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disadvantages of a nanny?

(25 Posts)
theidsalright Wed 06-Mar-13 10:39:24

The advantages seem very clear to me! I've been trawling through old threads/reading the wisdom on the recent ones but still am not sure what the disadvantages might be to having a nanny other than for our family

-taking DS out of nursery (where he has been very happy for three years)

-what would happen when DH is out of work (he's freelance and can go through periods of being around a LOT in our 2 bed flat)

I don't actually know anyone with a nanny to quiz personally!

ceeveebee Wed 06-Mar-13 10:58:06

If you only have one DC then the cost is greater, not just salary but holiday pay, SSP, mileage/travel, food costs, activities etc
If nanny is ill, or needs time off for a funeral, etc you are stuffed (although maybe you have more flexbilitiy if your DH can take time off?)
You need to agree holidays etc in advance
Possible clash of personalities/parenting styles
Some parents find it hard to allow a single person to have such a bond with their DCs - it doesn;t bother me but might bother some people.

I don't think lack of other children is an issue actually as my nanny takes our DTs to lots of activities and groups so they see lots of other children (and they have each other anyway)

Tubegirl Wed 06-Mar-13 11:27:16

Am assuming you would be thinking about a 'live out' nanny rather than 'live in' due to the size of your flat? I had a 'live in' out of necessity - my work hours didn't fit around daycare options. Live out is more expensive as you need to pay enough for them to do that. Live in obviously don't have housing costs. It's an intimate role, they are in your home, form a close bond with your child and get to know intimate things about you as a result. Didn't bother me particularly but I was fortunate that I got on well with my nanny and we shared similar views on parenting methods. You have more control over your child's activities as you are the employer and you can dictate to a large extent.

theidsalright Wed 06-Mar-13 11:29:05

I have two children with a nursery bill of £72/day so cost is roughly equiv...

theidsalright Wed 06-Mar-13 11:30:18

Yes, live out nanny!

Jacksterbear Wed 06-Mar-13 11:40:12

Costs, admin hassle (setting up payroll, dealing with hmrc, stuff like maternity pay / cover etc).

Feeling the need to clean and tidy your home on evenings before nanny comes (or is that just me?), and your home maybe not being as pristine as it would have been had no-one been in it all day, when you get home at the end of the day.

Working from home is tricky. As is taking time off or coming home from work early to either enjoy some "me" time or get stuff done around the house (children won't leave you alone if you're in the house, plus you have that slight awkwardness of someone else being in your house).

All relatively minor things, definitely outweighed by the advantages IMO. We don't rely have other options due to the hours we need.

ceeveebee Wed 06-Mar-13 11:50:37

I must be lucky as my nanny leaves the house much tidier than she finds it...
If I work from home I ask our nanny to take the DCs out for the afternoon but appreciate its not always possible in bad weather etc.

Definately agree the advatnages outweight the disadvantages for me - I could not imagine trying to get two 15 mo babies dressed and out the door to take to nursery, and I am rarely home from work until 7ish so pick up would be impossible - plus I think 11 hours is too long for young DCs to be out of thier house

Is the £72 per day per child? That's about how much it is around here so £12/hour gross for a nanny for 11 hours a day is about the same for us. If its £72 in total I think you'd struggle to get a nanny for that including NI etc.

annh Wed 06-Mar-13 11:52:45

Don't know if anyone already mentioned additional ancillary costs of extra heating and lighting in your home because it is occupied during the day when you would normally all be out. Also, your nanny will need a kitty for craft materials, occasional soft play etc which you were probably paying for in nursery anyway but it was all rolled up into a single fee so you don't notice so much.

If you were getting 2 children in nursery for a total cost of £72 a day then I think you will still find a nanny more expensive once you add in all the costs of payroll, transport, tax and NI etc.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 06-Mar-13 13:24:53

I think the major disadvantage is that you are relying on one person and if they turn out to be unreliable or not very good, you have the stress of finding alternative childcare/ the worry of leaving your child with them/the emotional upset of the breakdown of quite an intimate relationship etc. I will say though, I work in an area where there are loads of nannies and the tales of terrible nannies your hear about on these boards are not representative of my experience at all.

