Note: Please bear in mind that this is a discussion board, not a place to advertise childcare vacancies or recruit childminders/nannies etc. We don't mind the odd mumsnet regular mentioning that they're looking for a job/mindee (although you're probably better off in MN Local) but repeated job "ads" and posts from nanny/babysitting agencies aren't fair to people who are paying for small business ads. Do feel free to report any you see. Thanks, MNHQ.

Nanny trouble

(36 Posts)
carolinedd Wed 20-Nov-13 10:19:45

We've just hired a nanny for the first time after my return to work as it's the only sensible (and cheapest) option with a three year old and one year old twins.
She's great with the kids as far as I can tell but really lazy or oblivious when it comes to the house. It's in her contract to do kids laundry, tidy up behind them and help with the nappy washing (I use reusable nappies). Came home yesterday to find she'd done a huge load of kids laundry but just chucked it in the tumble dryer and left it there. And both nappy buckets full of dirty nappies. My oldest had been at preschool for 6 hours and the twins still have two long naps a day. She didn't even empty the rubbish out of my sons preschool lunchbox. The worktops and kitchen floor were covered in crumbs, and there were toys everywhere. Am I wrong to be annoyed or am I expecting too much? Thanks.

southwestEmmie Thu 13-Mar-14 16:48:56

Can I ask how old this nanny is and is she a perfessional nanny? This shouldn't happen with soneone that's a perfessional nanny. Someone that's has studied childcare. the NNEB I that best quilifation a nanny can have. It's old school so your gonna get high quility child care. Not just someone here on a visa visiting an had no passion for childcare at all.

jeniferholland Thu 13-Mar-14 12:22:37

Give occasional and permanent nannies a go. I too had the same problem with lots of nannies before. They have found me incredible people for all my children.

oscarwilde Wed 29-Jan-14 13:42:08

Is she still working for you? Can your mum "pop" in frequently?
I know someone who's cleaner shopped her nanny as spending her days watching tv while the toddler amused herself.

carolinedd Tue 28-Jan-14 20:31:15

Oscarwilde, no she did not tell me about the lunch, my mum dropped round unexpectedly while she was feeding them and told me later hmm

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Mon 27-Jan-14 19:46:02

You could pay her off and get a temporary nanny, sometimes this turns into a permanent position if both sides are happy.

Did you ask her why she only gave breadsticks and cheerios to a baby? shock

Using washable nappies is not extra work at all! In my experience it is about 4 extra wash loads a week and I had 2 in washables.

oscarwilde Mon 27-Jan-14 11:06:40

Out of interest did she admit to you that the twins had cheerios and breadsticks for lunch? Have they had D&V/severe teething or something?
Frankly if she thought that was an acceptable midday meal for a child under any other circumstance I would be concerned enough to call an agency and give her notice right now.

Ihatepeas Sun 26-Jan-14 22:51:24

She gave your one yr olds dry Cheerios and a breadstick for lunch shock shockshock that's awful!!

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 24-Jan-14 21:05:59

i should not read and reply to threads when i work nights blush sorry lol - i rarely read dates

def get rid of, didnt reliese it was 3mths, more then enough time to sort out any niggles

and yes she should have told you via text/note in diary about the calpol, i have a note saying i can give medicine without ringing boss's, as to be frank they need to trust my judgement and if working dont need a call/text from me saying grizzy/teething can i give calpol

FlorenceMattell Fri 24-Jan-14 12:00:24

Cheerios for lunch!! that says it all to me.
Have you got a clear disciplinary procedure in your contract? that should have been a warning.
Calpol and no written record and not informed you also a warning.
What does your contract say re medicine?

carolinedd Fri 24-Jan-14 10:29:59

Blondes, she's been with is since the start of November and yes she knew about the nappies. They are super easy to use and we have enough that it's only one load of washing every 3 days, so not much extra work.
As an example of food, she gave the twins dry Cheerios and breadsticks for lunch.
Thanks for all the advice, nice to know that I'm not alone in thinking this is not good enough.

WeAreEternal Fri 24-Jan-14 06:32:50

Blondes the OP started this thread on November 20th, so the nanny started at the beginning of November.

I think three months is more than enough time for a nanny to find her feet, it does sound like she is a bad fit, you have tried to discuss the issues but she has failed to improve, I would definitely be giving her notice.

NicknameIncomplete Fri 24-Jan-14 06:25:42

Blondes. - it hasnt been 3 weeks. Read the dates.

I think if i was you OP i would give her notice as soon as. She doesnt sound very good at all.

MissPryde Fri 24-Jan-14 05:35:55

Giving a child medicine without notifying the parent is a huge red flag for me. I'm a nanny myself, and I would dismiss a nanny immediately for doing that. If a child in my care needed this - Calpol is a fever reducer, correct? Tylenol in the US? I would have immediately notified the parent, by phone or text, what symptoms the baby was showing, the temperature of the fever and what action I was taking, such as giving medicine. The fact she didn't even inform you later is unacceptable.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 24-Jan-14 04:40:08

She's been with you 3 weeks - 2 weeks ago you had a chat as feeding your kids crap food - so basically after a week?

Unless food is specifically discussed (and I do ask) then what one defines as 'poor quality foods' another might not

Ie some parents don't mind chicken nuggets and chips - or jacket and beans - where some want proper meals like chicken casserole or fish pie

Same with cleaning / tidying up after self - average nanny should do it - but some have a diff tidyness level

Agree a list put on wall may help

Washable nappies - I personally hate them and have turned down jobs with them - had the odd temp job and nightmare using them. A lot of extra work with washing them - was this discusses at interview?

