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Trying to find a nanny for weird/irregular hours- WWYD?

(66 Posts)
Huishnish Sun 12-Feb-17 11:29:50

Hi all,
Just wondered if anyone had any experience of this? We had a brilliant nanny who could accommodate my weird requirements (DH and I both musicians) but recently moved to berkhamsted, Herts and I just cannot find someone. Have been looking for 5 months! I've tried offering a minimum number of hours per month, and have tried agencies and childcare.co.uk. Surely I'm not the only person on the world who doesn't work mon-fri 9-5?
TIA

MadHattersWineParty Sun 12-Feb-17 11:36:43

what kind of schedule are we typically talking though- is it very unpredictable? What minimum hours do you offer? Times are hard and if you're in London the nanny has her own outgoings she has to cover. I had to have a chat with my boss recently as I'm on an hourly rate and she'd needed for less hours than normal- it had a huge impact on my financial situation until she agreed to increase the hourly rate.

It's not always easy for a nanny to work late into the evening at short notice either. We have lives outside of work. If it was a job that meant giving up weekends and evenings I'd expect the pay to reflect that.

Bythebeach Sun 12-Feb-17 11:39:29

It's tricky as unless the minimum number of hours is a full time equivalent, it's not very attractive as irregular hours don't easily allow another job etc. We did have an amazing flexible nanny but we started with two years of regular hours and then she was keen to stay when my hours became irregular so we were v lucky. How old are your kids? Are you near a hospital nursery - they offer v flexible and late hours to fit with shifts etc.

Huishnish Sun 12-Feb-17 14:25:35

Thanks for your replies. Yes it's wildly different week to week and does include evenings and weekends. I'd offered 50 hours minimum per month. My mil can do a couple of days a week so I'd hoped to get someone who maybe had a job those days and wanted to fit some more work around those but it just hasn't happened. What sort of pay would you say I'd need to give to attract someone? Thanks again.

JoJoSM2 Sun 12-Feb-17 14:35:22

Don't know the number and age of children but 50h/month is very part time. Perhaps an au pair might suit?

Huishnish Sun 12-Feb-17 14:43:22

I've got 2 boys, 2.5 and 10 months. I know it's a big ask... guess I was just unbelievably lucky last time to find an amazing nanny who didn't mind fitting in.. any other ideas? Do you think a nanny share might work? And if so, how to find one? Thanks

Artandco Sun 12-Feb-17 14:53:51

50 hrs a month is very little. Are they fixed hours?

Heratnumber7 Sun 12-Feb-17 15:00:55

What you need is an au pair. The answer to all your problems!

Huishnish Sun 12-Feb-17 15:11:32

Yes I feared that. Our house isn't big enough really and I'm not sure I love the idea of someone living with us... has it worked out well for you number7?

Artandco Sun 12-Feb-17 15:15:57

An au pair isn't really suitable for a baby and toddler. They are for older children really. You would need a live in nanny

WheresTheEvidence Sun 12-Feb-17 15:19:42

50 hours a month is very minimal that averages to 10-12 hours a week. Is that over any certain days or different days each week. WouldNT you be better having a babysitter?

Huishnish Sun 12-Feb-17 15:29:39

It's different days/times each week, some weeks I work a lot and other weeks not at all. How do you mean a babysitter? What difference does that make to having a nanny? I'm keen to have one main person looking after the kids as they're still tiny. Also I'd rather have someone well qualified- partly to set my mind at rest but also it's quite tough with the small age gap etc

MadHattersWineParty Sun 12-Feb-17 17:10:54

It's so tricky for someone to commit to that though as how would they work in another job? 50 hours a month at the going nanny rate would not even cover my rent.

venusinscorpio Sun 12-Feb-17 17:26:31

You're not thinking about it from a nanny's point of view, are you? If there are more convenient, better paid and more regular roles your role just isn't going to attract people, let alone the highly qualified and experienced nanny you want. I think you're going to have to compromise on something. To be brutal it's your problem, no one else's.

How could a nanny share work when you can't commit to regular hours?

underneaththeash Sun 12-Feb-17 17:30:05

We struggled to even get someone 25 hours a week when we moved out of London and ended up with.....an au pair. But, as art said your children are too young for an au pair.

It is very difficult to get part-time flexible childcare outside London.

Maybe change tack a bit and try and find someone who maybe only works 3-4 days a week, but may want a few extra hours sometimes? If you get 3 people like that then you may have your week covered.

I'd also suggest giving sitters.co.uk a try too. They do have daytime sitters and can often accommodate short notice, but you're unlikely to get the same carer each time.

MustBookADentistAppointment Sun 12-Feb-17 17:33:37

There are lots of Berkhamsted nanny/babysitting Facebook groups, have you tried advertising on any of them? Some friends have had a lot of success advertising for strange hours/arrangements on there.

Huishnish Sun 12-Feb-17 17:36:40

Thanks Venus. Really helpful. Yes I have tried to see it from the nannys point of view. If you'd read my posts you'd have seen that I used to have a great nanny who was able to help when I needed her. Plus I have mil 2 days a week so I could have a nanny who had a job elsewhere 2 days. I was only asking for advice here. I'm well aware it's my problem and no one else's

Huishnish Sun 12-Feb-17 17:37:41

Thanks dentist, I'm not on Facebook but will get on there and have a look. That's really helpful. Thanks

venusinscorpio Sun 12-Feb-17 17:37:44

I think it was helpful, actually. You are being unrealistic.

Huishnish Sun 12-Feb-17 17:38:38

Good idea underneath, I'll try looking for more than one person

venusinscorpio Sun 12-Feb-17 17:39:05

I did read all your posts, thanks. You found one woman who was willing to do it. Now you can't find anyone. But you don't think you should compromise on anything.

WheresTheEvidence Sun 12-Feb-17 17:40:15

Can you not commit to 2 days with the nanny 9am-7pm say and then Mil fill in the other days?

What hours are you actually working as a musician? I say babysitter as if it's evening work 5pm onwards then a babysitter would be a better fit than a nanny.

Huishnish Sun 12-Feb-17 17:40:28

What? I don't know what your problem is Venus. At what point do I say I'm not willing to compromise on anything? I'm asking for advice ffs. What do you suggest I compromise on?

Artandco Sun 12-Feb-17 17:40:45

Can you have just a fixed day per week? Ie every Friday 7am-7pm? Then you work that day if needed ( assuming freelance from your nature of work), and if your not working have nanny in anyway and you can take one child each for part of the day for 1-1 time, or she does some child related chores ie children's laundry etc?
I think paying for fixed days is the only way as otherwise they can't work elsewhere

INeedNewShoes Sun 12-Feb-17 17:42:39

Huish - I've got a very similar problem to you (in fact I created my own thread on this yesterday!).

And funnily enough, I live less than ten miles down the road from you!

I'm also a musician, but a portfolio musician so I only do a small amount of playing; the rest is audio editing, arranging and teaching. I'm struggling to find someone just to cover the two evenings I teach even though that is a fixed day/time every week. There just don't seem to be any flexible childcare options. All the nursery and childminder hours end at 6:30pm around here.

Babysitters will cover evenings but charge nearly twice as much but don't have the qualifications etc. that childminders have.

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