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Why can't I find a Nanny? Help me please

(84 Posts)
childcarehell Sun 26-May-13 17:30:07

I am paying £2200 for Nursery and hoped that could be better spent on a Nanny.

-I'm in London, zone 5 but pleasant enough and 30min to centre
- standard 3 bed house with garden, being decorated but very clean
-3yr old and 8 month old
-we're teachers and as we pay nursery anyway we happy to either pay in holidays or free them up to get high paid holiday work
-need 4 days per week
-(I think) we're nice and normal, kids very easy
-can offer live in or out (single bedroom)

What am I doing wrong it not being able to get anyone? I've tried chilcare.co.uk, gumtree and asked around but nada. I don't need experience, happy for a national of another country, just someone who really likes kids.

How do you find them?

nbee84 Sun 26-May-13 21:04:07

smile [fingers crossed emoticon] smile

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 26-May-13 21:28:20

grin hope it goes well tomorrow

childcarehell Sun 26-May-13 22:39:52

It was salary range plus holiday I think

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 27-May-13 00:30:05

I am really surprised you haven't had more interest

Stating pay is essential as those that don't say as someone said earlier means they normally want to pay £100 and call the role an au pair

Saying salary depends on experience but between £9/12gross should be fine

Again nannies love 4 days jobs but obv some have to work 5 days and as think outraged said maybe state in ad 3 or 4 days and possibly do a nursery /cm one day

I love working 3 days. Don't mind 3.5/4 but hate 5

I'm on Childcare.co and I object having to pay to send messages - so again join for a month. Send messages to nannies whose profiles seem ok and ask them to contact you and offer email /phone number

Look on netmums as well and dare I say gumtree but again state area pay etc

I look on my area (kent) and often families don't put area - Dover for example is very different and far away from
Ashford or sevenoaks - but all kent.

Good luck smile

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 09:43:10

I'm hopeful, they seem good on paper

1-4 yrs work in posh nursery 2 min away and speaks our home language, 26, romanian, very polite and happy sounding
2-works in local nursery, drives, 22, lives 3 min away
3-works as baby room leader in nursery 15min away, drives, 23
4-polish girl who sounds lovely, working 6 years here but looks from references like past employers took the piss (eg 3 kids and baby, au pair plus, loads of housework, 5 days) 26, teacher in Poland, speaks another common language

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 10:40:31

well number 1 is perfect...I'd not even see more to be honest, but great start

nannynick Mon 27-May-13 10:45:32

Sounds promising. Number4 has experience of working in a family home, the others may not (though will depend on other work they have done). Nursery Worker to Nanny transition is talked about on here from time to time, many of us nannies have worked in nurseries so the transition can go smoothly. However not everyone adjusts that well - working on your own with young children is different to working in a group. Very lonely at times being a nanny, no breaks during the day, no other people to ask to help.

Meet them, have a common list of questions to ask them so you can try to compare them. Trust gut instincts. Short list and invite back to meet children if children are not present at first interview. See how they get on with your children.

Good luck.

nannynick Mon 27-May-13 10:54:28

Are you going to see all 4, or just 2 to start with? If selecting two of them to see, I expect number 1 and number 4 are worth seeing as you can compare them - they have experience but in different childcare sectors, they may have different levels of education, so there will be factors that make them different but also factors that make them the same, such as age.

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 11:08:53

Just meet number 3, seems very very good. Happy, kept looking at/ offering to hold baby and clearly likes interacting with kids. Has a car, very flexible. Very quietly confident in how good she is at work 'they'd give me a fantastic reference', experience with the right ages. Used to long hours. Gut feeling was she was a lovely character and competent. Very polite, liked comments when I asked what she was looking for 'I'd like to be part of the family in how I'm treated', 'I like taking children out' etc.

My single concern is the nursery to nanny transition and how she'd find it, though this area is fantastic for social contact through (normal!) toddler groups etc

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 11:10:09

I should say we in our work interview nursery nurses quite frequently (deputy and headteacher) so I'm pretty confident on the looking after/ gut instinct but no experience of the nursery nurse to nanny potential pitfalls.

NomDeClavier Mon 27-May-13 11:21:47

I would be asking them how they think they would cope working singlehanded and without a set break. How would they juggle entertaining the DCs and prepping a meal? What would they do if 3 things happen at once? Are they competent at the household stuff (obviously not doing your cleaning but tidying up after themselves in a non-work-specific environment)?

It tends to be there that most problems arise if there's a good network of nannies and plenty of activities. Done people can't handle the stress of being alone with kids without downtime and others don't realise how much incidental tidying you need to do.

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 11:31:08

I did ask that. She talked about balancing the load at work, e.g. a handful of upset children, paperwork and a spillage. Seemed the best answer she could give. I suggested a few places to go, she suggested more places she'd take them which I saw as good. Seemed to think for herself, but also fit in. Came across as intelligent yet a soft person.

To be fair my kids are amazing sleepers and occupy themselves while I cook etc, never had an issue with that. ds would be a nursery half days, 1.5 hour nap in afternoon and the baby loves her hour + kips about 3 times a day. Ds will play along up to an hour with toys etc and if fed, warm and untired the baby likes sitting in the sit and watching you cook etc. As kids go they must be a gift to look after (my neighbour as them at the moment and says the same, it's not bias)

nannynick Mon 27-May-13 12:11:37

Trying to relate this to your work... are there are TA's at school who you would trust to cover a class for a while? If push to came to shove and you had to do that... are there some TA's you would feel could handle it for a while and others who you would never consider to be put in such a position? You are looking for that person who can cope with the stress and the responsibility.

