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Overthinking New Hire Nanny(13 Posts)
For the last (18) months, we have had an amazingly wonderful nanny. Unfortunately, due to health problems she resigned, and her last day was 21-July. We have a temporary nanny in place throughout August.
We have interviewed about 5 or 6 nannies - and I just can't feel 100% with anyone. We've interviewed 1 very experienced nanny, 3 nursery nurses wanting to move into nannying, and then 2 primary school teachers that want to reduce their paperwork/better work/life balance, etc.
We are leaning towards one of the 2 primary school teachers. Both were enthusiastic, engaging, got on the kids level, etc. I think I'm hung up on the fact that neither is the same as our old, great nanny. I know, I know...
I'm tempted to go with my gut and go with one of the primary school teachers and just evaluate for 3 months. I am mostly worried about all the 'little things' that our old & current temp nanny does that makes my life easier (ie - kids washing, encouraging them to tidy up, proactively popping to shop if we're running low on child essential (ie milk, etc)). I also sort of worry that some of the most 'domestic' tasks are sort of beneath a university educated teacher.
Please talk me down from the ledge as this is just going round and round in my head...
Ask them! That's the only way to find out.
They are moving from teaching to nannying to make their lives easier, they should do everything connected to nannying. To be honest, you should have brought nanny duties you require at interview.
I've been a nanny for 30 years, always done washing and ironing for the children (some of my MB's didn't/don't require ironing, I like their clothes ironed so do it anyway!) Cook for children, occasionally double up recipe for employers to eat in the evening. Tidy up after children and myself, although encourage the children to tidy as they go.
I do errands for my employers, wait in for trades persons and parcels (even today when I'm on holiday!)
Most nannies do these type of 'extras' if our bosses are appreciative. I get to finish early if my boss is home or if grandparents are visiting. I get great birthday and Christmas presents. The occasional thank you presents, bunch of flowers or nice bottle of fizz when I least expect it. I get more holiday than stated in my contract and my boss is bending over backwards to make sure that I can have lots of time off when my first niece/nephew arrives, even though we have no idea whey s/he will arrive!!
Thanks for your message - yes, we did clearly state these sort of duties in the job advert and then spelled them out again during phone & in-person interviews.
Yes - we try and be the type of employers we'd want ourselves. Extra time off, bottle of fizz if particularly hard week (I remember a week when myself and our kids both had tummy bug).
That's great! If you've told them what you expect and they agree to take the position then they'll be happy to do what you ask.
I would put all nursery duties and some errands in the contract so you can refer them back to it should they start to slip! Also, if she does one thing once, for example, empties/puts the bins/recycling out but it's not in her remit, don't assume she's happy to do it weekly. I have to remind my DB to do it most weeks (it's his only household job!) after I did it a few times he seemed to think it had become my job, I soon put him straight! I've been a nanny long enough to know what I will do daily/weekly and what I'll do very occasionally as a favour and I will tell them if I think they are pushing their luck! A new nanny may just do it and resent it, don't let it get to that stage!
Anything to do with the children counts as nanny duties. She's probably taken the switch really seriously and researched, so should know this. However, I wouldn't expect any nanny, whether a grad or not, to be a general domestic help. Tidying the kids rooms is fine, but if you want someone to clean other rooms, do personal errands for you as opposed to the kids, you'd be best asking for a nanny/housekeeper. An ex teacher probably wouldn't want to do this though
thanks - our previous nanny did things like empty dishwasher 2 -3 times a week, offered to do our laundry as well. She never did our evening meal dishes. (nor shoudl she of). She also took in packages if she was already home (ie didn't wait in for them, but signed for them if she was in). She also let in our cleaner.
I think its all in clearly setting what is and isn't in boundaries. I would hate her to resent or think we're taking the piss.
I think the other thing holding me back is that our 2.5 year old may start nursery in April - just 10 - 15 hours a week. I'm not sure what I would ask the nanny to do instead. Can I vary her hours this much without having to renegioiate contract, etc?
It would be an amendment to the contract. Your nanny may not accept the new hours, so you would be making that role redundant.
Whilst your 2.5 year old is at nursery, who will be around in case nursery closes, if they are taken ill? If you need your nanny to be on-call during those hours then you would be paying them all the hours.
In a job I did start at midday, collecting child from pre-school. That worked as dad worked from home so he was on-call if there was any issue whilst the child was at pre-school.
Yes - very good point. And during school holidays, I would need full hours. Probably not worth nickel and diming. I'm curious how stringent it is. For example, normal hours ar 8 - 5. If we had to change this to 8 - 5:30 or 9 - 5, would that constitute a change in the contract and the nanny may not have to accept this?
You would discuss it, most people are reasonable. Jobs change from time to time. You would document such a discussion via email, you may even print something out to go with the contract if it changed the overall pay. I would try to stop worrying about that sort of thing as it may never be an issue, your next nanny may be very happy to be a little flexible in the working hours.
Do try to determine the initial working hours such that they are not likely to change that much, have some time beginning and end of the day as a bit of a buffer for having a chat, you needing to leave a bit early on occasion, missing a train on way home. What nannies tend to dislike is an employer saying they will be home at 6pm but then texting/calling at 5.30pm to say they are just leaving the office when the journey time is known to be over an hour.
Our first nanny did not empty the dishwasher or the bin. We never again hired a many who didn't - so yes make it clear if the bin is full or the dishwasher is full that she needs to empty it.
The nursery hour are another thing entirely. Most full time nanny just do other childcare related duties whilst their charges are in pre-school. Its on;y 15 hours a week and when you take into account drop offs and pick ups, sickness, school holidays etc, its not that many hours. You may want to write that into the contract? But you can't expect to reduce hours for that.
Thanks - yes - I think its about setting clear expectations and clear communication throughout.
Our son went to preschool 2 days 9 - 4pm. But, our little girl could do 8:30 - 12:30 (3 days) a week.
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