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Nightmare Nanny situation - how do you handle that?

(16 Posts)
yawningmummy Wed 24-Aug-11 16:43:50

I went back to work last week and have for various reasons fairly complicated childcare arrangements (split between CM, Grannies and a Nanny). The first two are perfect but my neighbour phoned me to say she saw the Nanny with my boys (4 and almost 1) out in a cafe (I am fine with that) but she was texting all the time and ignoring the boys and then (and this is the killer) she went to the loo and left the little one in a highchair on his own.angryThe bigger one was playing in the play area. I have known this since saturday and my blood is still boiling. Frankly I want to break her neck. I just can't believe that anyone , least of all a child care professional would do that. So, how do I deal with this? verbal warning, written warning... The obvious thing to do is to bin her, but the grannies can't do any more than they already do and the CM don't have any more capacity... Not really the easy return to work I was hoping for.
How would you deal with it?

YoungishBag Wed 24-Aug-11 17:01:59

You really ought to have spoken with her by now as it's 5 days later.

You asked what I would do and I would do nothing as it wouldn't bother me - it clearly bothers you though. Tell her that whatever arrangements she had made (like asking someone on the next table to keep an eye on them while she popped to the loo) you would like her to take the one year old to the toilet with her.

hayleysd Wed 24-Aug-11 17:05:19

Does the Childminder have capacity if she can get a variation to have extra? If she has she could ring up and say it's urgent and it would more than likely be granted there and then as it's continuity of care, would it not be gross misconduct as she left him alone?

LynetteScavo Wed 24-Aug-11 17:05:48

It would bother me.

You don not ask a random stranger to keep an eye on someone else child - who you are being employed to care for- while you go to the loo.

If she is OK in every other way I think a verbal warning, (and big talk about how it's not acceptable).

lesstalkmoreaction Wed 24-Aug-11 17:26:55

Your neighbour was worried enough to have called you, you really should have spoken to her as soon as you were told, personally I wouldn't use her again but if you have to I would make it very clear she keeps the children with her at all times.

nannynick Wed 24-Aug-11 17:38:11

In theory your neighbour could have told you this evening. So whilst it is a bit late, I feel you could still raise the matter with your nanny.

You have your neighbours word against theirs, if they dispute what actually happened. So given that it is the start of your working relationship and you need the childcare... you could make it a verbal warning on this ONE TIME.
If you then find out in future that children have been left unattended then you can be much firmer about it.

It is basic common sense though... you don't leave a child in a highchair unattended. They could well have been eating something at the time, or had access to something to eat.

As a nanny I tend to go to the loo whenever I take the children to the loo. It's tough luck that children just have to come with you... it's part of being a nanny.

yawningmummy Wed 24-Aug-11 18:14:09

ok, it I know it is later, but I believe in doing that sort of thing face t face and she only works for me Thursday and Friday and I wanted to be considered in my reaction and not flying off the handle which I am prone to. Also it is a her world against your situation, so I need to give her the benefit of the doubt because she isn't negligent, although I do consider leaving a baby in a high chair negligent and the kids love her. Thanks for the advice. I thought peeing in public was part of the job description wink

nannyl Wed 24-Aug-11 18:45:13


you have every right to be mad....

Id consider leaving baby alone as gross misconduct and would sack immediatley. (Im guessing she hasnt been with you for more than 2 years, but even if she has, im sure you would win any tribunal that leaving them along was gross misconduct)

Just read that she started last week? so must be in probabationary period, so if you could trust her you could let her work a weeks notice while you sort something else out... but completely understand of you dont trust her with your children for another minute.

You could perhaps insist she stays at your home while working her notice? not unreasonable given the circumstances IMO

ohnoshedittant Wed 24-Aug-11 19:54:35

If your neighbour saw all this go on then I assume she was also in the cafe at the time? Is it possible the nanny thought your neighbour would keep an eye out for them?

EmLH Wed 24-Aug-11 20:03:20

Get rid of her! I wouldn't even leave the 4yo to go for a wee, let alone a 1yo in a highchair! What if someone had taken him?! Unlikely but definitely possible. I can't see how anyone would think that was ok. You'd be well rid as she sounds really irresponsible. Hope you find someone better.

Stateofplay Thu 25-Aug-11 14:28:02

I don't think it's acceptable to leave either of the children while she went to the loo, but I wouldn't sack her outright for this first issue unless you have other concerns about her work.

A strong verbal warning (with reasons why she shouldn't have done that, just to spell it out!), followed by a chat about other common-sense safety measures to make sure you're both on the same page for the future, is what I'd do.

Good luck.

Laquitar Thu 25-Aug-11 15:54:16

Assuming that your neighbour is not malicious/have issues with nannies and you trust her, then i would get rid of the nanny pronto.

Can their dad take some leave until you find a replacement?

If not, then you will need an emergency temporary nanny from Agency while you are looking for a permanent one. It is not ideal as it will be costy and the dcs will change carer twice, but...

Another option (a cheaper one) is to share a friend's nanny while you are looking for your permanent one.

Mumsnet, netmums,, ads boards at local groups/libraries, Agencies.

fraktious Thu 25-Aug-11 16:10:56

Absolutely unacceptable however you're in a tricky she says/she says situation. Under 1 year you can terminate for no reason if you're worried so that simplifies things a little if you want to let her go, which I personally would as that's a huge breach of trust.

If you don't then I would raise the issue and give her a stern warning, reiterate your expectations about child safety and gently quiz your 4yo..

harrietthespook Thu 25-Aug-11 20:30:47

What is your neighbour like? We had a neighbour once who gave us negative feedback on our nanny with some regularity - and then turned around and offered her eight hours' work!!! Seriously - they can be very meddlesome. How is the nanny otherwise? Do you really trust this neighbour as a good friend?

Stars22 Thu 25-Aug-11 22:20:52

You have to speak to her. If she doesnt have the common sense to not leave children on their own in a cafe then i'd wonder what other things she is not capable of. How long has she been a nanny for? does she no your neighbour?

amy175 Thu 25-Aug-11 23:50:21

is your neighbour sure it was your kids and nanny?

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