Nannies juggle things constantly... the needs of an active toddler vs that of a sleepy baby, the mountain of washing and the bookcase of books that the toddler has just chucked on the floor. Getting children to nursery or an activity on time, yet baby is demanding a feed. As a mum it will be things you do all the time... juggling the needs of your children, your home and your family in general.

Can the nanny cook? That can be an interesting thing to talk about, in nursery they may do no cooking at all. They may make cakes and biscuits. At home they may not cook at all, or they may enjoy cooking.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 27-May-13 12:38:27

I'd echo what Nick and Nom have said. The vast majority of nannies start out in nurseries so it's a very normal career progression, but there are a few who struggle with the change over. Main concerns tend to be;

1. Loneliness - they're used to working in a team, being on your own all day can be tough. Need someone who will be pro-active in getting out and meeting people, but who doesn't mind being on their own sometimes (if the kids get chicken pox, for example).

2. Dealing with children in the 'outside world' - can be quite different from dealing with them in a purpose built environment. The level of supervision needed is less when they're in one room that has been H&S checked. Watching them out by the road, in the park by the duck pond, in a building where they could escape, at home where there are likely to be things that shouldn't touch/things they could choke on etc. is a whole new level of supervision.

3. Dealing with an emergency - if one of the children were to be injured or suddenly sick, in a nursery there will be a team of other people and (unless this person is the manager), they'll always be someone more senior to call on. Not when you're a nanny.

4. Ability to deal with household stuff - in a nursery they don't tend to cook/ clean-up etc. They definitely won't change beds, do the children's laundry etc. Multi-tasking can sometimes be lacking.

5. Dealing with a mix of ages - in a nursery they will usually only deal with one age group at a time. This can be a challenge. Not so much now with a small baby, but in a year when you have an 18 month old and a 4 year old...

For many nursery-to-nanny converts there is no problem at all and almost all can learn on the job, but it's just good to be aware of the possible pitfalls.

I'm glad the interviews are going well. It does sound a really lovely job, if I didn't already have a lovely job, I'd be right round grin.

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 15:03:48

I'm hoping with the ages that they will have the perfect time to learn on the job a bit. DS will be a nursery half days giving dd time, but when ds is home and demanding she's not yet mobile and can be put down. Ds is sooo easy and has common sense, he just isn't that child that chucks mess around etc. He tidies up and is very good. We are a strict-ish household though and I'd want a nanny to continue that. I can abide it when I see children being rude to carers and I know I hold ds up to high standards.

I've asked about cooking, but then I've never met anyone who can't (culturally unheard of). I was thinking they'd start mid-august whilst I'm here to ease them in and if desperate could b given a range of basic meals for kids. I am QUEEN of simple but tasty healthy meals. I even taught dh to cook and that's something.

Emergencies...at work I train for this so I'm probably do the same in my own house. Insist on first aid training and have a laminated card with what to do on! (our brains do go in emergencies, I once had a bomb threat on my school whilst in charge from an extremist group. My brain went 'eeek' repeatedly inside while I tried to plan and look calm)

Nannies I've seen live alone, bar one, so they must (hopefully clean) if they smell and look fresh!

Loneliness is my biggest worry, I plan to introduce them to mums/ nannies/ childminders and groups around to kick start them with meeting people.

Nannynick...I know what you mean. I think as it work I'm looking for common sense and a good attitude. I've learnt at work that most other issues can be overcome but laziness or lack of initiative is hopeless.

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 15:04:45

Well met number 3, great. 10 min early.

number 2 is now 5 min late, nothing I know...but not a great start. I can't afford to be late to work ,and she lives down the road too

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 15:15:19

14 min late, no message

hmmm

nannynick Mon 27-May-13 15:30:36

Would you turn up to an interview late?
If they do turn up they will need a super excuse fpr you to even consider them for the job.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 27-May-13 16:07:18

Did no 2 eventually turn up?

What was her excuse for being late?

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 16:20:17

buses, could forgive on a bank holiday but it was the least issue

Didn't like her. You know when someone sounds great...but you can smell bullshit in the air. She had every piece of paper with her, loads of it, knew perfect responses. But I work with people like that...

What would you like to improve in your practice 'nothing! I'm really good! very hard working'

plus she slagged off her current employer which is a red flag. Bit of a victim, she is so good and all so bad. Didn't take direction kindly seemed to be the issue.

She was far far more prepared than the first, but it was a front. Little things didn't add up. We speak a few european languages so could roughly understand her certificates from back home, which were not general as stated but in psychology, another in a general psychology, not teaching as said. Then she said she was doing a degree at the OU in ICT but wanted to be a nanny long term (then why do that?)

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 27-May-13 16:23:18

Buses? Thought she lived a few mins away and drove?

But if you didn't like her then no point continuing

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Mon 27-May-13 16:32:46

Oh well, that rules that one out then!!

When are the others due?

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 17:05:51

number 2, sorry number 1 on original list. comments were about her

now just met the third, no 2 on list (local, drives) close together and mixed posts. turned out to be friend of 1st interviewee who I like. Nothing wrong, but first better. She was a nursery nurse in other's room who was senior. Just a bit of a kid, really sweet but not sure ready to work alone. Poor thing was nervous young, for her age.

Last one, no 4, due at six then decision time. Unless wow I'm really happy with first (no. 3 on my list)

Interviewing nearly back to back as I do at work!

nannynick Mon 27-May-13 17:12:46

I am impressed that you are seeing them all so quickly. Back to back interviews, reminds me of my old working days (before I was a nanny).
On the plus side, you can compare them as they are fresh in your mind and by the end of today you may even have decided who gets the job, subject to satisfactory references.

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 17:30:48

I'm used to this way at work, blocking interviews. Subject to refs I'm very hopeful we have one. It's also a bank holiday so all were available

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