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Advice on reducing nanny's hours

(22 Posts)
stinkingbishop Tue 08-Oct-13 15:16:37

We have a lovely nanny for our 18 month old twins. Well, she is lovely, but she's not the sparkiest kid on the block and partly because of that, and also because I want the girls to meet some more little people (and I'd like to meet some big people too!) we're thinking of starting them at nursery for 3 mornings a week. I could do the drop off and pick up myself, so for 3 days, the nanny would just start after their lunchtime nap.

If we pro rata-ed it, the nanny would lose about £100 a week.

The thing is, that would then leave her on a very low wage, and she and her new husband have just bought a house, and I know she needs the money. But we can't afford to pay double.

I'm really wondering what the usual thing to do in these situations is because I can't be the only one! She could come earlier, do some chores, and pick up, but that wouldn't fill the whole time at all. And I kinda want to be there at pick up to meet other Mums (I work mostly from home).

Or we keep the wage similar-ish but say we need all babysitting rolled in for free, but a) we don't go out that much and b) she'd still have less take home because she gets extra for that now.

Or I give the problem to her? Has she got any ideas? What does she want to take home?

Or just pro rata it and risk losing her...and hopefully replace with someone who wants part time? We're in the sticks though so not over run with nannies.

How did you handle this, either as a parent or a nanny?

Vajazzler Tue 08-Oct-13 15:20:10

If you can afford to then i'd have her doing jobs etc, and keep her available for you as the nursery will send them home for the smallest of things, like a runny nappy, slight fever etc,and as there is 2 of them you could miss out on plenty of working hours if they are home and you have no carer.

bigknickersforthepicker Tue 08-Oct-13 15:27:30

Where are you?

stinkingbishop Tue 08-Oct-13 15:34:32

Cheshire. Not exactly the Hebrides, but we're a 30min drive from any big town/city, and the nanny on full days needs to be 8am to 7pm.

Unexpected Tue 08-Oct-13 15:37:12

You can't hand the "problem" to the nanny, it isn't her issue to work out.
If you are going to send your children to nursery you either keep her on her current hours and get her to do lots of tidying, batch cooking, etc for the twins and possibly discuss her doing some more general household stuff for you too, or you reduce her hours and salary and if she does not wish to continue on those terms you will need to make her redundant. I don't think you can ask her to roll babysitting up into her salary as she may not want to work evenings and you say you don't actually really need much babysitting anyway.

I wouldn't bet on making many friends at nursery pick-up either and certainly not at drop-off (although presume that isn't your main reason for sending the twins). My experience of various nurseries is that it is drop and run for most people who have other school runs, work, or who are grabbing some time to themselves.

Could you not keep the nanny hours as they are and tell the nanny that you would like the children to be more social and go out more to local toddler groups, baby gym, music classes, story time at the library etc. Some of those activities are chargeable but some are free.

grabaspoon Tue 08-Oct-13 15:37:49

If you are using a day nursery it is unlikely that you will meet parents at drop off/pick ups I used to run a 1-2 room the parents would all do a mad dash in the morning and it was a staggered pick up at pick up - any morning children would be picked up after lunch but generally there were 1 morning children to every 6/7 full timers.

Snowgirl1 Tue 08-Oct-13 15:41:30

Presumably you given her written terms of work which state her hours? If so, you can't just change her hours of work without consulting with her.

I'd suggest you explain to her what you propose doing re. DTs going to nursery, explain how this would impact her hours, go through the different options that you've thought off that could off-set the impact on her hours and ask her to come back to you with her thoughts and any suggestions she might have. Most importantly, keep a note of the discussion you had with her.

If she refuses to reduce her hours and you can't afford to pay twice, you may have to make her redundant.

stinkingbishop Tue 08-Oct-13 15:43:40

This is all very helpful food for thought, thanks.

I've got a 19 year old too so all of this is a very hazy memory for me, including how rushed drop offs are!

Artandco Tue 08-Oct-13 15:50:16

Personally I would just keep her and ask her to do xyz on xyz days ie book in a music class/ tell her a toddler group is on/ etc etc. invite their little friends over.

Nurseries around here are all speedy drop off and pick ups and all by nannies. So the chances of meeting parents and making friends is slim.

Use the nursery money to book yourself in an evening class to make adult friends.

Once they are 3 the nursery session will be free

nbee84 Tue 08-Oct-13 16:31:43

Your nanny works 3 days a week, can you do nursery on the other 2?

HSMMaCM Tue 08-Oct-13 17:33:19

You could take them to a local toddler group once a week. They will make friends and you will get to chat to local adults over a coffee. Would that work? No nursery fees and no drop in wages for nanny, who could cook the children's lunch, or change their beds, or whatever while you're out.

CreatureRetorts Tue 08-Oct-13 17:39:08

If you want them to meet other children then why aren't you asking the nanny to arrange this? My two have millions of regular playdates with their nanny so socialise a lot.

stinkingbishop Wed 09-Oct-13 10:07:20

Hi thanks all. Unfortunately we're not in a town so local groups are few and far on the ground, and the one there is clashes with their lunchtime nap...that would obviously have been my preferred route!

