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Nannies for school age children

(5 Posts)
Knownowt Sat 27-Aug-11 15:24:48

I'm planning to return to work soon and am trying to work out the best thing to do about childcare. I'll be out of the house 8am-7pm.

I have two children- my son (5yo) is at school full time and my daughter (3yo) is about to start half days (afternoons) at the same place.

Two ideas I've had:

1. a FT nanny doing 8am-7pm, including all the school runs. Seems the best idea but it's obviously going to be very expensive.

2. one person to come at 8am, take my son to school and look after my daughter all morning then drop her at school at midday. Another person to pick the children up at 3.30pm and look after them until 7pm.

The second idea is much cheaper as I'm not paying for 3.5h while both children are at school. However I'm not sure how practical it is- twice as many things to go wrong and the possibility that it will be v unsettling for the children.

If I employed a FT nanny and just accepted I'd be paying for the extra 3.5h, would it be reasonable to ask her to do other things in this time (eg cooking children's meals, sorting their rooms)? My understanding is that v few nannies are happy to do housework (reasonably enough) but presumably a few things like this are reasonable in time she would otherwise have totally free?

I'd be grateful for any thoughts. We live in North London so I hope it should be fairly easy to find someone.

LynetteScavo Sat 27-Aug-11 15:30:45

Having one person would mean you also have child care during school holidays and when your DC are poorly.

Of course the nanny would do all child related chores during the day, such as childrens laundry and cooking, and most wouldn't mind cooking a bit more (ie a large shepherds pie) for you to eat as well when you came home.

Have you considered a live in person,which may work out cheaper?

LynetteScavo Sat 27-Aug-11 15:31:43

Or you could find a childminder who does school pick up and drop offs.

nannynick Sat 27-Aug-11 15:47:41

I feel you also need to consider your requirements during school holidays. What will happen then?

>If I employed a FT nanny and just accepted I'd be paying for the extra 3.5h, would it be reasonable to ask her to do other things in this time (eg cooking children's meals, sorting their rooms)?

Yes. They are also available to help with school trips, being at home to accept deliveries, going out to do shopping trips on your behalf.

>My understanding is that v few nannies are happy to do housework (reasonably enough) but presumably a few things like this are reasonable in time she would otherwise have totally free?

I think it depends on what you call housework. As a nanny I do clothes and bedding washing, load/unload dishwasher, cook meals, make bread and biscuits/cakes, have been known to sort out blocked drains, water the garden, vacuum the lounge, that sort of thing.
What I think you may mean is that a nanny isn't a professional cleaner... they won't do a deep clean of things. Though if a nanny is given the choice between losing their job, or taking tasks like cleaning the loo & bathroom on... then they may well take on the cleaning the loo & bathroom.
If you mention the tasks you want doing in adverts, again at interview and again in the written statement (contract), then nannies are able to decide if they want the job or not.
Personally I am no good at ironing, so I don't do that. If I had lots of spare time during the day, I would do it if my boss wanted me to and realised that I wouldn't be very good at first but I might improve with practice.

Once all the children I care for are attending school, if my boss decided to keep me on I would certainly take on the duties of our cleaner. I may not be as good as they are but I would have the time available, would make me an expensive cleaner but would mean that I was able to collect a child who became ill whilst at school, help out on school trips, with reading in class, running errands, that sort of thing.

another option you can consider is to advertise as follows, something which quite a lot of employers with school aged children in my area (South East) do:

A nanny that works from say 8 - noon and then again from 330-7pm during the school term and full time (8am -6 pm )during the school holidays. You then annualise the salary talking into account e.g. 9 school holiday weeks a year full time and the annualised salary for e.g £8/ hr net would be £136/ week net if that makes sense. This is normally more attractive to nannies who would like to bring their child to work along with them. You wouldnt of course benefit from someone being around all the time in terms of your children needing a carer during illness or help with housework while kids are at school but it would be cheaper for you. You could always advertise using all options and then see what kind of candidates apply.

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