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child care for school age children, for FT work

(12 Posts)
spookycatandfluffydog Wed 16-Jan-13 15:24:10

Hi Gingergaskell. I didn't advertise - just got to know some of the nannies etc when I was on maternity leave. My nanny was looking for another role when I went back to work. She does babysitting in the evening for other people as well to top up on additional cash. She is not a student (has been a nanny for a long time). I think though it helped that she wanted to cut down her hours a bit.

gingergaskell Tue 15-Jan-13 13:32:11

Spooky your situation sounds ideal, if you feel comfortable saying, what sort of arrangements does your nanny have otherwise to make them able to be so flexible, just wondering if they are a student say? If you advertised, I'd love to know where worked.

Novstar, that's a good point. I can see why a professional nanny wouldn't want to be housekeeper. I'd be happy to have someone who is not a trained nanny though, given it's just for after school, not preschool aged. Or experienced in cleaning to be honest, just right fit, reliability and enthusiasm etc really. I had a look on Gumtree after you mentioned it up thread, {thanks for tip} and a good number of people were advertising for a Nanny / Housekeeper. {Whether they get people who are interested is another thing though!}
We don't have space for a live in, which I imagine makes it a bit trickier.

Novstar Tue 15-Jan-13 12:12:26

If you can afford it, full time housekeeper nanny sounds like your best option (perhaps even live-in, if you are going to travel a lot). I think they are quite hard to find too though... nannies with experience and qualifications tend not to want to do any housework, let alone 6 hours of it every day. In the past I've found it hard to convince the more experienced nannies to even empty and load dishwashers. Not to discourage you, but just keep in mind that you may have to compromise on the standard of housekeeping, childcaring or both.

spookycatandfluffydog Tue 15-Jan-13 10:19:43

OP - you can find a nanny to do this (I have one!) It is just you will have to do a bit of searching to find the right person. My nanny picks up after school does full time in school holidays and is flexible so that if I am travelling she is there later. She also is there if ill and cannot attend school.

Iggly Tue 15-Jan-13 09:36:41

I hope it goes well. We have a nanny but mine are younger. She's rarely off sick and she takes holiday on a 50:50 agreement (so half when we want, half when she wants).

gingergaskell Tue 15-Jan-13 09:28:30

Thanks so much for letting me know your personal experiences, that really helps.

From what you've said Novstar and Gruffalo, I am better off going the full time housekeeper / nanny option then, to try to keep someone more long term and to ensure holidays / sick days are covered. I don't have family to help out with those {mine are in Australia!}.

I work in a regional / global role usually, so am likely to need to travel as well, so think better to go for maximum help, even if I don't need it all the time.

Iggly, ideally I'll be able to do some of those things once I've established myself in a job, but I have to start a new job from fresh. In a competitive job market, it's unlikely to look favourably on me as a candidate to go in trying to negotiate that in an interview.
I'll certainly need to leave by 6 to see the kids at night {they still go to bed at 7} which will be 'early', so will need to take work home. I hope once I've established myself to be able to try to work from home, if not regularly, at least for days when there is a nativity play or something I'd like to attend at school, but I can't count on that at this point.

That's my aim actually. I know that I have to go full time in order to GET a job but hopefully I can balance it a bit more once I'm established in it.
It's a two year plan for me actually to do it at this point. Then I'll probably dip out of work again, as we aim to move countries again, I just need to get something on my resume to keep my career going, and I really miss my work too actually. smile

GuffalosMum Mon 14-Jan-13 22:15:04

It is very hard, to be honest.. In London, it is hard to survive on the reduced hours so it either suits someone who has their own child/children or a person who is doing it as something to keep them busy. Both of these present their own problems. A nanny with a child can work but only while the arrangements are exactly the same - same school, after-school clubs, even play dates - which is hard to achieve. Someone who is doing it to keep busy soon finds it's very hard work.
I'm in a situation where I've found it very hard to get a nanny who wants to stay more than 9 months/a year. Although they say they want the reduced hours at the start, they quickly go when a job with more hours comes along. Having a high turnover of nannies isn't good for the kids or for winning over the trust of other parents. Note that I've found parents to be reluctant to allow their child to visit when a nanny is in charge unless that nanny has been around a long time (which is fair enough).
I also pay above the odds per hour as it happens.
Most people who have left full-time nannies behind also speak of these frustrations, at least in London.

