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Nannies and cars...

(32 Posts)
MaryHughes Tue 11-Mar-14 20:36:29

I'm thinking of returning to work in September and will be looking for a nanny to look after my children (2.5yrs and 9 months). I live in a large house with a garden in the countryside with only a few other houses in walking distance. If I were to employ a nanny I would be very worried about the nanny driving the children anywhere because I would worry about car accidents. My mum has said I will struggle to keep a nanny if she is not allowed to drive the children anywhere because she will get bored stuck at home with no other adults to talk to all day. I would only be looking for a nanny three days a week and so it wouldn't matter to the children that they didn't go out on those three days - they are more than happy to hang around the house, play in the garden and go on the odd walk down the lane to feed the ducks.

Does anyone have any views on whether a nanny would find it unacceptable to have to stay around the house and garden rather than being able to take the children out and about?

NickNacks Tue 11-Mar-14 20:40:06

Yes and you're being irrational.

drinkyourmilk Tue 11-Mar-14 20:54:15

I wouldn't take the job as it stands.
However I would do everything I could to reassure you wrt my driving skills. I would be happy to take an advanced driving course. I would also take you out yourself in my car as many times as you needed. I wouldn't have a problem with you stipulating where I could drive them-ie only the local library, toddler group, leisure centre, park.
Would any of these suggestions work for you?

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 11-Mar-14 20:59:30

You CANNOT have a house bound nanny! You are being a bit mad tbh. You need to find nanny you are happy to let drive. As Drink says there are lots of things you/the nanny can do to make you more comfortable with letting them drive.

Alternatively, take them to a childminder (who doesn't drive) in the nearest big town/city.

drinkyourmilk Tue 11-Mar-14 21:00:34

Forgot to say- in my current position I tend to inform the parents of the days impending activities and check that it's OK with them. Maybe if you had a day when they stayed home and the other two days she had regular activities ie toddler group and a picnic on one day and swimming the other.
I would be happy to send a quick text before we left and when we arrived each journey. That may help? So long as you understand delays happen- so maybe give a 10 min leeway?

nannynick Tue 11-Mar-14 21:04:53

>I live in a large house with a garden in the countryside with only a few other houses in walking distance.

It would be very restrictive if you only permit the nanny to be within the grounds of the home. If it was one day a week, then it is possible. If it is 5 days a week, it will be a nightmare as everyone will go stir crazy, especially in winter when outdoor activities may be more limited.

>If I were to employ a nanny I would be very worried about the nanny driving the children anywhere because I would worry about car accidents.

So do you not drive yourself? The risk of you having an accident with the children on board is surely a similar risk to the nanny having an accident.

>My mum has said I will struggle to keep a nanny if she is not allowed to drive the children anywhere because she will get bored stuck at home with no other adults to talk to all day.

I agree, though not for the lack of other adults to talk to but for the lack of variety of things to do. They can't take your children swimming, they can't go to a local farm, they can't go to a local playground or indoor play/leisure centre. They can't go to a toddler group, or take the children to the doctor if that is needed. They can't go to get last minute ingredients they may need for baking.

>I would only be looking for a nanny three days a week and so it wouldn't matter to the children that they didn't go out on those three days - they are more than happy to hang around the house, play in the garden and go on the odd walk down the lane to feed the ducks.

They are now but what will they be like in a years time, 3 years time, 5 years time. At some point they will go to school (or are you planning to home school) so what happens then?

You will need to let go at some point, if not now then it will be later.

As a nanny I would not take the job, as I am an out-and-about nanny, I enjoy taking children swimming, to museums, playground, toddler group.

How about looking for a nanny who has driving experience. Someone older perhaps who has been driving for many years. Someone local, as you need part-time, so they will know what the roads are like in the area.

NannyK7H Tue 11-Mar-14 21:19:05

I am kind of in this position at the moment. I actually feel really degraded as a nanny as I feel I am not trusted fully! As someone who has nannied for a good few years taking children up to 2 hours away in the car or on trains, it's a real kick in the teeth now to be housebound. Not to mention rather boring!!

Karoleann Tue 11-Mar-14 21:30:24

Could you imagine having to stay in for 3 days every week with someone else's children? Its best for your children to have continuity of care and your nanny will get bored very soon with nothing to do.

