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Qs about nanny shares and finding a nanny in London

(11 Posts)
milkpudding Fri 07-Nov-14 19:55:16

I plan to go back to work when DD is one year old. When should we start looking for a live out nanny? We live in London, zone 2.

We are only wanting three days a week- will this be more difficult to find? Should we be looking for a family who would use her the other two days, or do some nannies want a part time post?

We have thought about a share with another family. A nearby family with a baby expressed interest, but would having two babies dilute the care available to each iyswim? Would we be better looking for a share with a family with an older child, or a nanny with her own child? But would a family with an older child want to share with a baby?

Thanks for any advice.

nannynick Fri 07-Nov-14 21:34:47

Can you afford a nanny to just work for you?
Keep it simple if you can as otherwise you may as well consider a nursery or childminder. Would hours of care fit with nursery or childminder?

A nanny 3 days per week is certainly possible. As long as they are fixed days then don't worry about what nanny does the other days. Agree a gross salary.

Caring for two babies will mean that the needs of both children and both families have to be taken into account. If you other family well then it may work but you need to decide where care is provided, split costs, agree holidays, all sorts of things so you need to know them well, want your children to do the same things.

Fridayschild Sat 08-Nov-14 09:45:49

We shared a nanny for a while. I don't think you should worry about diluting care too much if there are only a couple of children in the share - it's no different to having nanny look after siblings. And actually, the children like it. Our nanny share was for a year when the children were 6 - 18 months old. That was 10 years ago. Though the children see each other rarely now they still have a special bond between them.

Karoleann Sat 08-Nov-14 14:46:56

Shares tend to work best if the children are similar ages, so I'd look for another family with a baby the same age as yours.

There are plenty of nannies that do 3 days a week, I don't think you'll have a problem finding someone.

milkpudding Sat 08-Nov-14 19:09:12

Great, thanks everyone.

When should I start to look for a nanny? I go back to work in May.

strawberrybubblegum Wed 12-Nov-14 22:53:49

We have found our share fab: definitely a benefit for the children, not a disadvantage. You do need to have the same ideas as the other family though: choose carefully!

Expect that it will take about 4-6 weeks of serious searching to find a nanny - counting from when you actually have ads out there and are interviewing.

When to start looking is tricky. You get 2 bands of availability. There will be nannies who are still in a role, but looking for something new (maybe they have school age charges, and so are no longer needed full time by their current family) - these will need to serve out their notice, and so you need to count an extra 4-6 weeks after you find them. You probably want also want some time when you overlap, to help your baby get used to her. But then there will also be nannies who have finished a role and are looking for new work asap - if they have to wait 6 weeks, you'll probably lose them to another family... So there's no right answer!

I'd suggest starting about 3 months before you go back to work, but don't panic if it takes a while.

strawberrybubblegum Wed 12-Nov-14 22:58:42

Our DD is very close in age to the other child - I agree with PP that this is best for a share.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 13-Nov-14 09:19:26

If you can afford a nanny by yourself then do it. Most nannies I know dislike shares as complicated ESP with holidays and pleasing 4 parents whose views may be diff on food sleep routine play dates etc

Many nannies like 3 days - I am
One of them. Make them continuos days

Always disguss gross salary so doesn't matter if has another job

IF you do a share then make them the same age if possible so like looking after twins / tho rem your child and other will be used to 2 adults looking after them at weekends and getting 100% attention where as one nanny v 2 children

kalidasa Thu 13-Nov-14 09:27:16

We are also London zone 2. It took us about 6-8 weeks all told, but we did two lots of interviews in the end. I agree with strawberry about the two 'rounds' of availability, but I think it makes sense to start on the early side, especially if you are doing it for the first time, and just be clear about the start date for the job; and then you know that if it takes you longer than you expected you've still got a good chance of finding someone who is already available a bit nearer the start date. Also, if you have a firm date for returning to work it's easier to be flexible about a nanny who is keen to begin starting slightly earlier - say a week working partly with you, or even consider paying a retainer - than it is to be faced with a nanny you really want but who can't begin until after you are meant to be back. It is eye-wateringly expensive but I have never regretted our switch to a nanny for a moment. We have had a totally hideous summer, I was in hospital for seven weeks and I am still in a wheelchair, and even so DS has really obviously been happier and more secure these last six months than ever before (he's nearly 2). Maybe partly his age but the complete consistency of care and attention for him throughout this v. difficult period has obviously made a huge difference and was also a massive weight off our minds. Also meant I could see him almost every day I was in hospital as she brought him in for a few minutes each afternoon.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 13-Nov-14 09:39:34

Ps plan for 3mths

A few weeks to interview and meet nannies. Check refs. Interview 2nd time and the. Offer job and sort out contract

Then many nannies I know have 6/8 weeks notice

So that's 3mths in total

minipie Thu 13-Nov-14 14:20:26

I looked in June/July for an October start.

Nannyshare: pros and cons.

Cons: There is no doubt it's far easier to have your own nanny. If you have a share you have to compromise on holiday dates, compromise on activities, and you have to do pick up/drop off at the other family's house half the time (unless they are happy for you to be host) which will add to your time for getting ready in the morning/commuting time.

There is no guarantee that your DC will get on - and most 1 year olds aren't really all that sociable anyway tbh. Obviously there will be some dilution of care - my child was quite difficult big understatement at that age, and that was one of the reasons we decided against a share, as we didn't think it was really fair on any nanny. If you have an easygoing child this may not be such an issue. And as others have said, it's normal for nannies to look after 2 children anyway.

Bear in mind nannyshares can break down when one family has another baby, and the nanny might stick with the other family rather than you, so might not be the best option if you want long term continuity (however you you can't guarantee that in any case).

You could look for a nannyshare with older school age child(ren) - this would mean your DC would get sole care a lot of the day, and might benefit from the company of older children post school - but your DC would be doing the school run every day which cuts down time available for activities and might mean they sleep at the "wrong" times (if a set nap schedule is important to you).

NWOC could work but dilution of care still applies, and the reduction in cost tends to be less than a true nannyshare - only about 20% discount rather than 40%. And there aren't that many of them so you get less choice of nanny.

Pros: On the other hand, a share is a LOT cheaper - about 60% of the cost of sole family. Some nannies prefer a share as they earn c. �12 net/hr rather than �10 net. And it might teach your PFB to share, wait etc - whereas a sole charge nanny can mean your DC get used to the world revolving around them alone! And maybe you'd get lucky and the DC would be the best of friends.

So I think it really depends on your finances and what your child is like/how flexible you are. We chose not to share as finances are not that tight and it was important to us to have everything based at our house, and around our/DD's needs. For a lot of people the cost savings may be worth the compromises however.

I asked on MN whether it was worth doing a nannyshare if we could afford a nanny to ourselves, purely for the social benefits to DD - and the answer was a resounding No. With hindsight that was absolutely right.

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