Other disadvantages are;

finding alternative care if the nanny is off sick/bereaved/on maternity leave/snowed in etc

some people find the bond between the child and the nanny difficult (it is actually in your child's best interests to bond with one caregiver though).

it is almost always more expensive to have a nanny than nursery for 1 or 2 children.

you have the responsibility of being an employer.

some people fear more for their DC's safety when with a nanny/childminder as they are out and about and therefore more likely to be in a car accident/run over/lost in the supermarket/drown in the duck pond than they would be in one purpose-built room in a nursery. I personally think this ridiculous, but it's something to consider if you're a worrier.

theidsalright Wed 06-Mar-13 13:38:33

I have been approached by a Nanny, who knows who I am from a playgroup. She says she will cost 70 a day. She has 22 years experience and already has another p t position. My two would bring her up tofull time iyswim.

Thanks for the comments. Really helpful!

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 06-Mar-13 13:43:11

be wary of a nanny saying they will cost £70 a day, you will need to make sure this is a gross figure - thus her maybe earning £50 a day and no nett or even worse cash in hand, as YOU will be the one in trouble not her if caught for tax evasion

your nursery fees sound cheap, so i personally would stick there - kids are happy, why rock the boat

sunshinenanny Wed 06-Mar-13 13:48:00

Nurseries will often not take your child if he/she is unwell but a good nanny should still be able to come in and nurse them in the comfort ot thier own home.

Most children still require craft materials whether they attend nursery or not so that should not make a difference.

I always leave my place of work as I found it and in some cases a lot cleaner/tidier than when I arrived.

A nanny becomes less expensive when you have more than one child as we don't charge per child.

A good nanny will make sure that your child meets other children and has avaried play/social scene.

A home evironment is a more natural place for a child than a nursery both childminders and nannies provide this.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 06-Mar-13 13:48:14

A nanny for £70 a day is very cheap. Whereabouts are you OP? What hours will she be doing for you?

I know you say 'I don't actually know anyone with a nanny to quiz personally', but I would get the contact details for the other family the nanny works for and quiz them at least. Follow up her other references as well.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 06-Mar-13 13:50:06

sunshine the OP is looking for the disadvantages of a nanny grin

OddBoots Wed 06-Mar-13 13:50:58

A friend is finding that just being the employer and all that entails is hardest - things like sorting maternity pay/cover and then when the children have grown redundancy pay.

dashoflime Wed 06-Mar-13 13:56:14

I would personaly feel uncomfortable with having someone in my house, but that's just me! I can't even use the service wash at a laundrette. Other people looking at my smalls? The horror!

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 06-Mar-13 13:59:32

For us, a nanny was the sort of thing that when it was good it was great but when it wasn't, it was immeasurably more stressful than a nursery.

We've had live out nannies only (although live in au pairs).

I hate admin, so was not a great candidate to take things like PAYE on the chin w/o a moan. But this doesn't have to be such a drama and isn't for most people.

We've never had any issues with a professional nanny eating us out of house and home or overspending on things like food, the kitty, although others have tales to tell of this.

Nannies are obviously unsupervised and you need to trust them - our 1st nanny smoked in front of the children and just generally ran her own show w/o any notable regard for our wishes. Had her family round when she felt like it, let her daughter look after our DD if she had an errand to run, among other things too numerous to run through here (and I have ranted about them previously.) Disciplinaries or firing someone, worrying about tribunals - nightmare. Brings home to you quickly the fact that you have the same rights, obligations, and risks as any big company for the most part and the responsibilities of that can feel painful at times, especially when someone is pissing you off.

We had health problems with our second nanny which meant that she had significant time off work on a fixed term contract that I was scrambling to cover whilst in the latter stages of pregnancy. But again, also knowing what you can and can't do to cover yourself when trying to work out whether you can amend the job/whether the nanny is suitable for the job on health grounds wasn't easy for us.

