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Twins and nannies

(12 Posts)
seventwin Thu 18-Oct-12 12:31:35

I have six month old twins and the time has come to start thinking about going back to work. I had presumed I would use a local nursery for them both, but complications in their health at the moment means that we have to prevent them from catching colds etc to the best of our ability so looks like a nursery is out! This will only be for the first couple of years until they get bigger and stronger.

Therefore I'm contemplating a nanny to come to our home for two days a week. Does anyone have any experience of this and know how much it would cost. I know it would depend on the nanny but just some rough guidance. Also, do I have to use an agency or can I hire privately through a website such as I presume that childcare vouchers can go towards them as long as they are ousted registered etc? And what About many shares?

I though the bonus of this would be a babysitter who the babies know and we trust.

Any thoughts and comments greatly appreciated.

Gigondas Thu 18-Oct-12 12:36:00

Depends where you are in country on cost so need more details to help there but it think nanny jobs website has a salary survey. Remember to quote gross not net - and you will need to do payroll. You can either do this yourself (hmrc website has info) or pay an agency ( there are lots - I use way2paye).

No you don't have to use an agency- you save their fee and tbh you still have to check references so the only advantage of an agency is they find candidates.

And yes you can use vouchers if foster registered but may be worth putting that in the ad so applicants know you want that.

Babysitting - yes it is good if nanny will do it (not all nannies want the extra work).

Gigondas Thu 18-Oct-12 12:36:47

Oh and I have always used nannies for childcare and think it is well worth cost etc

seventwin Thu 18-Oct-12 12:51:05

Thanks for this. I am living in Brighton and looks like there are lots of nannies out there which is good news. Shall check all those websites and see if I can get an idea of figures! Such a minefield!

nannynick Thu 18-Oct-12 13:07:19

Nanny 2 Days A Week a cost calculation from 2011. Taxation has changed since then as has the nanny market generally so salary wise you may find you can agree a lower salary, probably £10 gross an hour for someone with experience in Brighton area I would have thought.

It's about £15,000 a year cost, though will depend on salary, mileage done by the nanny whilst on duty, cost of activities/outings. Is £13-£15k the sort of budget you were considering it may cost?

A nanny share - hmm, not sure that is worth looking at if you are wanting your twins to be isolated from other children some of the time. Having another child, or two coming to your home (or your twins going to their home) may mean they get exposed to a child with a cold, who you can't then choose to avoid - can't say to the share family that their child can't be cared for because they have a cold - one of the benefits of a nanny is that the nanny will care for children with a cold or mild illness.

Tenderisthenight Thu 18-Oct-12 13:34:07

How careful do you have to be about the twins catching any illnesses? Because I think you will find it difficult to recruit a nanny if you don't want them to go out to groups or mix with other children. It would make the role very boring and isolating.

UndeadPixie Thu 18-Oct-12 22:23:43

Tender: Depends on the nanny RE sociability. Being honest, if I saw this job on the board and was looking for work, I would totally apply for it. I'm not a very social nanny and whilst I'm happy to be social, I'm perfectly happy not being social too.

OP: I would happily apply for the job knowing I'd have to limit contact with other kids as long as you were upfront about it.
As for babysitting, I'm going to be cheeky and say that if you're ever in need of a sitter, I'm a nanny in Brighton (well, Woodingdean) and want some babysitting clients smile I haven't got any sitting clients down here yet as I've been focussing on getting coursework done, but the end is in sight grin

RE wage, I'm on £10 gross an hour in both jobs, both about twenty minutes from the town centre in the outer towns. It's a pretty normal wage down here for those of us who are pretty bog-standard (small amount of experience nannying, new qualification or none, a good bit of experience with kids) I think. There are few full time jobs down this way which I think pushes the wages up a little, loads of part time work to make up the full time though.

seventwin Sun 21-Oct-12 08:50:41

Thanks all! The twins each have their own issues, one a heart murmur and so any infections just out extra stress on her heart, and the other twin has respiratory issues that get quite bad when she gets any cold type illness (recently resulting in a stay in hospital). We know they will catch things whatever we do but we'd like to reduce it as much as possible.

Given up on the nanny share already!

