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Emergency Nannies- good idea for illness when can't go to CM?

(23 Posts)
puffinsaregood Sun 15-Feb-15 09:48:59

We will be using a childminder when I go back to work part time when our daughter is one. However we are wondering what to do when our daughter is unwell and can't go to the childminder, but not very unwell. In our jobs it will be particularly difficult to take leave at short notice. We thought about using an Emergency Nanny, say to cover minor illnesses e.g. conjunctivitis, or from when baby starts to feel better e.g. with diarrhoea.

Is this a good idea?
At what age would you consider this? Is it cruel to leave a young under the weather child with a stranger, albeit a caring experienced stranger in your home?
Can you get good, caring emergency nannies?
How often are children usually excluded from the CM setting due to illness? I know it varies....
How quickly can you find an Emergency Nanny? Do the agencies give you much of a choice if you are looking for next day, or just send someone?
What are the costs? Would the Nanny be self employed as you are only employing her occasionally?
Does the agency handle references, CRB, first aid etc, and can this be trusted?
Can anyone recommend any agencies/ emergency nannies in London?
Can you find a 'regular' emergency nanny, or do you tend to get sent a different person each time?

We are working through different ideas at the moment, thanks for any advice.

puffinsaregood Sun 15-Feb-15 09:51:22

Oh, and how do unwell babies/ toddlers cope with an unfamiliar Nanny looking after them? Are they content if she is caring and soothing, or are they unhappy and wanting mummy or daddy all day?

insancerre Sun 15-Feb-15 10:02:14

I think all children need their patents when they are poorly
Its why patents can stay with children in hospital
I think you need to rethink your plans
Nobody's job is that important that they can't get time off when it is needed
I manage a nursery and we don't exclude for conjunctivitis as long as it is being treated
Each cm will be different with regards to exclusion periods
But 48 for tummy bugs is standard
We also exclude for the first 48 hours of antibiotics
I imagine you would feel differently about handing over your poorly child to a complete stranger when you are in that situatipn

DaphneMoonCrane Sun 15-Feb-15 10:11:24

There's emergencychildcare.co.uk. You pay a subscription plus whatever fee for the childcare you need. I think it's quite ££ - never used it but now we have two I might have to sign up.

Can you/DH work from home at all? Might be a good compromise if you had an emergency nanny for the day - you could pop away from your desk for the odd cuddle/feed etc and you'd feel less like you were leaving your DC alone. Plus you'd save travel time.

DaphneMoonCrane Sun 15-Feb-15 10:12:56

PS Our old CM was happy to take DS1 if he was a bit poorly (ie just sniffles/slightly under the weather) and to give Calpol with our permission. Tummy bugs 48hrs but he never had one. Nurseries are generally stricter.

spekulatius Sun 15-Feb-15 10:40:46

I tried emergencychildcare.co.uk, they couldn't find us anyone. One occasion they had 2 weeks notice, one was short notice. Childminder has always had DD with colds and teething related diarrhoea. The problem is that you feel so guilty not to stay home with them (more guilty than you do already).

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Sun 15-Feb-15 10:44:44

We've used an emergency nanny twice for this scenario. I called in the evening (6-7pm) and they confirmed nanny details within an hour for the next day. Both times is was for 48 hrs and both times I worked from home the first day and went to work the second.

Dc was about 18mo-2 years and was totally fine with nanny, they were both really excellent and I had no concerns about leaving them with my dd.

My work provide this cover as a benefit (150hrs per year per dc) so I have no idea how much it cost...

puffinsaregood Sun 15-Feb-15 13:15:57

That's a very useful benefit, Teenage, your work must value you!

We would definitely rather stay home and look after her sancerre, but I was under the impression (from mumsnet threads) that you are generally only allowed to only take one day of leave from work to make other arrangements for small illnesses, and you can't take several days off for minor illnesses. Is this not the case? If not, I will happily piss off my employer to care for my baby smile

I wouldn't leave her with a stranger when she was feeling very ill, but I meant more when she is feeling ok but excluded e.g. conjunctivitis, or if she was poorly with diarrhoea and feels better now but needs 48 hours clear.

Neither of us could work from home unfortunately, although I work near home so I could come back at lunchtime. We could also ask one of our relatives to come and visit with the Nanny there as a familiar face, but I don't think our relatives would agree to look after her all day on their own at short notice unfortunately, although they do visit regularly.

Yes maybe I wouldn't actually be able to leave her, I can barely imagine leaving her in carefully chosen childcare as it is, we are more thinking about possibilities at the moment.

puffinsaregood Sun 15-Feb-15 13:21:40

I will ask our CM about her exclusion policies, another mum told me it was two weeks for conjunctivitis, but reading your posts I think she was exaggerating! If it is going to be a couple of days per illness I can take those off, I was worrying about never being at work!

sosix Sun 15-Feb-15 13:22:08

I don't think its a good idea for little ones, they may be very distressed being left with a stranger especially when ill. Have you thought about a nursery as you may have double the problems if cm or their dcs ill.

sosix Sun 15-Feb-15 13:22:45

I though conjun was 24 hours after drops administered?

puffinsaregood Sun 15-Feb-15 13:43:19

The childminders I have seen have generally not closed due to their own sickness at all in a decade sosix.

puffinsaregood Sun 15-Feb-15 13:45:21

Yes I think I have heard some exaggerated reports from other parents about exclusion policies! I will ask the CM s I am considering for their policies.

