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Why can't I find a Nanny? Help me please

(84 Posts)
childcarehell Sun 26-May-13 17:30:07

I am paying £2200 for Nursery and hoped that could be better spent on a Nanny.

-I'm in London, zone 5 but pleasant enough and 30min to centre
- standard 3 bed house with garden, being decorated but very clean
-3yr old and 8 month old
-we're teachers and as we pay nursery anyway we happy to either pay in holidays or free them up to get high paid holiday work
-need 4 days per week
-(I think) we're nice and normal, kids very easy
-can offer live in or out (single bedroom)

What am I doing wrong it not being able to get anyone? I've tried, gumtree and asked around but nada. I don't need experience, happy for a national of another country, just someone who really likes kids.

How do you find them?

childcarehell Tue 28-May-13 20:52:46

I invited her in the end, made it clear it wasn't an interview. It was for her to meet kids and us less formally and talk about details.

Glenshee Tue 28-May-13 18:16:15

I think lunch together sounds great, so long as she knows where she stands with you. Otherwise it's another interview of sorts, which is not at all relaxing IYKWIM.

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 21:19:41

ok, the job offer is there, it's just details. But I get what you're saying

Glenshee Mon 27-May-13 21:18:13

Do you feel like you need this lunch in order to make a decision? If not, then I would make a job offer first, then invite her to lunch so that she can ask any outstanding questions, and get to know you better before giving your the answer. It's not fair to prolong the process beyond what is useful/necessary.

traintracks Mon 27-May-13 20:25:29

Fwiw I advertised extensively on all the websites, was inundated with emails from people who clearly hadn't read the ad (not available the days I wanted or didn't have a driving licence which it was clear was essential). Gave up in the end and used an agency, it was the best £750 I have ever spent.

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 20:22:48

wossname, not bad! One was gumtree, three, two of which I contacted. One of which I'd been in contact with before, but hadn't gone further (it was for 3 days, but upped to 4). Bank holiday was the day we did as it's a day off.

The last was a pleasant girl, but the first was the one still. She had mainly au pair experience and I felt the first would be capable of .

I rang the first to come back, I was thinking of inviting her to lunch next week to try and get to know/ talk in a relaxed manner. What do you think of that plan? She's shy and my husband can be scary (unintentionally, it's from being a scary headteacher) and I thought it would relax her. Also she said she wanted a role where she could feel part of the family, we'd like that too so it seems welcoming. Is it the right thing to do? I thought it would be time she could spend with the kids a bit too.

oldgreybird Mon 27-May-13 18:18:54

I assume the £2200 gross per month is the maximum you can pay to cover the nanny's net salary and her tax and NIC plus your NIC that you have to pay as an employer. This means the nanny will earn approx £370 net per week (£465 gross) and you would pay £2019 gross to cover everything. If the nanny gets £370 net for a 4 day week (40 hours), it is the equivalent of £9.25 net. For Zone 5 it is on the low side, but should not be impossible to find someone. But I suspect your poor response is more to do with the area. Someone living locally or nearby would be thrilled I am sure not to have to travel far to get to work and they would save money by not having to travel so the rate would be less of an issue. However, maybe you live in an area where there are not a lot of nannies living nearby. If it is only 30 mins in to Central London, then have you said in your advert that it is within quick and easy commute of many areas? And if you are close to a rail station then say which one it is in your advert.
Incidentally, have you thought about doing a nanny share? It is such a common thing nowadays. If you could find another local family with a child of similar age to your little one, it would probably be best as the share would last longer. But there may be someone with another 3yr old in your child's school/nursery for instance who might be interested in doing some sort of a share - it would be worth contacting as many of the parents as you can.
A nanny doing a nanny share, looking after 2 families children on the same days, usually earns about £2 net per hour more than she would get working for just one family. However, the two families then split the cost between them including the tax and NIC so the gross cost for the parents is considerably less than if the nanny was only working for one family. Even if you were paying 60% of the nannyshare cost (because you have 2 children) and the other family was paying 40% (because they only have 1 child), it is still a big saving for you.

nannynick Mon 27-May-13 17:55:35

Bank holidays can be great for seeing applicants. I remember having an interview for a job on a Bank Holiday Monday once, it was convenient for all involved.

