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Nannies holding play dates at your house?

(31 Posts)
SkinnyDecaffGiraffe Tue 23-Jul-13 07:52:48

Nanny due to start with me v soon. It's our first time with a Nanny so unsure on what we agree to etc re day to day stuff.

In her interview she mentioned she'd want to hold play dates at our house. I am not keen on this unless its with people and children i know. Then I will be super strict about which rooms the children can go in.

Can I say this or should I let her do what she wants ? The idea of unknown kids in my house makes me shudder for some reason.

I know this makes me sound weird and controlling. I probably am both of those things grin

SkinnyDecaffGiraffe Tue 23-Jul-13 07:53:57

As it stands we rarely have kids over here but go out a lot. I just don't like the chaos it creates. The invariable food everywhere etc

CaptainSweatPants Tue 23-Jul-13 08:00:02

You need to learn to cope with the mess

It's all part of parenting grin

Ipsissima Tue 23-Jul-13 08:00:21

I think it would be unreasonable to ban play-dates altogether. The suggestion demonstrates a positive attitude from your nanny - children do benefit from socialising! However, I would restrict the play-date options to friends of the children ...not a get together with other nannies for their own benefit.
Restricting the use of rooms is very sensible, so make it clear that play-date visitors may not use x.y & z areas but need to remain in the kitchen, playroom and garden.

Chocotrekkie Tue 23-Jul-13 08:01:12

It's your choice - you are paying her to look after children however you want.
Why does it create chaos ??
A few basic rules here - no food/drinks out of the kitchen and if the kids make a mess with toys they must tidy them before they go home or they are not allowed back.

I allowed my Nanny to have her friends and their children around.
She is much more clean and tidy than I am though - could never tell if there had been a playdate, and she always used to check before that that day was OK.

FlowersBlown Tue 23-Jul-13 08:03:43

It is usual for nannies to have reciprocal playdates at the homes of people they work for, but if you aren't happy about this for whatever reason then just make sure you let her know in advance. I would think it quite unlikely that you would even know other children had been in the house by the time you get home so over time you may start to feel more relaxed about it. Your nanny will get invited to other people's homes so you may it's the right thing to do to allow her to return the invitation once you've built up trust.

stella1w Tue 23-Jul-13 08:28:52

I only allow my children's friends over and then only once or twice a week. There are parks for gatherings! Also my kids have daily activities which take priority. Just be clear about what you want and say you will keep it under review.

SkinnyDecaffGiraffe Tue 23-Jul-13 08:48:51

thanks- sounds like we can make a compromise on this.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 23-Jul-13 09:44:23

Employers very rarely get to know the children
Their children play with as often at work unless work from home sometimes or meet at a birthday party

Maybe your nanny could hold a coffee am at yours and you could meet some of the children and nannies

It is hard to let go but for your own child's sake you have to

Most nannies respect their work place and when I have friends and children over I make sure drinks and food are in the kitchen or garden only

And obv tidy up any mess we make

Op - you need to relax a bit - it's normal
And healthy for your child to have friends over

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 23-Jul-13 10:13:01

We have a nanny, and she organises play dates at our house every wek. She and her nanny friends take it in turns as to which house the children play at. I always encourage play dates as it is good for children to learn to share toys, and they actually enjoy playing host. And then they all eat together, which is very sociable and they learn table manners etc.

I have never met anyone beforehand - I trust our nanny to make good choices as to her friends.

I have met her nanny friends, their charges and their parents quite a lot though over the years (birthday parties, the occasional weekend meet up, coming home early on the odd day) but never before the play date on a pre approved type of basis. How would that work?

Our nanny always tidies up after a play date, and involves the children in doing that too. invariably things end up in the woring place, and sets are no longer complete sets, so there needs to be a good sort out every so often, but hey. It may be a bit annoying, but its all part and parcel of having children at home.

taleteller Tue 23-Jul-13 10:31:18

There was a thread on this very recently where it had all gone horribly wrong - sounds like a similar request from the nanny. Have a read and make sure you cover these issues with your nanny. Hope the link works but if not you should be able to find it.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/childminders_nannies_au_pairs_etc/1798235-Advice-needed-nanny-friends-working-arrangements-long

valiumredhead Tue 23-Jul-13 10:54:07

It's completely normal for nannies to hold play dates. You either trust your nanny or you don't.

valiumredhead Tue 23-Jul-13 11:08:29

A trustworthy nanny will respect your home and not let kids run riot. Remember the kids will have their nanny their too more than likely so there will be plenty of supervision.

nkf Tue 23-Jul-13 11:10:48

Playdates for children are good. The problem starts when it's really a catch up for the nannies.

valiumredhead Tue 23-Jul-13 11:15:40

Adult contact for nannies is very important too though, no? I'm not talking about the children being ignored but it can be very lonely working with children at times.

nkf Tue 23-Jul-13 11:19:50

Yes. It's about balance though. And about the children's needs coming first. Some nannies deal better with the loneliness. You see them in the parks. A row of nannies on a bench chatting to each other and some nannies pushing swings and talking and listening to the children. Some nannies are more interested in child development than others. Some parents are, for that matter. It's just that if you are paying for care, you can be a bit more specific than if it was your sister looking after your kids.

valiumredhead Tue 23-Jul-13 11:24:16

You're likely to hang on to your nanny for longer though of you are reasonable. If your husband said to you that you need to focus on your child and never have any one over it would be pretty miserable.