Very useful and detailed cost calculation so thank you, and I think we'd be looking at the equivalent of 2 days a week. I think we'll just have to get an advert out there with our specific circumstances and see who we can find, I'm hopeful they'll be someone out there for us.

Undeadpixie - we shall definitely keep you in mind, we're not quite ready for babysitters as yet but with no family locally and as the girls get a little bigger and older then we'll need a babysitter (and of course as I get more confident leaving them!).

Thanks again :-)

isislondon Wed 24-Oct-12 08:57:49

We have twins & we had this dilemma when I returned to work. I would prefer If they were at home although we haven't fully childproofed the house yet so there's only 1 room & a hallway that they can roam a little in supervised. We need lots of gates for stairs doors, tv needs to go on wall. More cables need hiding. We do have travel cots to put them in when I have to leave the room.

In the end we chose a ofsted regulated childminder. Who looks after them in her home which is fully childproofed with 3 staff. Her own 2 yr old is also there. Its £5 each per hour. She's an ex nursery & primary teacher with childcare & baby 1st aid training. She has a playroom with lots of toys. Separate rooms for eating with baby tables & another room for them to sleep. They meet other children usually no more than 5 in the day , which is less than the 50+ in daycare, so they get to start socialising before they start nursery which will hopefully give them confidence pre school but they are also more likely to learn a bit & get some 1 to 1 attention.

For the tiny bit more it costs than nursery it's worth it we think, so far. Also as she's a registered childminder were entitled to the same tax credits/childcare vouchers as general daycare. Place is always clean as well as it can be inspected by ofsted or parents at any time.

Ultimately we'd like an au pair which would be a good backup at other times. We would now like to keep up 1 or 2 days a week with the childminder even if we get an au pair as we like them socialising & getting early education. The childminder is only a 1/3 mile from our house (short push chair ride), I've also lost more of my baby weight from the morning run , finally :-)

If a childminder came, I d need to give them at least 2 of the security lock key on our door. So youd need to trust them with access to your home & possessions + kids. we would have to put locks on doors with valuables. we would also need to provide food whereas our childminder makes homecooked food includes in the price. We'd need to police check them as we don't know local recommended people & no family nearby. As they're 1 yr twins I'd be worried if the sitter can cope with 2 if they're young & little experience. Especially worried as occasionally 1 cries & sets the other off which can be stressful & they too young to fully respond to commands unlike having a understanding older sibling who can do a lot of things themselves + an infant which is the more usual multiple sitting situation.

I found that sitters often charged per child & there was a hairs difference between the professional childminder price & the local unqualified sitter. We need someone for about 7 hrs daily.

isislondon Wed 24-Oct-12 09:00:41

At present we chose a childminder over a nanny as we don't need someone in the holidays as my partner is a teacher. We haven't tried much childcare options yet. We would still like an au pair (family member with nursing qualifications, being arranged now) + a childminder is our possible option

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 24-Oct-12 09:29:58

Op in your position ie twins with health issues you would be better off with a nanny as then can reduce the risk of infection as you can control easier who you / twins have contact with unlike a cm Or nursery

If you trust someone to look after your children then you also trust them to look after your house / key / cars etc and things do not need locking up

I rem one interview I went for and discussed credit cards for shopping / petrol etc and she said she didn't want one as then I would know her pin and could steal withdraw money out without her knowing

Obv her bank balance was more important then the safety of her child

I think a nanny sounds suitable and as much as I hate to say it many childrens nurses go into nannying as it pays better often than the NHS (I speak as a qualified childrens nurse) so you may be lucky and find a childrens nurse or an ex-nurse who has had her own children and not gone back into nursing for example.

I would work out what you can afford to pay and then state salary from min wage (whatever that is now) - just below the max you can afford (example hrly rate £6.50-£9 gross an hr negotiable for a nanny with experience with babies with additional medical needs)

Dont be insistent on twins experience you may find a nanny who has extensive nursery nurse experience in a baby room so has experience of caring for more than one baby - although perhaps wouldnt want someone looking for first nanny job with just this experience.

Would look for someone who has lots of baby experience and preferably some experience of babies/children with additional health needs.

Be clear that although you are happy for the babies to socialise this is limited due to their health needs and the risks that socialising poses to their health.

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