Hope the next one arrives on time, maybe they are already there as it's nearly 6 now.

Wossname Mon 27-May-13 17:48:13

Thats all happened very quickly, hasnt it? You posted at half 5 last night and then interviewed 4 applicants today- astonishing!

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 17:30:48

I'm used to this way at work, blocking interviews. Subject to refs I'm very hopeful we have one. It's also a bank holiday so all were available

nannynick Mon 27-May-13 17:12:46

I am impressed that you are seeing them all so quickly. Back to back interviews, reminds me of my old working days (before I was a nanny).
On the plus side, you can compare them as they are fresh in your mind and by the end of today you may even have decided who gets the job, subject to satisfactory references.

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 17:05:51

number 2, sorry number 1 on original list. comments were about her

now just met the third, no 2 on list (local, drives) close together and mixed posts. turned out to be friend of 1st interviewee who I like. Nothing wrong, but first better. She was a nursery nurse in other's room who was senior. Just a bit of a kid, really sweet but not sure ready to work alone. Poor thing was nervous young, for her age.

Last one, no 4, due at six then decision time. Unless wow I'm really happy with first (no. 3 on my list)

Interviewing nearly back to back as I do at work!

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Mon 27-May-13 16:32:46

Oh well, that rules that one out then!!

When are the others due?

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 27-May-13 16:23:18

Buses? Thought she lived a few mins away and drove?

But if you didn't like her then no point continuing

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 16:20:17

buses, could forgive on a bank holiday but it was the least issue

Didn't like her. You know when someone sounds great...but you can smell bullshit in the air. She had every piece of paper with her, loads of it, knew perfect responses. But I work with people like that...

What would you like to improve in your practice 'nothing! I'm really good! very hard working'

plus she slagged off her current employer which is a red flag. Bit of a victim, she is so good and all so bad. Didn't take direction kindly seemed to be the issue.

She was far far more prepared than the first, but it was a front. Little things didn't add up. We speak a few european languages so could roughly understand her certificates from back home, which were not general as stated but in psychology, another in a general psychology, not teaching as said. Then she said she was doing a degree at the OU in ICT but wanted to be a nanny long term (then why do that?)

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 27-May-13 16:07:18

Did no 2 eventually turn up?

What was her excuse for being late?

nannynick Mon 27-May-13 15:30:36

Would you turn up to an interview late?
If they do turn up they will need a super excuse fpr you to even consider them for the job.

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 15:15:19

14 min late, no message


childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 15:04:45

Well met number 3, great. 10 min early.

number 2 is now 5 min late, nothing I know...but not a great start. I can't afford to be late to work ,and she lives down the road too

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 15:03:48

I'm hoping with the ages that they will have the perfect time to learn on the job a bit. DS will be a nursery half days giving dd time, but when ds is home and demanding she's not yet mobile and can be put down. Ds is sooo easy and has common sense, he just isn't that child that chucks mess around etc. He tidies up and is very good. We are a strict-ish household though and I'd want a nanny to continue that. I can abide it when I see children being rude to carers and I know I hold ds up to high standards.

I've asked about cooking, but then I've never met anyone who can't (culturally unheard of). I was thinking they'd start mid-august whilst I'm here to ease them in and if desperate could b given a range of basic meals for kids. I am QUEEN of simple but tasty healthy meals. I even taught dh to cook and that's something. work I train for this so I'm probably do the same in my own house. Insist on first aid training and have a laminated card with what to do on! (our brains do go in emergencies, I once had a bomb threat on my school whilst in charge from an extremist group. My brain went 'eeek' repeatedly inside while I tried to plan and look calm)

Nannies I've seen live alone, bar one, so they must (hopefully clean) if they smell and look fresh!

Loneliness is my biggest worry, I plan to introduce them to mums/ nannies/ childminders and groups around to kick start them with meeting people.