It's absolutely about balancesmile

PlatinumStart Tue 23-Jul-13 12:03:55

Out nanny has regular play dates arranged at our house - some of these are as much for her benefit as they are for my youngest DC and I expect even DD2's friends are mostly so because our nanny gets on well with their nanny.

I am quite laid back about it all - my only expectation is that if the house gets messy it gets tidied up.

colditz Tue 23-Jul-13 12:09:07

Nannies aren't babysitters. They are professionals and they expect, and have the right to expect, some autonomy. Besides,how will your child ever make new friends if he can only play with the friends you already know, and you are at work! You've handed the child rearing to someone else, if you don't trust her, don't employ her, but please don't employ her and then micromanage her. She'll leave.

valiumredhead Tue 23-Jul-13 12:11:27

Wrt the house,I had it written into my 5 page contract that rooms were to be tidied up after activities.

CinnabarRed Tue 23-Jul-13 12:15:56

What colditz and I'mHappyAsEyeAm said.

Novstar Tue 23-Jul-13 12:17:12

nkf: totally agree.

"You either trust your nanny or you don't."

Yes but trust needs to be earnt. Foreseeing issues and having discussions about your preferences as the employer does not mean a lack of trust.

nkf Tue 23-Jul-13 12:19:31

Exactly. You don't start off trusting them. You work it out and if you are lucky, then you end up with wonderful reliable childcare and your kids have a great time with their nanny.

I came a cropper with this, "Can I do playdates?" at the first interview. And now it's a red flag for me.

nannynick Tue 23-Jul-13 12:41:48

playdates from day 1 seems unusual to me. At first you get to know people by meeting them in the school playground, then meeting up at the park and other places like the swimming pool. Then you invite them over to play.

So I would expect it to be a while before people are coming to your home. Whilst your nanny may know the other adults and children, your children do not, so I feel it should be done gradually.

Perfectly reasonable to restrict which rooms are used, eg not in bedrooms.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 23-Jul-13 12:43:43

I will always ask if can do play dates at an interview as If The parent says no /looks cagey then it's not the job/family for me and sure I wouldn't be the right nanny for them

I try and get a balance of

being at home just the children and I
Having friends of similar ages over
Going to their house
Going to parks and feeding ducks etc either just the children and I or with other friends

Yes trust has to be earnt but as other have said its very lonely seeing no adults and its good for children to learn to socialise / share their toys and also play with new toys

Can all sahm say that they never see friends /children and stay at home alone all the fine? Doubt it

SkinnyDecaffGiraffe Tue 23-Jul-13 13:10:08

THanks for all your posts. Its good see it from both sides.

I can see i need to unclench and let her have the autonomy to arrange stuff at home.

I will also though put some restrictions around this... numbers of children, frequency etc (frequency probably created indirectly via creating other activities that need doing first). Rooms they can use.

I do think as someone said, trust has to be earned.....She referenced a nanny friend and meeting up with her and her charges.. This is what is bothering me I think.... The kids arent the same age and I dont know them. I might get a chance to do so during hand over maybe so I can reserve judgement... this though, IMO is very different to her making a new friend a baby group (same age as DC2) and inviting her round. Or arranging an after school play for my older dc.

THinking about this whole nanny thing.... its quite a big deal to get my head around . Handing over my children (one of which has only been cared for my me) and my house to someone else... I think we will need to work hard at things in early days!

SkinnyDecaffGiraffe Tue 23-Jul-13 13:14:35

Blondes- I would never suggest she stays at home and sees no one...

I just dont want loads of kids in my house all the time!

LadyHarrietdeSpook Tue 23-Jul-13 14:29:00

You're right to question what she means by this; it's exactly the sort of situation that people assume things around. She says one thing, the temptation is to assume it means what you think it does, she assumes it means what she had in mind, and then you have the sort of problem that arose in the other thread that another poster linked to.

^She referenced a nanny friend and meeting up with her and her charges.. This is what is bothering me I think.... The kids arent the same age...^

It's the final bit you want to understand better; I agree you may not always know people and you do need to trust the nanny. But I think it's right your antenna are going at this if the chidlren are not the same ages; it may be fine but I wouldn't be afraid to ask quite specific queries about this, laying out what you feel would work for you at least initially, appreciating that after you get to know each other things might shift a bit.

nkf Tue 23-Jul-13 14:53:53

That question about playdates is what would worry me. I know someone who runs a nanny agency and this comes up all the time. And some families write down a limited number of playdates a week into the contract. I think some nannies are aware of it and are check it out.

I know I'm cynical and Lady Harriet is right. People make assumptions. When I made the mistake, I thought it meant cheerful outgoing nanny and my kids would get to hang out with lots of other kids in the neighbhourhood. What she meant was taking my kids to the area where she used to work and catching up with all her old nanny muckers.

It sounds to me as if she might have has a ready made day planned.

Threewindmills Wed 24-Jul-13 15:07:46

Speaking as a parent who has a nanny - yes to playdates providing they are for the benefit of the child (eg these are children your child plays with at school and they can develop a friendship with). If it is for the benefit of the nanny then no.

I am afraid you have to deal with a bit of mess for the benefit of your child. However, lay down reasonable rules - e.g. all food drink should be at the table. No going into my bedroom.

If it is any consolation - I found it difficult - but understand I have to do it, your child will develop better social skills as a result ....

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