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Hiring a nanny....first timers

(18 Posts)
newbieman1978 Wed 29-Apr-15 11:36:50

Hey peeps,

We have a new (ish!) baby and 13yo and are thinking about hiring a nanny primarily to care for our baby with an element of supervision of 13yo before and after school (only 3 days as with his mother the rest).

Sorry if this is basic stuff but we are new to this and don't know where to find all the info in one place. I know you lovely MNetters will help!

Ok first point, realistically as things stand with work both my wife and I need to be out of the house at 7:30, 7:45 at the latest. And return home at 5:30-6 depending on traffic.
So how does this work with
nanny working hours? Is this pretty standard which nannies expect?
Obviously nanny would have to arrive at our house at least 15 mins before we leave to do a decent handover and once we get home there may be things to talk about so perhaps another 15 mins. This could mean a 7:15 - 6:15 day ....11 hour day... 5 days.... 55 hours a week!
Are people willing to do this?

Ooh that seems a lot, may have to look at that.

We are looking at offering a good salary (beyond the living wage).

The other point....
We have a nicely appointed self contained flat above our detached garage (friends like staying there, it is nice!)
We are thinking of offering it to the nanny as a perk more than anything, we wouldn't deduct anything from salary... Is that allowed?
And do you think is it a good idea?
We would have to set some ground rules.....
1. Absolutely no boyfriends/girlfriends at anytime.
2. Limited access to close friends/ family.
3. No parties / drunken behaviour ect.
Would it be deemed ok to set out stipulations. Obviously it's our home and while the flat is not part of the house we don't want for instance to be always looking out of the window wondering who's car that is or who that person is ect.
In many ways having nanny on site would be advantageous to us and them as there can be genuine flexibility both ways, we do very much want to be good employers.

And lastly, how do holidays work, I know lots of families take their nanny away with them, we would most likely do this if acceptable to the nanny. Do most nannies take a more flexible approach while away? ie, looking after children some nights but not days or say doing a couple of long days and then having a few days to themselves??

Hopefully I've not gone on too long and you understand what I'm asking!

threegoingonthirty Wed 29-Apr-15 20:10:47

Nanny days are necessarily long as they have to cover the parents working day and their commute. My nanny starts at 7.15 one day a week and is fine with it. Just make it clear upfront. It's nice if every now and then you can get home early and let her off.

Live-in salary is usually significantly less than live out so unless money is really no object I would certainly allow for that in the salary.

Holidays - generally you choose half and the nanny chooses half. Never taken a nanny with me so will leave others to answer that!

cathpip Wed 29-Apr-15 20:25:05

I used to go on holiday regularly with my charges, it usually worked out that I would start later and finish earlier ie, 8.30-4 in exchange for extra evenings baby sitting. I would also work 6 days a week in exchange for a few extra days off on return so I could catch up on sleep, and whilst I was with the family I was always treated as one of the family and given the choice of eating by myself or joining everybody. Holidays were always written into my contract and if I was not needed for a holiday and I wasn't wanting annual leave, I would still go into work and do jobs like cleaning playroom etc etc. holidays with the family we always discussed so I knew what was wanted from me and they knew what I was happy to do. Flexibility both ways is a must. smile

nannynick Wed 29-Apr-15 22:01:01

A lot of nannies work 11-12 hour days, so 7:30-6 is perfectly reasonable.

Handover is really not necessary most of the time. Whilst baby is very young then maybe a bit of handover time but it probably won't amount to more than a couple of minutes. Building some time in to allow for traffic delays though is useful - both for nanny to get to you and for you to get home.

>We have a nicely appointed self contained flat above our detached garage (friends like staying there, it is nice!)
We are thinking of offering it to the nanny as a perk more than anything, we wouldn't deduct anything from salary... Is that allowed?

I would suggest you talk to an accountant. I think that would be considered as a taxable benefit, so it will have cost implications.
There are also legal issues, such as are they a tenant under law? Or is it Tide housing? What legal things have to be done for that. Who is responsible for things like bills - TV license for example would be something that was needed as the property is self contained.
Seek professional advice.

