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House rules for live-in nanny - any suggestions(19 Posts)
We've never had a nanny before. We're looking to recruit a live-in nanny, so I'm drawing up some 'house rules' to show prospective candidates....please can you give me some suggestions for rules I might want & that might be considered reasonable?
I have a whole guide for our au pairs which includes 'overnight guests by prior agreement only'.
Actually this has never been a problem, but what I really mean by this is - your best friend coming to stay for the weekend : lovely. - some random person you met in a nightclub staying over and hanging round the kitchen in the morning: not ok.
As I say, it's never been a problem, but I wanted to have it written down in advance just in case. I also specify that au pairs are free to use our wifi at all times but not for anything illegal or inappropriate. Also that we won't check their browsing history unless there is a serious problem.
I should add that those are the only 'strict' ish bits of our guide which is overall a friendly intro to our family / area etc!!
Thanks. So by and large your main 'rules' are around guests and wifi use? Anything else you recommend?
Yep, my DM's attitude to our nannies having overnight guests was 'healthy relationship - you're adults, it's a good example for the children. Different face every morning - not acceptable, go to theirs'.
This was before the time of wifi though.
Definitely chat about things which are important to you at interviews rather than presenting a huge list.
It's good to say what you will be doing too, eg not letting the DC into the nanny's room. Think about whether the nanny can use the whole house (kitchen? Food?), what to do when you have guests over. Will the cleaner clean the nanny's room?
What kind of accomadation will they have? Is it semi seperate or part of main home? This will vary what rules you might set
Part of main home....on same floor as DS and main bathroom
No eating crackers!
As a live in au-pair, I found it handy to have an idea in advance when I would be working and an exact outline of what was wanted from me, eg I used to do the children's washing and ironing, and would clean up after them, the cleaner did the main cleaning, so that wasn't down to me.
Maybe arrange time in the kitchen as your sharing so your not both busy at the same time? For example say the kitchen is hers after 7pm as you have mainly finished cooking by then
Can you also add kettle/ coffee machine/ small fridge etc in her room? Means in the evenings or early at weekends you both have a little more privacy as she can at least make a hot drink or store cold drinks/ snacks in her own space
As a (much) older live in nanny, I disagree with Artandco, a live in nanny should be part of the family, if you are cooking an evening meal, ask if she wants some or let her make her own alongside of you. Most weekends I like a lie in and to take my time to get up and ready to go out but two days a month I have early appointments so I have breakfast with them (or grab a slice of toast to eat on the way) Some weekends my bosses will have brunch and will text to say they are having xyz and there's plenty if I want some (usually after waking me with the smoke alarm!!)
House rules - as already stated, talk about overnight guests, family/friends is fine, they shouldn't have to ask but should let you know. No strangers to her (or him) but as a nanny I would never let someone I didn't know well and trust into my employers home, be that a new boyfriend, a nanny, a mum I'd met, or the meter reader without checking his/her identification with the company. Also, let her know if you are going to have overnight guests, it's not fun counting showers and then running for the bathroom to find a naked man already in there (no matter how gorgeous he is!)
To let you know if she's going away/not coming home, just so you can lock up properly, set the alarm, not worry. I'm 14 years older than my employers and obviously a grown adult and I can do whatever I want, however I know that they would worry if I didn't come home, it's just common courtesy to let them know.
Noise - you can ask that her tv/music is not too loud after xx time, when you go to bed. But also be aware when you are up early at the weekends to try to keep the noise down, don't let the children play outside her room at 6am! Or scream/squeal for hours on end (thankfully my charge has grown out of squealing but DB had to be pulled up about it, he said I'm up, everyone can be up, MB said fine, I'll bring him into our room on your lie in morning and let him squeal to his hearts content, he kept him quiet from then on!)
I also wouldn't call them house rules, it sounds a little condescending, like she's a child who needs to be told how to behave. Just bring them up in conversation.
Callaid - sure a live in nanny will be more part of the household. But if it's Saturday morning and nanny is feeling under weather it's nice they can get a cup of tea and wake up a bit before having to be socialble and answer questions from children. Same if family have granny over for lunch who they don't get on with, maybe they want to not have to go and chat when they just wanted a drink or a snack. I just think small touches like that help nannies stay long term
Fair enough Artandco, I never usually disagree with you! I was really replying to your first paragraph and if a nanny does drink tea and/or coffee. a fridge and kettle (possibly a toaster) would be quite a nice touch!
I have a rotten cold today, thanks to my caring, sharing charge, MB has text repeatedly to ask if I needed anything. I don't drink tea or coffee so no need of a kettle or fridge and I'm not sure I could sleep with the hum of a fridge in my room. I was unwell yesterday so got supplies in so that I didn't have to go down until lunchtime. Its quite nice to have an excuse for a very lazy day!
To be fair, my current position is the first job where I haven't had separate accommodation in 27 years, I've been here two years and have never been told I cannot use any part of the house. If they have guests for dinner/movie, I get asked to join them, sometimes I accept, others I don't. I would never have thought to do anything else!
And thankfully, I love my bosses parents! They are great and treat me like part of the family, MB's parents had a nanny for MB and they are still in contact with her now.
See the other thread about nanny with luxury tastes! Make clear food is family food and not smoked salmon and caviar every day
If you have any funny quirks in your house (eg the window on the upstairs landing opens inwards) or particular rules mention them. Mine are:
leave the loo lid down because otherwise the dehumidifier sucks all the water up in the downstairs loo.
Don't the children play with the outside tap - if they want to play with water in the garden please use the water butt.
We try to be a green household so don't overfill the kettle and please try to reuse or recycle as much as possible.
Please make sure all rubbish is in the outside in by 6pm Tuesday night because Wednesday's bin day.
Please fill the dishwasher up before putting it on. [added after a particularly annoying au pair stayed]
The washing machines doesn't need to be full to put a wash on
when you do your own laundry
The children are not allowed to use glue or paint unsupervised
despite what they might say and the safety scissors are the blue pairs on the side.
Oh and I forgot - if you want anything from the supermarket put it on the list. We go to the out of town supermarket at most once a week so please give as much notice as possible if you need something specific. Bread, milk and other items are bought as and when from XXX shop and if you need something urgently take the money out they kitty.
If you occasionally enjoy really expensive crackers and other foodstuffs which you keep in a cupboard for occasional treats then best to point out that they are not there for the "munchies" [There was a hilarious thread on this recently]
Think about the rules/obligations that need to apply to you so as a list it is not one-sided. Discuss those with your partner too.
For example, one parent might be really strict about being home on time for the nanny to knock off but the other really rubbish and constantly 20 mins late.
What's a reasonable notice period to call and say you need to work late
fancy going to the pub for a quick one so you can nobble the boss about something.
Having a live in nanny is a bit like being married. You can mostly deal with the big stuff up front but it's all the small stuff that you will eventually fall out over if you don't communicate well.
Talk about the nanny's habits. Does he/she like to get up early on the weekend or will you be looking at a closed door and shushing the kids until 2pm on a Saturday. If they like a long lazy lie in then what's a reasonable limit to keep the house quiet for?
Do you have a cleaner? What can the nanny expect? eg: cleaner will hoover and dust if room is tidy and door left open.
Thanks everyone - really helpful!
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