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Problem finding childcare - please help

(22 Posts)
tigger15 Thu 02-Aug-07 18:39:08

I am due to go back to work very soon and need to find someone to look after my ds who will then be aged 6 months. I am a city lawyer (not magic circle) quite low down the hierarchy (I'm a very young mother by lawyer standards)and work long but not horrendous hours. Therefore I need childcare that goes from 8-6.30 as a minimum so that I have some chance of occasionally being home on time.

I thought a nanny would be a good idea as most CMs and nurseries only seem to go till 6pm. Plus the only nursey near us which is £2k pcm is always full.

I advertised in the Lady for a nanny and was willing to pay £340-350net pw. I got one who then discovered her visa was running out. I then offered it to another who despite having agreed that she was interested in the job and the salary came back today saying that she couldn't accept it unless I gave her £100+ pw on top of that. Since that would mean that I could just about afford my travel to work and maybe if I'm really lucky a coffee on top, I don't see much point in doing this.

Most of the applications I've received have either not read the advert eg thinking they're applying for a housekeeper instead of a live out nanny or have very little experience with little children/babies. I'm not going to leave my ds with someone I can't trust or feel won't know what to do with him. (Mixed feelings about going back to work which aren't helping but I get depressed being at home so SAHM is really the last option.)

Am I offering too little money? Is there any other avenue I can explore that will suit my needs?

All advice gratefully accepted.

oneplusone Thu 02-Aug-07 18:43:25

Have you only posted an advert yourself? How about trying an agency? They will interview the nannies first and make sure they know exactly what the job entails and make sure they have visas etc.

Worth a try.

WanderingTrelawney Thu 02-Aug-07 18:45:00

If you're in London, for those hours I think £350 net will get you someone at the more junior end of the profession. Agree a gross term in the contract, it'll work out better in the long run.

Try gumtree, nannyjob and great au pair, or an agency if you can afford it.

If you use an agency, do NOT take their word about references - ALWAYS check for yourself, and be v wary of a mobile phone number.

You could try a nursery or childminder/ nanny combination - then you only pay the nanny (ie the more expensive option) for the few hours a day the nursery/childminder doesn't cover. Many nannies/teachers/students are happy to bump up their weekly wage this way.

Good luck.

tigger15 Thu 02-Aug-07 18:46:24

Only quibble about agencies is that they won't do references or weed out that many people and then take £850 fee for their service. I was told this by people who used them. But worth a try I guess.

jura Thu 02-Aug-07 19:11:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumlove Thu 02-Aug-07 19:17:17

Have you spoken to any childminders about how late they will work until, as I have my normal working hours but they are flexible depending on what hours a parent needs.
I would only say that if a parent wanted later hours like 6.30pm onwards that they would have to accept that we would sit down for our tea before collection, is that something you would accept?

fridayschild Thu 02-Aug-07 19:19:06

I have advertised direct for a nanny in the past and I found that no-one seemed to read the advert. Agencies were a bit better (not fantastic, just less bad). I used Tinies last time, who sent a summary of the conversation they'd had with referees along with candidates' cvs.

If you are really running out of time there is a nursery near the Barbican which sometimes has spaces - we are in the City and HR tell me that is what they suggest to people as an emergency. Let me know if you want its name - might help. Your DS could go there for a bit till you get a nanny you are happy with? Though commuting with an infant would not be fun at all...

tigger15 Thu 02-Aug-07 20:05:03

I actually found a nursery 5 mins from where I work (which is Aldgate/Fenchurch Street) which was nice but I don't like the idea of ds being in a nursery for that long. Plus the idea of doing the tube in rush hour with a buggy is very unappealing! I tried at quite a civilised time and it was not great.

The other prob with a nursery in the city is that I have no back up if I have an emergency at work. With something nearer to home my dh (who works out of london most of the week) and my parents who live very close could always collect him. That wouldn't happen if he's in the city as it would take my back ups an hour to get there.

I'll try CMs tomorrow and see what response I get. Do you know any CMs in NW8 who do longer hours/ have vacancies?

BTW I start work in just over a week

allthatglisters Thu 02-Aug-07 20:16:49

By the way, even if childminder's initial response is no to the slightly long hours, ask to visit - we can be charmed by nice poeple who will always pay on time, pay the going rate, (perhaps in advance and with a deposit), send in extra fruit with the child, provide wellies, proper clothes, work with the childminder about any extra equipment needed (e.g.loan of travel cot), take an interest in and appreciate what the childminder does with the kids etc, etc - well, you're the lawyer, I presume you have persuasive skills! Of course this is if you love what you see. Try others if you don't.

fridayschild Thu 02-Aug-07 22:08:19

Agencies I think, at such short notice... I do agree about nurseries in the City, but I didn't know if you'd thought about it at all. Good luck!

nannyj Thu 02-Aug-07 22:46:36

I would imagine you would have to pay at least £400 a week for a live out nanny in London, even one with basic experience. Have you thought of a nanny share? But i know time is ticking so that may not be a good suggestion. It's definately worth going to agencies and the ones i'm with have always checked references before they will put me forward for jobs but they do charge alot of money. Always check the nannies references and make sure they have an up to date 1st aid certificate and trust your instincts. Good luck and keep us posted

Crotchety Thu 02-Aug-07 23:06:43

You can search for childminders (and other childcare) by postcode here

mojenko31 Mon 06-Aug-07 21:13:08

From when do you need a nanny?

CarGirl Mon 06-Aug-07 21:16:39

my suggestion was going to be nannyshare even as a shortish term solution.

Millarkie Mon 06-Aug-07 22:29:56

I'd recommend a nanny share too. Try sharingcare.co.uk or thenannysharers.

Quattrocento Mon 06-Aug-07 22:36:27

Oh hello young'un. Welcome to the world of muddling through.

Nanny share is a good idea. You could try a combination of nursery plus aupair.

tigger15 Tue 07-Aug-07 10:46:53

The other problem I didn't mention in the OP is that we keep kosher and I am not happy for ds to go somewhere where he will not be getting kosher food. That rules out most nannyshares and CMs in our area.

I've tried getting hold of the only people I know round here who might be amenable to nannysharing but I think they're on holiday atm.

I'm now calling lots of CMs in NW11 and NW4 (25-30min drive away and inconvenient for work) but they all seem to be on holiday. I'm not keen on nurseries as a long term solution (same problem with the food anyway) and I don't want to chop and change too much as I think it will be distressing for ds.

We live in a 1 bed flat so any sort of live-in is impossible.

I start work on Monday and have temporary childcare of relatives for 2 weeks. They can't do any more than that.

mumlove Tue 07-Aug-07 13:58:51

With a childminder if food is a problem you can always send in you own food DS to eat. I have the children bring in their own food as so many children nowadays have different diets. Then I just add extras if and when needed appropriate to their diet.

Millarkie Tue 07-Aug-07 16:47:31

One of the reason that I use a nanny (used to have a shared nanny) is so that I can control the food - my children are vegetarian. I don't want to have to make all their meals and send them to their childcare each day.

tigger15 Sat 11-Aug-07 22:49:47

Problem solved!!! I spoke to someone who I thought might be amenable to a nannyshare (if she had one) and discovered she was sending her dd to a nursery. We looked at the nursery it covers most of our needs(food to a certain extent, location and price) and was really nice - much nicer than any of the others I'd seen. We went to view on friday and ds starts settling on monday.

Thank you so much for all your advice - really helped to clarify the options.

RachaelG Mon 13-Aug-07 14:07:34

Hi there! What's the name of the nursery?

tigger15 Mon 13-Aug-07 17:49:51

Beginnings on Seymour Place

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