As a nanny I have never been away with my employers on a holiday. So I do not know where you have got the idea that lots of families do that. My experience is the complete opposite, families like to spend time for just themselves.

I would not want to go holiday with my boss, I would prefer to take it as annual leave. If you are wanting a nanny to come with you, then make that very clear in adverts as it will put some people (like me) off and thus waste of time interviewing such people. The time away is not a holiday for the nanny, it may involve overtime. So you would still need to be providing your nanny with Annual Leave. Minimum leave is 5.6 weeks x days/hours per week. So a 5 day a week nanny is entitled to 28 days annual leave at a minimum.

newbieman1978 Wed 29-Apr-15 23:19:37

Thanks for the useful info.
It seems we are reasonable in the hours we are looking at so that's good.
I think we will need to look more closely and take advice on the use of the accommodation. Though if anyone has any experience of having nannies live on site we'd like to hear more about the dynamics of it rather than the finances.

As for holidays, to quantify we mean that it would be a holiday for us and obviously nanny would be working just while traveling with us. We believe that this is not uncommon. We would be offering competitive annual leave allowance.

What we are interested in knowing is whether nannies are happy to travel? Whether they are happy to work differently while away rather than usual hours ect. Perhaps working more closely/ assisting us (with baby) rather than the usual lone working? These types of things.

Cindy34 Thu 30-Apr-15 13:22:18

When I accompanied a family on holiday, the difficulty I had was knowing when I was on duty and when I had free time. Be clear on your expectations for that, it may well change from an initial plan but do try to stick to a routine if possible so your nanny can spend some time on their own if they want to see local historical sites or whatever interests them.

newbieman1978 Thu 30-Apr-15 13:45:31

That's a good point Cathy, you are right, clear expectations need to be expressed before hand.
The sort of thing we'd be thinking are for instance, on a weeks sunshine trip, say 3 days on duty either helping out with baby or looking after baby alone, then a couple of evenings baby sitting so we could enjoy a meal out..... And the rest of the time free to go off and do whatever they wanted.

newbieman1978 Thu 30-Apr-15 13:46:00

Sorry that was aimed at Cindy!

Thatoneoverthere Thu 30-Apr-15 13:58:15

I've lived in and gone on holidays with families and I actively look for jobs where I don't have to do either any more. Travelling with a family isn't a holiday for a nanny and tends to be really hard work with all the changes for little ones (times zones/flights/temp/different beds/food/acting up for parents etc) and is very isolated so extra pay is standard plus costs. Having a few days to yourself doesn't always work. For example if you are doing a villa holiday where on earth are they meant to go? Unless there is transport and some where to go to they are just stuck in their room and I know I don't want to be laying out a load of money on a work trip to go off and do things, I save that for my own holiday.

I do have a fantastic relationship with the family I lived in with I was there 5 years so it was my home too. They drove me nuts, I drove them nuts but then they drove each other nuts too.
I wouldn't take a job where I wasn't allowed to have my friends or partner over. Especially if it was self contained. You need to treat it more like a rental property so no pets no smoking. Saying no partner ever is just asking someone to move along as soon as they meet someone.
Happily my lot were very very social and trusted me implicitly so didn't mind me coming home a bit drunk or having people over, they used to be far worse than me.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 30-Apr-15 14:28:09

Hours are average and normal - prob don't need a 15min handover am but not a huge problem to get there 7.15 and you leave 7.30. What is annoying is getting there at 7am and parents leaving at 8 for example

If you have a live in they will need to have friends boyfriends etc over

Prob easier to have live out tbh - and what happens when friends stay - will nanny be booted out of her home????

Holidays / I don't go away with mine. I feel parents should spend time with their children as obv work all year

Friends who do go say it is hell wink. They don't know who is in charge - them or parents - what hours to do and in time off they can't do much

I much prefer family holiday and then me having children and doing proxy parenting at home and the mum and dad going away child free

newbieman1978 Thu 30-Apr-15 16:14:39

Thanks for the comments.

