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Is there a site where nannies review families?

(27 Posts)
SomePig Tue 26-Jul-16 13:59:11

I'm having a lot of trouble finding a nanny who will agree to come for an interview. I've had a few enthusiastic responses to my adverts on childcare websites, local noticeboards etc, but once I try and pin the person down to a date and time for interview, I get the most transparent excuses. Eg. 'I read the ad wrong and actually I want a job starting four weeks earlier [in August when most families are away?!] so I'm no longer interested', or 'I've had a massive family emergency and don't know where I'll be living in September'. One or two of them are probably true but there have been a whole string of them. I've tried to find nannies at other times of the year and run into the problem that most nannies seeking new positions do the changeover in September when children they've been caring for start school. Moreover there are loads of people in my area in London offering their services as nannies, so it's doubly frustrating as I would have thought that now (late July) would be an ideal time to search.

Anyway, at this point I'm starting to get paranoid and am starting to wonder if there is some rate-your-family website (aka that Rate My Professors site for university students) that we have been trashed on, so that potential nannies are initially keen and then they go away and search and find some libellous thing about us online which causes them to cancel the interview. I think we have been good employers - we have paid a decent wage, always paid on time, our kids are well-behaved when we're not around (according to other babysitters, parents of friends when they go on playdates etc), didn't expect unreasonable things - I have been racking my brains to think of something we might have done wrong. The one thing that did happen was that we had a previous nanny who did something horribly egregious that could have put our children in danger. (I don't want to give details in case I out myself, but it resulted in my husband being summoned immediately to the school for a meeting with the head teacher and other teachers because they were so concerned, and they said it was the kind of thing they would normally report to the local authority. When he messaged me to tell me I almost threw up, it was such a shock.) After that incident, we could not leave our children with her unsupervised at all, and had to fire her. We had only begun with her recently and so did not have a contract yet, and we were so furious at her that we did not offer to give her however many weeks' pay, and she did not ask us (she understood the magnitude of her mistake). It was a horrible situation, and very upsetting, but now I fear she has written something nasty about us online and it is turning potential nannies off.

So, if anyone knows of a review site that we could check, I'd be grateful to know about it. Thanks.

wizzywig Tue 26-Jul-16 14:04:33

Id love to know if there is as i have the same issue. Nannies who register on websites saying they are looking for jobs and then suddenly they say they cant do whatever hours/ days they have said they are available on. Yet looking at their last login they are still looking on the website. I had a woman say that she isnt interested in a job as her partner told her that they want to start trying for a baby in three months time. Id love to have the balls to ask, so youd rather not earn any money plus earn maternity pay?

PotOfYoghurt Tue 26-Jul-16 14:10:55

None that I'm aware of. Would you like to post your ad without identifying details so anything that may be off-putting can be flagged?

Callaird Tue 26-Jul-16 14:19:59

I've been a nanny for 30 years, I've never come across a site where you can slate previous employers! Not that I'd need to, I love all my previous employers.

Nannies do, however, talk to one another. To be (un) fair, we usually only moan about them when they are annoying us, we rarely talk about the many times they have been great! My bosses are amazing but I just moan about the rubbish things they do. Was your previous nanny part of a nanny circle? Could you call one of them you know a little. to see if they might know?!

SomePig Tue 26-Jul-16 14:23:35

Thanks, I'm relieved to know that. I realise nannies do talk (and I'm glad they do - they have loads of knowledge about all sorts of things like good places to take kids, and they should be sharing information about terrible employers) and this one did have some nannying friends but I don't think they were really in our area. Your post does make me feel better, though - perhaps it was just bad luck.

SomePig Tue 26-Jul-16 14:27:22

I'm a bit reticent to post the ad because unless I rewrite it totally, it would be probably pretty easy to find by Googling. I feel like I've seen hundreds of nanny ads in the past few weeks while trawling all the websites where I might possibly find one, and mine is very bog standard - 'cook healthy meals', 'pick up from school and nursery' etc. I'm not asking for ridiculous things like some of the stuff I've read on MN - "must talk constantly to child", requests to pick up dry-cleaning on day off etc!

If any nannies are reading this - esp North London based - and have recommendations for sites that nannies looking for jobs are particularly likely to visit, I'd love to know.

LightTripper Tue 26-Jul-16 15:34:35

Hello SomePig.

I've been using NannyJob and found that while we've found a handful of really good applications there has been a lot of rubbish (probably 30-40 in a week): people obviously just pressing a button without looking at the ad (e.g. people from completely the other side of London saying they are local - or people saying they are perfect for the job because they love babies when my DD is already 2). Or people who e.g. have very little nannying experience or very poor English.

