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Argh! Need a nanny...

(41 Posts)
BashfulBunny Sat 17-Oct-15 23:11:35

I have 6 mth old triplet girls and a 3 year old boy. I'm currently on maternity and not due back to work until April 2016. My boy goes to nursery half a day, 5 days per week. I'm looking for a junior nanny or similar (not sole charge) who can help us out as a live in with the possibility of taking on a more senior role of sole charge in April if we all think it's working out.

We've just been let down by someone who was all lined up but has just changed her mind hmm and have now got just 4 weeks before our current person leaves - a lovely, lovely newly qualified nanny who's off to travel the world. (Wish her well, but we're gutted sad ).

We were lucky enough to meet her through a work placement when she was a student. Does anyone have any good inside info on where to find someone? We're not getting much luck with childcare.co.uk and some of the nanny agency fees are obscene. I'd rather give it to the nanny!

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 18-Oct-15 08:14:01

You can try placing own ad on nanny job and gumtree

What does your ad say on childcare?

Not being sole charge may put off many exp nannies (who can Cope with 4 under 4)

Be nice to have the same person but you may have more luck having a mh/shared care nanny till April and then a qualified /exp sole charge nanny in April when you go back to work

What area - days - hours - salary are you offering - although nannies are paid per family I think coz of the ages of uour children you need to be paying top end of salary

Yerazig Sun 18-Oct-15 10:02:43

Is there a reason why your only looking for junior nannies when your intentions are to go back to work in a matter of months. As you mentioned your last nanny/mothers help was Newely qualified. I would be looking for more an experienced nanny to deal with 4 under 4's.
What has helped many parents previously has been if you give us an idea of your job ad. So can maybe give you some pointers

NuffSaidSam Sun 18-Oct-15 13:29:46

I think the chances of finding someone who is going to be able to go from newly qualified nanny to sole charge of toddler triplets in 6 months is almost nil tbh. Bear in mind you need someone to help you with them now and they're not even moving yet. An newly qualified nanny will not cope (many experienced nannies wouldn't cope either).

If I were you I'd look for an au pair now and then a really experienced nanny later. Or just go for a really experienced nanny now, although that will be costly. I'd look for a nanny with twin/triplet experience, or experience in a nanny share with two the same age.

Karoleann Mon 19-Oct-15 22:06:05

The job may suit a nursery worker who wants to move to being a nanny, if they work in the baby room, they will have experience of looking after several babies at once (so three wouldn't faze them). Nursery salaries tend to be on the low side, although, I agree you'll need to pay a decent salary to make it attractive.

You could put some ads up in post offices near to local nurseries and see if you get any interest, otherwise nanny job is worth an ad.

Parietal Mon 19-Oct-15 22:08:14

try findababysitter.com - i've found that much better than childcare.co.uk

also, look at the adverts of people who say they want jobs & send a direct personal email to the ones you like. sometimes you have to do the work to get the right person.

BashfulBunny Tue 20-Oct-15 22:41:05

Hi all, sorry for the slow response. That's interesting about maybe the short term role putting people off. We wanted to avoid too much change as it's upsetting for our 3 year old to keep having to say goodbye to people but maybe it's unavoidable.

I've copied the pertinent bits from our childcare.co.uk profile below. In terms of a junior nanny, the role until April doesn't really need someone really experienced and we have limits on what we can afford. The rates are in the details below but from Nov - Apr we're looking at paying a live-in £17.5k pa for 37 hrs per week and from Apr onwards that would rise to £28k. That's already going to nearly bankrupt us, but I'm guessing that only a relatively inexperienced nanny would accept that pay?

We tried looking for an au pair but despite seemingly nearly agreeing something with 6 or so attempts they all accepted other offers. (We offered £155 pw plus all live-in plus bus pass, plus English course fees - which felt reasonable?) The one we did eventually get didn't really have any affinity for children and decided she was homesick and went home after a week. We can't risk someone that unreliable as we have no other help available or family nearby.

Any advice gladly received!

BashfulB

Details:
We have a three year old son, J, and triplet girls who were born in April 2015. I am at home full time and my partner works in London so is out of the house 6.30 am to 6.30pm.

We are a relaxed, happy family looking for someone with a friendly and positive outlook on life. We believe in treating people as we would like to be treated - with respect and an appreciation that a working environment should be pleasant and enjoyable.

The role:
Our current lovely nanny is sadly leaving because she was only with us temporarily between season work abroad. We are therefore looking for someone to help me care for the children at breakfast time and from lunchtime up to and including bath/bed time 5 days a week. This person would also help collect our 3 year old from nursery. The role is predominantly for shared care though there will be some sole charge, usually of J only.

