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New to London -- Please advice on what kind of help I should be looking for ...

(7 Posts)
vivian78 Sun 19-Jun-11 11:49:05

Hi London Mums! I am a bit overwhelmed with the sorts of childcare options here...Any advice will be greatly appreciated. smile

I am a stay-at-home mom of two. My DS is 4 and he will be starting reception in September. My DD is 16-mo. I am looking for 2 - 3 days part-time help. Main duties are: House chores, some cooking, laundry, and sometimes watching over the baby.

I'm not sure if a nanny, housekeeper, mother's-helper, childminder...etc. would be a better fit for me. Also, what is the norm of compensation for each professional... TIA

Bink Sun 19-Jun-11 12:09:35

Talk to some agencies - the bestbear.co.uk website certainly used to have good, fairly comprehensive lists of which agencies cover which areas. (Even in London, some agencies have more coverage in some areas than others.)

In the meantime:

- not a "nanny" in the conventional sense - conventionally, nannies are for "nursery duties only", which means not house-chores for the whole family

- nannies (by which I mean professional, qualified childcarers who use "nanny" to describe themselves) also prefer sole-charge - your job is shared care (ie, you are around too)

- not a childminder - childminders are people who run a registered business from their own home looking after children - they don't come to your home. You're looking for someone to come to you

- housekeeper, maybe, if you aren't looking for childcare qualifications or experience

- mother's help, yes definitely. Mother's helps are often people just starting out to be a "nanny" (as above), so not yet ready to do sole-charge

- what about an au pair? - if you've got room for someone to live in? Au pairs aren't (again conventionally) supposed to do babycare on their own, but you could find someone with more experience or you could train them up. Au pairs are meant to muck in generally, but unless special arrangements not to do more than 25 hrs a week.

Pay completely depends on what sort of person you have - broadly speaking, your most expensive option (which you're not looking for anyway, as above) is a nanny, your cheapest an au pair. But even more than that it depends where in London you are ... so, as starting point again, find a list of agencies & talk to them. You don't need to commit to signing up to find out what going rates are.

tiggersreturn Sun 19-Jun-11 12:53:25

Maybe just try a cleaner. Most of the ones I've had are keen to do childcare as well (although I've been less keen to let them). Depending on your area pay can range from £6-10 ph. Your other alternative is a play group and eventually you'll be able to let your dd stay alone while you do things. What exactly do you want re childcare? Most of the tasks described don't seem to be childcare related at all.

catepilarr Sun 19-Jun-11 14:45:15

i would also say either an aupair, who is happy to do more housework then childcare, or a live out mother's help/houskeeper/cleaner type of person.

vivian78 Mon 20-Jun-11 15:42:15

Thank you all!! Yes. I need someone who can help me more on the house work and just may be watch over my dd while she naps and perhaps cook lunch and watch over her for a few hours. I will try out some agencies. Any recommendation on some reputable agencies would be greatly appreciated.

Karoleann Mon 20-Jun-11 20:48:40

I wouldn't go down the agency route - its really expensive and they all seem to advertise on gumtree anyway!
I'd just put an ad for a mothers help on gumtree stating exactly what you need in terms of childcare/cooking/cleaning etc.

harpfairy Mon 20-Jun-11 21:28:58

Definitely Gumtree - and say what you would be prepared to pay ph gross of tax. Don't ask for people to indicate salary, as they will all want £10 cash in hand no questions asked.
Do you want part time on those days (so say 15 hours overall) or 3 full days?
Mother's help is probably the best description, but you may be better to look for a cleaner/housekeeper and then get to know her first. You don't want someone who comes expecting to be a nanny and then gets sniffy about doing the cleaning...
Also if it is a significant number of hours pw have a chat to one of the tax agencies (eg paye for nannies) to understand how that all works. And make sure to stipulate a gross salary! If 10 hrs or less it's less likely to be an issue.

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