Nannynick...I know what you mean. I think as it work I'm looking for common sense and a good attitude. I've learnt at work that most other issues can be overcome but laziness or lack of initiative is hopeless.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 27-May-13 12:38:27

I'd echo what Nick and Nom have said. The vast majority of nannies start out in nurseries so it's a very normal career progression, but there are a few who struggle with the change over. Main concerns tend to be;

1. Loneliness - they're used to working in a team, being on your own all day can be tough. Need someone who will be pro-active in getting out and meeting people, but who doesn't mind being on their own sometimes (if the kids get chicken pox, for example).

2. Dealing with children in the 'outside world' - can be quite different from dealing with them in a purpose built environment. The level of supervision needed is less when they're in one room that has been H&S checked. Watching them out by the road, in the park by the duck pond, in a building where they could escape, at home where there are likely to be things that shouldn't touch/things they could choke on etc. is a whole new level of supervision.

3. Dealing with an emergency - if one of the children were to be injured or suddenly sick, in a nursery there will be a team of other people and (unless this person is the manager), they'll always be someone more senior to call on. Not when you're a nanny.

4. Ability to deal with household stuff - in a nursery they don't tend to cook/ clean-up etc. They definitely won't change beds, do the children's laundry etc. Multi-tasking can sometimes be lacking.

5. Dealing with a mix of ages - in a nursery they will usually only deal with one age group at a time. This can be a challenge. Not so much now with a small baby, but in a year when you have an 18 month old and a 4 year old...

For many nursery-to-nanny converts there is no problem at all and almost all can learn on the job, but it's just good to be aware of the possible pitfalls.

I'm glad the interviews are going well. It does sound a really lovely job, if I didn't already have a lovely job, I'd be right round grin.

nannynick Mon 27-May-13 12:11:37

Trying to relate this to your work... are there are TA's at school who you would trust to cover a class for a while? If push to came to shove and you had to do that... are there some TA's you would feel could handle it for a while and others who you would never consider to be put in such a position? You are looking for that person who can cope with the stress and the responsibility.

Nannies juggle things constantly... the needs of an active toddler vs that of a sleepy baby, the mountain of washing and the bookcase of books that the toddler has just chucked on the floor. Getting children to nursery or an activity on time, yet baby is demanding a feed. As a mum it will be things you do all the time... juggling the needs of your children, your home and your family in general.

Can the nanny cook? That can be an interesting thing to talk about, in nursery they may do no cooking at all. They may make cakes and biscuits. At home they may not cook at all, or they may enjoy cooking.

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 11:31:08

I did ask that. She talked about balancing the load at work, e.g. a handful of upset children, paperwork and a spillage. Seemed the best answer she could give. I suggested a few places to go, she suggested more places she'd take them which I saw as good. Seemed to think for herself, but also fit in. Came across as intelligent yet a soft person.

To be fair my kids are amazing sleepers and occupy themselves while I cook etc, never had an issue with that. ds would be a nursery half days, 1.5 hour nap in afternoon and the baby loves her hour + kips about 3 times a day. Ds will play along up to an hour with toys etc and if fed, warm and untired the baby likes sitting in the sit and watching you cook etc. As kids go they must be a gift to look after (my neighbour as them at the moment and says the same, it's not bias)

NomDeClavier Mon 27-May-13 11:21:47

I would be asking them how they think they would cope working singlehanded and without a set break. How would they juggle entertaining the DCs and prepping a meal? What would they do if 3 things happen at once? Are they competent at the household stuff (obviously not doing your cleaning but tidying up after themselves in a non-work-specific environment)?

It tends to be there that most problems arise if there's a good network of nannies and plenty of activities. Done people can't handle the stress of being alone with kids without downtime and others don't realise how much incidental tidying you need to do.

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 11:10:09

I should say we in our work interview nursery nurses quite frequently (deputy and headteacher) so I'm pretty confident on the looking after/ gut instinct but no experience of the nursery nurse to nanny potential pitfalls.

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