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Changing from nanny to cm - will I regret it?

(23 Posts)
TheGreatHunt Sat 04-Jan-14 19:47:28

We've got a lovely nanny but financially it's a struggle.

Ds is die to start school in September, dd preschool so I'm thinking of changing from nanny to CM. this would save some money.

However both DH and I work in quite stressful jobs and occasionally work late. So having a nanny means its easier when things like that happen.

Also I've read that when DCs start school they're exhausted - I worry about ds dealing with a new school and new childcare arrangement (we don't know his school yet, won't know until April so no point looking for a cm until then). Dd I'm less worried about - yes she'll be tired but she's more sociable.

I'm starting to think that DH and I both need to cut down our hours so we reduce the childcare we need. However when I suggest it to DH he's non committal. Makes the right noises but never a firm commitment.

Anyway, has anyone switched from nanny to CM and regretted it? How long should I give to look for a cm? I expect a lot of people start looking once school places are known, so a lot of competition...?!

Aldwick Sat 04-Jan-14 19:57:39

If you have a good nanny don't underestimate the little things she probably does to help keep your lives running smoothly - children's laundry, keeping the house tidy, taking in parcels, dropping off dry cleaning, picking up odd groceries. I'm imagining she is also happy to look after sick children and would be able to do homework with your eldest after school and get the balance of play dates/down time right. Try and properly imagine what life would be like with a cm rather than a Nanny and then make a decision. Would your Nanny be open to doing a Nanny share in September maybe?

TheGreatHunt Sat 04-Jan-14 20:13:03

You're right Aldwick, I was thinking the exact same thing. The kids have had chicken pox, horrible vomiting bugs etc and she's been there for them. She's also a great help with keeping on top of the house eg laundry, parcels (including the neighbours hmm), tidy home.

I think we would regret it and the only way I'd be able to cope would be by cutting our hours down significantly.

She has said in the past she wouldn't want to do a nanny share (we were talking about one of her friends who'd done one), which has put me off a bit. However if I don't ask. I could always find a different nanny I suppose if push came I shove? Otherwise when the dc's were at preschool/school, what would she do?

NomDeClavier Sat 04-Jan-14 20:16:34

Many nannies are just kept on at full pay until all the children are in school. She may decide that keeping her job is more important than her misgivings about a share. Try talking to her to understand why she wouldn't and work round that.

daisydee43 Sat 04-Jan-14 20:17:01

I have a lovely child minder - never regret it. I think dd benefits from being with other kids all day. She's very flexible as well and on my days off if I need to drop dd off for a couple of hrs that's fine and it's £4 a hr!

Marylou62 Sat 04-Jan-14 20:28:27

Having been a childminder and a nanny I have to say can you wait a few months until your DS is settled in school before making any changes. This might also stop the pressure of finding a childminder quickly. I have left a job when they wanted me to only work before and after school when the youngest started reception.(Was there 3 years tho) I couldn't afford to take such a big pay cut. I fully appreciate that the parent didn't want to pay me for when the children were at school tho. I agree with Aldwick. Imagine getting to childminders in rain, rushing to car, seat belts on, rush hour traffic, back to cold house, whinging kids. now think about what you have, only yourself to get home, warm welcome in warm house, kids settled.(If my MB was late the kids were bathed, pyjama'd and settled under duvet!!) Hardly any kids washing to do at weekend. But ONLY YOU and your DH can decide if you can afford that. And no way do I want to be mean but you really have to sit and talk and make DH listen to your concerns. I feel for you and wish you luck.

TheGreatHunt Sat 04-Jan-14 20:37:52

Our dc see plenty of kids as the nanny meets up with other nannies every day. Plus they have each other. So not worried about that.

I will talk about the share with her. It's losing the convenience - I don't have to get the kids out of the house or have to collect them on the way home. They're at home already.

