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nanny driving issue

(151 Posts)
silverfrog Fri 05-Nov-10 18:27:16

we have had our live-in nanny with us for 6 weeks or so now.

she is doing reasonably well at adjusting and coping (dd1 is ASD, this is nanny's first SN placement).


a large part of her job is driving - school runs (dds go to 2 different schools, always will. dd1's school run is 15 miles each way, part motorway, part urban, part tiny country lanes). nanny has never driven in this country before, but does hold full EU licence, and has doen for a few years. drives happily and confidently in her home country (apparently)

we have, all along, been upfront about the drive - highlighted that it wasn't for the fainthearted, that she would need to be comfortable driving as, due to timing differences etc, a large part of her job is driving.

we explicitly asked her if she thought she would be ok doing this. she said she would, but would appreciate some refresher lessons - we took this to mean gettingused ot driving on the left, familiarisation wit route kind of stuff. we agreed this, and have, imo, been generous in paying for these lessons.

she has, so far, had 10 hours of lessons - mostly in a dual control car (hmm - starting to look more like actual learnng to drive than refresher lessons) but has now moved on to using my car for lessons.

lessons have been taken in her normal working hours, thus inconveniencing me even more - I have had to drive an absolute tank of a car (Mercedes Viano) down narrow country lanes to fetch dd1 at times. I don't really mind, but it's not the greatest thing to have to do, especially in the wet.

so anyway. nanny had what was supposed ot be her last lesson yesterday.

today, she has made no mention of driving at all. not a query as to how we might handle the change over, not a peep at all.

so I took dd1 to school. came back, nanny wanted to take dd2 swimming, and expected her usual lift there and back.

then I had to set off to get dd1 form school (Friday + half day at her SN school). I get back to the house at 2.30pm, having had about 30 mins to myself all day, snatched in between school runs and taxi runs.

I ask nanny why she didn't drive at all today, not even to go into town swimming with dd2 (about 3 mile round trip hmm), and she says "because I felt a bit scared to do it, but I will be ok form Monday"

now I am deeply hmm that she will be ok on Monday - what's going to change between now and then? (no more lessons booked)

I am away next week form Tuesday to friday, so it looks as though dd1 will not be going to school (how am I supposed ot be comfortable with her driving the girls around if, after 10 hours of refresher lessons she is too worried to even drive the car into town and park in the nice, generously sized spaces at theleisure centre?)

I'm screwed, really, aren't I?

We're heading into winter, its already dark by the time I collect dd1 after school - there's no way I'm going to trust her easily on the school run.

so, it's look for a new nanny, or shell out for even more lessons (which I am *seriously hmm about - we agreed to a couple of lessons, and have already more than covered that, imo)


jendifa Fri 05-Nov-10 18:42:03

What is the car like she will be driving? On my very first day driving as a nanny i drove the car into the gate at the front of the house.
Is there any chance she can drive somewhere over the weekend? Or once with you in the car on Monday morning? Once she has done it once, she should be okay.

IMO don't buy any more refresher lessons. If she already has a license, ten should be ample

Onlyaphase Fri 05-Nov-10 18:46:44

I agree with Jendifa - see if your nanny can spend a good part of the weekend driving to and from your DD's school. If she does this 5 times over the weekend she (and you) should be more relaxed about driving DD for real this week.

I've used this approach myself in the past when I've moved to a new area with busy roads, and have been really unsure about driving to a new place in the rush hour. After a couple of practice trips on the Sunday I was fine. And then satnav was invented which made my life a better place.

nannynick Fri 05-Nov-10 18:50:19

Could you get her to take you for a drive so that you get a better feel for how is actually is behind the wheel?

It does not sound good from what you have written. 2 to 3 hours of lessons to become familiar with road signs, local road layouts, motorway driving, that sort of thing I would expect to be of help... but 10 hours worth is getting a bit much given she has a driving licence recognised by DVLA.

Going into town today with just DD2 would have been perfect as a way of her driving with a child on board... yet she didn't do that. So I'm not surprised you are wondering how she will manage next week.

phipps Fri 05-Nov-10 18:50:56

IT is a toss up really. Do you really think she is going to be a great nanny for you and is being really cautious? If so, then she has to give up some of her weekend to do a practice drive.

