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is this nannyshare just not workable?

(19 Posts)
confusedandagitated Wed 03-Aug-11 09:33:55

We have a lovely nanny who we've worked with for 2.5 years. In that time we've had one v successful nanny share, which was my DS (ages 8mo to 2.5) sharing with a little girl a year older and a boy 3 years older who was at school most of the day.

Then I had another baby, so we kept the nanny and changed share family - so our nanny now looks after two one-year-olds and a 3-year-old (he'll be going to nursery afternoons in September) 4 days a week, and just my two (3 and 1) one day a week. With me so far?!

For the original nannyshare, we paid £12 net per hour. When we changed, our nanny asked for £12.50 an hour, which I thought was fair enough - we live in London so it isn't ridiculous for our area.

However, 4 months into the current arrangement, our nanny has come back asking for another payrise to £13 per hour net - she hasn't quite said it, but she is implying that basically two mobile babies and a 3 yearold is more work than she was expecting, so therefore she should get more money.

She is very busy and harrassed-seeming these days - I work from home a lot so see it firsthand. I don't think she's enjoying it as much as she used to, understandably! and I'm a bit worried that all three kids are getting a (slightly) bum deal given how much we're paying, in terms of focused attention and happy bouncy childcare provider who has lots of time to play.

I also feel quite unhappy about a) providing a payrise when her workload is about to decrease (when DS goes to nursery in the afternoons) and b) paying much more than I think is kind of a market wage.

So, if you've got this far, I'd really like to know others' experiences - is this a reasonable request, or is it just not really working out with this nannyshare and we should think again?

rockinhippy Wed 03-Aug-11 11:22:03

I can't offer any advice as regards my similar experience, but it doesn't sound as if she is doing her job that well anymore & I can't think of any other situation where you would be expected to give an employee a wage rise when they aren't performing well -

bumping up so someone with experience can offer advice, but from the side lines sound like you need a new Nanny - or at very least a very firm chat wink

jendot Wed 03-Aug-11 17:40:30

I think that £12.50ph NET sounds like a VERY VERY good wage as long as she is working full days and the ages of the children to me as a nanny would be perfectly doable...

I as her employer would be most concerned that nanny does not appear to be enjoying the job/ finds it more work than expected etc than that she is asking for more money and I would be more inclined to tackle her about this.

I would like to see her find another nanny job on that kind of hourly rate....

Meeting coming up methinks!

nannynick Wed 03-Aug-11 17:43:56

You haven't said what hours your nanny does, so I'm basing this on 10 hours a day, 50 hours a week.
£12.50 net, assuming taxcode 747L is 44793. £13 net is £47040
Employers NI is £5205, £5516
So, £49998 vs £52556
So she will cost you an extra £2558.
Taxation may well change in April 2012, so the above does not take that into account.

To me working just outside the M25 the salary already seems high. I care for 3 children aged 6, 3 and 9mths. You are doing a nannyshare and you are in London so I can see that the amount would be more than I get.

Your nanny agreed to the pay level 4 months ago. I am wondering why they want an increase now... is it really due to them finding the children demanding... or have they been chatting with other nannies and feel they are not getting similar to local nannies?

Does not matter what the nanny wants... if you and the other family involved cannot afford to pay them more, then there is no more money on offer.

When your 3 year old starts nursery she won't want a pay decrease - but if she is bases the salary she wants on the number of children for whom she is caring, then for a portion of the day your 3 year old isn't in her care come September.

StillSquiffy Wed 03-Aug-11 18:23:56

Tell her to get stuffed. She's very well-paid already. I would personally smile sweetly and ask her if nannying is really the career for her if she feels unable to perform her duties adequately at the moment?

nannynick Wed 03-Aug-11 18:56:42

Why is she more busy now than in the past... number of children hasn't changed. She has cared for a toddler before, so knew what to expect caring for two toddlers I feel. Toddlers I feel can be easier to care for then older children, they can get more tired and are happy to play with duplo, wooden trains, playdough, paint the patio with water, go for a walk in the woods.

I would suggest you focus on her ability to do the job - what is it that she is currently finding hard. Are they getting out and about most days? Is a particular child more demanding than children she is used to?

Baunir Wed 03-Aug-11 19:06:22

I think that's quite a good wage - and I also think a nanny should be fully capable of caring for two 1 year olds and a 3 year old at the same time. I'm sure it's hard work - I've only got a 1 year old and a 4 year old and am often pretty exhausted - but if she isn't enjoying her job an extra .50 an hour isn't really going to change that.

Baunir Wed 03-Aug-11 19:08:35

Oh - and I agree with nannynick - toddlers are generally much easier than a demanding 3-4-5 year old!

Lily311 Wed 03-Aug-11 20:19:06

I do a share with 3 children and it's really, really hard work. I don't agree with whoever says that toddlers are easier than 3-4yr olds, at the end of the day you are knackered doesn't matter how old your charges are-it's the attention which matters, you pay attention to each child equally. The 3yr old starting nursery in the afternoons from Sept won't make nanny's life easier, it will even make it harder-she will need to be in the middle between nursery and parents and being a messenger is not easy, doing a school run with two toddlers and a 3yr old will also add to the workload. Don't forget just because the 3yr old will be in nursery, nanny still has to do other things such as cooking, dealing with toddlers who don't want to sleep, etc, she will not be able to rest and switch off in those hours, she will still need to work.