In addition to assisting with mealtimes, nap times, bath time and overall care of the children, we would like the nanny to do a range of activities with J (and the triplets as appropriate). There would also be light housework duties related to the children such as cooking, washing up, laundry and tidying (but not cleaning)

Proposed hours: 8.00 am to 9.30 am and 12.30 pm to 7.00 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 8.00 to 12.30 and 3.30 pm to 7.30pm Wednesdays. Total of 36 hours. There may be some slight variations to the timing of those hours and ad hoc additional hours for a smoother running routine as they get older, but we would always agree this on a case by case basis.

We are looking for an energetic and reliable person who will be a fun companion for our son.

We are based near Reading, Berks and would like a live-in nanny to start on 23 November 2015. There is an opportunity for this to become a full-time role in April 2016 for the right person, when I go back to work.

The nanny's accommodation is on a separate floor so there is a bit of privacy and of course you can come and go as you please outside of work time. The bathroom is currently shared, however we are having some work done to make a second bathroom which should be completed by Christmas.

We are offering £8ph gross, 28 days holiday and can provide further details on request. Personality and family fit is more important to us than experience.

BashfulBunny Tue 20-Oct-15 22:45:09

I'll also have a look at the other sites. Thank you smile

NuffSaidSam Wed 21-Oct-15 13:15:47

I think what you need to do is look at it from the perspective of the nanny/au pair.

It's a job with 4 children, all under 4, including 3 babies.

It's not paying particularly well.

They want split shifts, so you're tied up 8am-7pm, but are not getting paid for all those hours.

They want assistance with everything, sole charge care of the oldest, school runs and light housework duties.

It's shared care, which is always harder.

It's either going to be short-term, or turn into a massively underpaid full-time job.

Would you apply for that job when there are loads of jobs with fewer/older children, sole charge, that pay better and ask less?

Artandco Wed 21-Oct-15 13:36:38

You have several problems:

1) £8 gross is very very low. In reading you are looking at £8-10 net minimum really, and £10 net minimum for 4 under 4, ideally higher. As why would someone choose £8 gross for 4 children workload, when they can get £10 net (£12 gross) for 1 child

2) hours. You say it's 36hrs but it's not reply as split hours. So 8-9.30, then again from 12.30 means they can never fit in much in those 3 hrs inbetween, so it's basically 8am-7pm they are busy. Most nannies on 36hr would work 3x 12 hr days and have 4 days completely free. So 5 days broken up isn't a benefit.

3) shared care. With 4 young children it's actually far easier for nanny to have sole charge and know exactly what they do and routine is up to them. Sharing means they never can know what they are doing

I would split what your asking for. Get somebody now who can work 8am-2pm. They can sort eldest and take to school solely, 9.30am-12 take over sole charge of babies, 12-2pm only share care of all 4, help with lunch, and get babies to nap just before they leave. Then they are free from 2pm. In April extend hours.
However I'm sorry but I don't think you will find anyone who will work for 50-60hrs a week with 4 small Children, for £8 gross.

BashfulBunny Wed 21-Oct-15 14:06:34

Ok, so the shared care is because the triplets are ebf - so this can't be sole care...

I'm realising the spec isn't very clear. I think I've tried to put in too much information and this is confusing things:

From 8-9.30am they would help with breakfast, getting J ready and taking him to nursery.
At 12.30 I bring J home from nursery so it would be helping with lunch and then sole charge of J until 6pm when the nanny would help bath the girls ready for me putting them to bed at 7pm. My partner gets home at 6.30 and looks after J from then.

Essentially then, the role is some small help at mealtimes and bath, but otherwise sole care of J in the afternoon 4 days a week when he's not at nursery.

Should I then try to find someone to help 8-9.30 (is this likely?) and a nanny who'd do 12.30 (lunch) -7pm (help with bath is literally just a pair of hands to get the next one ready while I bath them in rotation)? I guess probably not live in then?

Gah.

Our current nanny is newly qualified but fantastic and suggested the rate and had said she'd go for the role if she didn't already have commitments to travel so it seemed reasonable.

£10 net for 1 child, live-in? That's £44k per year cost to us plus holiday? I'd have to sell my children which sort of defeats the object. shock

BashfulBunny Wed 21-Oct-15 14:09:05

Oh, should correct that to be sole charge of J for the afternoon 4 days a week, plus 2.5 hours on Wednesday.

SummerMonths Wed 21-Oct-15 14:21:06

If you were going to have an au pair I assume you have room for live-in. If so you could go for a live in nanny which will save you money.