If not, then you have to let her go as you can't be worruying about how she will cope. What if she doesn't take the child to school one day because it is raining, or worse. doesn't get there in time, or at all, to pick them up?

How old is she?

I would be making noises about looking for someone else tbh.

silverfrog Fri 05-Nov-10 18:51:16

well. the last 5 lessons have been spent driving the route to school...

nanny has plans over the weekend, so won't be around to drive the car.

car is a Honda CRV. On the large side, but nice to drive, imo (and since we change cars often, i have experience of a LOT of different cars!)

I would say 10 is way more than ample, and bordering on excessive, tbh. maybe I am just unreasonable, though. we did stress she needed to be confident, though.

she could easily drive with me on Monday, but then she could have done that today. both for the school run, and for the town trip. but not a hint form her that she was at all inclined to do so.

and that worries me a lot, tbh.

silverfrog Fri 05-Nov-10 18:55:29

2-3 hours is what we were expecting, nannynick. that would have been fair enough - I hop behind the wheel wherever we go, but fair enought ot want familiarisation, especially as employee etc.

phipps - that's the thing.

we're heading into winter. the school run lanes will not be gritted/cleared of snow or ice.

often, when really cold, the frost doesn't thaw there before I am picking dd1 up at the end of the day (hedges etc mean sunlight doesn't reach the road)

nanny is good at the rest of the job - efficient, helpful. has been great with dd1 (although dd1 is on good form at the moment - nanny has said she has been pleasantly surprised by dd1, as she was not sure what to expect)

phipps Fri 05-Nov-10 19:17:48

TBH I would say it is tough that she has plans. She asked for more lessons, you paid for them, she doesn't feel able to drive into town therefore she can't do her job.

phipps Fri 05-Nov-10 19:19:10

"nanny has said she has been pleasantly surprised by dd1, as she was not sure what to expect)"

Bloody hell fire.shock

silverfrog Fri 05-Nov-10 19:26:27

Can see how that would read that way, but it was a genuinely meant compliment. She has had no experience of sn before, and so all she knew about autism was the standard not sociable/no eye contact/challenging behaviour/locked away in their own world.

Dd1 is not remotely like that, and so it has been a real eye-opener for her - she was worried about all of the above, and while dd1 has obvious and serious issues (she is severely asd), nanny has found her to be an absolute joy, and far easier work than the shrieking ball of tantrums that is dd2 at the moment grin

Will have a chat with dh as to what we do wrt this weekend/next week. I have already warned school that dd1 will probably not be in, and I cannot see that changing.

Tbh, I was just wondering whether I was BU to be annoyed at this point

JiggeryFawkesery Fri 05-Nov-10 19:33:12

10 lessons?

Massively excessive imo.

Have you seen her EU licence? Can she produce any documents to prove she has driven confidently in her home country (eg car insurance document, of a car she owns)?

If you had a provisional period in your contract, I suspect that might have run out now. The thing is, it doesn't sound like she's a confident driver and after 6 weeks in a country, 10 lessons and use of a car, you'd expect her to have got to grips with it. Plus if she's not confident, is she safe in snow etc?

The reason I ask about her home licence is that you mentioned "starting to look more like actual learnng to drive than refresher lessons" which makes me wonder....

smallwhitecat Fri 05-Nov-10 19:36:57

Message withdrawn

fel1x Fri 05-Nov-10 19:38:10

I think you need to have a talk to her.
Seems as though there is a bit of a lack of communication on both sides tbh.
Why didnt you say anything today about her driving? suggest she had a turn or ask her how she felt about driving now the lessons had ended?
I'd talk to her tonight - say you are worried about her just jumping in at the deep end on Monday and could she tweak her plans at all this weekend to allow some time for the two of you to have a drive together for practice?

At the very least let her drive on Monday to school and you go too to see how confident she actually is. She may be nervous in anticipation of doing it alone but be absolutely fine in practise - you never know!

silverfrog Fri 05-Nov-10 19:40:32

Oh no, she does have a licence. We have a copy of it, and she has since sent it off to dvla to exchange for a British one.

She has been over here for then past couple of years just not had to drive.