This is despite offering £11nph which seems to be reasonably good compared with most ads (the only ads we've seen for £12nph have been very central, very choppy hours, or lots of children being run to different places).

Anyway, I guess I am saying that the number of actually really promising tailored applications seems to me to be quite low, and although the ones of those I've met/talked to have all been very good in person, the difference between receiving those 2/3 really good applications and not receiving them would completely change my view of the site. So even a tiny thing in the advert (e.g. not stating the rate or not making the location completely clear?) might be enough to make the difference between getting those really good ones and only getting the flaky ones?


GinAndOnIt Tue 26-Jul-16 16:50:33

I would guess it's because you're looking for part time help. Perhaps nannies are applying for your job because they really need to find work, but ideally need a full time wage, and in between applying and interview, they find a full time role.

SuperDuperJezebel Tue 26-Jul-16 22:14:38

I wonder if theres something about the job that puts them off, on further discussion. Eg I was talking to a mum about a job she was advertising, she was lovely, all sounded great. Til I mentioned I was still learning to drive but hoped to be driving soon. Her response was "that's fine, I don't see any reason why an X and a Y year old should ever need to leave (fairly small London postcode)". That immediately told me it wasn't the job for me, I love getting out and about and taking kids to museums, farms, parks etc. Not saying there was anything wrong with that being her preference but I immediately knew we werent a good match. Could it be something like that?

venys Tue 26-Jul-16 23:38:16

You know I think you find similar attitudes in many service industries these days eg building, cleaning etc. People get let down by others so often. Could it be people are just putting their feelers out, then scared to commit if they are already in a role? If you are getting desperate, maybe try an agency. Potential Nannies might be more inclined to commit to at least the interview and the agency has probably already vetted them somewhat.

Cindy34 Wed 27-Jul-16 09:30:01

Sometimes I wish there was a review site of families. In reality it would be a bit tricky, it does not really work for reviews of nannies, yet alone for families.

Your job needs to be attractive. Keep playing with the wording, wait a week, see who applies, then adjust the wording again. Be clear about pay, location, expectations.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 28-Jul-16 23:15:03

Would be lovely to have a place you can review families 😂😂😂

Can you do brief description of ad - ie 3 day nanny to baby and 4yr - 3 days a week 7-7 paying £12 gross

And we will see if anything really wrong

Do either of you work from home?

Where have you been advertising? Gumtree etc brings in many weirdos different people

Try nannyjob. Then serious candinates should reply

NuffSaidSam Fri 29-Jul-16 19:19:26

I think if you're getting lots of interest from the ad, but then losing them before the interview, the problem must be the correspondence after they've initially got in touch.

Is there something about the job that you're not revealing until that stage? Are you slow in responding to their applications? Are you arranging interviews in a coffee shop instead of in your house? Are you asking for a phone interview and then an interview where they meet you and Dh and then a third interview where they meet the children? Have you been too vague on your location in the ad?

lovemylot1 Fri 12-Aug-16 09:11:27

Sometimes I wish there was a review site of families. In reality it would be a bit tricky, it does not really work for reviews of nannies, yet alone for families.

Review sites for any personal service are dubious. To say it would be 'a bit tricky' for families is understating it by some way as it would have the potential to cause immense upset to people.

Would be lovely to have a place you can review families 😂😂😂

No it would not.

I hope that you can see that the difference between review sites for a professional service and review sites for a family. If nannies want the nannying profession to thrive then this kind of thing is certainly not the way forward.

Thank you anyway as you have helped me in my decision to give up work as I do not enjoy sharing my home and loss of privacy and the thought of our nanny discussing our home and life (despite the confidentiality clauses in the contract) with other people makes me feel quite cold and sick.

doctoratsea Fri 12-Aug-16 14:41:34

@lovemylot1 You are of course quite right in what you say.

However nannies always have and always will talk to other nannies, family and friends about their job. It's normal as otherwise they can seem somewhat isolated in the work they do.

Although your confidentiality clause should work when it comes to posting information or photo's for example on social media. It will of course have zero impact when it comes to nannies gossiping with eachother.

Trust me 'gossip' happens in the medical profession too...

