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Calling on all the working mums who have come before me...

(21 Posts)
newwheel27 Tue 07-Jul-15 11:51:47

I live in North London and am going back to work full time in Sep 2016 when DD will be 8. I am thinking of hiring a live-out nanny and trying to figure out how many hours I will need. My future work schedule has an element of unpredictability; there will be some late nights but I don't know when or how often. DD's school schedule includes some rather inconvenient religious holidays in addition to the standard school holidays. So while I can arrange for camps during the half terms, I will need nanny to be with her all day when there are religious holidays which DH cannot take off. There is no doubt that a full time nanny - possibly from 8am - 6:30pm - who can stay a little later on occasion - would cover all contingencies. I imagine this will be expensive and that there will be many hours during the day when nanny is idle. Are there any other options? My main concern (after finding someone whom I trust and who gets on well with DD) is reliability and dependability. I am starting in a junior role and don't want to be pegged as the employee with the childcare issues. I know that some folks do nanny shares but I can't really get my head around how this would work in my case. If anyone out there has words of wisdom, please send them my way. Also when you take on a full time nanny, what on earth do you do when they go on holiday? I presume you try to go on holiday at the same time?

softhedgehog Tue 07-Jul-15 13:23:17

Holiday - I give my nanny 4 weeks plus all BH. She works Monday and Tuesday so this is a bit more than the statutory which is 5.6 weeks pro rata including BH. She gets to choose two weeks and I choose two weeks. If I am away for more than 2 weeks she gets extra time off - I know some on here get their nanny to come in to clean/sort clothes etc but personally I wouldn't.

Cost - NW London where I am (zone 3) going rate is £10 per hour net. For a 52.5 hour week, including all tax and NI etc that'll cost you around £40,000 per year - plus any kitty/mileage that you pay, plus more heating etc being used in the house. Remember that you're paying most of that out of your already taxed income, so you'll need to earn close to £70,000 gross to pay that. If she's ofsted registered you can use childcare vouchers to affray a small amount of the cost but it's peanuts really.

SSP - this has changed, used to be that if your nanny was sick you paid SSP and got it back from HMRC, now you have to foot the bill for potentially up to 26 weeks whilst keeping her job open. It's a big financial risk.

Idle time - mine does the ironing while my littlest is at preschool in the morning. If there will be lots of free time you need to negotiate what she does with it.

Driving - does she need to drive? your car or her own? if her own you'll need to pay 45p per mile mileage.

HTH! any more questions?

newwheel27 Tue 07-Jul-15 14:39:40

Thank you softhedgehog - good to have that information, but trying to keep the panic at bay. Didn't realise I would have to pay that much for the pleasure of a full time job. The reality is starting to hit me. Hard.

TranmereRover Tue 07-Jul-15 14:43:00

you don't need full time - there are a lot of people who get amazing arrangements with childcare workers who do mornings only - so nursery school teachers etc who are free very early (school run) and again after 12.30, plus all school holidays (save in your case for the addititional presumably jewish holidays, of which there are many - that may be the thing you need to suck up for a much cheaper option). Also the point of having a nanny is that you won't use camps - nanny will organise activities / playdates / fun.

TheTertiumSquid Tue 07-Jul-15 14:45:39

How about an au pair?

softhedgehog Tue 07-Jul-15 14:46:53

I know, it's crazy isn't it. I am a professional on what is by all accounts a very good salary and I end up with around the NMW per hour after paying childcare. Good luck with your deliberations!

Would there be others in the same boat re religious holidays and could you as parents get together in a group of maybe 5-6 of you and one of you have all the kids each time?

SayThisOnlyOnce Tue 07-Jul-15 14:49:26

Are you starting a new career? Just wondering how you know the hours for a job that doesn't start for over 12 months? I would look for a childminder, and I would expect DH to take on equal responsibility for covering inset days/evenings/etc. Good luck.

FreeButtonBee Tue 07-Jul-15 14:51:03

it is possible to have them work fulltime in holidays and part time in term time plus sick days but you'll have to pay more than standard rates to secure and it may be more difficult to find someone (as obviously it will be more tricky for them to find other work around that). So you don't necessarily need to employ someone full time from the word go. But London is probably the place to find someone if anywhere! You should possibly consider a nanny with own child - partic if they are school aged as well and in a nearby school. Even if holiday days don't quite match up, at least they would appreciate the flexibility to take their child with them on holiday days and your DD could have some company over the holiday period too?

