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Volunteer nanny- help please?

(23 Posts)
victoriagirl Tue 22-Jul-08 21:04:54

I have twin babies. Someone who runs a nanny agency stopped me one day and said they sometimes get people who need work experience and want to do voluntary work. I said I would love a bit of extra help and before long she found me someone who has started volunteering with us. We are hoping she might nanny for us when I go back to work, so its in my interest to keep her, but am wondering about things like insurance - do we need this- and what sort of expenses should I pay? If I pay her 40p per mile, it will work out at over £10 each time she comes and we are broke. I know this is a bit of a random post, but has anyone got any bright ideas?

Diane73 Tue 22-Jul-08 21:10:45

I would say you only have to pay her for business miles not to and from work!
Have you got a car you can get her insured on for work hours- then you don't have to pay mileage at all.
Expenses should be for outings and activities for the children. Most of the times your home insurance should cover her working in your home double check this with your provider.
I've been a nanny for 18 years now so any other questions let me know!

navyeyelasH Tue 22-Jul-08 21:13:15

Umm do you pay her 40p per mile to get to yours? When I did volunteer work (mentor for abused children) I didn't get any money to get to the place of work which I think it pretty standard?

I'm not sure about insurance though, nannynick would know. I'd assume (probably wrongly) that so long as you don't pay her or empoly her in any formal fashion you don't need it. But please don't take my word for it as it is just an asssumption.

If you are in Bristol I sometimes have volunteer slots to help parents who can't afford childcare.

Good luck!

Millarkie Tue 22-Jul-08 21:13:24

You may find that you already have insurance cover within your normal house policy.
Mileage is only for car travel within the working day so depends on how much your children need to be driven about - 40p per mile is the maximum that the inland revenue allow before it's a taxable you could offer less (but mostly people offer 40p per mile or a flat rate per month).
Other expenses include nanny's meals, costs of activities/playgroups, heating/lighting costs, and obviously nanny salary, tax and NI!

navyeyelasH Tue 22-Jul-08 21:41:59

Nannies meals?! shock

nannynick Tue 22-Jul-08 21:48:00

Are you wanting advice about once you have decided that you want to employ this nanny, or advise with regard to the nanny being a volunteer?

As a volunteer, I would suggest that you don't pay anything... but instead give a gift voucher of some kind, whenever you feel like it. When I've volunteered on playschemes, gift vouchers were often used to thank volunteer staff. If your volunteer incurs any expenses once they have arrived at your home, then aim to cover those expenses. Not sure what those would be though - perhaps things like todder group admission.

nannynick Tue 22-Jul-08 21:50:34

Once an employer, you also have Employers NI (National Insurance) to pay. Your employees Tax and NI is deducted from their Gross pay. If you are not doing PAYE paperwork yourself, then you will have the cost of using a payroll agency.

victoriagirl Wed 23-Jul-08 08:23:12

Thanks everyone. You have been really helpful. I am more worried at the moment about her as a volunteer- if we employ her then it seems more clear about insurance etc. But we were wondering if we needed public liability insurance for her as a volunteer (in case she did her back in carrying a baby or something and sued us)?
Kind of wish I hadn't offered to pay her travel to and from coming to our house now as she wasn't expecting it, but feel guilty if she keeps coming and we don't give her anything with petrol the price it is. I would imagine she is as broke as we are. Maybe I could give her something like £5 a week. But don't want to insult her.
On a different subject, if/when we employ someone in January, do we need to do risk assessments etc?

Millarkie Wed 23-Jul-08 16:13:32

I thought you were looking for advice re: future employment of nanny rather than current volunteering - sorry..hence me listing all the expenses I could think of that would be relevant in that situation.

On the question of risk assessments - I do 'risk assessments' of the job each time I employ a new nanny but I don't fill in forms (ie. as I would at work)..I check out safety equipment eg. smoke alarms, fire blanket, oven gloves (I kid you not )
And nanny is given an info folder on her first day which has a number of things including contact details for us, grandparents, doctors, nhs direct, schools, whereabouts of stopcock, fuse box etc, and we do a tour of the house with instructions on things like - where torches are kept in case of power cut (we are in the country and get a lot of power cuts).
I may be a bit over the top though.

missiesparkles Wed 23-Jul-08 16:31:26

Millarkie - I am a nanny attempting to complete an NVQ3 in Child Care, and I have to do a risk assessment of the house I work in+also present a list of things I should need to know in an emergency - would you mind terribly if I used your list as a starting point?? I wasn't told any of this when I started!

Millarkie Wed 23-Jul-08 17:49:42

If I can find an electronic copy I'll send it to you Missie but it might take me some time, have ds with burst eardrum - I should be checking and updating it all now anyway since I have a new (first ever) au pair starting in a few weeks. Some of it I cover verbally on the house tour.