I agree with others that the split hours make the role unattractive but maybe it would be less of an issue for a live-in. Is there any way you can drop the morning requirement?
Or get an AP for the mornings and sole charge of the three year old and a junior nanny for the baby care.

Your AP pay package was ridiculously generous. Take it down to £90 a week plus food and bills and use the rest for a nanny for the babies for a few hours each pm.

Hats off to you for coping with four under four and ebf triplets! I hope you find some good help.

NuffSaidSam Wed 21-Oct-15 14:25:09

We're not criticising you for the shared care bit, it's totally understandable. Just trying to explain that from a nanny's perspective it's far more difficult than sole care and therefore far less popular.

The split shifts will really put people off, so if you remove that bit it would be good. Either that or pay for the full day, so pay 8am-7pm if those are the hours you need. There are a few ways to achieve that. You could get an au pair to work 8-9:30am and then 4pm-7pm or something along those lines, and then use a childminder to collect DC1 from nursery. Or manage the mornings yourself and then get a nanny e.g. 12pm-7pm (hopefully one who could then do the full-time job when you go back to work).

I know it is expensive and I don't really have any solution to that, but do think carefully about who you take on. This is going to be a VERY hard job when you go back to work. You're their mother and you need a hand at this point where they're immobile. When they're off in 3 different directions it's going to be much, much harder. You need someone special to provide a good level of care for 4 under 4's. It is not a job for a newly qualified nanny. You need someone with experience of multiples. I would go someone who has nanny experience as well, not just nursery experience because looking after 3 babies in a childproof room with other staff is not remotely the same as dealing with it in the real world by yourself.

You don't need to pay £10net for a live-in nanny, but you will need to offer at least £10gross I think to get someone with the experience to do the job once you're back at work.

Your description of the job sounds better in your last post than in your ad, so maybe change that.

Artandco Wed 21-Oct-15 14:55:28

I think you need to drop the spilt shifts.

Don't get anyone in the morning. You will have to do drop off at nursery with the babies, then get someone to just do 12-6pm maybe? That way you can increase the amount per hour as almost 3 hrs a day less.
Get nanny to bath babies in the afternoon rather than evening so they can help With dinner prep before leaving.

Although can you just advertise now for job starting in March full time ( few weeks practice befor you leave in April), and just have nobody now until March? It's only 4 Months or less now so by the time someone started they would be leaving! Spend the spare money on a cleaner coming in more often.

Ps you don't need to bath babies daily which will save that stress. Just give a full bath at weekend with help and wipe over in the week. Is only a few more weeks until they can all sit and you can sit all in the bath at once with a non slip mat.

BashfulBunny Wed 21-Oct-15 15:02:38

Thanks for the help - I have amended the ad to hopefully make it clearer and will discuss with DP about splitting the job.

Yes Summer, the role is offered as a live-in. The morning is tricky as I currently have all of them from 6.30am (approx when J wakes and enthusiastically runs in to me... hmm ) and even with the nanny sorting J out, getting him to nursery on time is challenging. Not sure I could do it on my own.

I love them all dearly, but OMG I would never have chosen this for many reasons... I had hoped for a companion for my son... Ha! winecake

That's a helpful rate for the post-April job. Thanks Sam

Artandco Wed 21-Oct-15 15:23:52

I know it must be hard in the mornings but I would def work on doing things so you can do it alone. You might not have chosen 4 children but you have them now.

Get your Dh to help as much as possible the evening before. Get him to get all babies clothes/ nappies and wipes etc and lay out on sofa before bed. Same with 3 year olds clothes.

Get all table laid for breakfast. Three high chairs set up with bibs, bowls, cutlery for everyone. Get Dh to chop some fruit and leave in fridge, boil some eggs and peel. In the morning you can just open fridge and plonk some fruit and cold boiled eggs cut on everyone's tray/ plate. Then they can start eating whilst you make something else ie toast/ porridge to go with it ( I would do toast tbh as even the babies can hold and feed themselves).

If you walk to nursery have pram set up night before, with blankets on, etc and nursery bag packed and ready to go. Then in morning just get them fed and dressed and leave. Baring in mind babies can just be nappy changed and you can change babygrow on return which saves time.

BashfulBunny Wed 21-Oct-15 15:52:34

Artandco, I will die if I try to do this on my own for another 4 months. I been getting less than 5 hours broken sleep each night for the last 6 months and don't get a rest in the day because the girls don't nap all at the same time (a combination of two often do, three never happens). I have no family nearby and my 3 year old will become a nightmare (understandably) if he is not given some proper attention. It is hard enough for him that the triplets have taken over and we have had to move house, change his nursery etc.

