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Nannies - what do you appreciate in a new position?(20 Posts)
I was hoping those of you who are nannies (or indeed have them) actually like to have at the start of a new position?
Having a nanny is completely new to us and I'm eager to make her feel welcomed as soon as possible. She's not a live in, but I have bought a diary for her to record mileage, pop clubs in etc. I have also written quick lists of the children's names, birthdays, likes and dislikes.
What else do I need? I intend to ask her about her food preferences so I can make sure we have things she likes in but other than that I'm having a mind blank and the previous threads I've found here are all geared towards live in positions.
Just off the top of my head; A quick run through of how the washer/dishwasher works (which programmes to use), where the fuse box and stop cock are, how to set the alarm, list of important phone numbers - doctors, school etc. Assuming she doesn't know the local area - where the local shops are, playground, GP surgery, nearest A+E/minor injuries dept.
What grandparents are called and if you expect them to pop in during the day- frightened the life out of me! (E.g. Papa and Noni, Grammy and Gramps) and whose are which.
Pets if you have them - food/general care if needed
Neighbours- which ones you get on with, if any have a key
Where your spare key is kept
Local handyman/plumber etc (if you use one) in case they can't get hold of you and there is water everywhere...
Anything unusual about your house eg "the water boiler often goes out, if you have no hot water please do xyz and will restart after x mins"
Wifi password- I am often on google maps looking up places to go!
She is local and has been for a couple of years so I'm assuming (hoping!) she can get to a&e but I've listed GP details too.
Will add the rest, thank you!
When the parents are relaxed and do not expect me to lock their child/ren in the room because they have not finished last bits of food
really?!! That's horrendous. No, we are very, very laid back. Probably too much sometimes if I'm honest. We're very happy for her to pick and choose whatever routine/activities works best for her during the day to be honest.
I appreciate and expect unless an emergency to finish on time and be paid on time - sounds simple but amazing how many employers (thankfully not ever mine) do this
As soon as you know you will be late call the nanny
If you are meant to be home at 630 and have to leave office by 5 to catch train - don't ring at 6 saying you will be late. Ring at 5.05 and explain
grovel obv we can't leave children behind alone so have to stay till you do - but we have a life after work
No micromanaging - you have employed nanny for her skills
No leaving house in a mess every morning
Ideally no sleeping in and leaving nanny locked out banging on the door at 7am freezing her bits off - this seems to happen a lot on nanny chat sites ......
Numbers of family doctor vet etc are helpful
A stocked fridge /freezer or money to buy food for self / children - nothing worse then trying to make a healthy meal out of nothing
Tea bags and odd biscuit
Sure all will be fine. You sound lovely for thinking and asking
All of the above. Also, let her know if you are happy/displeased about something straight away. I often start a new job and have no idea if what I'm doing is what the parents were hoping for me to do. Give it a few weeks first.
Also, if you have specific things that don't go in the dishwasher - tell her. Similarly a worktop that you can't put a hot pan down on, or a floor that is easily marked - I would write all this down for her to read in her own time.
Is it acceptable to leave say £10/20 for the week to cover activities, playgroups etc? I'm thinking from HMRC point of view. I don't want to have to account down to the last penny for trips out but I realise mileage is different.
A kitty is always good. Some Employers want it to tally up to the last penny ..... One job was integrating me where 30p was and think in the end I said it was car park
Others trust their nanny where it goes
Big exspenses should be recorded but personally small ones like 20p car park - £1 M&T etc shouldn't be
Yes a cash kitty is fine. It is not for your nanny, it is for your children. If you were with them all day you would go out and you would spend money. As long as it is solely for the benefit of the children it is fine.
Talking of HMRC, making sure nanny is paid on time, has a payslip and the pay figure matches. That any pay related things get discussed at the earliest opportunity and always followed up in writing (send an email). Try to avoid miscommunication by following up important discussions with an email listing what has been agreed. Treat nanny with respect... You would not like to chase your employer for pay, so don't make your nanny chase you. Nothing worse than not being paid when you think you are.
