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Settling in with a new nanny(10 Posts)
I go back to work in a few weeks and have found a nanny for my two DC (3yo and 11mo). Does anyone have advice on the best way to settle the children in with their nanny? Should it be a gradual hour here and there over the next couple of weeks or something more structured?
And do I offer to pay full hourly rate or some sort of interim rate? I don't think I am registered with HMRC yet so don't want to mess about with tax...
When can your nanny start work? They may have other commitments before the start date.
Have they met your children? Perhaps invite them over for a lunchtime BBQ at the weekend, to get to know the family better - no pay, but reimburse travel expenses and treat them as a guest, like you would a friend being invited for a BBQ.
How much experience do they have of nannying. They may be perfectly happy just starting full-time as of day 1. Personally I like doing that - meet the children once or twice informally (think I accompanied the children I currently nanny to the local playground) then hit the ground running with a day of childcare where parents leave the home for the majority of the day.
It can be harder for you than for your children... so do consider why you are wanting some handover time... is it really for your children? If children are not given a choice about it, they will adapt quicker in my view. If they think they can have a tantrum and you will come running back, then they will do so.
She has no commitments at the minute, the other family she works for is on holiday for a month. She likes to pop over to spend an hour or so her but I guess I would like it to be more constructive for her (and me) so to do the practical stuff like show her where everything is, let her take the kids to the park for a walk, go through draft contract that kind of thing.
To be honest, I would find it really odd to just hand over on day one of going back to work - is that really best for a child? I want them to feel secure and happy with her before I ABANDON THEM (wail).
Only kidding about the last bit btw!
It may seem odd but a professional nanny will just handle it fine.
Your children have met her, so it's not as if she is a complete stranger.
It won't take long to show her where things are - unless you have a huge 10 bed mansion - even then I expect most things are in obvious places.
Contract can be done via e-mail, in fact that gives someone time to think about it, to sleep on it, rather than being put on the spot and agreeing to something they later regret. Also lets them research things, such as checking holiday entitlement calculation, that sort of thing.
Another nanny just tweeted me saying they prefer to just get on with it. So I'm not the only one who prefers it that way.
How about having them start a day earlier than planned. Then on that day you can show them things in the morning, spend some time with them and your children, then say after lunch you can pop out for a few hours to leave nanny and the children to get on with it - take advantage, get your hair done, meet up with friends.
Looking back on what I did with my current employer, it looks like we had a few hours one day a little over a month before starting were I came over for lunch then we went to the park.
Then on my first day, my mileage log shows I took the children to a science/nature centre (a 24 mile round trip) so I assume I probably worked a full day that day.
At that point the children were 3.5yrs and 7mths old. So similar aged to your children.
In current job had two days hand over it was great to sort of get to know the area however , what was brilllant was that i got oke the eldest charge who was then 7 to a playdate without he little one the walk there was a brillant bonding thing as he would normally been at school all day. Also the youngest has all sorts of allergies skin problems so very handy .
The one before that had three weeks a week with the former nanny then two weeks with mum however mum had various jobs around the house then gradually went out.
The one before that was straight in at the deep end .
For me no way is better than the other its hard returning back to work you know what suites you and your children the best.
I think as a nanny I would rather just get on with it. However from the mums and the childs point of view I think you should let them pop over for an hour when you are there, the next time pop out for a couple of hours, I would also offer to pay, she probably will not take it.
I agree with redglow and nannynick, it's a lot easier as a nanny to just show up and get on with it - especially if you have already met the children once or twice! But, I think it's easier for parents, and often the children, to have a bit of handover time. Nothing too excessive though... just a day or two, maybe a little longer if the child has never been cared for by anyone other than parents before.
I personally think the best thing to do is have one or two handover days, where you still aren't around much - so the first day, spend an hour or whatever at home with the nanny and kids, then let nanny take the kids out (often much easier for kids to feel at ease with someone new out of the home, rather than being "abandoned" at home!!). On the second day, plan on going out... do some shopping, go for a haircut , a walk, visit a friend... but stay close "just in case" (probably make you feel better too, being just a few minutes away!). These don't need to be full days, maybe four-five hours each. I'd expect to be paid for this - but I wouldn't necessarily expect a full days pay for those days, I'd be happy to just be paid for the hours worked.
When i started my last long term job the children were 3.5 and 12months
I had met the children at 2nd interview.
The first day daddy was around in the morning, showed my the washing machine, burgler alarm, where things were in the house, where the kept spare car seats (I have my own), first aid kit / medicines etc. I already knew the area as i lived round the corner (they had just moved house / area, so I advised them of local stuff, cause i knew already and they didnt).
The afternoon it was just me looking after the children (daddy went to his upstairs office but i could still get him if necessary), and i had sole charge from then on.
A morning was all we needed, and i wouldnt have wanted or needed any longer either.
The children had been used to having a nanny though.... the old nanny (who lived over an hour away as they had moved) stayed on for 2 weeks after the move.... then i started.
It was fine.
Most experienced nannies dont need more than 1 day settling, and more for the practical side of things, rather than how to look after children
From a parent's perspective, I think it depends on the child's personality. Our first nanny was very much a handover on Day1 and get on with it type, to the point where I felt I was being pushed out of the door. DS, age 2.5yo, had never had formal childcare before and found it very hard. He cried every morning and it was awful. After a month, he still hadn't settled and (after a number of other issues arose too) we had to ask her to leave, sadly.
Our new nanny is far more easy going. She was very happy to do some paid settling in sessions beforehand where she came and played with DS while I was at home. And, on the first two days, she positively encouraged either I or ex-DH to stay home all day, to give DS time to get used to her. They have bonded really well and less than a week on, he no longer cries when I leave for work.
What I think also made the difference is that our new nanny is very happy for there to be an overlap each morning between her arriving and me leaving for as long as is required for DS to settle, whereas our old nanny used to stand around, waiting for me to go the minute she arrived. The extra time (usually only 30 minutes or so) means that DS gets distracted and is then happier for me to go.
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