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What happens about nannies when kids start school?

(32 Posts)
ImagineJL Sat 13-Oct-12 08:10:59

Im a single parent, and I have a live-out nanny 2 days a week. Currently she takes DS1 to school, looks after DS2 all day, and looks after both of them in the evening until I get home from work. In school holidays she looks after them both all day.

Next September DS2 will start school, so after dropping them both off she'll have 6 hours until she has to pick them up.

Obviously I can't formally reduce her hours because during school holidays I'll still need her all day.

She says that in previous jobs she's done general jobs around the house while kids have been at school, and she's very flexible, happy to do pretty much anything.

The problem is, I'm not great at delegating, and in my experience people never get things quite how I'd want them. For example, the kids toys could do with a massive clear-out, but I wouldn't trust anyone else to know exactly which toys I was happy to get rid of. And supermarket shopping - you can write a detailed list, but no-one else knows exactly what sort of thing you want do they. So the things I'd be happy for her to do are fairly minimal, and wouldn't take long at all.

So, what do other people do? Do you just accept that in order to have before and after school childcare, and childcare in holidays, you have to pay your nanny to do lots of sitting around drinking coffee and reading magazines during the school day?

What have other peoples' experiences been?

ApuskiMcClusky Sat 13-Oct-12 08:26:56

I'll have this situation in a year, and I'm wondering about nanny sharing with another family who have a baby or preschooler, and maybe an older child at school. It would be a bit more manic in school holidays, but as the children get older, having more people to play with seems to make things easier in some ways.

It helps that I think my nanny would infinitely prefer this to doing general jobs around the house while kids were at school.

TantrumsAndBalloons Sat 13-Oct-12 08:38:23

Yes, I was going to suggest a nanny share. Do you know any other families locally who have younger DCs that need a nanny?
Is there anyone at DCs school?

ImagineJL Sat 13-Oct-12 08:51:52

Sadly there's no-one I know who needs or will need a nanny, and to be honest I'm not sure my nanny would want a load of extra kids to look after in the school holidays anyway.

nbee84 Sat 13-Oct-12 09:15:48

In all my previous nanny jobs once the children have started school I have been made redundant. Parents just don't want to pay for that 30 hours a week while their children are at school and they don't need childcare. They have mostly gone on to using breakfast and after school clubs and holiday clubs to meet their childcare needs and cover inset days and sick days themselves or with the help of friends.

I completely understand this - 30 hours is a lot to pay someone for a bit of housekeeping and availability in case of sickness. Any nanny friends that I have known to keep their jobs when the children start school have worked for wealthier families who don't miss the money - most average working Mums are looking forward to the day when their childcare bill is reduced.

BardOfBarking Sat 13-Oct-12 09:24:24

My lovely nanny agreed to reduced hours as he wanted to pursue some other interests too - so I pay him from 7am-10am (time after school run to come back, make children's beds, clear breakfast things etc) and from 2.30-6.30pm He works full time during the school holidays.

I have been incredibly lucky that he has been able to afford to be so flexible.

nannynick Sat 13-Oct-12 09:27:51

Is the job one that could be covered by other forms of childcare - childminder, holiday club?
With 2 children I would have thought it is worth looking at other options. If you had 3 or more children then a nanny may still be the lower cost option but with 2 I suspect a childminder doing before and after school plus most school holidays would work out cheaper.
Also think about the schools - will both children be at the same school? If so, for how long?

ImagineJL Sat 13-Oct-12 09:38:59

On the days I work I don't get home until late, usually 8.30pm, so I need someone to put the kids to bed, hence a nanny rather than a child minder.

I'm stuck aren't I? I can't see any other option, unless someone miraculously offered her a term time 10am-2pm job!

ImagineJL Sat 13-Oct-12 09:47:39

I have a cleaner who comes for 3 hours a fortnight. Do you think it would be reasonable to ask my nanny to do the cleaning instead, then I won't need the cleaner any more? Obviously she can refuse if she wants to, but is it a reasonable request do you think?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 13-Oct-12 09:52:03

I think the cleaning would be fine and I think I'd give the shopping a try - over a few weeks she would probably get used to your preferred brands etc.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 13-Oct-12 09:52:13

I think the cleaning would be fine and I think I'd give the shopping a try - over a few weeks she would probably get used to your preferred brands etc.

GoldPlatedNineDoors Sat 13-Oct-12 09:55:55

Cleaning fine, and she could do Charity Shop runs with toys and clothes you put to one side.

Nearer christmas and birthdays you could delegate present shopping.

Maybe she may want to learn a skill? Could she look and see if there are any training courses she could do that you could let her go to in that time?

ApuskiMcClusky Sat 13-Oct-12 10:01:51

Could you maybe separate your morning childcare needs from your afternoon/evening needs? So use a breakfast club or childminder for morning drop-off, then look for an after school nanny so youre not paying all day? It depends on how much you want to keep the nanny you've got.

ApuskiMcClusky Sat 13-Oct-12 10:05:39

It would mean having to use childminder or holiday clubs in the school holidays though.

andrea29 Sat 13-Oct-12 10:41:15

another option is getting an au-pair or finding a student who just wants a bit of "pocket money".

MrAnchovy Sat 13-Oct-12 11:16:31

"Obviously I can't formally reduce her hours because during school holidays I'll still need her all day."

No reason you can't have different hours term time and holidays. Bear in mind that this might leave you stuck for INSET days, sick child etc.

But as she says she is willing to be flexible and it's only two days a week I'm sure that some of cleaning, laundry, ironing, cooking for the freezer could fill up the time.