Your nanny gets 10p more than me for the current nannyshare, I'm in London too. I would think that with 3 children it's at the top end of the market and getting £13 would push her over the market. I kind of understand her why she wants the rise (hard work, she can do a share with 2 children for appr £12 an hour, she can even have one family with one child for £10 net) but rather than offering it to her I would sit down and ask how you and the other family can make the share easier for her (taking off workload, providing a meal for the children let's say once a week). I know how stressed I was when baby joined the share, it was not easy to go from 2 kids to 3 and I found myself struggling with doing all those things I did before. Lots of chats with employers solved the problem, they agreed for not expecting doing kids washing for example on those days when I have all 3 (but yes on those when I have only one), agreed on not expecting big dishes to be cooked (such as pies), etc. This really helped.

confusedandagitated Wed 03-Aug-11 22:30:15

Wow, thanks so much for replies! Just a few clarifications: first, the kind of children. DS (3) is the world's goodest child (not biased, honest!) - he has thrown about 3 tantrums in his entire life, is only just beginning to drop his nap, loves helping do chores etc etc. The one-year-olds are both relatively demanding in different ways I think, DD doesn't eat much which I know my nanny finds stressful, and the other little girl doesn't sleep reliably well.

School run: we live literally 150 yards from the school, in the same road. It takes around 4 minutes to get there. So once she's dropped off DS and come home, she will have 3 solid hours with only the 2 toddlers, two hours of which at least my DD will be asleep.

Other nursery duties: nanny is not responsible for kids' washing at all. She is technically responsible for tidying up toys at the end of the day but often doesn't do this, which doesn't bother me hugely, but it might if I was paying loads more than I want to!

Thanks, nannynick, for the clarifcation over salary and tax etc. It really is quite a large payrise that she's asking for, which I sort of knew but it is a bit more chilling to see in cold type!

I think the issue probably is that she is getting not that much more than her local nanny friends who have maybe two toddlers, or one toddler and a child at school full time, and she feels/is much much busier than them. But I sort of feel like I have made concessions like eg not expecting kids' washing done, I often leave things for her to just heat up (home made pasta sauce, leftover stuff that we've had the night before that the kids will eat eg pies or quiche etc. I can't see that I can do any more to ease her workload without feeling taken for a ride/ making my life much more stressful than it already is. Any suggestions would be really welcome though!

confusedandagitated Wed 03-Aug-11 22:30:41

btw she does 50 hours pw.

nannynick Wed 03-Aug-11 22:51:25

Maybe she feels the grass is greener elsewhere. Maybe it's time for her to move on.
Sounds to me that she gets a good deal - no washing, no cooking from scratch, no doing the children's bedding. Dare I ask if she puts the dishwasher on?

Will she leave if you say no? Even if you say yes, she may leave - there is just the notice period in the contract.

How about you say you will review it in January, once there has been a term of DS being at nursery.

Lily311 Thu 04-Aug-11 08:49:12

I think you are right about other nannies getting bit less and having less workload. But it was your nanny who decided to do the share with 3 children, it was her choice so she should just take the bullet and carry on. I always think this job is not only about the money, for the right families I'm happy to compromise, them treating me well and appreciating of my job counts more than £25 extra a week. Is there salary and performance review in her contract? When is the next one due? I would personally not agree of the payrise at this stage (especially that she does not cook from scratch always and has no other chores apart from looking after children), just say when the next one is due (and by the time you will see how it is going).

mamamaisie Thu 04-Aug-11 13:44:27

I completely agree with the previous poster who said that her workload will be harder not easier come September. I am a childminder and have just finished a year of nursery runs with a 3yo and young toddlers. It went something like this:

Get ready (20 mins): It is quite a mission getting jumpers, hats, coats, gloves, scarves, socks and shoes on three young children, strapping toddlers into buggy, sending 3yo to toilet and getting dressed myself.
Walk to nursery (10 mins) - Not very far but 3yo walks slowly
Time at nursery (15 min) - We were expected to get there early and wait for the doors to be opened. 3yo had to be taken in not left at door. Toddlers had to be taken out of buggy and carried inside. 3yo needed help getting undressed. Things had to be hang up in a very small area with 30 people all trying to do the same resulted in queing. All the while I was trying to prevent the toddlers running off to play with all the toys.
Walk back (5 mins) - Faster when 3yo not walking
Get undressed again (10 min) - Take off all the coats, etc. hang them up and wipe up melted snow/rain etc. from nice wooden floor.

Unless she is superwoman that is two hours less each day that she will have to play!

I am not suggesting that she couldn't cope with this or should be paid more for her effort, just that I don't think her workload will decrease.

harrietthespook Thu 04-Aug-11 13:57:08

She's on 50K. Punchy to ask for a raise to say the least.

I suspect her delimma is: not a snowball's I'll get another gig like this. But yes, it's bloody tiring.

gailpottertilsleyplatt Fri 05-Aug-11 09:53:34

She is earning more than teachers and other professionals!!!

nbee84 Fri 05-Aug-11 09:58:28

I think you need to have chat about whether she is coping with the share - it sounds like it shouldn't be too busy as she is not doing washing and you are often leaving a meal ready for the children. Lots of nannies cope fine with 3 children and paying her 50p per hour more isn't going to make her less stressed.

BranchingOut Fri 05-Aug-11 16:24:18

Wow, I am just thinking of the soul-destroying amounts of work I had to do in order to earn that salary as a teacher.

(Goes off thinking of career change to nannydom....smile)

Laquitar Fri 05-Aug-11 19:19:16

I wouldn't give the payrise.
At the same time i don't get the anger (i don't mean you but other posters) over what others earn, it is a free country if you envy her job you are free to do it. You and Lily are right that she might have compared her situation with other local nannies. But you are also very right in saying that they usually doing more cooking/washing. She has the right to try it . And you have the right to refuse. I think she will probably accept it and stay.

In the worst case if you really want to give something extra do that tax free i.e. some cash for lunch, cash presents etc. But tbh i wouldn't do that, at least not now.

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