery is small with a 2-1 ratio, and I'd like to maintain something like that as much as I can. I have to say, this discussion is making me think seriously whether we could really stretch ourselves and just get our own full time nanny for a bit extra.

Doesn't gross include employer's NI by the way? Actually, we pay NI for our carer from our Direct Payments on top of her wage, which is taxed from her, so I suppose I should have known that!

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 02-Dec-12 18:25:14

sorry to hear about your eldest child sad

at £18gross thats £9 each plus employers ni, plus kitty extra heating/food/petrol/insurance costs- are you saying that cm's in your area are more then £4.50ph?

forevergreek Sun 02-Dec-12 16:36:58

Sorry to hear that also. Yes if the la pay for her care then your previous Nannyshare idea is probably best. If you can afford to maybe try and get someone to start before you both finish maternity for say 6 weeks so the elder two can get used to them and the arrangement before adding he younger two.

Just as a side, as a nanny I would still be happy to care for your eldest if you ever need to look for someone outside of what you have, so I'm sure others would also but is obviously harder to find.

minderjinx Sun 02-Dec-12 14:29:21

Sorry to hear your eldest is so poorly Stiffy. That must be a huge worry for you.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Sun 02-Dec-12 13:41:53

OP if it helps our nanny was looking for £14 (net I believe, as she was getting feedback from the nanny agency) for this sort of arrangement.

So I think you're about right with expectations.

Good luck with everything. Your description of your area sounds like it would work well for a couple of years.

StiffyByng Sun 02-Dec-12 13:04:17

Hi forever. That wouldn't really work. Our eldest is very severely disabled and her care is paid for by the LA. She uses a wheelchair, is partially sighted, brain damaged and has a feeding tube and stoma. It takes both of us at weekends to look after our existing children so asking one person to do it alone would be very unfair on them. To be honest, she may not actually be alive by the time the arrangement kicks off either.

forevergreek Sun 02-Dec-12 12:59:48

You say you have an older child with disabilities, and a carer for them. But I'm assuming you look after them and other child alone at weekends? Could you consider getting a nanny just for your house who have experience with special needs an can look after all of your own children?

I have had 3 children in one family with eldest having a disability and it worked fine. I'm assuming by this point the eldest is at school during a chunk of the day, the 3 year old could still go to am preschool or not if you wanted, and 1 year old at home. So a nanny would have all for an hour or so In am and say 3-6/7 pm in the afternoon. That possibility to me is just as possible as a nanny share. ( if your elder child uses a wheelchair one person could push chair, sling baby, 3 year old walk, and you say a car is available anyway).

If your work offers childcare vouchers you can use them against paying part of a nannies wage if they are ofstead registered

StiffyByng Sun 02-Dec-12 12:59:17

Even at the £18 gross quoted on here, it's cheaper. We were going to take advice on salary from an agency or two as we are utterly clueless. I know the going rate for an experienced nanny round here for one family is £10-12 net so obviously it needs to be higher than that.

This is still a way off and not set in stone. All your input is really helpful.

nannynick Sun 02-Dec-12 12:56:35

So it's going to be cheaper, which is certainly a benefit. Though I guess that will depend on finding a nanny who will do it for the salary you want to offer.

StiffyByng Sun 02-Dec-12 12:52:44

Partly because in an ideal world I'd have a full time nanny as I like the fact that they concentrate on my child(ren) more, and partly because it costs less than two sets of childminder fees round here. Also as I said my friend lives four doors down so it's no strain at all to drop off and pick up and we spend lots of time at each other's houses anyway.

nannynick Sun 02-Dec-12 12:40:12

If you are looking for full time care and your friend is not, and if the share is at your friends house rather than your house, then I don't see the benefit of a nanny for you. Would it not be better for you to have a childminder for all 5 days?
Or have I missed some benefit that having a nanny brings to your family?

StiffyByng Sun 02-Dec-12 12:40:00

And thanks, LadyHarriet. The only big difference in our parenting so far is that I BLWed and my friend was too nervous. We've already said that this needs ironing out but then again, the babies will be one or so by then and by that stage the two existing kids were pretty much doing the same thing.

We are fairly relaxed about what they do. A playgroup type thing sometimes for the younger ones while the others are at preschool would be good. We live less than 5 minutes from a fantastic museum and gardens so that would be a (relatively) easy trip out. Otherwise we are not particularly fussed about extra stuff and that could happen at weekends anyway. At present my own family juggles our disabled child, another older child, a toddler and two working parents, so things other than essentials are fitted in with great difficulty already!

nannynick Sun 02-Dec-12 12:36:58

x-posted there, I see the other children are now not going to be in the house at which the share takes place.

nannynick Sun 02-Dec-12 12:35:48

LadyHarrietdeSpook is right to mention about looking more long term. Whilst it may work now, will it work in a years time, in two years time, in five years time? You don't want to start something that will only work for 6 months, a year... then breakdown and leave you having to find another solution. So thinking about potential issues which may crop up over time will help both families to decide if sharing a nanny will work.

As a nanny I've worked for a family with 4 children and still did laundry, though the washing mountain never really went down that much, I was just making a dent in it. So you may find that some domestic tasks other than food prep can be done but it may not be a high priority. What they are able to do though is bound to help a bit. If you have older children in the house - they could do some things to help out perhaps.

How old are these two other children? Should they not be factored in, even if they are teenage?

StiffyByng Sun 02-Dec-12 12:33:42

Blonde, the share would be at the house that DOESN'T have the other children and cats. And yes, the kitty would make sure additional bills for our friends, including food, were split. To be honest, we were looking at this very much childcare only so any additional stuff would just be a bonus. We do our own washing at the moment after all. I think (hope) we will be fairly low demand parents. No room for a live in or we'd have an au pair like a shot. As it is, we have an after school carer for our eldest as she has severe disabilities so the house is stuffed to bursting.

We were thinking of it three days a week until the older two started school. So possibly not for much longer than a year. Of course if everyone was loving it, that could change. We have no idea at the moment if the older two will go to the same school. Catchments round here are insane and we may both get sent to schools quite a way away. I am thinking of a third child and my friend isn't, so loads of variables. I will also need full time childcare as I'm hoping to be retraining on a full time course so will be looking for alternative childcare on the other two days-I'm thinking childminder.

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