So maybe "live in" is not for us, it's not about not trusting people, it's more about knowing how life works! People have rows (we do!) People can have one too many and things get a bit lively. We just don't want to have to deal with other people's sh1t!
I guess our thinking (maybe naive) was that we'd possibly find someone young ish without ties who might like the idea of their own space rather than living say at home or in a house share. Possibly someone who would go home at weekends.
Perhaps that person doesn't exist or is rare.
In any case it's really of little consequence to us, live out is absolutely fine.

As for coming away on "our" holiday, I wouldn't expect it to be easy or not hard work. Frankly we are looking for a hard worker! We go out and work very hard so I don't expect anyone else to expect other wise. It's a job at the end of the day.
And we wouldn't expect anyone working for us to be out of pocket under any circumstances whether they are at home in the UK or travelling abroad with us.

We aren't looking to employ a nanny on a shoes string, we realise there is more to it than salary. A few hundred quid here and there to look after your nanny (employee) isn't going to break the bank.

NannyNim Thu 30-Apr-15 17:16:47

Perhaps I'm a bit unusual (or just fortunate to work for lovely employers!) but I enjoy travelling with my work family. I am treated as part of the family and we do lots of day trips altogether. I babysit for them in the evenings and start early so they get a lie-in but there's plenty of flexibility so if the little one is asleep or they want some family time I go off and swim or something. We get along really well, do a fair amount of shared care and have very similar "parenting" strategies so the little one doesn't play up when we're together and we remain a united front. What mum says goes and what I say also goes.
With clear expectations and boundaries it CAN work.

As for living in I think you could find someone like that but are you prepared for them to move on when they find a partner? I appreciate you not wanting to deal with other people's mess but I find whilst most nannies I know would want people to visit they don't tend to have rowdy nights at their work accommodation becausethey don't want you to get involved either!

Don't give up on the idea but maybe have a think about whether you could relax your standards and look hard to find someone you really do gell with!

newbieman1978 Thu 30-Apr-15 21:14:36

NannyNim you sound exactly what we are looking for! What you describe is pretty much what we envisaged when we sat down to talk about the whole idea.
Being newbies though we sort of took what some of the other posters said as read and started to rethink. So it is nice to know there are people out there that could be a good fit for us.

With regards to the live in, I think that with some time and getting to know the person we would inevitably be more willing to go with the flow and be more relaxed about things. However I don't think we'd ever want a couple living on site. And we'd need someone who wants to live a fairly quiet life (we do) we just could not cope with lots of comings and goings.

With the info we got from here and other sources I think we can now go ahead and draft an advert and get in touch with some recruitment agencies.

So thanks all.

Nannyme22 Fri 01-May-15 12:19:59

Where abouts in London are you?
It sounds like a fairly standard job where I am in Chelsea.

I think the fact you are already worried about someone in your house and guests you should go for live out. I think not being able to have anyone stay, partner friends or family would put a lot of nannies off.

With the travel you definitely need to be clear in advert how many weeks a year you expect this.

I generally get a bonus when I travel from my current employers (saves working out all over time etc) just for the extra work, being more difficult being away and just the inconvenience of not being at home. So something to consider?

newbieman1978 Fri 01-May-15 13:44:58

Nannyme22 Thanks for your post. We are not in London! We are up north in the suburbs of a nice city.

NannyNim Fri 01-May-15 14:13:26

I was going to say that you sound like my kind of people too but in the suburbs with a baby!? My ideal job! When do you need the nanny to start? wink

wizzywig Mon 04-May-15 20:18:47

my nanny is live in and has been on holiday with us. we make it clear before hand what the hours and what days she will be working. when she isnt working she can do what she likes. we havent been too awful as she has agreed to go on another hol with us.
id say ive had three awful experiences with nannys wanting yo bring their own child. it just hasnt worked

newbieman1978 Tue 05-May-15 20:23:43

Thanks for the good hints and info. We are hoping to get sorted for September.

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