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Nanny arrangement not working but don't know what to do

(13 Posts)
Jossysgiants Thu 07-Feb-13 09:40:11


I would appreciate some advice. My nanny has worked for me for just over a year. She has 2 children and I have 2 children and she looks after all of the children in my home after school. This has worked well for a period, but since my older DC and her younger DC have started school it is not working as well. I feel like my DC, (particularly my younger child ) are exhausted and not entirely happy with the situation and things like reading, quiet time etc are not possible. Her older DC is clearly not happy with things either, as she never gets to play on her own. I would also like my children to be taken to and from playdates/ activities etc which is very difficult with so many children to ferry around. My job is also getting much busier and feel like I need more support with the 'nursery duties'- laundry etc for the children. I appreciate there is limited time to do this kind of work in the normal run of things particularly looking after 4 childrens, so have been wondering if a nanny/ housekeeper might work better who could do some extra hours before collecting the children. However, I feel I can only do this if my nanny leaves employment of her own accord. I feel I have no options here to legitimately or fairly cease her employment, as it is now over 12 months, and I really want the support in my own home so I do not really want to make her redundant and move to another type of arrangement such as a childminder. Does anyone have any advice for me perhaps on how to handle this, or experience of the same?

NannyVix Thu 07-Feb-13 10:33:40

Hi JossyGiants, have you tried speaking to her about your expectations and the possibility of adding more jobs for her. I am a nanny for 3 children and I am at home with 2 of them through the day and I can manage to get some housework done after getting the children set up with an activity, its about time management and I can get kids washing and ironing done plus homework etc and still manage play dates and trips out. The children know I have some jobs that I must get done before we go out anywhere and they are quite happy to play a game until we are ready to go. I would just speak to her and she could do woth looking at time management. Hope this helps


MGMidget Thu 07-Feb-13 10:49:52

It could be a legitimate redundancy situation where your requirements have changed and there is a new job available in place of the old one. You would need to get legal advice to be sure and to make sure you handle it correctly though and you would need to offer your current nanny the new job but she may not want it and prefer to take redundancy. Check if you currently subscribe to a service which includes a legal helpline. Some of the nanny payroll companies (eg Nannytax) include this. I think you would definitely need to get advice on whether you could stipulate that she could no longer bring her children to work if that is what you were intending for the new role.

Jossysgiants Thu 07-Feb-13 10:53:59

Thank you both.

Strix Thu 07-Feb-13 11:29:47

Yes, I agree. I think you need to look at the current terms of the contract (e.g. the provision for her own children to come along), and decide if they need to be altered. Put forward your decision to current nanny and ask her if she wants the new job under revised terms. If she doesn't, then you can hire another.

Would you be happy with her to continue if she agreed to new terms?

Jossysgiants Thu 07-Feb-13 11:35:13

Hi Strix the contract unfortunately is not very clear. It does not mention her children at all. Do you think it would be legitimate for me to say not bringing her children is a requirement? I would be happy for her to continue on this basis as it would mean they will get the attention they need. However I know she will not be able to do this.

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 07-Feb-13 13:01:52

Just to make sure I understand; her two children are at full-time school and you have one child at full-time school and one child at home? Does she have the youngest one through the day or is she just an afterschool nanny? Where does the youngest one go during the day?

I'm not sure why the children starting school has made things harder, surely they should be easier now and she should have more time to do stuff around the house? Can your youngest not have reading/quiet time while the older ones are at school?

momb Thu 07-Feb-13 13:08:54

Where is your youngest DC during the day? If your EC is exhausted after school then more chill out time may be what she needs rather than being ferried about. If you need someone to do more nursery duties could you ask your current Nanny to do more hours while her children are in school to do laundry, clean or whatever? I'm presuming that you are paying a reduced rate based on the fact that this is in fact a Nanny share (though you are sharing with her IYSWIM). I think that you need to talk to her.

Jossysgiants Thu 07-Feb-13 13:15:25

Hi outraged- she is only after school. The youngest is not at school she is at a nursery for the school hours. It seems more difficult because two of the children ( my oldest and her youngest) are fractious and more tired than they used to be since starting reception. They seem to fight more. ( I work from home so I can hear it) . Her children are also ill more often than they were before - more prone to bugs etc and so her absence has increased. I don't really expect much housework to go on in those couple of hours of course. The occasional Sweep round of food from under the dining table after tea would be fine. I would consider longer hours - I.e someone to come before picking up the kids to maybe batch cook, do a bit of laundry so when they get home no food prep needs to happen the energy can just be focused on the children.

fieldfare Thu 07-Feb-13 13:34:54

Could your current Nanny not do the extra hours for you? If she came in earlier then without children there she could batch-cook, do some laundry, have a quick tidy of the children's rooms and even have time to set up an afternoon activity or two for the children to do as soon as they get in. That way, the activity is accessed easily by all of the children, if something is planned then they are less likely to argue, and it means that each child can be heard reading and have some individual time.

Jossysgiants Thu 07-Feb-13 14:03:03

Hi field fare- possibly, although she does have another job which sometimes goes on till school pick up so might not be able to do it.

Strix Thu 07-Feb-13 14:36:05

Why don't you sit down with the nanny for a sort of casual review. Raise your points of things you are struggling with (e.g. need for more nursery duties, dynamics of the two reception children, etc.) and ask her to have a think about any soultions she might be able to propose.

She may come back and agree with you and say it's not really working and it's perhaps time to move on. Or she may have some idea of her own where she adjusts her hours, or maybe there is a day where her DD goes to an afterschool activitiy and another where your DD does something else, threby minimising their time together. However, I'm not sure that a coupe of 5 year olds bickering is abnormal. I know my DD has a very good friend. Sometimes they are two little peas in a pod who could not be separated by any force known to mankind. And other times... the space between is like a firing line. But, this is part of growing up and learning to get along with people. If one is really mean to the other and it is always one way, then that's a problem.

Anyway, i think you should just be honest and upfront with nanny, and tell her the issues and see if she has any ideas/solutions. If the changes are not prohibited in the contract (e.g. bringing your DD is no longer workable), then I think it's fair for you to implement them, but only with a reasonable notice period. So, I wouldn't say effective as of tomorrow. But I would say hey this isn't working. Let's revisit in two weeks and form a plan of action. Give her a couple of weeks to think about it. And then make a firm decision (probably in line with contractual notice period).

Jossysgiants Thu 07-Feb-13 14:42:11

Thank you so much for Strix - I will do as you suggest. I agree with all your points. Trying to arrange a review in the next few days with her so will update when I have done so.

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