She is still on probation - we had a 3 month clause to give both her and dd1 time to experience the whole range of wonderful sn issues grin

The comment I made was just that I can't see what she has been doing for 10 hours instruction. Yes, I'd quite like a familiarisation brush up if I was to have to drive abroad for a job, but I can't see it would be more than a couple of hours.

The onset of winter is what is bothering me - can see I will be stuck doing the school runs all winter, which then begs then question - what are we paying her for?!

silverfrog Fri 05-Nov-10 19:49:01

sec - goodnluck! This is a real bugger, as otherwise she is good. Incorporates ABA, happy to do as we suggest in dealing with both girls (dd2 increasingly having issues)

Fel1x - I did ask her, this afternoon. I didn't ask this morning because I wanted to see if/how/when she brought it up, to try to get an accurate reading of how she felt about it.

She said she felt too scared to today, but it would be ok from Monday hmm

I asked what would change between now and Monday to make it ok then, but she was unable tom answer.

I cannot talk to her this evening - I am on bedtime duty with dd1, and cannot move from outside her room until she is asleep. Nanny is preparing to go out, and will probably not be back until Sunday. Dh not home yet.

So all in all, deeply unsatisfactory, really.

silverfrog Fri 05-Nov-10 19:49:32

Sorry, meant swc. iPad autocorrectioins!

silverfrog Fri 05-Nov-10 19:50:12

Although clearly not when an actual correction is needed... grin

smallwhitecat Fri 05-Nov-10 19:53:44

Message withdrawn

silverfrog Fri 05-Nov-10 20:00:20

Inthink she does find it constraining, but is happy to do as we say. Less of an issue in a way, as dd1 is at school full time anyway.

But we really can't keep her on just because of that (although it took us so long ton find someone that it si tempting in a way!)

If she doesn't start doing the school runs, there's little point in us having her. Today, for eg, I left at 8.40 with dd1. Got back at 10.15, nanny wants to go swimming.

Leave to drop her and dd2 at swimming, only in town so 15 mins round trip. Home for 30 mins, then back to pick them up.

Back home by 12, and have to leave to pick up dd1 at 12.15. Get back (via the supermarket for a couple of bits that nanny should pick up, but can't as she can't/won't drive so can't get to the shops, at 2.30.

I seem to have handed over the fun part of my children - the swimming, the playing instead of boring school runs etc, and yet be doing all the chores!

jendifa Fri 05-Nov-10 20:42:38

Send her a text over the weekend along the lines of "I'm away next week so will need you to start doing school runs from Monday. If thats a problem can you let me know so I can make other arrangements".

Then speak to her on Mon, if she is unable to do the school run then explain you will have to look elsewhere?

karen2010 Fri 05-Nov-10 20:43:04

does you DD! go to fee paying school

if it was a state school and if he is statement he would be entitled to free taxi

silverfrog Fri 05-Nov-10 21:09:14

Dd1's school is private, but she would be entitled to transport. We have declined, having seen the state.of the transport service here. Also dd1 is only.6, and as we can find another way around, we prefer that option.

I don't like the "from Monday" solution. That is what she is proposing, but it leaves no.time for whether she is.indeed confident and competent enough to do it.on her own. She will, no don't.say she is. That is not enough now.

Summersoon Fri 05-Nov-10 22:23:38

If I was in your shoes, I would get her to come in on one or both of the two days over the weekend - say for a couple of hours each day, pay her for those hours - and get her to drive you on the school run. Only if she can do without any problem and any prompting at all from you would I let her even think about driving the kids in what is likely to be much busier weekend traffic and with kids that are unlikely to be as quiet as you as passengers.

If she says that she can't come in because she has made other plans, the tell her that, to be blunt, her job depends on her being able to drive both kids on her own, without accidents or other problems.

I would be seriously worried if I was on your shoes and I don't envy you at all. Good luck!

vanitypear Fri 05-Nov-10 23:26:01

Honestly? I'd look for someone else. I just wouldn't want that precious cargo carried down tricky roads with an intimidated and jumpy driver. It just doesn't sound like she is going to be up to it. Sorry. Probably not very helpful. Good luck.

providentielle Sat 06-Nov-10 00:49:44

silver I would call whoever has been giving your nanny the extra lessons and ask whether they think she is capapble of what you need her to do.

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