You really need to make sure you know what you're doing re employment law and I have to say that I don't think resources for parents in this situation are great - I didn't find the people at our payroll company that red hot when I asked them about specific issues, i.e. what would happen if, can she do this, etc.

Novstar Wed 06-Mar-13 15:13:48

LadyHarriet's comments summarises it:

>For us, a nanny was the sort of thing that when it was good it was great but when it wasn't, it was immeasurably more stressful than a nursery.

and employment law in the UK is not really there to help small domestic employers.

and you can't necessarily tell whether a nanny is going to be "good" for you. For instance, we had a nanny who spent on average £10 a day on snacks, food (for herself), outings, small gifts for kids etc. When I said this was too much, she got defensive and told me that her previous employers never put any limits on her spending and she resented the weekly budget that I insisted on, saying it made her feel restricted. It made me feel bad for not being as wealthy as her previous employer. The previous employer never mentioned her spending habits when I called for a ref, presumably because it never occurred to them that it would be a problem for me, and it never occurred to me to ask. That's a kind of combination of perception by previous employer(s), nanny and yourself, and it's really hard to work out when recruiting, unless you're experienced in recruiting nannies.

>Most children still require craft materials whether they attend nursery or not so that should not make a difference.

Don't understand this comment. I thought the point was that craft materials are usually included in nursery prices, whereas you'd have to buy them in addition to nanny's salary if you have a nanny. Same with (usually) children's food, nappies, outings.

sunshinenanny Wed 06-Mar-13 16:23:20

well aware of that outraged just picking up on a few points that do not ring truegrin

sunshinenanny Wed 06-Mar-13 16:29:06

Novstar do you not play with your children and do craft activities outside of nurseryhmm my employers always have had craft cupboards and so do my family and freinds regardless of whether the children are at nursery or not.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 06-Mar-13 17:03:05

I would add that we were very green hiring our first nanny and (mostly) unlucky with the second.

There are lots of great nannies out there, as Outraged says, but in my experience it is not that uncommon for people to make a 'mistake' the first time round...I don't mean to scare you, it's obviously not universal, it's just that nanny recruitment is not a science and finding the right person for your family and adjusting to being an employer takes getting used to.

If I had only my last nanny to go on as a basis I'd probably be saying: there are no disadvantages whatsoever!

nannynick Wed 06-Mar-13 18:49:27

I feel the main disadvantage is that you are an employer and you have everything at goes with that. Just because you have one employee makes little difference, you still have to do the stuff bigger companies have to do. Fortunatly there are payroll agencies who will help with the admin, some will give advice about employment related issues, and you have the wonderful posters on Mumsnet, in this section and others, who will freely give their words of wisdom based either on their work, or their experience as an employer.

The day to day management of a member of staff is what some people find hard, even when they may have a team of people they manage at work. The dynamics are different, you may not want to upset your staff member as they might take it out on your children when you are not there (I'm sure none of us would but it is a possible worry).

nannynick Wed 06-Mar-13 19:18:28

Agree with others, do the math. A nanny is unlikely to cost YOU 70 per day. That may what the nanny wants as Take home pay (after taxes). Look through recent threads for an example rough calculation for cost to employer of a nanny, then follow that template for working out a rough cost based on your situation.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 06-Mar-13 19:48:04

I agree with sunshine on the craft issue. My mum was a SAHM, we still had a craft box - it's not a nanny cost, it's a 'having children' cost.

I suppose your children would be doing more craft at home if you have a nanny than they if at nursery, so the consumption of craft materials would be more, but the cost is going to be so minimal (how much does it cost to glue a smarties tube to a cereal box?) it's not really worth worrying about.

If you're that concerned about art materials, pretty much every children's centre, play centre and playgroup offers art/craft activities so you could get the nanny to take the children out for their weekly dose of art/craft.

theidsalright Thu 07-Mar-13 13:27:24

Thanks everyone.

The being an employer bit is definitely a worry but the problem with DH being around during his down times (work) may actually be the biggest disadvantage of all, as we do not have a large home!

The craft discussions have been amusing. I have always left that for nursery!

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