We live in a very large house with a large garden, shops within reach and a (irregular) bus service and I would never employ a nanny who couldn't drive.
Your 2.5 year old will want to go to playgroup or swimming lessons or gym sessions etc soon.

You need to check your nanny has held a full, clean driving licence for a few years and drives regularly and then as part of the interview ask her to drive you somewhere…(you need to forewarn interviewees first though).

I've turned someone down as they drove too fast.

nbee84 Tue 11-Mar-14 21:42:44

Agree with the others - as a nanny I wouldn't take this position. Look for an older nanny that has a good few years driving experience.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 12-Mar-14 00:01:35

No wouldn't take this job as neither would many exp nannies - I have turned down jobs like this - it's too restricting

A younger nanny may agree

I would do the same as milk and go on a drive with you

Listen to your mum or else use a nursery

You are restricting your childrens experiences, and devaluing a professional nanny.

I too, would not want to be employed in such a position.

MaryHughes Wed 12-Mar-14 12:05:53

It's not so much the nanny's driving ability that concerns me but the car that they would be driving. I can't afford to buy a third safe car for the nanny but maybe ought to look into getting a cheaper run around car for me to take to work and letting the nanny drive my car. I hadn't thought about asking them to drive as part of the interview but now you mention it I'd definitely do that.

For those who wouldn't take a job like this is it because you want to get out and about yourselves during the day and staying at home with kids would be too boring or is it more to do with feeling that you're not being fully trusted with the kids?

I'm not too worried about restricting their experiences. My dad is a farmer and lives down the road so we have acres of fields to play in and animals, tractors etc and they would be with me the other 4 days a week to go to mix with other children and do anything else I thought they needed.

nannynick Wed 12-Mar-14 12:35:56

Both. You are not trusting the nanny to have a reasonably well maintained car.

If you can afford to provide a car, then that may be the soluition.

You may find a nanny who is happy to spend a lot of time on the farm or at your home. It will all depend on the individual.

MaryHughes Wed 12-Mar-14 12:51:27

Some cars are safer than others no matter how well maintained. If a discovery crashed into a golf the people in the golf would more than likely be worse off regardless of maintenance.

elastamum Wed 12-Mar-14 13:05:49

If you can afford it, buy a car for them to drive. We did this for years. Our nanny drove a very nice safe 4X4 (we also live in the countryside). By restricting the nanny from driving you are also restricting many social activities for your DC and probably wont get the pick of the best nannies as many wont want the job.

FWIW when I had au pairs, I used to send them out with a driving instructor to make sure they were considered safe.

Daiso Wed 12-Mar-14 13:16:59

I am a nanny and would also not take a job like this.

It's really unfair on the nanny to be cut off from everything else - it may not bother you but no matter how much a nanny does with the children, we do need some adult interaction and conversation and also something other than the immediate area.

I am a neurotic mother, more so than I thought I would be, but even I realise that my DS has to be taken out and about without me at times.
You have to let go sometime.
Even the safest car/driver is at risk of accidents.

EasterHoliday Wed 12-Mar-14 13:20:53

you'll be lucky to find a good nanny who'll take those terms. Would you find it easier to have an older, mroe experienced nanny who's got 20 years' of driving experience? or would you pay for some driving lessons?
can you insure the nanny on your own robust, properly maintained car?
you know you can incorporate reasonable provisions in the contract about car maintenance particularly since the mileage allowance you'd be paying incorporates an element to cover such costs (you're in effect reimbursing her to have maintenance carried out so reasonable to request that it's done)

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 12-Mar-14 13:49:41

They'd probably be safer going in the car to playgroup, than playing with the tractors/animals at the farm tbh.

To answer your question, the problem is both lack of trust and needing to get out. The staying at home would be just about bearable in the summer, but awful in the winter (which if you live in the Uk is about 6 months...).

cathpip Wed 12-Mar-14 13:56:33

When I did nanny if I was doing a long journey for a day trip with the kids my boss used to swap cars with me. She would drive my Peugeot 106, and I would use her Mercedes estate, is this an option? I must admit not being able to drive would put me right off applying for a position.