Some parents told me their children were barely at nursery for the first six months, I take it that this is an exaggeration....?

sosix Sun 15-Feb-15 14:35:33

I have found ds has had a fair bit of time off after starting nursery but hes there much more than not.

sosix Sun 15-Feb-15 14:36:32

I have a friend whose a cm and in 15 years only taken 2 days off but i dont think thats the case for all.

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Sun 15-Feb-15 14:41:57

The first 6 months are a bloody nightmare with nursery op, but it was mainly colds and coughs which were relentless (probably for the first year she was at nursery) though didn't require any time off as nursery happy to take coughs and colds.

She's probably had "a loose nappy" eight or nine times and proper d&v once (in 2.5 years). She's been excluded for 48 hrs for every loose nappy even with no other symptoms. She's had croup 5 times and needed at least 24 hours away. I've had to pick her up early with an ear infection three times but twice she's gone back the next day with antibiotics. She had a urine infection once and I chose to keep her at home cause she was so bloody miserable sad

I stay with her if she's actually poorly. I've only used the emergency care for the exclusion periods when she's been well and happy in herself. It worked really well.

I've never used a childminder or nanny, mainly because I didn't want to deal with holidays and their own sickness periods although they may well have been more flexible when dd was ill, and we did have to pay for nursery even if we were away.

Jinxxx Sun 15-Feb-15 15:10:27

I looked after a little boy who was a bug magnet and remember his mum commenting that he was off sick as much as he was with me, and me agreeing, but out of curiosity I went back through my register and he had only actually had three days off in the last year, so I guess it often feels a lot more than it really is since it can be a really stress situation for both parent and childminder.

1stBabyQuestions Sun 15-Feb-15 16:28:32

Every CM operates differently, so don't take anything as gospel unless you heard it from your CM and you have read it in their policies.

I don't exclude for conjunctivitis but will only accept child if they have seen doctor and have been told how to treat it/given drops. D&V i am strict on and will not accept a child who has had 2 or more bouts of either within a 24hr period. (Not all parents are honest with me but you can tell) likewise high temperatures that are causing a child to feel miserable, I don't allow into my house- even if it is down to teething, it's just not fair on any of the children, or me, when all they want is their parent.

A common sense approach is all that's required, just think, would I want to go to work if I had this illness?

Once I tureen a child away on my doorstep because the parent told me she only had 5hrs sleep the night before. Her skin was grey and she was sweating but cold at the same time. How mom thought it was appropriate to bring her in the first place I will never know!!

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 15-Feb-15 16:48:04

im an adhoc/emergency/temp nanny and work via many agencies tho often through tinies and emergency childcare, this is where the company pays for the nanny rather then the empolyee take time off

yes not always nice for nanny/child to be left if poorly but sometimes you have to do it,you cant always take time off work if child is too ill for nursery/cm

i would contact a few local agencies to you and ask if they have temps and go from there, maybe meet a few so if you do need someone it wont be a total strnager

sosix Sun 15-Feb-15 18:19:22

Ds nursery only excludes for three loose nappies.

Jinxxx Mon 16-Feb-15 08:14:53

Long before I was a childminder, I had an emergency nanny for my eldest while I was on a residential training course. My employer paid, as it was impossible for me to get my baby to the nursery I was already paying for. Anyway, she was absolutely fab, and I subsequently used her myself as an occasional babysitter until she gave up when she had her own baby.

Millionprammiles Mon 16-Feb-15 09:00:47

Like other working parents you'll try every other option before resorting to emergency childcare but there might be occasions you have to use it...and that's ok. We don't live in a utopia where every employer is flexible, every job can be done from home and everyone's mum lives next door.

We haven't had to use emergencychildcare.co.uk but I know work colleagues who have and have spoken highly of them. NB you won't be able to use them for certain contagious illnesses including chicken pox (5 days exclusion) but you could for d & v (48 hours exclusion).

Its worth looking at your employers emergency leave policy. Ours offers 5 days leave per year for a dependant's illness (no more than 2 days to be taken consecutively). I wasn't even aware of it until my manager asked me why I'd used annual leave when dd was ill so worth checking.

If its any comfort you might find your child just doesn't get ill that often. We had similar concerns when I returned to work (even more so as we use a nursery) but in 19 months we've only had to take 4 days off between dp and I. Oh and we vaccinated dd against chicken pox.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 16-Feb-15 15:07:17

I've looked after a child with CP via emergancy childcare - the agency did text me to tell me he had cp tho - so maybe my choice whether to look after him - but the job was still put forward to all the nannies

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