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Hiring a nanny 101 - what one piece of advice would you give?

(15 Posts)
coveredinflour Fri 06-Sep-13 22:07:41

Wow! Thank you all so much! I haven't been able to get online the last few days and all this advice is so so useful!! Sounds like we need to be really clear about what we want / need up front, get it together in terms of the salary, tax logistics and above all trust our instincts - and then let the nanny get on with it. :-)

Still feeling a bit nervous about it. Can't imagine leaving precious DD with anyone but will press ahead and we'll see.

Shelley33 Sun 01-Sep-13 20:41:48

From a nanny's point of view, please remember we are only human, so don't have unrealistic expectations of what we can achieve, we became nannies to car for children, not to do a thousand and one other jobs to make your lives easier, happy to run errands and pick up a few bits and pieces,but I had one job where I was presented every morning with a list as long as your arm, didn't mind doing them as such, but it meant my 2 little charges, just 2 and 11mths were just about left to their own devices whilst I ran around like a headless chicken doing other stuff, it made me so sad when the older one would ask me to play and I had to say no because MB would epxect the jobs to all be done. I said something in the end, but it fell on deaf ears so I left as I just couldn't stand not having time to spend with the children.

Be home on time, or at least let your nanny know you're going to be late, and in good time. If you've a 30 min commute, don't ring 5 mins before you're due home to say you're still stuck in the office.

Nannies do get sick, most of us will drag ourselves in and have a duvet/tv day, but just occasionally we just can't get out of bed, don't make us feel any more guilty by telling us we are making your lives difficult by not coming in, it's not as if we choose to be ill!!

Don't begrudge us 10 mins sit down with a cuppa, it's hard work doing a 10/12hr day and we need a break at sometime, so if you walk in and see your nanny on the sofa with a coffee in her hand, don't assume she's been there all day, you can guarentee she's literally sat down the moment you chose to walk in the door!!

Don't arrive home bang on the dot of 6pm and then expect your nanny to spend 15mins of her own time filling you in on the day, if you want that chitchat come home early, otherwise get a nanny diary which is always a good idea anyway!

Communicate!!!! Talk to us, tell us how you'd like thing done or not done, you'd wouldn't believe the amount of employers who think we are mine readers!!

Back us up, even if you don't agree that little freddie can't have a biscuit, don't say he can as you've just undermined the authority of the nanny big time, talk about it later.

Be nice employers, treat us nicely and we'll be lovely nannies for you!!!

AnyoneButLulu Sun 01-Sep-13 18:22:56

Be fussy. Allow yourself time to interview loads and loads of nannies so you will know the right one when you meet them, don't be dispirited by three really crap interviewees in a row and then jump at the next because she's sort-of alright.

(Everyone else's advice also good)

Karoleann Sun 01-Sep-13 18:20:00

Could I say two!
1. Make it very clear what you expect in terms of housework. I always find it easiest to leave the house tidy and clean and then expect it to be in the same state before the nanny leaves at the end of the day.
2. Only have SSP in the contract - you can then decide to pay full/half sick pay if you want, but you aren't paying out for a dubious Monday sickie

NumTumDeDum Sun 01-Sep-13 12:45:27

God yes and what Sapfu said. I agreed a net weekly wage idiot and ended up paying way more than I thought once tax and NI were calculated. You'll need to pay the tax yourself but way 2 paye set you up an account to do it.

NumTumDeDum Sun 01-Sep-13 12:43:45

I used way2paye to do the payroll and provide wageslips, very reasonable fees and a good service. Here is their link

sapfu Sun 01-Sep-13 12:32:11

Agree a GROSS salary, not a net weekly or hourly wage.

heidihole Sun 01-Sep-13 12:28:11

Make your expectations clear from the start. If you want her to do childs laundry/hoover playroom etc tell them. If you want them to just play with child and nothing else, tell them. Decide what you want so you can go through it all at interview.

from a nanny point of view, I'm also in NW London and have found Gumtree to be pretty rubbish right now...I think it's the amount of adverts on there is crazy and I'm finding mine is on the second or third page in a matter of hours!

YY, to nanny is not a replacement you...your nanny won't do everything as you would but that doesn't mean its wrong just different but nannies do understand how how hard it is to leave your dc with someone new!

Good luck!

if you want a ofsted registered nanny from nw5, pm me wink

Personally, I felt a good reference was worth more than just qualifications - good reference AND qualification is best of course smile. Always, always follow up references.

You know you will have to employ your nanny? You will need to issue payslips and calculate their tax etc. We use a commercial agency for that <phew>

Be prepared that even with the best and most lovely nanny in the world, she will do some things differently from you. Insist of things that are important to you but don't sweat the small stuff.

Cindy34 Sun 01-Sep-13 08:46:57

Get the money right. Know your budget and don't max it out, so there is room for any costs you forgot about and things like a future payrise however small that may be.

Have realistic expectations, nanny is not a replacement you.

NomDeClavier Sun 01-Sep-13 00:22:41

Second piece of advice - have a comprehensive contract.

NomDeClavier Sun 01-Sep-13 00:22:13

Check everything - ask to see certificates of qualifications and insurance, call references, ask to see their passport and proof of address and their DBS/CRB check to make sure everything tallies up.

There's no foolproof way to tell whether someone is going to turn out to be a nutter but you can protect yourself and your DD by doing your homework.

And even if you've checked everything and it still doesn't feel right, trust that feeling.

Trust your gut feeling.

Also: to my surprise, advertising on nannyjob and did not create much interest, however gumtree did (I could not answer replies as quickly as they came in).
I am in Scotland though, not in the Southeast, so may well be very different.

Good luck - our nanny is fab.

coveredinflour Sat 31-Aug-13 23:24:43

Hello there, I am about to start advertising for a nanny to look after DD who will be 12m when I go back to work. Really know nothing about how to find and hire a good nanny so would welcome all gems of advice. What do you wish you'd known (or nannies, what do you wish your employers had known), where is the best place to advertise? Anything to watch out for?

We've found another family with a little boy the same age as DD to do a 4 day per week share so I am hoping that will help. Oh and we are in NW London in case that has a bearing on advice.

Feeling rather nervous about the whole thing so all advice / reassurance would be very welcome!

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