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 13-Oct-12 11:30:26

in all of my jobs i have been made redundant when youngest goes to school as they didnt want to pay me to sit around doing nothing for 6hrs a day (fair enough) and i didnt want to sit my hand down their toilets and do their cleaning (fair enough wink)

some of my friends are happy to take over the cleaners role, i am not

tbh as your nanny is only there 2 days, she could stay on and say change your bed/wash and iron (that i would do, tho hate ironing) and do the weekly shop (she would know what you like, just as i know what all my employers like after a few weeks) and tidy playroom and even pre cook a few meals for freezer

you could try to find a nanny share but again as only 2 days thats hard and again nanny may not want extra kids in school holidays and if a baby then restricts activities your older two can do if a buggy in tow

you need to weigh up holidays/sick children/insect days with paying over whole year, esp as you are on your own

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Sat 13-Oct-12 14:06:46

If you're keen to keep the nanny and not pay her to do nothing then I'd try and relax about delegating household stuff.

I can't see why if you write a detailed shopping list she can't be trusted to go to the shops? Maybe give it a chance and you'll probably find that if she comes back with the wrong type of apples, it's not actually that bad!

The same with the toys, give her a bit of guidance before she sorts the toys and then you can check through what she's selected to get rid off to make sure you're ok with it and then she can take them to the charity shop/list them on ebay/bag them up for NCT sale the next day. How wrong can she get it? She must know what the kids play with a lot/sometimes/never.

RaspberrysAndIcecream Sat 13-Oct-12 16:11:15

Why not do an online shop & get it delivered between 10 & 2 - while children are at school. That way u do ur own shopping but the nanny will put it away for u. For 2 days it's quite easy to get stuff done, I prepare tea during the day so after school it just gies in the oven. I don't clean, but I change beds, childrens washing & ironing, run errands. I have friends who also walk the dog (my family don't have one but I'd do that!!)
There are weeks where I have loads to do & some where days where I have a chilled afternoon & eat my lunch & read the paper. But if u can't get childcare to fit, then could u afford to keep ur nanny? If ur children love the nanny then it keeps stability for them. The nanny should also be doing any homework & afterschool activities.

ImagineJL Sat 13-Oct-12 17:56:45

Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm reluctant to look for alternative child care as my nanny is very good, and very flexible with her hours, staying late if I'm stuck at work, stepping in at short notice if I've needed her. So I guess I need to work on my obsessive control, and start delegating a bit more, like cooking, shopping etc. I also need to try and think that I'm paying for here availability, not just her actions.

eurycantha Sat 13-Oct-12 20:26:40

Hi to Blondes
I work from 7 until 6 three days a week.I look after 6 year old twin girls and their. 7 year old brother.I get the children up ,ready for school drive to school return to their house where I tidy up ,make beds, load the washing machine and hang out.prepare dinner for the children .my duties include everything to do with the children including their ironing ( and since they 've all been at school ) the parents also.i change beds when needed sew on name tags and look after pets.after collecting the children we do homework,games,play dates and taking and collecting from clubs tea,bathand get ready for bed.the children's parents put them to bed but if in meetings I do that too.i find that people who believe you sit down all day while the children are at school are mistaken as we do so many things for the children while they are at school.picking up small amounts of shopping,dry cleaning,posting letters ,as well as all that is needed for three children

Allaboutcalm Sun 14-Oct-12 23:17:19


I am a nanny share (4 x 10 hours days) I started when the youngest 2 where 1 and are now in nursery school. In the mornings I do school and nursery runs, then I return home, clear the breakfast dishes, load/empty the dishwasher. Wash and iron the children's clothes (not every day) tidy their bedrooms, prepare dinner and the girls lunch for the next day, hoover in general and do any other 'child' related things such as sorting toys/ clothes etc. I also do shopping runs and am not adverse to do my employers ironing if I have time. This means I am also available for sick days/ exceptional closures and inset days then during holidays I have all 4 for 10 hours a day. I am paid to be available as I have many a time had to pick a sick child up from nursery or school. I do not get paid petrol money but do 4 school/ nursery runs a day plus all after school activities which are taken into consideration. It may be cheaper for the parents to look at wrap around care but you also have to factor in that most nurseries charge for pick up and when the children are off (14 weeks per year) the cost rockets. My employers also know that the children are happy and safe with me and I am flexible to their needs, often staying late (if only 30 mins) and I don't expect to be paid for it. But as for sitting round drinking coffee and reading magazines...... NO, wouldn't have the time even if I wanted to!!

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Mon 15-Oct-12 10:01:05

My youngest charge recently started school, I'm currently unwell and dealing with lots of medical issues so at the moment while they are at school I really am getting paid to sit sleep and rest till pick up time but usually I clean and tidy the childrens rooms, sort out toys and clothes they've outgrown etc, do the washing and hang out, change childrens beds, prepare tea, put away shopping delivery, run small errands like taking things to the dry cleaners or taking books to the library, rarely do I sit and read magazines although most days I get an hour to sit down to eat lunch and read before pick up time.

It is surprising how quickly the day goes.

oscarwilde Mon 15-Oct-12 15:10:52

If your nanny was employed by you 5 days a week I would say you have an issue but to be honest, by the time she does two school runs [assuming they both have the same start/end time and destination] that leaves you with approx 4 hrs per day to fill her time.
Childrens food /family batch cooking for freezer
School uniforms / laundry and ironing for kids
General tidying and sorting of kids crap stuff
Help with school projects, making costumes etc [or does this stuff only happen in films - I'm praying this is the case]
Running errands
Basically, all the stuff that she'd probably be trying to fit in, in the afternoons while "supervising" homework or other activities.

LemonBreeland Mon 15-Oct-12 15:19:48

I was thinking the same as OscarWilde, as it's only 2 days there should be enough to keep your nanny busy.

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