I agree that baths aren't necessary each day but we introduced it as a bedtime routine and it really helps with the triplets' sleep - which tbh is one of the most important things to me right now as I'll start to get dangerous if I get any more tired.
As they are triplets and obviously therefore preemies, they won't be sitting for quite some time yet. One might be sitting in 6 weeks or so, but the other two are still some way off. I would not be happy bathing all three together until they are very stable. Two hands is not enough to rescue three if they knocked each other over which is perfectly likely.

Please don't take this the wrong way, as all advice is much appreciated, but if I could possibly do this on my own I would already be doing so.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 21-Oct-15 15:59:34

as others have said the very low wage, esp as you NEED an experienced nanny will put nannies off

yes you need to be able to afford the nanny but honestly a decent experienced nanny of twins/triplets will not work for 8gross, and someone who is newly qual just wont be able to cope blondes may not cope with 3 under 4 including triplets and ive been a sole charge nanny with lots of twins exp for almost 25yrs wink

personal Q but once you have paid the nanny will yo have much salary left over?

can you put off going back to work till they are a bit older

split shifts are hard to do as not usually possible to find another job in the hours between so working for less money a day

well done on ebf all 3, thats impressive !!!

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 21-Oct-15 16:09:41

crossed posts, art gave good advice

can you contact a college to see if any childcare students can help for free, be amazing exp for them and a ref at the end of it

contact tambra/sure start and HV and ask again of anyone about to help

i dont think an ap is right for your family, they dont usually have care of babies tho obv you will be around

unless you look for a mh/ live in who wants to get into childcare, tho risk that they move on after a year for more money

Artandco Wed 21-Oct-15 16:11:07

Sorry, I'm not saying do it all alone, but trying to show how some things could be done alone. If you can really only afford someone say 6 hrs a day rather than 10/12, it's a better use of nanny if they spend that time actually taking children out/ entertaining so you have a few hours free rather than that time feeding breakfast.

Have you got bath seats? You can fit three in the bath. The need to be able to semi sit and support own head etc first but not strongly guarantee sit alone as the seats support them up. You would need to watch them obviously but it would make you mainly hands free.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 21-Oct-15 16:25:27

bathing, either do singularly if you dont feel confident and leave other wrapped in towel on floor in bathroom and swap over

or as prem so assume quite small and as you said not sitting - use the yellow sponges baths and lay them flat down on the sponge and pour water over them

BashfulBunny Wed 21-Oct-15 16:48:50

Clothes are already prepared for the morning for J, though usually I just wrap the babies up and leave them in their babygrows. We have arranged a sort of change station in the triplets room so everything is to hand all the time. Their clothes are sorted in drawers by type so never any need for selecting anything. The change bag is always packed and ready to go ay any given time. The buggy is always preprepared from when it is last used the day before.

Breakfast isn't laid out, which we could do (although J serves himself as he is very into his independence so while time is saved by having things ready, if it causes a meltdown then it actually takes more time). The triplets are only just starting weaning - grasping things is very hit and miss so just putting stuff in front of them is no good. They can't pick it up reliably and need help every time it gets dropped on the floor and recycled back to their mat. I spend a lot of my meals on my feet just going from chair to chair picking up food and guiding it back into their hands.

DP comes in at 6.30, looks after J, baths and puts him to bed by 7.45-8pm (this time is very important to J as he misses DP hugely during the week). Then DP makes own supper and tidies up from our tea, does washing up, puts a washing load on (there's always washing!) and tidies toys etc downstairs. I might need help during this time if one of the triplets starts crying while I am feeding another, so DP may be back upstairs settling one of them or resettling J if he gets woken by the noise. DP also helps during the night if the same thing happens. I can't ask for more help in the morning as DP already gets up at 5.30 for work.

We do preprepare as much as possible. Sorry if I sound defensive, but I am at a loss as to how to make it so I can do it alone.

I do know that one issue is the breastfeeding. I really, really don't want to give it up as it is good for them and gives them some one to one time which is otherwise lacking, but it does mean that feeds take 1.5 hours (with nappy changes) which impacts on the morning if I am trying to do everything else. Rock and a hard place.

Blondeshavemorefun - we will have some salary left over when I am working but not much. I could try to put off work, though I am a newly qualified solicitor so taking more time out at this stage might well mean I struggle to find a new job when I try to go back into it. Plus if I leave this one, I'll also have to give back my mat leave pay.

BashfulBunny Wed 21-Oct-15 17:01:41

We did have some students from a local nanny college and in fact our current nanny is one who came back to us after qualifying.

The time they place their students is only during the summer. I could see if there are any other local colleges.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 21-Oct-15 19:25:13

Again check with Tambra and sure start and hv

Triplet exp is priceless

Totally understand about career - just thought may be an option x

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