I once interviewed a nanny whilst we were having building work done on the house and she told me that in the circumstances the environment would fail a risk assessment and she would only take the job if she could take the children out of the house all day. shock

missiesparkles Wed 23-Jul-08 18:14:57

Oh that would be lovely if you wouldn't mind!
romance[dot]is[dot]saltsweatsugar[at]gmail[dot]com, many thanks!

Totally sympathise re: ear, I had many a bout of glue ear/poked and prodded ear drums and the like myself. Turns out I have something called 'cookie hearing' or some such madness.

Anyway, I digress. Take as long as you want, I'm still very grateful.
And omg at risk assessment nanny - she sounds like Mario from BB!
What was your answer?!

nbee84 Wed 23-Jul-08 18:30:12

Obviously I don't know your financial situation, but I think having offered to help cover her petrol costs and then offer her only £5 a week is a bit insulting. How many miles is she doing each day? How many days each week does she come to you? Though I realise she is gaining experience and may even have a job at the end of it smile could you not afford to give her a more realistic contribution to her petrol costs? I'm not suggesting you cover it all. After all you are receiving lots of 'free' help with your childcare.

nannynick Wed 23-Jul-08 19:16:10

As a volunteer, I would have thought your household insurance would provide cover, in the same way they would if they were an employee. If you are really concerned about it, then contact your insurer and ask them to confirm what they will and won't cover, given your specific policy.

imananny Wed 23-Jul-08 19:43:22

when you go back to workand she becomes a paid nanny, do not pay her petrol to and from work - have NEVER had this,nor do i know of any nannies who have petrolpaid for them - it is their choice to take the job

£10 each time means she is 25miles away so quite a distance - or you mean 12.5 each way?

how often is she coming, ie twice a week so £20 cost to you

have never done/had a risk assessemnt and been sole chaarge nannying for 17years

should i have/do one?

nbee84 Wed 23-Jul-08 19:58:05

Yes - as imananny states about if she works for you - it is not normal to pay anything for travel to and from work - so if you offer her some petrol money whilst she is volunteering make sure you make it clear that it is just whilst she is doing unpaid work for you.

imananny - smile you now know someone that has petrol paid for them (part not full) to get to work as my very generous employers offered it to me as they were on the outskirts of how far I wanted to travel to get to work.

imananny Wed 23-Jul-08 20:23:26

indeed i do now know someone nbee grin but you are alone!!!!

victoriagirl Wed 23-Jul-08 21:27:34

Thanks guys. Millarkie- your risk assessment stuff is really useful for when we do employ someone. Those are the sort of things I just would not have thought about.
Re: money- I thought I could pay her 11p per mile, but now I feel really, really stingy!! She is coming for 2 mornings per week. If I paid her £10 per week- is that still way too tight? We are just so broke, and if I say I can only afford for her to come once a week, I don't think that will give her the experience she needs. I really can't afford to pay her £20 per week. And to be honest if I could afford £20 per week, I would rather pay for a babysitter in the evening and go out with my dp!! But she is really, really nice and I don't want to take advantage. Kind of wish I hadn't got into it in the first place! In theory it will be a help, but at the moment I feel it would be a bit irresponsible of me to leave her alone with the babies, so it is not free child care. Looking after twins is a bit of an acquired skill if someone is used to looking after one baby.
But whatever happens I will make it clear I can't do it when/if she is working. But I don't think for a minute she would expect that.
I really do appreciate all your thoughts and help.

nannynick Wed 23-Jul-08 21:34:41

Have you asked her what she wants, in terms of contribution towards her travel expenses? She may be happy with £5.

I don't feel you can leave a volunteer alone at any point. Once they have been with you for a while, then perhaps having them with the twins for a few minutes while you are in the kitchen making a coffee would be acceptable.
They are a volunteer helper, an extra pair of hands to help out, rather than someone to take over.

nbee84 Wed 23-Jul-08 22:06:30

£10 sounds better than 5. But as Nick says ask her what sort of contribution she would like - she may well suggest £5 for the week or £5 per visit. When I said free childcare I really meant a free extra pair of hands. I should imagine you are finding her really useful as I know twin babies can be really hard work.

imananny Thu 24-Jul-08 08:47:31

when i did work exp years agom i had just learnt to drive, petrol was OMG 64p a litre shock BUT the famillies i went to, did not pay me exspenses towards travel - didnt even occur to me tbh

as your lady is not using her car for work, ie wear and tear, then dont think you need to pay her 40p per mile - maybe suggest £5 a week

def understand that paying her petrol money could also mean a night out for you and hubby instead

victoriagirl Thu 24-Jul-08 13:11:53

Thanks all. Have resolved it. She has agreed to 20 pence per mile. Still wondering how we will manage that, but I am sure we will find a way. She is really nice, and so far has been totally reliable, so I really don't want to take advantage of her. Thanks again

nbee84 Thu 24-Jul-08 13:31:16

BTW I think it's really nice of you to offer some help towards her petrol costs grin If she stays around until you go back to work and you decide to hire her (and she takes the job) you will have saved loads of time, hassle and stress trying to find someone. I'll bet there's lots of parents on here that would be very envious of that.

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