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How do you go about hiring a mothers help and what should I expect to pay them?

(21 Posts)
SpottyFrock Sun 24-Jul-11 18:51:44

We're expected out fourth child in sept and as we have no family and dh works away a lot I was wondering about hiring a mothers help for maybe 6mths. However, when I looked on websites and contacted agencies it all seemed very expensive and not really what I was looking for. But I'll freely admit that im new to this hence the posting to get advice.

I'm not going back to work any time soon so I'll be at home. I'm not looking for anyone to live in either nor to work f/t, maybe more like 3 days a week. Ideally I'd like someone who could arrive about 8am to take older two to school and youngest to nursery. Then maybe to do a bit of ironing or light tidying of playroom or make me a cup of tea if I'm breastfeeding. Then pick up dd2 from nursery at lunchtime and feed her lunch (sandwich or similar). Then nothing special till school pick up at 3.30 and that's it really. It would be helpful if on one of the afternoons she could prepare (but not necessarily cook) a meal and leave it for me to bung in the oven after she's gone.

Is this standard for a mothers help? The agency said 8-10£ per hour but they sounded more like unqualified nannies looking for experience of looking after the kids rather than a mothers help if that makes sense. So is it not a mothers help that I'm looking for? If not, what am I looking for? All advice appreciated. smile

SpottyFrock Sun 24-Jul-11 19:52:16

Just bumping for advice! smile

nbee84 Sun 24-Jul-11 20:15:00

Mother's helps do tend to be youngsters looking to gain some experience before moving onto nanny jobs, though £8-£10ph sounds on the high side to me - that's what a sole charge nanny with a couple of years experience gets here in Herts. Agencies do sometimes seem to bump up the level of wages. I would have thought £6.50 - £7.50. You can advertise yourself and avoid the agency fees - try your local netmums and

Your job sounds ideal for this type of person as you are home and the only sole charge is taking/picking up children from school. To make the job appealing you should make sure the mix of household tasks and childcare falls slightly more to the childcare side.

A post natal doula will do this kind of thing but would cost considerably more.

nannynick Sun 24-Jul-11 20:22:18

Minimum would be National Minimum Wage which varies according to age - note it will increase in October 2011.

Then look at how much you want to pay and are able to pay.
Keep in mind that there will be additional costs above the Gross Salary to take into account such as the cost of running payroll (about £150 if you get a payroll company to do it - some may do a lower cost if the job is only for a few months) and Employers NI. PAYE Calculator is very useful.

Mothers Help, Unqualified Nanny, call them what you like but it's all the same job really just that there is more emphasis perhaps that a Mothers Help would do more domestic duties and a Nanny do more direct childcare.

Advertise the job as Part-Time 3 Days Per Week Mothers Help / First Nanny Job or something similar. Then put in the advert description as much as possible about what you would be wanting the person to do and emphasising how much you will be around. Please don't assume they will be female - they probably will be but the Sex Discrimination Act applies to job adverts so you should not specify gender in an advert.

Specify the salary you have decided to offer in the advert, so you avoid timewasters who want more than you are offering.

nannynick Sun 24-Jul-11 20:29:00

It might suit a local mum whose children are older. They may well be looking for a local job of 16 hours of more which would perhaps fit around their child's school hours. So depending on how flexible you could be regarding the hours of work, you might find it suits a local mum who is being encouraged back to work. It's a starting job from which they can get a reference and thus show to future employers that they are reliable, have good attendance record, that sort of thing.

SpottyFrock Sun 24-Jul-11 20:48:13

Thank you both. Thing is, I don't really want childcare as such other than school pick-up. I want someone to help me out a bit shich is whT
at I thought a mothers help would be. I didn't rely occur to me that it was a nanny type job as I though it was someone who came in and helped out the mum a bit rather than looked after the kids if that makes sense. Does it sound like I'm looking for the wrong thing?

Nannynick, i understand what you're saying re sex discrimination and if I was looking for a nanny I'd happily consider both male and female nannies but as I'm looking for someone who'll make me a cup of tea and clear up the before school clutter in front of me whilst I'm one wk post natal trying to breastfeeding and/or express then I simply wouldn't feel comfortable with a man I didn't know. But I do understand the legal implications so will be careful with the advert.

SpottyFrock Sun 24-Jul-11 20:49:46

Sorry for typos, posting on my phone.

nannynick Sun 24-Jul-11 21:20:39

Oh you can legally choose not to employ a man due to the nature of the work, it's just the advert that needs to comply - least that is how I read the SDA.

Maybe you are looking at the wrong thing... are you perhaps wanting a cleaner who also does the ironing?