Leaving it until after ds is settled into school is a good one. I think I'm rushing into a decision because of the potential money saved but I need to think of the dc and how much easier it is to have her.

Marylou62 Sat 04-Jan-14 20:48:32

Also, you asked what would a nanny do when your youngest is at preschool? I take it this would only be morning or afternoon? I used to sort out toyboxes,(once was asked to sort out lego!),do large family shop, change beds, even theirs, and as an easy going older nanny, I even washed inside windows and gardening!!! Sometimes I went with youngest to preschool and helped there. She loved that! Once when I was poorly I lay on sofa and watched TV. (only once!)

TheGreatHunt Sat 04-Jan-14 20:53:00

She'll be there a full day and the rest half days. I'm not to bothered by the half day. When she's 4, she'll go to full days (but fewer days). So if dd is there for 9-3, that's a lot of tidying for nanny?

HSMMaCM Sat 04-Jan-14 22:12:09

CMs are great (I am one grin), but can't offer the same personal service or sick cover a nanny can.

HSMMaCM Sat 04-Jan-14 22:12:43

And don't forget what Childcare you'll need in school holidays.

lilyaldrin Sat 04-Jan-14 22:18:31

If your DD is at pre-school, you will probably still have to pay a childminder for those hours - an under 5 8-9am and 3-6pm for example will block a full time place unless the CM could find a child who only wanted 9-3.

TheGreatHunt Sat 04-Jan-14 22:20:17

That's useful to know lily.

Do CMs not do school holidays HSMMaCM?

HSMMaCM Sat 04-Jan-14 23:35:10

Yes CMs do holidays. Sorry, I wasn't clear. I meant if you change to employ a part time nanny, then how will you cover the full time hours you need in the holidays.

nannynick Sat 04-Jan-14 23:43:45

Is the 9-3 set in stone... or can you change it? Is that costing you, rather than just using the educational entitlement?

Would your nanny consider doing before/after school care - may be worth asking, though they may need to earn a certain amount and thus need full-time employment.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 05-Jan-14 01:18:07

The cm will charge full time for dd as taking an under 5 space

If you and dh both have stressful busy jobs who will take time off if kids ill? As cm won't have them

Honestly if you are happy with nanny (and sounds as if you are) then I would stay with nanny till least sept and start school - then think about it

The first term they are often shattered and have odd days off with colds etc

Maybe you can come home an hour earlier every day one of you and save money that way - tho again nanny may need a certain number of hours to pay bills etc

TheGreatHunt Sun 05-Jan-14 07:13:34

The 9-3 is set in stone yes. It's the minimum hours we can have to get the 15 hours and it is the best preschool and closest for us so make sense for us to send dc there.

I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that there's no point changing yet. I don't think nanny will want to cut her hours drastically - she has financial commitments! Nanny share may be the next option.

Aldwick Sun 05-Jan-14 07:56:30

If the Nanny isn't keen to take on a baby for those daytime hours what about a before/after school/holidays share? Possibly not quite as financially helpful to you but every little helps and I reckon you'd have a queue of parents round the block trying to find that kind of care.

If I were you I would sit down and have a fairly frank chat with your Nanny and see if she has any suggestions of her own even if that turns out to be that she'd like to move on to work with just toddlers/babies again. At least then you'd be able to look for a new Nanny/Nanny share that worked best financially for you.

What I will say though is that I know it annoys Nannies a lot if you tell them things are tight financially but then they see their employers buying designer clothes/going on lots of exotic holidays etc. Not saying that is your position whatsoever but the last thing you want to do is breed any resentment if ideally you'd like to keep this Nanny.

