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Nanny responsibilities once DCs are at school

(15 Posts)
IronMaggie Mon 14-Dec-15 23:07:40

Our nanny is fantastically good at her job. My DCs (5 and 3) both adore her and behave beautifully when she's around. (Their behaviour with us is another matter!) She's also very tidy, a good cook, organised and detail-oriented, she's great all round.

As a result she's very well paid, which I don't begrudge at all. It's just been harder to manage recently as our circumstances have changed - I've just started a small business and will have no income to speak of for the next few months.

Thinking forward to next year when both DCs are at school, I'm wondering whether we can reduce our childcare costs OR make life easier for ourselves. I wouldn't ask her to replace our weekly cleaner, but there could be general housekeeping duties she could help us with - cooking, shopping, organising etc? Reducing her pay is not an option.

The alternative is a childminder which would be much cheaper but would also make life a bit more stressful, with frenzied morning drop offs and harried evening routines. We'd be very sad to lose her as well.

Of course I'll raise the subject with her nearer the time to see what she has in mind. I'd also love to hear what other people's experiences have been. Have you kept your nanny on after you strictly need them, yet extended their responsibilities? Or have you switched from a nanny to a childminder and have tips to share?

spaceyboo Mon 14-Dec-15 23:40:51

Whenever I have my neice, I usually just have a nanny for pick ups and drop offs and to help with her mealtimes whenever my husband can't. She doesn't help with anything not immediately related to the care of my neice because the other nannies in the area wouldn't do it either. Personally If I were you I'd research what services other nannies are expected to deliver in your area and negotiate accordingly. Maybe, it's not unreasonable in your area for nannies to clean/cook/iron etc?

writingonthewall Tue 15-Dec-15 06:33:44

Could you negotiate after school/holidays only and manage dropoffs yourself? You might need to pay more per hour. Otherwise I think "nursery duties" are acceptable (kids laundry, change beds, tidy/clean their rooms and playroom) plus batch cooking for freezer. Ours did our ironing.

Cindy34 Tue 15-Dec-15 07:00:04

All laundry, waiting in for tradespeople, cooking for the children, clean entire house, bit of gardening. A nanny housekeeper will do all sorts of things during school term time, then focus more on childcare when the children are at home.

OneMoreCasualty Tue 15-Dec-15 07:07:22

None of those things will save you money, though. Could you chat to her about being a nanny share? She may not want to do housework instead of childcare all day, of course.

Umbrelladilemma Tue 15-Dec-15 07:20:59

I would speak to her now. One option would be to find a family with s new baby (or expecting one!) who would welcome some respite during the day (school hours or less).

The problem you may have is that she could agree to taking on housekeeping duties as she likes your family and wants to keep her good salary, but if she actually would rather be looking after young children then she will become dissatisfied and may want to move on.

So better to try and agree a role now which will work for both of you. She knows your DC will both be at school so I'm sure she's been considering it herself already.

summerainbow Tue 15-Dec-15 12:38:46

I think you have to look how old is your nanny ?.is she in long term relationship so her own babies might on the cards. How long has she been with you as She might be looking for change.
You don't know any this and but you still want for year . But you can't afford her . So really need to look at other child care options .

NannyNim Tue 15-Dec-15 13:15:14

I'm a nanny facing this situation in September. As I am desperate to stay with the family and they are desperate to keep me I initially would have agreed to anything to stay - such as more housekeeping duties etc but upon consideration I would have hated it. Housekeeping, even with a child to drop off at school/pick up, is not what I signed up to.

As it is, another local family have recently had a baby and are looking for some respite so my current family have agreed a nanny share to start in September. My hours for this family halve (as does my salary) and the other family take up the school hours plus half my salary. I get paid the same and stick to strictly doing childcare but each family pays half. It's a win/win!

IronMaggie Tue 15-Dec-15 13:45:12

Thanks everyone for the helpful comments.

I suppose there's no harm in broaching the subject with her now. It's just that DC2 doesn't actually start reception until Sep 2017 so it seems slightly premature and I don't want her to feel that we're trying to get rid of her. I'll gently enquire about what she's done with other families she's worked with when the kids have reached this age. I know she's had some housekeeping duties before, but I never asked whether she enjoyed them.