In the end as I put on another thread here - has trust and communication broken down and - it is only 3week 3 but maybe still finding her feet

2plus1 Thu 23-Jan-14 22:36:27

No we hadnt sorted out a new nanny so hubs and I juggled the childcare for a few weeks with leave/reduced hours at work. This coincided with ds having surgery at that time so i was on compassionate leave. We needed the nanny to work her notice to bridge 4weeks but it was toxic after she had a shouting match at me in front of yhe children. I totally lost my respect for her at that point but shortened the notice by including her unused leave. I would have liked to have shown her the door tbh. We actually decided to use nursery care after she left as I changed my working hours to better suit but otherwise would have advertised once notice was given.

carolinedd Thu 23-Jan-14 22:22:16

Thanks 2plus1, did you line up a new nanny before giving notice? We don't have any family around to bridge the gap for us if she decides to just leave straight away.

2plus1 Thu 23-Jan-14 21:09:53

If you are not happy with the care provided and she has had adequate warning then let her go. It is unacceptable for you to be clearing up after work things that the nannies expected to do. Not notifying of medicating your children would be a major issue for me as it would be easy to unintentionally overdose a child. It will feel awkward as it felt the same way when we let our nanny go. She may have an outburst or tears. She may wish to leave straight away or work her notice, however the house can become toxic during their notice period so you may wish to pay her notice and ask her to leave asap. Be strong in your decision, you need to be sure of your children's safety as utmost priority over hurting your nanny's feelings.

carolinedd Thu 23-Jan-14 20:27:39

Thanks everyone. Unfortunately this was actually the least of our problems as as time went on we realised that there was a real communication problem too, and we also noticed that she never seemed to do any activities with our son and was feeding our kids pretty poor quality meals.
We had a good natured meeting two weeks ago and emphasised nutrition and the importance of communication with us about the childrens day.
Although things seemed to be going better since, I noticed at bath time that one of the twins had calpol spilt on the front of her tee shirt. There was also a spoon with calpol on sitting in the kitchen. Why would she not tell me that my daughter had calpol??? I know it could have slipped her mind but so many things seem to slip her mind that I have lost all trust.
I think this might be the final straw. Am absolutely dreading having to give her her notice, won't it be really awkward afterwards? Oh well, I guess I'll have to get used to being an employer and making difficult decisions.

MaternityNanny31 Fri 22-Nov-13 08:17:47

It may be that she is lazy, it may be her level of "clean and tidy" is totally different than yours, some people are different. But obviously she needs to be at your level for it to work.

As a Nanny/Maternity Nurse what I would do is….

Type out a list of all the "jobs" on a A4 piece of paper titled checklist and laminate/plastic wallet and pop it behind a cupboard door.
Then politely and cheerfully one day say I've made a little checklist of everything that I would love you to do by the end of each day and during nap time if you could just get on top of these jobs then feel free to watch some tv/chill out after…. Make the emphasis on how you'd really appreciate it and how it will make your life much easier, if she does it praise her and if she doesn't within a week I would give her a warning.

I happen to be an incredibly tidy person, and parents always loved this. and I think its incredibly easy to put a wash on & fold clothes whilst looking after the children. But I know from families I worked for that other nannies feel cleaning is beneath them! I see it as I am being "mum" for the day and therefore need to do mums job, which may at times mean multitasking and emptying the dishwasher whilst child plays in bouncy chair… She may be overwhelmed by twins, or worried she will get told off for ignoring them whilst cleaning?

Hope this helps. I just think a note and a constant checklist will be far better than constant nagging/reminder and will have a better relationship between you all.

Good luck

NomDeClavier Thu 21-Nov-13 19:16:57

Hmm, doesn't sound great. Usually by 3 weeks you can at least keep your head above water on a daily basis unless everything's fallen apart.

The only thing I can think of is she might not be used to balancing nursery duties with childcare, especially as you use cloth if she hasn't before. I was a nanny (and pretty on top of everything) and I was quite shocked how much reusables added to the workload until I got into the rhythm of it.

Working with her to actively find strategies will probably go down better than waving the contract and saying she should be doing it. Also helpful hints like 'I don't mind you leaving the twins in their high chairs while you tidy the kitchen' might job her memory.

Katiejon Thu 21-Nov-13 04:16:51

Hi.
Keep an eye on things.

carolinedd Wed 20-Nov-13 22:19:04

Arghhhhh, iPhone autocorrect! confused

carolinedd Wed 20-Nov-13 22:17:28

Get previous job was twin babies and an older sibling, that's part of reason we chose her as she knew exactly what she was getting herself into. She does three days for us and my school does 8:45 to 3:30 in preschool on two of those. I genuinely wouldn't mind coming home to mess if she'd an awful day but I don't think that's been the case. Anyway, maybe I'm worrying too soon.

surpriseme Wed 20-Nov-13 20:21:41

Has she had experience with 3 children before? Theres a big difference between 2 and 3 children(much bigger than going from 1 to 2 imo) and some people enjoy that and others don't do so well. Yours are close in age and it does take a few wks to get settled.
I would chat to her. The laundry, if it only happens occasionally I would prob assume a busy day and let it go but crumbs all over the sides is not on. Its not hard to get into the habit of cleaning as you go, rather than leaving it til it gets overwhelming

carolinedd Wed 20-Nov-13 16:04:49

Thanks everyone. She had three full days with me here to settle everyone in and my kids have had a fairly strict routine since the twins were born which I have also written down for her. She's three weeks in and told me that the twins had a really good sleep in the afternoon, they are both placid girls and not at all bothered about strangers. If she had a bad day and could nt get things done I would be ok with that but I would expect her to communicate that to me? I just wasn't expecting to have to spoon feed her :-(. I'll have a gentle word and see if things improve.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now