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Nannies in families with school age children - what does your do during the day?

(18 Posts)
Catfeena Fri 05-Sep-08 14:31:12

Hi - trying to work out equitable solutions with our nanny about stuff she does while our DC are at school ( age 4 and 6). she will not to housework and when we asked her to spend some hours (13 per week out of the 42 she is with us on 4 days a week during school terms) looking after a neighbour's toddler son she agreed she would do 7 - the neighbour needs 13 hours covered when she freelances.

our nanny is great and has been an important part of the children's lives - and is the only we've ever had.

i want to find tasks that we all agree are acceptable - what do other people's nannies do during school hours?

navyeyelasH Fri 05-Sep-08 16:01:13

I iron children's clothes, wash children's change children's bedding, ensure children's rooms are relatively tidy, stock pile cooking for the freezer, stock up on essentials like bread, milk, butter, fresh veg, bit of baking if I have time.

I work 4 hours in the afternoon, 4 days a week during the school term - when you consider school run can take up to 40 mins (10 mins walk - 5 mins till bell goes - 10/15 mins for child to appear - 10 min walk back); preparing, eating & clearing food takes 1 ish hours. That only leaves 2 hr 20 mins for other nanny tasks and time for children homework/music practice/after schhol activities like brownies/general attention and fun that all children deserve.

It might seem your nanny has a lot of "spare" time but in my example there is no spare time at all and if one things goes wrong (child had bad day at school needs extra cuddles etc) the whole schedule goes to pot.

callaird Fri 05-Sep-08 16:18:23

Is she being paid to look after your neighbours child?? Does she do any nursery duties/shopping/errands?

When I looked after school aged children (nursery school 5 mornings) I would do food shopping twice a week, run errands (light bulbs, dry cleaning, health food shop, boots shop etc) do some batch cooking/freezing, washing/ironing and sort childrens room/playroom once a month.

Once all that was done the time was my own as long as I had my phone with me incase either of the children feel ill.

I think it would be unfair to ask her to do anything un-child related, and also looking after someone elses child unpaid is unfair too!

Sullwah Fri 05-Sep-08 16:32:11

Why is it unfair to ask her to anything unchild-related?

I have babies - so this is an issue that I will not have for a few years yet. But am interested for the future.

If I have a cleaner to do the heavy jobs why should the nanny not do the lighter jobs that I would do if I were at home? Otherwise I would be spending my precious little time at home doing these jobs and not spending time with the DTs. And the Nanny would be getting all the fun with the DTs and I would get none!

Nannies get paid very well in London - why should "the time be my own"? Mine isn't when I am at home - and I see the Nanny standing in for me when I am at work.

I accept that after all the kiddy jobs are done there is not much time - but I would like that time to be mine and not the Nanny's.

callaird Fri 05-Sep-08 16:40:36

Nannies are generally employed to look after children and to do anything related to the child. I will hoover areas that the children use, sweep/mop kitchen areas and clean the children's bathroom, I won't do any other cleaning, if you want a cleaner, employ a cleaner, if you wnat someone to do child care that is what you get, chilcare!

You might find a nanny who will do housework but I don't know of any nannies personally who will go beyond nursery duties.

imananny Fri 05-Sep-08 16:43:41

anything that goes in hand with looking after children, ie their washing/ironing/changing beds/cooking/tidying playroom/their bedrooms etc can be done when chldren are at school

i was happy to do odd errands ie post office, pick up dry cleaning, do food shopping but i refused to do housework/parents ironing

once all duites were done,then time was my own to go to gym/go to my house/lunch with friend etc

dont think it is unfair of you to ask the nanny to look after neighbours child for those few hours, though assume she will get some payment?

you are the employer so up to you to decide whether you want your nanny to do stuff, and then if she doesnt, to choose whether to let her stay and be paid the same, to do errands etc or get rid of her

Catfeena Sun 07-Sep-08 20:12:40

we have tried to work out child related duties to fill the hours, but TBH, there are a few hours that we can't fill - all of us are trying to agree what jobs are acceptable. we also have a cleaner and the cleaner cleans DCs rooms and bathroom so nanny doesn't have to do those - she does all their laundry and cooking of course.

imananny Sun 07-Sep-08 20:38:52

our cleaner does children rooms as well but i have children at home all day

maybe suggest to cleaner that she doesnt do the rooms, and that nanny does - the nanny shouldnt take offense at this, as it is termed under nursery duties(anything to do with children is imo) though I dont do any duties in my job (but if i had school aged children i wouldnt mind iyswim)

and maybe then cleaner can spend extra time cleaning out oven/fridge/cupboards/cleaning windows - one a week, so rotate one a month

or you can just allow youtr nanny to have a fdew hours off to enjoy at her pleasure, as long as she can be contacted by school - ie have her mobile with her all the time

OFSTEDoutstanding Sun 07-Sep-08 20:41:38

OMG am now realising how much I did for the family I used to nanny for, and what a mug I was!!
I had looked after the same family for 6 years and once the 3 children had started school full time I continued for a further 4 years doing cleaning, weekly shop, helping in the office, delivering for MB business, running errands, helping with the holiday cottages and the other properties that the family owned on top of all the regular nanny duties. I worked 7.45-6 and once the dc were at school I had from 9-3 to get whatever needed doing done. Once I had finished the rest of the day was my own until school collect (not that there was ever much of the day left!)
Of Course in the school holidays all of the extra jobs went out the window and I was just nanny with nanny duties again.

nannyL Sun 07-Sep-08 21:54:10

when i had school age children...

so long as i had done their beds and ironing and had tea 'sorted' the time whe they were at school was mine to do what i like...

go to gym, see friends / grandparents /my own shopping etc.