Marylou62 Sun 05-Jan-14 10:04:53

I have slept on this and was going to say the same as Aldwick. In a previous job I took a pay cut as mum struggling financially. She then told me she was off to France for a month which cost £2000. Wasn't nosey, left receipt on table and LO was drawing on it. Made me feel I paid for that!!! (I hadn't had a foreign holiday in 9 years!!) In no way am I telling you how to live your life but can you cut down on extras? When my oldest best friend was made redundant when pregnant with no2 we sat down and thouroughly worked out take aways...ready meals..meals out....holidays. She was actually shocked about how much she spent on coffee at station every day!! She cut back dramatically (was hard as used to it) but could then afford to go part time. I have always lived frugally as wanted to bring my own children up. Gave up a nursing career, became a childminder (No hardship as was kids nurse and nanny). Worked for us. You must sit down with DH and work it all out. I really wish you luck.

LauraBridges Sun 05-Jan-14 11:06:22

Our first nanny went part time and had her own children when our last went to school which worked well. She was also happy to work full time in holidays so that was really perfect.
Later with other children it was always agreed she'd leave when they went to full time school and we found someone to do after school collection (an older lady) and bring them home to our house and care for them until 6) That worked well. Another option we used was the school had an after school club until 6pm which we used on some days although only if there was no other choice as I prefer small children to get back to their own home.

Nanny share might be another choice. Also our after school collector (part time nanny I suppose - she had several jobs and I think just did 3 days a week for us and the other 2 they went to school after school club (private school)) lady did Sunday mornings (we have a big family and that really helped as we could ferry the older ones around whilst the youngest were safe at home with her with all her attention),]

Prioritise both your well paid jobs and pick childcare which will enable you not to let the employer and clients down as everything s[rings from keeping those jobs so have childcare, back up of childcare and back up of back up. We also had a nanny once who did after school care in and in the day did housekeeper stuff - washing, cleaning. Didn't work very well as the good cleaners are not necessarily the best with children but she was an Australian (never had anyone living in by the way) and happy to muck in.

nannynick Sun 05-Jan-14 12:33:10

>The 9-3 is set in stone yes. It's the minimum hours we can have to get the 15 hours and it is the best preschool and closest for us so make sense for us to send dc there.

I would see what other options there are at the pre-school, such as doing mornings only and only doing say 3 mornings. You do not need to use all the 15 hours.

Then have a childminder, who would usually charge during those pre-school hours but overall the total cost of childminder, plus any pre-school topup charge (if you can't get them to do the exact hours of the educational entitlement) for DD and DS is likely to be lower than cost of a nanny. However it depends on area, childminders in some areas can be quite costly, so the cost difference may not be much. Look at costings, see what is possible.

Consider if having nanny is financially viable - compare the cost with other options on a year by year basis. It is important to cost things over a year as the costs can vary due to you needing care term-time as well as during the school holidays. Calculate cost of when you go on holiday yourself - most providers will still require payment even though children are not physically attending.

TheGreatHunt Sun 05-Jan-14 12:48:44

We have cut back Mary sad last year we took a holiday which was camping for three days, one hours drive away. No take aways, no new clothes for me/DH unless urgent, packed lunches etc etc. this is why I've been thinking about switching childcare. But I've been doing some sums and doubt we'll save much.

nannynick we've used the preschool before - these are the minimum hours they offer. It's a private setting, very popular, they can and do set the terms which are such that each child has to be there at least 15 hours. Our eldest has done well there - I took him out of another one to put him there as the other one was not good.

All of this is great food for thought. I want to keep our nanny, and will have a chat with her.

Marylou62 Sun 05-Jan-14 15:27:50

It sounds like you are doing everything you can and yes you have to talk with your nanny. This is from someone who only last week has been 'let go' as they cant afford me any more. Nursery is half the price. I totally understand that this isn't personal but did have a little cry that night as so love the kids. Been there 2 years almost since baby 2 months old. Exploring my options as we speak. Is there any way that she would even have a few hours off in middle of day, not the whole 5 hours? Then you both could compromise. I have done that and cos I wasn't sleeping well, I had a little siesta!! I only lost 2 hours a day wages. But might be enough for things not to be so tight for you. Hang on in there.

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