It's a bit tricky as you are combining several roles together. Don't get too hung up over a job title. Perhaps just advertise it as being "Someone To Help Me" or something like that.

SpottyFrock Sun 24-Jul-11 21:31:07

Thanks. We have a cleaner so really it's just about picking up toys in playroom and maybe ironing kids clothes. It's the school picks ups I really need help with. And maybe clearing away breakfast bowls etc.

Is a mothers help not someone who just gives a new mum a bit of help then? I guess I just assumed from the job title. :-/ I'll need to give it all some thought.

nannynick Sun 24-Jul-11 21:51:27

It's just a job title. Use it if you want to use it. Just describe in an advert exactly what you are expecting someone to do.

Is there enough for them to do during the day? Doesn't sound like there is that much to do - though it is surprising how long it takes to put the washing on, get it dried, iron it (I don't bother with that), clearing up.

SpottyFrock Sun 24-Jul-11 22:03:03

Thanks again, nannynick!
I know it's just a job title but I guess I thought it meant someone who just helped a mum out rather than a nanny which seems quite a distinct job.

I agree there's not a lot of work and I guess I thought those wanting to do the job would be the same women who work as lollipop ladies or dinner ladies. I think that's why I was so surprised that the agency were suggesting to me that a mothers help was basically an unqualified nanny.

fraktious Mon 25-Jul-11 03:00:04

There are 2 types IME. One is the unqualified/newly qualifuedand nanny prepared to do chores but really looking for childcare experience and happy to do sole charge. They suit families who need to be 2 places at once and have more laundry than 1 person can cope with.

The other tends to be older, usually with own children, doing the job of a postnatal doula but longer term and without the emotional support bit.

What you're looking for is probably what my grandmother would have referred to as a 'domestic'. It's general household help and the school run until you're back on your feet.

Athrawes Mon 25-Jul-11 04:12:06

You could advertise along the lines of "Mummy needs a wife" and then describe the chores. I reckon the supermarket boards would be a good place to start.

SpottyFrock Mon 25-Jul-11 10:38:02

Thank you both! Though I'm not sure how I'm ever going to be back on my feet with 4kids! grin

I guess it's the sort of role a mother or mil would do if I had either.

fraktious Mon 25-Jul-11 11:33:37

Advertise for one then! Although I'm not sure how an ad entitled 'mother in law needed' would go down wink

I've seen ads for 'grannies', particularly for women who need short term help after having a baby and want someone who doesn't mind fetching you a glass of water when you sit down to BF and realise you've forgotten it and are drying up quicker than the Sahara, flicking a duster round, making a huge shepherd's pie, bunging a load of laundry in and supervising a toddler simultaneously in time for doing the school run without needing their hand held/a schedule/comprehensive list.

SpottyFrock Mon 25-Jul-11 13:21:48

Yes, fraktious, that's pretty much what I need. I'll ask around and have a look at doing a small ad. Thanks everyone. I'm still surprised that a mother's help isn't just someone who helps a mother out a bit but you live and learn!

Karoleann Tue 26-Jul-11 21:50:09

I've had a mothers help for the last three months after having DC3, I advertised at £8-9. Basically she started off doing breakfast am, then school/ nursery runs. Cleaning up after the children, their washing, emptying dishwasher etc. She would also take the older children out if i was knacked!
I wanted someone with perfect english, but people just leaving their first au pair job were cheaper. There was at least 4 candidates who offered to work for £7/hour.
It is expensive, especially when you factor in the tax.

My plan was to the upgrade her to a nanny from September (when trained) pay her more, unfortunately she's leaving to go home as her relationship has broken up :-(

I'd suggest just putting in an ad describing what you need, and the amout you can pay. You can always put in another ad if you don't get the right people.

Incidentally, I wouldn't employ a man either, I just delete the replies from guys.

nannynick Tue 26-Jul-11 23:30:51

Deleting them is fine Karoleann in a legal sense. Parents are allowed to decide who they wish to request to come for interview.

Are your figures Gross (before tax deductions) or Net (after deductions)? If Net then £8-9 is just like a nanny in my area (nanny being £10-£11 gross).

Karoleann Wed 27-Jul-11 21:08:05

sorry yes talking net, contract is in gross though.

auroraday Wed 27-Jul-11 22:39:48

Mummy needs a wife hmm that would put me right off!
I think £9-10 gross is fine depending on how many hours you were offering.

expectingagain Wed 27-Jul-11 22:40:36

Try advertising on gumtree. I was thinking of getting someone short term and spoke to a couple of nanny agencies and one of them suggested advertising there as their fees were so large for such a short term position. I had loads of responses but put in as much info as possible regarding the hours you want to avoid unsuitable people replying.

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