At 8yo, your DD should hopefully be over the worst of the kiddy illnesses so fewer days sick than eg a toddler/reception age child.

There is a new tax free childcare scheme coming in in September which may be financially better for you than childcare vouchers (which are employer based). either way you need someone Ofsted registered.

gallicgirl Tue 07-Jul-15 14:56:25

It might be cheaper to look at childminders, they can sometimes find flexible minders who can work around shifts and work later.
Also look to see if either you or your husband can pay for childcare vouchers through your employers.

gallicgirl Tue 07-Jul-15 14:57:53

The tax-free childcare scheme has been delayed to early 2017.

newwheel27 Tue 07-Jul-15 15:17:00

Thanks to all for the helpful ideas. SayThis, I am starting a training contract (aka articles) and the firm recruits 2 years in advance, hence I have a little time to put things in place. I will explore all these options and hopefully find a solution. Thank you all for making me feel not so alone.

citytocountry Tue 07-Jul-15 15:28:09

I would definitely say au pair if you don't mind having somebody living in. If my training contract was anything to go by you'll be working all kids of late hours at the last minute, plus weekends!

TranmereRover Tue 07-Jul-15 15:35:29

oh crikey, in which case you definitely need max flexibility at the end of the day. Would also suggest that if you have the space, get an au pair. Your hours will be highly irregular for at least two years - does your husband have regular hours?

softhedgehog Tue 07-Jul-15 15:59:20

yes an au pair would be the most cost effective option by far and should be able to be flexible.

newwheel27 Tue 07-Jul-15 16:00:36

DH has relatively normal, predictable hours and could probably do morning drop off. I agree, Tranmere and City, that I will need flexibility especially at the end of the day. I don't mind someone living in but we are not currently in a position to do that (in between houses). Oh, did I mention we are trying to find a new house? Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth...

FreeButtonBee Tue 07-Jul-15 16:15:18

gallicgirl they kept that one quiet. That's annoying as with three children and a DH whose job doesn't fofer the vouchers, the new scheme was v attractive to me.

Agree that an au pair might be better and I would move hell and high water to get a house big enough to make that doable. Flexibility is going to be key if you are a trainee solicitor and NQ lawyer in private practice (been there, got the t-shirt and thankfully well out the other side now!!) and live out nannies tend to like having their own lives

citytocountry Tue 07-Jul-15 16:47:58

A good au pair is also handy for picking up on other general jobs around the house too - laundry, getting school bags organised, admin, post, stepping into the breach if need be. I speak as a solicitor, who is married to a solicitor, and is a mother of three children!

tshirtsuntan Wed 08-Jul-15 09:29:22

Could you ask around at the school, see if any of the support staff (ta' s etc) may be interested? They earn relatively small salaries and would be free at the right times, I would love this as an extra job/income.

TranmereRover Wed 08-Jul-15 10:38:40

well as karma would have it, our nanny resigned when I got home last night - she's moving house to another county. In a month.... Anyway - i looked on my local and there were quite a few nursery teachers offering wrap around and school holiday care.

newwheel27 Wed 08-Jul-15 12:44:10

TranmereRover sorry to hear about the resignation. tshirtsuntan that's also a good idea - there are other parents at DD's school who employ school aides in that way. I think it would be doable for either me or DH to do drop off and then we'd be looking for after school nanny - from 3pm to 7pm-ish with some flexibility on the finish time. If DD stays at the current school (we are also looking at other schools and the 7+ but perhaps we should save that for another thread...) there is also the matter of her finishing at 1pm on Fridays from September till around April. I reckon I find as flexible an after school nanny as possible and fill the gaps with trades with other parents as softhedgehog mentioned earlier and/or babysitting service...all of which should come out cheaper and more suitable than full-time nanny...

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 08-Jul-15 14:32:40

I know someone who employs a FT nanny on a FT/PT basis. During nominated holidays her hours are normal FT hours, when school is in on, she does the pick up at 3pm and works until 7.30pm as a standard day, with one or two later evenings as the parents both have jobs that require them to attend evening events.

They worked out her hours at the start and therefore her gross salary, and divided it by 12. So she gets the same pay monthly and is somewhat underpaid during school holidays but has a regular income.

She is not contractually available until 3pm every day during term time to cover illness for example, so they have to do that themselves unless she is free.

I think she studies in the mornings but I am not sure.

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