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advice on recruiting a nanny(8 Posts)
the end of my maternity leave is looming and I will need someone to look after my two boys, 1 & 4, two days a week. The older one will be going to school nursery a couple of hours a day. I was going to find a childminder but figured out that a nanny wouldn't be much more for two of them and so much more convenient and nicer for them to be at home.
So, I have advertised on gumtree, and now have a rather long short-list of people who seem well qualified and suitable for the job.
I would love some advice and suggestions of what to look out for, what to ask people in interview etc . I am planning to speak on the phone to applicants first before doing a short list to interview.
Also what can i reasonably expect them to do of a day and how much to pay. I am in west london and think that 10 ph seems to be the going rate. the baby will be asleep while the older one is at nursery.
You can reasonably expect them to do anything and everything related to the children - cooking for them, doing their laundry and ironing, changing their bedding, keeping their bedrooms and playroom tidy and organized, organize outings and playdates, etc. A nanny normally wouldn't do things like clean bathrooms, do the whole family's laundry, deep-clean the kitchen...
Most of these things can easily be done while baby sleeps, especially if you're hiring a nanny for 4 or 5 days a week. I generally tidy up after breakfast and tidy the bedrooms every day while my younger charge sleeps, then depending on what needs doing I will get some cooking done/do some laundry/fold and put away clothes/plan activities/organize toys, books, clothes, and still usually manage to have enough time for a cup of coffee and a bit of downtime before younger charge wakes up and it's time for the nursery run-lunch-afternoon madness!
£10 per hour Gross sounds a bit low for London, but if you can get people with suitable experience for that then good for you. Do make sure when discussing salary that you are both discussing the same thing... so both talking Gross (before taxation deductions), not Net (after deductions).
Firstly I would suggest creating a short list based on the CVs submitted. Do they meet your minimum requirements in terms of academic history, do they show a good track history of staying in a jobs (note: short term jobs are not always bad, ask about reasons for leaving). Do they meet your requirements in terms of needing a driver (if you need a driver). Where do they live... do you feel their commute to work is reasonable - they may feel they can travel across London to work for you, but would you consider that reasonable? Check their right to work in the UK... you may need to ask them for more information at this point such as the nationality as stated on their passport.
Now your list is a bit shorter... ask the remaining questions about what they would do with your children during the day. Perhaps tell them about things that are fixed such as the time at nursery, then ask the prospective nanny to say what they expect may happen the rest of the time. This can help you get a feel for what the nanny likes doing... do they like being out and about, or do they tend to stay indoors? What activities they like doing and which they don't. See how what they propose doing matches with what your eldest child likes doing.
Make sure you are aware of what things you will be wanting your nanny to do... such as the children's washing, changing the children's bedding, cooking meals for your children. Let them know about things you would want done during the week... are they things the nanny has done before?
"the baby will be asleep while the older one is at nursery."
Oh how I wish I had cared for babies like that... those I've cared for have rarely slept much when their parents are not at home. Probably best you do not assume your baby will do exactly the same as they do with you, as they may well not. Also as they get older they change, so you need to consider a nanny who is good with caring for babies and also as they get older.
Thanks nannynick and baunir, appreciate the advice
I have worked as a nanny previously a few years ago, and have friends who work as nannies in London now. i really enjoyed my job, and two things that were good about it was that there were set hours, and the mother was very clear about my duties. From friends who have had bad experiences it seems the opposite was the problem, the hours were all over the place, and the duties kept changing. I think first of all decide what you want from a nanny- i.e just basic childcare, or should they be helping to educate the older child, provide fun learning experiences etc. At the interview ask them about what they expect from the job, what sort of things they would do with them (you do not want to have to use a cattle prod all the time), ask them about themselves just to see what sort of impression you get. You are leaving your children with them so do not ignore any niggling doubts, it is not just about CVs, but also the type of person they are. Also see what your children think of them, and you could have a couple of trial days when you are at home. Also make sure to set up ground rules i.e can they take the children to lunch etc, what about if the nanny invites a friend around for coffee etc. Also I would advise getting someone who is used to working with babies, and I know this sounds silly question them about safety issues i.e how to lie a baby down in their cot etc.
I think £10ph is rather low, but I guess with the recession wages have been lowered and if people are prepared to work for that then it is nto an issue.
Have you considered a nannyshare, nanny with own child (perhaps school age) or a newly qualified nanny with less experience as they may be willing to accept a lower wage.
Be clear about duties. Discuss scenarios and what the nanny would do i.e. behaviour and make sure you are happy with her methods of discipline or will she follow yours. Will she have own car? What type of activites will she be happy to do with children i.e. trips to park / arts and crafts? How do your children react to her and she to them? Will she eat with child and does she get a say in what food is purchesed if she is to eat (am veggie and family always provided for me on shopping list) Is she live in or out and does she have some space? If livi in how will the weekends work (she will need access to kitchen etc and may feel she is butting in) Try and put yourself in her position and think what she needs compared to what you want.
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