Talk

Advanced search

This topic is for discussing childcare options. If you want to advertise, please use your Local site.

Is there a difference between a nanny and a day nursery worker?

(20 Posts)
bigbigcat Tue 21-Aug-07 11:22:18

Hello, I need some advice, I'm looking to employ a nanny and one of the girls from the day nursery which DD currently attends is looking to leave the nursery and become a full time nanny which is perfect as DD already knows her and she seems a nice girl. Should I be wary of anything, is nannying hugely different to working in a day nursery? DD is 10 months old.

Mumpbump Tue 21-Aug-07 13:37:01

Not sure, but I would check your contract with the nursery. I have seen one whereby you have to pay the nursery a "finder's fee" if you end up poaching one of their staff.

My neighbour had a nursery carer who started off as a mother's help and then when became the nanny when my neighbour went back to work. As far as I know, it's worked okay...

NAB3 Tue 21-Aug-07 13:38:29

But if the girl wants to leave already...?

eleusis Tue 21-Aug-07 13:42:53

I think this is a great way to get a nanny at a lower cost. But, you will probably have some training to do. She will be up on the 0-3 educational needs (probably!). For example, she will know that they learn phonics and not be a dope like me and tech your toddler the names of the capital letters... oops!

But, being a one on one employee with sole charge will be a bit different and you will probably experience a bit of a learning curve while she gets to know you and what you expect of her.

But, it's certainly a workable situation. But, yes, deffo check the contract and see if the nursery will cahrge you a big finders fee (they probably will). Of course I suppose they would have to prove that she works for you so if you could possibly have a break between the time she leaves there and the time she begins work for you, then you might get away with it.

Mumpbump Tue 21-Aug-07 13:47:21

I agree with the suggestion of having a short break (if she can afford to) between her leaving the nursery and you employing her so that no-one can say that you poached her. I agree that if the girl already wants to leave, it shouldn't matter, but how do you prove that's the case?

bigbigcat Tue 21-Aug-07 15:50:54

I have never signed a contract with the nursery, I don't know if that's an error on their part by never giving me one to sign or whether they don't actually have contracts (seems a bit strange), it's a good nursery and has just passed an OFSTED inspection so I would have thought they would have contracts, but I guess since I've never signed one/been asked to sign one, I can poach their staff and hopefully get away with it (sounds so evil!). I'm going to interview the girl anyway to check we're both happy with how the nannying will work. She wants the same salary as the nannies I've seen through an agency though so she's certainly not any cheaper than a normal nanny, I just feel more comfortable with her as DD already knows and likes her.

WanderingTrolley Tue 21-Aug-07 16:03:34

Nannying is a v different job from nursery work.

Ask her if she has any friends who are/have been nannies, so she knows what to expect. Make sure you have a good contract, and have it all signed and agreed by the time she starts work. Negotiate pay in gross, not net, terms. IMO nannies with nannying experience, rather than just nursery experience, should be the more expensive.

Remember you'll need to check her reference with the nursery - you don't want to find out too late that there were issues you were unaware of, eg timekeeping, record keeping etc.

Barely relevant hijack: anyone know what happened on another thread re: a nanny who was neglecting the laundry?

bigbigcat Tue 21-Aug-07 16:07:48

Thanks Wandering. I will definitely check her references with the nursery. Probably a stupid question but when you say nannying is v different from nursery work, how is it different? Is it just that nannying is ole charge of (in this case) one child wheras nursery work is more children and more staff to help?

Bink Tue 21-Aug-07 16:21:34

If you're already talking to her - ask her to check her contract with the nursery - it may say something restricting her leaving to work for a client of the nursery. (Even if it does, the restriction may not be enforceable - but very worth while checking so's to be forewarned!)

What WT says about having nanny friends is terribly important. The main difference between being a nanny & a nursery worker is that as a nursery worker you're part of a team - you've got a boss organising the schedule, all your co-workers know what their role is and everyone has the company of others if they're not sure what to do or something goes wrong - or even something as simple as going to the toilet - there's someone else there to hold the fort. Nannying (I'm talking about sole charge nannying here, not shared care - which is it you're looking for?) is a self-motivated job which needs initiative and is no fun at all (for nanny, child or employer) for someone who's not a self-starter. If this girl has nanny friends she'll not only know the score, but she'll also not have that awful initial period of loneliness when she's not part of the nursery team any more.