There is a twin club but it's a 45 minute drive, so...have actually passed word around via the health visitors and a notice in the surgery to try to set up my own here!

nannynick Wed 09-Oct-13 11:34:33

Toddler groups are usually in the morning, sometimes afternoon. Nanny will need to travel to groups and it may be a half hour or more journey if in rural area.
Is travelling a problem?

nannynick Wed 09-Oct-13 11:53:08

Avoid twins club. That is something you could do but not nanny. Nanny needs to find activities/places to go where your girls can express their individual personalaties. They will always be identified as being twins - unless they are non-identical and dress radically differently. That does not mean they have to do everything together, they will over time have their own likes and dislikes.

Has your nanny worked in the area before, do they know of places to go? Is there a local school, would they be able to provide a venue for a toddler group, or a local church, community centre.
Are there any other children in the area, doctors surgery staff may be able to give some indication and may be a place where a new toddler group could be advertised (though sounds like your nanny may not be wanting to start a group). Talk to nanny, see if they can come up with suggestions for how the girls can meet other children of similar age.

My sister is a healthcare worker at a doctors surgery and has started new mums groups, toddler groups. In some areas they will try to help with that sort of thing as it can help to spread healthcare information.

Karoleann Wed 09-Oct-13 12:16:46

Have you tried looking for classes/groups on netmums, they usually have a pretty good list.

I never really met any nursery mums until the children went to a pre-school as you're dropping off or picking up at different times. Most of the mum friends I made were through baby swimming, music or Gymboree type activities.

I'd just speak to her first about getting out and about more. She may well be a bit bored siting at home all day anyway, get her to find a suitable activity.

DIYapprentice Wed 09-Oct-13 12:36:30

I have met loads of mums from the local nursery, which is a community one - but they only take them there from 2 1/2 years of age which I think is fairly standard, although some might take them from 2. As long as it is one where ALL the children start and finish at the same time, then you will meet them.

If it is a day care type of place that they drop off and pick up as convenient - which is what I guess you will have from the age of 18 months, then no, you won't meet other mums.

I seriously wouldn't worry about the socialisation aspect of it at the moment, not to that extent. Make sure your nanny takes the children to toddler groups etc.

But... when your DC reach 2 1/2 then it is something you could consider. But, again, these nurseries are term time, so you would have all of the holidays to deal with, and, as has been said above, you would need to look after your DC if they were ill, and trust me, in the first six months of starting at nursery they WILL BE ILL A LOT!!!!!!!!!

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 09-Oct-13 15:02:37

to me it makes no sense to employ a nanny and send kids to nursery, if for the social aspect

most nannies are soooooooooooooo sociable and enjoy being out and about and making friends for them and children

most 18mths sleep after lunch, so if a M&T you like then maybe have early lunch/nap or early nap 11ish and lunch then go to toddler group

most nannies myself included wouldnt survive on that pay cut so would look for a new job, plus they are young, so maybe be good to have a morning in nursery each and nanny have one to one time with each child - always good for twins to be their own person and not a twin/together iyswim

look on netmums for local m&t, most towns have one every day in church halls etc

if you do decide to do nursery then personally i would keep nanny on for those few hours so can batch cook/be on call for illness as often as others have said kids go down with stuff and you have 2 of them

tho personally i wouldnt bother yet, and just get nanny to go out more/make friends/go to structured activities etc

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 09-Oct-13 15:11:54

You say she isn't the 'sparkiest thing on the block' - but if there aren't any groups or anything for her to take them to, what exactly do you think it is she's doing 'wrong'? confused

I think if there isn't anything she could be doing better then it's your choice whether to keep her and put them in nursery a couple of mornings (for the social aspect) OR approach her re a change of hours.

She may or may not be happy to work less hours - you wont know until you ask her. You could look at one longer day in nursery and having her 4 days a week - then she has the option of a 'day off' or finding a one day a week job if she wants to.

Talk to her then consider your options.

ceeveebee Wed 09-Oct-13 15:41:27

What will you do if one or both of them are ill and can't go to nursery?
What will you do for cover during the 13 weeks of school holidays (assuming you are talking about a pre-school type-place rather than a day nursery)
Does your nanny not do any cooking, nursery duties during nap times at the moment - if so, when will she be able to fit these in if she is starting after their naps?

I wouldn't send them to nursery just so you can meet other mums, you'd be better signing up to rhyme-time or similar. Personally I don't think children should be in a structured educational environment until about 3, which is when you get the 15 hours funding. Until then, toddler groups (church groups?) or other activities should be enough. 18 month old children don't really play with each other, they just play in the same room as each other (ime)

thehiddenpaw Fri 01-Nov-13 23:00:38

I asked my nanny to reduce hours. I had back up plan in case she declined. I think our circumstances more similar as am also rural. Pm me if you want detail

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 01-Nov-13 23:23:16

What did you do op in the end?

Send kids to nursery or get nanny to go out and socialise more?

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