Yerazig Fri 12-Aug-16 14:59:22

Yes nannies do tend to gossip just like on every career sector. but for example a nanny posted about being sacked and she was the 5th nanny to leave and the child was under two. The mum was posting everywhere and no mentions of the previous nannies or that she paid in cash only and wouldn't give a contract. I nearly interviewed with her untill I read about her So in circumstances like that I think it's quote important.

lovemylot1 Fri 12-Aug-16 14:59:45

Hi doctor thanks for replying to my rather grumpy message. I get upset and annoyed by this because in my work I am subject to strict confidentiality clauses and I adhere to them without question. It would be lovely if people who work in the caring professions were even more careful about this, but I understand that culturally it is not like this, which is a shame.
My personal opinion is that all home childcare should be properly regulated, given the high cost to employers and the level of trust required, and the high stakes of looking after someone's child. I think this would benefit nannies and other home childcare's just as much as employers and undoubtedly would benefit society as a whole as more women (lets face it it would be more women) would be in the workplace.
Anyway I have today handed in my notice and I am honestly grateful that this thread has been the catalyst for that, as I just didn't feel happy with many aspect of having a nanny. Nothing personal against our nanny who is lovely, but I just think it's difficult (for me, anyway) to accept someone else being in my home, in charge of the food, spending, and with inevitably different opinions on what is right and wrong for my children.
I'm sure there are many people who love having a nanny!

lovemylot1 Fri 12-Aug-16 15:02:02

Yerazig I would report that employer to HMRC. But then again I realise there are employers out there paying cash to nannies, which is a disgrace as the rest of us are paying (through the nose) for the shortfall in tax and NICs to the Treasury.

NuffSaidSam Fri 12-Aug-16 18:16:52

If you're looking for very tightly regulated childcare, then you have the option of a nursery or a childminder.

It is completely right that nannies are not regulated in the same way, the government needs to step back and let parents have the complete and final say over who they have in their house looking after their children. It would benefit no-one to take parents' power away and hand it over to the government. It would not benefit nannies or employers or children or society as a whole, it wouldn't even benefit you. You have the choice of more regulated care if you want it, and you've chosen instead to give up work completely, don't kid yourself that regulation is the issue.

You've almost certainly made the right choice for you and your children. But these issues are yours, and thankfully, fairly rare. Most people are happy with at least one of the forms of childcare available (even if they're not happy with the cost of it!).

lovemylot1 Fri 12-Aug-16 20:11:24

Hi nuff thank you for your interesting post. Do you really think it is right that anyone can call themselves a nanny, and not be subject to any form of check or training ? Childminders and nurseries are not right for everyone.

lovemylot1 Fri 12-Aug-16 20:24:46

im thinking about this - how about this:
I realise I have hijacked this thread so I will try to turn it back towards the OP's theme.

Let's set aside the option of nurseries or childminders because for many people they simply are not an option.

There is Norland but who else? Maybe competitor services with their own standards and ethos would offer choice of trained and skilled nannies to suit a variety of families.

lovemylot1 Fri 12-Aug-16 20:25:56

What I'm saying is there is a lack of clarity from both nannies and employers over what to expect etc. Maybe there is a commercial solution rather than regulation.

NuffSaidSam Fri 12-Aug-16 20:40:56

'Do you really think it is right that anyone can call themselves a nanny, and not be subject to any form of check or training ?'

Basically, yes.

Because the parents need to be God in this situation, not some government agency.

You don't have to employ the first person that comes through your door. If you want a qualified and checked nanny you can have one, it's not as though they don't exist! There are a range of qualifications a nanny can have. You can perform reference checks and a DBS check. You can have one who is Ofsted registered. You can have a Norland Nanny (if you can afford it!).You get to choose exactly the person you want for your children.

The wonderful thing is that another family who find their preferred candidate is an older lady, unqualified but with loads of experience with her own children, kind, patient and a wonderful cook can employ her. They get to choose who they want. They don't have to reject her in favour of a highly trained, very expensive Norland Nanny because some government bod who has never met them or their children has decided that is preferable. They get to choose who their ideal nanny, not your ideal nanny. Do you really believe that is a bad thing?!

Their is a lack of clarity over what to expect because the nanny-employer relationship is unique to each nanny and each employer, but that's a good thing, not a bad thing! It's a personalised service, not cookie-cutter childcare!

nannynick Fri 12-Aug-16 21:20:18

Maybe there could be different levels of nanny.

Anyone could call themselves a nanny.
Those who met a regulators requirements and who registers with the regulator could call themselves a registered nanny.
Then those who meet a higher level could call themselves a Professional Nanny (that is not to mean that others are not professionals but just trying to think of a name that conveys that someone meets a higher defined standard). Who would define what that standard was, realistically it would be in law so it would be Government but through consultation with interested groups/associations/parents and nannies.
Then Government could enable those nannies who meet that standard to access early education funding if they wished to do so (not forced to accept it).

NuffSaidSam Fri 12-Aug-16 21:31:04

But we already have that don't we?

Anyone can call themselves a nanny.

Then there are Ofsted registered nannies, who can accept childcare vouchers.

Then there are Norland nannies, and other highly qualified nannies.

And everyone else in between. Giving parents the widest possible choice.

I think it would be good to have a choice in childminders. Those who want to jump through all the Ofsted hoops and those who don't could be 'registered' and 'non-registered'.

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