WanderingTrolley Tue 21-Aug-07 16:33:24

Nursery: feeding, changing, looking after children.

Nanny: as above, plus: shopping, cooking, meal planning, laundry, organising playdates, tumbletots, monkey music.

It's not rocket science, but if she's a sweetheart who would happily sit inside all day and play nicely with your dd, then she's not a nanny. On the other hand, if you think she has the organisational skills to sort the above, the nouse to realise it's a bad idea to book a term's worth of classes at nap time (for example,) capable of providing nutritious food, shows initiative and can cope with the autonomy etc then hire her.

There are many posts like the one I mentioned before - those that say 'the children adore her but...[problem with nursery duties/meeting other nannies and children/being able to cook]' None of which is insurmountable of course, it just depends on how much training you want to be doing intitially.

Bink's right too - in many ways nannying is not for shy-and-retiring types. I'm trying to think of a good analogy, but the only thing I can come up with is the difference between being a shepherd's job of a) rounding up a flock of sheep versus b) one to one care of a sheepdog!

Also be aware there is a power shift. As a nursery worker, her boss was her manager, not the parents, and the nursery provided a service. Now, she has to do what you tell her, to be blunt!

I seem to be painting a very bleak picture here - for all we know she might be climbing the walls in the nursery and desperate to have a less boring job (for her.) She may well be a super nanny, but you are right in thinking there will be a few things to be aware of first.

bigbigcat Tue 21-Aug-07 16:38:26

Hi Bink, thanks. It is sole charge I'm looking for. She does have nanny friends already, quite a few of the girls from the nursery have left over the last few months to become nannies locally and she is still in contact with all of them. Just out of interest, what does the nanny do with DD if she needs to go to the toilet?? I always give DD to DH to look after if I need to go, but nanny will be on her own with DD and she is at that age where she is crawling into all sorts of places she shouldn't and trying to put everything in sight in her mouth so I wouldn't want her left alone. Might make that into one of the interview q's!

ladymuck Tue 21-Aug-07 16:39:14

The work environment is quite different - she is going to be in your home, potentially having access to anything you might hold to be confidential. And sole charge means just that - there isn't another first aider to help in an emergency. She doesn't get tea breaks or lunch breaks. She will be going the whole lot including toilet training. A nursery - parent relationship is different from a nanny-parent relationship and she will have to adapt. She probably won't have had to do any cooking at the nursery - can she cook? [You'll be surprised at how many people can't!]

whereisthfloor Tue 21-Aug-07 16:57:50

The laundry is slowly improving. I've accepted that nanny is never going to be particularly tidy. I keep telling her to tell DCs to cleanup.

But she's lovely in other ways.

Whenever I say jump she asks how high. I just wish she would take more initiative.

Oh well, school will start soon and then her daily schedule will be forced upon her.

So, it's going okay. She's not perfect. But then neither am I. And she is really good with the kids. And that's more important than a clean house.

Bink Tue 21-Aug-07 18:27:54

BBCat - re toilet - norm is to take your charge with you (at least while still young enough for there to be no embarrassment!) or leave the door open. Having to leave door open often comes up as the Clinching Reason why nanny-cams are not acceptable.

(I'm surprised there needs to be a clinching reason at all, but presumably some employers are convinced they're needed. Actually, that is another shift you need to do as an employer - from knowing (in nursery) that your childcarer is under constant supervision, to having to have total trust in an unsupervised person. That's not difficult with the right nanny, though.)

nannynick Tue 21-Aug-07 19:17:10

Some differences:

Nannies don't get lunch breaks, often no child-free time at all during the day.

Hours for nannies can be longer, 10 - 12 hours is not uncommon.