NannyK7H Wed 12-Mar-14 14:12:50

Just swap cars. So nanny drives to your house in her car, you take her car to drive to work and leave the safe car at home if the nanny wants to use it. Lots of people do this. Especially parents with 3+ kids as not many nannies would own a car bigger than a 5 seater.
It's definitely a trust thing. I hate it, I feel completely useless not being allowed to bundle into the car and go out somewhere. A devalued nanny is a non-inspired nanny, take it from me! I wake up and see the sun shining and think 'just another day in the garden' rather than 'oooo we could go to the zoo! Or the beach! I wonder what the kids want to do!'

MaryHughes Wed 12-Mar-14 14:22:43

Thanks for all your replies. Swapping cars makes a lot of sense. Takes out the hassle of swapping over the car seats all the time as well. And thanks drinkyourmilk for your suggestions, I think I'll follow those.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 12-Mar-14 14:28:05

Def a trust thing but also the fact being in someone else's house all day everyday would drive me insane (no pun intended lol)

Would you allow other mums nannies and cms over to play? Children need to learn to socialise and share their toys as well as having same exp at other houses /m&t

If it is only the fact the nanny may not have a safe car then swap cars - or if you take a train get a taxi/nanny drop/pick you up - I often do this as won't use my car for work and have always had a works car for working hours

MaryHughes Wed 12-Mar-14 14:35:44

Of course, i'd be more than happy for them to have nanny friends over with their children too. The car thing is only a safety concern. In all other respects in pretty easy going.

mrswishywashy Wed 12-Mar-14 16:17:52

I've done a position like this and it worked well and I think if you were honest when advertising that no driving allowed you might get some canditates although you would be cutting yourself out of top ones too. With the family I worked with the children were out in the fields, we had friends over, we did outdoor painting, lots of cooking/baking, made rugby fields and dug in the mud. Walked down and spent hours by the river, went and watched the farmer drive the tractor basically a very relaxed time. I grew up in the same small town where I nannied (it was my first nanny job 18 years ago) and it was a lot of freedom and as there wasn't all the extra curricular activities that city and town children have it was very relaxed. I stayed with the family for 18 months and after about nine months started driving the children so we could have further adventures such as fishing and walking in national parks.

Overall though I think you need to keep an open mind about the nanny driving get her to take a defensive driving course (you pay), make sure car is suitable or let her use yours and make sure they have business insurance on their car.

nannynick Wed 12-Mar-14 17:22:44

How d

nannynick Wed 12-Mar-14 17:25:38

How does insurance work when swaping cars? Named driver on each policy? What about difference in cover needed - nanny needs more than social/domestic.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 12-Mar-14 18:05:18

I added one mb - they paid the extra of £37

Weirdly enough it was cheaper to add her to the end of my insurance 8mths then to put her on it for 3mths

slowcomputer Thu 13-Mar-14 10:41:33

You'd need to be a named driver on her insurance if you do the swap cars thing and her on yours.

Crosseyedcat Thu 13-Mar-14 13:00:18

sounds idyllic mrswishywashy!

Crowen85 Thu 13-Mar-14 18:42:33

I think you will struggle to find someone willing to take a job like this. My current job was based in Central London And I was out and about everyday.

My bosses are American and In January were relocated back to the USA. I agreed to accompany them and help them find an American replacement.

Now they live in the Philadelphia suburbs and there are no sidewalks and I can't drive over here. So basically I can't go anywhere because it was only for three months I'm fine with this but no way would I take a job where this was the norm. BecAgsw I love the baby, but I'm bored and so is he! I have a driver actually takd v me places but without that freedome to drive or go somewhere it's aweful and it's only becagse my boss is so lovely I agreed to this.

Plus I grew up on a farm in the middle of the country and hell no if you get a nanny she needs to be able to drive!

HSMMaCM Thu 13-Mar-14 19:01:18

Do you think a nanny would be safer driving their own car or your strange car?

Artandco Thu 13-Mar-14 19:07:35


Also in terms of safety, say if one of your children becomes ill during the day, or needs to be taken to a and e for stitches etc.. Surely it's better they can head straight there than wait for you to return.

Or they decide to make a birthday cake but have ran out of eggs

Or children get invited to parties during the day

Or 101 other reasons its best not to be isolated

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