If children like going someone regularly, look in to annual pass/membership schemes. This applies for carparks at nature reserves/parks as some places do annual parking schemes. Also leisure centres, theme parks, museums, soft play, all sorts of places these days have membership/discount schemes for frequent visitors.
Not assuming nanny doesn't have a life outside work. I am actually really flexible but it grinds my gears that my current boss will say (as she did on Monday) 'I'm out for dinner late on Tuesday and Thursday this week- sound okay?'
Not really no as even though my only plans were to spend the evening on the sofa with my DP watching rubbish on telly, they were still MY plans once I'd finished work. I love her child but she's not my child and I certainly don't live to spend all my waking free-time hours with her! (She often asks on weekends too when she wants to go to a spa) she's a single parent so assumes I'll step in in her place way too much.
You don't sound like you'd be that kind of boss though
An informal chat to check both parties are happy every so often is brilliant, too. My boss rarely schedules the time for this and I sometimes have no idea of everything is okay or not!
Give her some extra cash for emergencies to keep on her. She might be planning to say go somewhere and walk back, child starts vomiting or similar and she needs to get a taxi back quicker.
If you have school age children leave a pot with a pile of £1 and 50p in as no doubt there's 101 last minute school requests for that.
Reimburse money she used of her own quickly. I know of someone who was complaining once their nanny had bought £15 of kids clothes without asking her in advance. When nanny had taken the children out for the day , 4 year old unexpectedly wet herself ( turned out to have bladder infection) and nanny obviously did the most obvious thing which was to buy some basic clean clothes to change her, to save poor child walking around and travelling home in pissy clothing.
If you shop online, say ocado, give nanny password so she can add stuff throughout the week as she finds stuff run out. Much easier than giving you a huge list of things to add. They will know if baking ingredients gone or x needed as cooking the most likely
There's lots here that hadn't occurred to me, thank you all so very much!
I really hope I/we won't be one of 'those' employers. It genuinely just wouldn't ever happen that we wouldn't pay her, I can't even begin to imagine how people justify that. We want her to feel very comfortable and welcome, I'm hoping and anticipating that she'll become an essential part of our lives and the last thing I want to do is take her for granted.
With regard to annual memberships, I was thinking of the local farm but I'm not sure if the nanny can use it if it's in our name and vice versa. Is this a common issue or is it usually ok?
Annual membership will need to be for each adult, you can't share.
Memberships in nanny's name. It is such a pain trying to pretend to be someone else. Scared they will ask for ID which you don't have. Contact the farm and ask them to add another adult to the membership.
YY to making sure if you need to change plans you give at least a weeks notice e.g. can you do half a day Wednesday but babysit Saturday night? And even then be prepared and reasonable if nanny says no.
Kitty with £50 in and a little book so she can write down what it's been spent on, and make sure Kitty is checked/topped up regularly.
We provide a car and top up with petrol/give her money to top up as necessary, but we have a little book for mileage.
Bread/milk etc in so she can make herself and the kids something to eat when necessary.
One thing I won't personally do is hand out the Ocado password or any personal passwords. In our house I do the shop and anyone who needs anything writes it on the chalkboard. I also don't mind tailoring the shop to what nanny likes to eat (e.g. certain type of ham/yoghurt), and I'm open to suggestions from her, but I won't buy things like expensive prepacked salads/sandwiches.
I personally don't provide annual memberships as we never go to the same place often enough but I can see why this might be a good idea.
I also at the start (not so much needed now) a list of activities I'd like DC to attend and which places ran them.
We work slightly differently as we have a full time Nanny, despite me working part time and DH often being home as well, so our Nanny is a nanny/housekeeper (not sure if yours will be doing this role too) but we set out clear expectations of the chores she was/wasn't required to help with.
Yes annual membership in her name in afraid. Many you can add to main membership. For us most places the membership pays for itself after 2-3 visits anyway so even if she goes once a month it's well worth it. If local also means she can pop in for an hour or so if young ones and not worry they aren't staying all day.
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