A cleaner was employed so i didnt ever do any cleaning (and i wont as im not a cleaner, im a nanny) but i did obviously tody up after myself and lave an immaculate kitchen etc

so long as all the childrens duties are doen what is the problem witn the nanny using the time with no childre how they choose... so long as their phone is on incase school need to contact them etc

dont forget etc that school age children dont sleep so when its the holiday time we do 11+ hours a day with no break at all

fridayschild Mon 08-Sep-08 09:00:26

We have this dilemma too, but our nanny is happier to do "other" jobs as well as nursery duties - I think! Also she does not like to be bored so time to herself is not what she is after.

She does the on-line grocery shopping, things to the post office, dry cleaners, popping to the shops to get the things we have run out of. There is a big project of sorting out the playroom, and then a blitz once a month, and sorting out the boys' old clothes, and keeping on top of that once a term. This is not quite enough for someone who seems not to want to sit down with a nice cup of tea and rest... I have a friend who could probably do with a couple of hours without her baby once a week, but the friend is trying to save money and I agree that an extra child from another family should mean more money for the nanny.

I think I will encourage her to go into school to help with the reading once a week. Catfeena, is that something your nanny might do?

AussieLou Mon 08-Sep-08 09:13:58

I am meant to work a 12 hour day and only do nursery duties with some light housework (eg tidy kitchen after using it to cook dinner etc) but I do a 14+ hour day. The 4 children all finsih school at different times. I do all the kids laundry, cook dinner for the family, grocery shop, take them to activities, and am now rearranging their whole house. I do not have time to do anything of my own during the day (oops am on mumsnet right nowwink.Hopefully that gives you another example!

Catfeena Mon 08-Sep-08 10:32:03

Thanks for all the suggestions so far. Going in to school is an interesting one Fridays, will see if that flies.
I've been surprised to see the postings from nannies who have a lot of down time unfilled. From the employer point of view we've always been prepared to pay top rates - because we want - and get a really good, professional person to look after our children. However, we're all in agreement that having large chunks of time with nothing being done didn't feel right - nanny raised this herself when youngest dd started school.

Anchovy Mon 08-Sep-08 10:56:37

It's an interesting one and I'm pretty much in that position myself as DD started reception last Thursday.

Our nanny is beyond fantastic and a very integral part of the household. I want her to stay for as long as possible, so I have said to her that she must think of things to do that ensure she does not get bored. She has nannied for older children before so knows what the rhythm of the days will be like.

We could not function without a nanny with us both working the hours we do, so she has a fairly long day - I think a couple of hours down time in the day is perfectly acceptable. For example I know one of her nanny friends who has just had a baby is coming round for a coffee with the baby this morning - that's fine by me.

She does all of the things everyone else has mentioned. She is a brilliant cook, so often when we get home she has made something for our supper as well as the children's. (This is an excellent development!)

I do not exepct her to do general cleaning or our ironing etc, but she is happy to do a bit of fetching things and waiting in for things which is great.

DH believes the best solution is to have another baby!

Stars22 Mon 08-Sep-08 12:42:27

I have been in my job 4 years. When youngest was at pre school i used to do same as others have said which can take all morning. Now she is starting school full time I am leaving because the family say they cant justify paying me full time when there isnt enough work to do. I would have been quite happy to do the families housework/cleaning if it meant keeping my job.

imananny Mon 08-Sep-08 12:58:53

duh - brain obv has gone -forgot to mention poss goin to school and help with reading/swimming - i did this every wed am - which school reallp appreicated

yes we may have chunks of unfilled time during term time, but 9weeks of summer hols make up for it grin

every nanny is different, and guess you have to find something that works for both of you whether time off, cleaning or childcare duites

I do still think that your nanny catfeena should do all the hours your firend wants, its not many and as you are paying her ful time, it wouldnt hurt her - why does she not want to do 13?

Catfeena Mon 08-Sep-08 15:33:33

Hi Imananny, thanks for adding your thoughts. Our nanny has made it very clear that she doesn't want to do more than the 7 hours with the other dc without really saying much about reasons.

Now, we've always been clear that we wouldn't have more children after our 2nd was born so I can appreciate that she doesn't want more on her hands - if she did she'd have gone for a job with a family with more or plans for more in the first place.

I do appreciate that school hols are very full on for sole care professionals (and full credit to the heroism they bring) and that there should be down time during terms to compensate for that - and also time for nannies to catch up on stuff at their own home/of their own agenda (boiler check, dental visits and so on). In our case we do take our dcs away during the holidays 3-4 x each year for a total of 5-6 weeks so at least there are breathers!
There's not a huge expectation gap here, it's not a broken relationship - we just all need to feel that's it's a fair arrangement I think.

imananny Mon 08-Sep-08 19:22:07

tbh if your nanny doesnt want to clean (fair enough) then think she should give you a good enough reason why she doesnt want to do those 13 hrs for your friend

sch is roughly 9-3, so 6rs a day times 5 - 30hrs a week - so the 13 is less than half her spare/free time

i would much rather look after small children then clean for 13hrs grin

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