Nannying can be very lonely... there is no other adults to talk to. Thus nannies like going out and about, toddler groups, meeting friends etc. At a nursery, there are other staff to chat with, during breaks and also during the working day.

Nannies report directly to the parents - at nursery they report to a manager, who will deal with any difficulties that arise.

Nannies in my experience do not spend all day in one, or two rooms... they go out and about, taking children to the park, to activities/groups, a bit of shopping.

Food preparation - nurseries have cooks... a nanny needs to be a childcarer AND a cook.

>I just feel more comfortable with her as DD already knows and likes her.

That is a major plus point. Your DD already knows her, but only in the nursery environment. Perhaps as a starting point, ask her to babysit, so that your DD also gets to know her, while at your home.

Ecoli Tue 21-Aug-07 19:41:44

Haven't had time to read all the other posts so sorry if I'm repeating anything.

We employed a nursery nurse from our children's nursery when she wanted to leave it and we wanted a nanny rather than nursery (due to elder child starting school). She was obviously 'good' with the children and they were happy with her as they already knew her but she found it quite a change from the nursery.

- she was very lonely for the first couple of weeks, until a friend of hers also left the nursery and became a nanny locally.
- she found it very strange that she couldn't 'come in late' or 'go home early' when she fancied it - as when she was at the nursery the rest of the team could cover this sort of flexibility.
- ditto for sick leave - she had a lot more sick leave than I expected - for coughs colds and 'feeling tired'.
- she had only worked with 2years and over, which was fine for us since my youngest was 2 but has meant it has been very hard for her to find a job since we no longer needed her as most nanny jobs need experience from babyhood up.
- her cooking was ok (I gave her a list of easy to prepare healthy meals which the children liked and I bought in ingredients each week) but she had no training in nutrition so (I later found out) she would buy high fat/high salt food and serve it to my children because she fancied it. (v. nasty cheap frozen convenience food)
- she tidied the playroom but never put the kids washing on etc.

Having said that - we looked on it very much as having a 'trainee' nanny so tried to give her as much feedback and support as possible - but also paid her slightly less than the going rate for qualified nannys - and we paid for her to complete a first aid course before she began. And she loved the job after the first couple of weeks, loved being able to get out and about during the day.

BirdyArms Tue 21-Aug-07 22:21:35

I recently interviewed a nursery nurse for a nanny role. I really hit it off with her and wanted to give her the job but was a bit nervous how she would cope with conflicting needs of my baby and toddler. So I got her to take the lead with taking them on a trip to the playground and was truely shocked by how badly she managed. Ds1 was running in front of the swings whilst she trailed miles behind with the buggy and she didn't have a clue what to do when it was time to go home and she needed to persuade ds1 to leave whilst ds2 was getting grissly. I know that you aren't in the same situation and only have one little one so probably easier for her to get up to speed. Just wanted to say that there might be more of a gap than you think.

BirdyArms Tue 21-Aug-07 22:21:35

I recently interviewed a nursery nurse for a nanny role. I really hit it off with her and wanted to give her the job but was a bit nervous how she would cope with conflicting needs of my baby and toddler. So I got her to take the lead with taking them on a trip to the playground and was truely shocked by how badly she managed. Ds1 was running in front of the swings whilst she trailed miles behind with the buggy and she didn't have a clue what to do when it was time to go home and she needed to persuade ds1 to leave whilst ds2 was getting grissly. I know that you aren't in the same situation and only have one little one so probably easier for her to get up to speed. Just wanted to say that there might be more of a gap than you think.

BirdyArms Tue 21-Aug-07 22:22:13

...and wanted to say it twice to make sure you got the message!

Millarkie Tue 21-Aug-07 22:43:32

Yes, we had an ex-nursery carer nanny and she found it really hard to work out what to do to entertain a 4yr old and a 2yr old. I had to tell her all my 'strategies' but she struggled with the difference in abilities. (Also didn't have much idea about healthy food as other posters have said).
If I was going to employ another nanny with only nursery experience I would talk through these differences with him/her, to check that they were aware of them and had ideas about what to do, otherwise it's a lot of hand-holding for you to do.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now