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What mix of formal activities & general play should I ask a nanny to do?

(8 Posts)
Murtette Tue 01-Jan-13 17:00:06

We're probably about to start looking for a nanny to look after our 2 DC for 3 days a week. When the nanny starts, DC1 will be 3.6 and DC2 will be 10mo. DC1 will be in pre-school each morning from 9 - 12.30 and I want her to continue to go to her ballet class on one of the afternoons (inc travel & changing, takes about 1.5 hrs).
To what extent is it reasonable to ask the nanny to just be at home playing or doing craft or similar with the DC? And to what extent should I direct the nanny in this as opposed to leave her to her own devices? We have a decent sized house with plenty of toys, craft stuff etc as well as a garden so there's enough to do at home and there's a park and a wood within walking distance.
The local town (about 3 miles away) has a good SureStart centre with a Stay & Play session most days as well as more structured singing, craft etc sessions. The local town also has TumbleTots, Monkey Music and all the rest but the budget doesn't really stretch to that, especially not on a daily basis which is that a friend's nanny seems to insist upon (hence my concern!).
Any advice appreciated!

MissNJE Tue 01-Jan-13 17:28:50

Hello Murtette,

I am sure that there are nannies out there who are happy to stay at home with the children all day, however I am not one of them. I am one of the nannies that goes out most of the day.

I don't know about your local Sure Start centre but all the ones that are in our area are either for free or cost £1. Going to the park, playground and/or having playdates with other children usually doesn't cost anything as well. How long does the nanny have to work each day?

Karoleann Tue 01-Jan-13 18:52:24

Dc1 doesn't need to do anything else, but the nanny will need to do something with dc2. One sure start group, plus one music group will suffice though. The generic music groups tend to be cheaper than the monkey music ones.
It may also work out cheaper if you get nanny plus your older child season tickets at the local farm (especially if it has a soft play). As they will need something to do during school holidays.

nannynick Tue 01-Jan-13 19:22:44

Be clear in your expectations when discussing the job with applicants.

As a nanny I like to go out every day if possible. We may not spend much, transport costs can mount up quickly though, so when considering budget do consider transport costs. Other outings can cost quite a lot (I nanny for 3 children, so admission costs to places quickly mount up).

Are you wanting them to stay home for cost reasons or because you want them to spend time doing educational things? If it's more cost related, then set a weekly budget and let your nanny decide how it is spent and saved up on occasion for bigger trips out.

Take advantage of annual pass, membership packages. I take youngest I care for swimming, £5 a month. The pool however is a 23 mile round trip, so mileage adds up quickly - thus when looking at what places offer membership/annual pass do take into account travel costs.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 01-Jan-13 20:27:21

most nannies dont like being micromanaged, esp us oldies more experienced ones smile

i like to be out and about/see friends and children with similar aged children but happy to obv stay at home and play/do crafts as well

its nice to have a structured activity for a younger child like tumbletots/music classes etc

if money it tight what you can do is give the nanny a weekly/monthly budget and let them decide how to spend it

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 01-Jan-13 22:10:49

Give the nanny some guidance with regard to activities and explain that finances are tight, but do let her have a bit of freedom, no-one likes to be micromanaged.

I agree with Blondes and Nick with regard to giving the nanny a weekly budget and let her decide how to spend it.

Festivechocaholic Tue 01-Jan-13 22:43:54

Im sure with a bit of imagination your nanny could do lots of things without spending money- trips to the park, nature walks in the woods, building tents in the house, stories and playing games. Employing a nanny is very expensive so you i don't think it is unreasonable to to want spend more on top

Murtette Tue 01-Jan-13 22:53:11

This is all helpful - thank you! I think that the experiences of two friends who have recently employed very young nannies who are both doing their first job and have done some slightly mad things has scared me slightly.
I think I'll give her a monthly budget and mileage allowance (and increase it for holidays), let her know what DC1 likes to do (in case DC1 doesn't make it clear herself!), the sort of things I'd like her to do with DC2, get her an annual pass for the local farm which the children already have passes for, a copy of the SureStart timetable and list of toddler groups and leave her to it. I totally understand the wanting to get out thing and wanting to see friends as I need to do that myself when looking after the children.
I've spent the evening playing on Mr Anchovy's calculator (what a brilliant resource!) to work out what difference changes to the nanny's salary makes to what I have to pay overall and trying to work out a kitty allowance and mileage allowance on the basis of that.

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