The nanny share option does sound like a great compromise, especially if we do mornings ourselves, then she's not having to do too much travelling back and forth. It does seem like it would be partially down to luck though - a family nearby would need to be having a baby at exactly the right time. It could definitely work though!

I'll need to do a bit of research on the tax implications of that arrangement as well - presumably we'd also share responsibility for her tax and NI with the other family?

She's in her thirties and in a long term relationship but I wouldn't make any assumptions on that basis, unless she specifically told me she was leaving to start a family!

Thanks again all, really helpful...

BooAvenue Tue 15-Dec-15 13:54:07

I had a similar sort of issue when I went off on ML with DS. DD was in nursery (4yo) for 3 mornings and two full days a week (in preparation for school in September) for about 2 months and I was at home with tiny baby, which left our full time nanny with a lot of spare time and us still paying full salary.

She agreed to help out just in general around the house, cooking, laundry etc and holding baby DS when I showered. I also gave her some paid time off on (extra holiday) on the understanding she'd babysit for us in future to make up the hours.

It worked well for us and now I'm back at work nanny looks after DS full time and does school drop offs/pick ups with DD so back to normal!

Callaird Fri 18-Dec-15 00:11:12

It really depends on if you need her to be 'on call', if the children are sick and cannot go to school or need to be collected from school, there is an inset day and school holidays. If you need her to cover those then you can't really do a share, the other family might not want their child with your sick child, who does the nanny choose to let down?!

Any full time position I've had where the children start to go to school/nursery I haven't been asked to take on any other roles, by then the toddler is dropping their nap so the nanny no longer gets time to do child free jobs - ironing, sorting through clothes and toys (every tried to throw out a piece of broken toy with a toddler around?!) cooking for the freezer. I've also done the family shop, run errands (dry cleaning, post office) stored grown out of clothes, bought presents/cards for parties, etc,.

To be honest, by the time you have dropped the children at school and nursery, gone home to tidy up, do some nursery duty, preped lunch/tea and popped to the shop for bread/milk/golden syrup (yes we are making a gingerbread house!) it's time to go and pick up from nursery anyway.

IronMaggie Fri 01-Jan-16 08:55:42

Ooh Callaird I only just saw this. You're absolutely right, we would need her to be available to us full-time anyway. I've decided I'll just speak to her about it when she gets back from holiday next week, and see how she imagines her duties will change. The things you've listed would all be a huge help in making life less stressful generally.

And I'm resigned to the fact that we'll have to survive with the expense for a couple of years, we can just about manage it with some sacrifices. Our DCs are just so happy with her so I wouldn't want to make any rash decisions. Thanks for the advice - you sound super-efficient!

sephineee Fri 01-Jan-16 13:44:36

I've posted something similar! Your nanny sounds amazing and worth hanging on to.
There always seems to be someone ill anyway so you'll probably get reasonable money's worth!
Good luck!

Duckdeamon Fri 01-Jan-16 13:53:53

I have used temp nannies, a fab CM and after school care: nanny had lots of advantages and this would be our preferred option. But there is a massive cost difference and the other options have still been pretty good, just not AS good IYSWIM! It sounds like cost is a factor for you.

Several friends who have paid their nannies for hours the DC are not there (in term time anyway) to do "light" nursery/cooking duties, errands etc. have got fed up with the cost and switched to after school club or CM. The ones who've stuck with the nannies tend to be those who need a later finish time, eg due to inflexible working hours/commutes.

I personally wouldn't raise this matter with her so very far in advance and just see how you feel this time next year.

Don't discount nanny shares: scenarios described by a PP can be managed and covered in contracts/agreements.

IronMaggie Fri 01-Jan-16 18:56:15

Thank you duckdeamon, that's helpful feedback. In reality I do now have quite a lot of flexibility with my work schedule so can potentially make the shift to CMs / clubs as you say. I'd just need to get a better sense of what my DCs would be comfortable with - tricky when they're so used to one person, but I also know they're super adaptable at this age. I should probably stop worrying about this so much!

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