Iggly Mon 14-Jan-13 21:12:02

Can you negotiate with work to leave at a reasonable hour so you can pick up the kids and do work once they're in bed? Do you have to be in the office? (I have to work long hours as an accountant but leave the office at 5 and take work home). What about working 4 days?

Novstar Mon 14-Jan-13 12:29:40

I think the answer is: yes, there are nannies who are interested in these jobs, it's just that you might need to be lucky to find them. It makes it easier that you can do the mornings yourself. For several years I have had someone to pick kids up, take them to various activities after school, feed them dinner until we come home at 7pm. It's great that the kids have a lot of freedom about playdates, lessons etc after school. The nannies are usually students (some foreign, some age 30+). I have usually found them through Gumtree.

The difficulty of jobs like this is that they may have morning jobs, in which case school hols can be tricky- so I have a term time only contract and we discuss about school holidays separately each time they come up, ie nanny is not obliged to work during hols. If they are not available, we cope with relatives, holidays and camps.

I also currently pay a relatively high rate (£13 gross per hour, in London outskirts) to make it more attractive.

These kind of nannies tend to be in a transitory stage of their lives so you might have a high turnover.

Other options are nanny with their own children whom they bring along (you might be able to pay a lower rate, but organisation is more complex), and also live-in au pairs.

gingergaskell Mon 14-Jan-13 10:20:55

Thanks Nanny Nick:

- 4 and 6 years old, they both go to the same school full time.

- The school has a breakfast club. We'd aim to do drop off ourselves, and use the breakfast club for mornings we needed them to start earlier.

- During term time, school finishes at 3:20 pm, so the aim ideally would be for someone to start work then to pick them up from school.

- Both of us are in management / long hour type jobs with 1 hour commutes, so earliest we could get home would be 7 pm {my husband typically gets home 8 or later say at the moment}, so therefore it would need to be someone looking after them in our own home.

- Also still want them to be able to do the after school clubs / playdates they do now, so am assuming child minder / nanny share won't work for us.

- Would ideally like for someone who could then flex to full time for holidays {and if at all possible when the children were sick} but not sure how realistic this is.

- Which is why I wondered about hiring someone on a permanent full time basis, but also taking on housekeeping duties, given the children are in full time school?

nannynick Mon 14-Jan-13 10:07:22

How old are your children?
Do you want care in your home, or could you drop/collect from somewhere local?
What start/finish time?

I would suspect that a Registered Childminder (contack council Family Information Service for a list) may be an option to consider.

gingergaskell Mon 14-Jan-13 09:45:26

I have moved to the UK, and since living here I've not been in work. I did go back to work after my oldest was born, previously {in Hong Kong}, I then moved here and immediately fell pregnant with my youngest, so did not find work here at that time.

My youngest has now started school full time. In an ideal world I would love flexible work, {I've been a SAHM in the interim 5 years} but my my field is obscure and I work in a senior management capacity, so given I have no previous job here to go back to it's not the sort of work I can pick up part time.

I feel my best bet is to go back to work full time at least for a start to get my foot back in the door.
Friends I know who work either have a FT nanny as they still have younger children, or have some help from family, which is not an option in my case.

So am hoping for some advice for what else is possible in my circumstances for child care.
Is it usual / possible to have a Nanny who just does after school pick ups and school holidays?
I don't have room to have a live in Au pair, but would consider someone full time who shared housekeeping and childcare duties, if that is a possibility?

My husband works FT as well, both of us would have to deal with a commute, which is why after school clubs wouldn't be possible in the evening. We could use breakfast club in the morning though to manage drop off, and we can share things like doing drop off, and staying home for sick days, hopefully working from home occassionally etc.

Thanks for any experiences / advice, especially places to advertise for help etc. smile.

{I live in London if that is relevant.}

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