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Nanny issue - spending too much time on her own errands

(37 Posts)
Feelingoptimistic Tue 09-Jun-09 21:05:23

I don't really want to give too much detail in case my nanny reads MN.

Basically, have only had her for a short while. DC seems very happy, and she is punctual, everything seems fine BUT she has been a little less than honest with me about what she does during the day, and on a couple of occassions took DD back to her place during the day, and I suspect she must have had some personal errands.

I almost feel like I should spy on her or something... What would you do?

nannyL Tue 09-Jun-09 21:21:31


that is outragouse.. do you or does she realise that if an accident occurs at her house she wont be insured? and nor would your son.

I think yu need to nip this in the bud and tell her in no uncertain terms that while working she is to remain at or based at your home

Emmy84 Tue 09-Jun-09 21:23:55

I agree with nannyl, nip it in the bud asap and lay out firm ground rules at least then if it happens again you'll know it isn't a misunderstanding and that she has just defied your rules.

Feelingoptimistic Tue 09-Jun-09 21:24:58

Thank you nannyL. I am glad that's your view. I kind of said that to her today, but I think I need to sit down with her again and have a formal chat.

fridayschild Tue 09-Jun-09 21:25:43

I think you need to talk to her. She needs to understand that while previous employers might have been happy with this you are not, or not during her trial period. If you have got the wrong end of the stick I am sure nanny would welcome the chance to put your mind at rest, and perhaps that is the way to open the conversation. If you don't want to be a dragon you could say that she must clear it with you first before the DCs go to nanny's house.

My advice is to be firm at the start, and relax later. It is much easier that way round. I had a nanny once who kept popping into Mothercare for things for baby, which seemed fine until I checked the receipts. She was going to the Mothercare on Oxford Street rather than the three branches which were nearer the house.

Feelingoptimistic Tue 09-Jun-09 21:27:48

Yes, Emmy84, I think that's the problem. Because the first time I told her I was unhappy about what had happened, but I was trying to be nice. So the second time that's exactly what happened - she said she thought it was ok !!! Yes, will make things very clear !

Feelingoptimistic Tue 09-Jun-09 21:31:36

Thanks FS.

Yes, will be firm and clear !

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I am not used to this, as previous nanny was so fab I was able to just leave her to it and she did a better job than me !

Oligo Wed 10-Jun-09 00:02:53

Assuming she is insured I think most nanny insurance would cover going to her own house occasionally. I've done this before now, for children to see where i live (come from!) e.g. as part of a day out. But I would never do this without checking with employer first and not at the beginning of job 'cos whats the point.

It is important you are able to trust your nanny though. If she is not being honest about what goes on in day this is a worry. Why wouldn't she tell truth?

frAKKINPannikin Wed 10-Jun-09 08:34:40

Nanny insurance would probably be invalidated without parent's consent, which nanny doesn't have so the point is a valid one.

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 10-Jun-09 08:38:40

As an ex-nanny employer, I can't really see what the fuss is about, tbh. Everyone does some personal stuff during their working day - simply because we have to - e.g. go the post office, make some phone calls, etc. Why should your nanny, who will be working a very long day without a lunch break, be any different?

And what's wrong with her taking your DC to her house?

There is obviously a balance to be struck here, as her duty is clearly to be caring for/in charge of your DC, so I think you need to be very clear about what it is you're unhappy about, whilst also cutting her a bit of slack.

LittlePaws Wed 10-Jun-09 08:56:47

Also if she is caring for your child in her home and she is not a registered childminder, she is actually breaking the law.

ssd Wed 10-Jun-09 09:02:42

agree, if she's spending all day doing her errands then I'd be miffed, but most childminders take their charges to Asda/ etc., it isn't the end of the world

doesn't the op get a lunch break to do personal stuff?

well the nanny doesn't ! so she fits it in around her day.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 10-Jun-09 09:58:32

tbh i dont see the problem - she prob works long hours, doesnt have an official lunch break to go to post office etc so she does some errands during the day

a nanny is meant to be in the place of a mum while they are at work so she is only doing the same as you might with your child ie post a parcel/pick up milk etc

i go back to my house sometimes and hang out washing if sunny - i have some toys at my house and all 3 of my charges love going there and playing with them - sometimes i go back after school there and have tea ta mine, which all 3 LOVE and mb thinks is lovely - they also terrorise play with my pets smile

insurance wise - i think it is the 2hr rule so yes if only popping there and not there all day then she should be covered

but in the end if YOU are not happy with this, then it is your porogative(sp) as her employer to say you arent happy

frAKKINPannikin Wed 10-Jun-09 11:04:07

Blondes do you mean the 2 hour rule for CMing? Maybe your policy is different but I'm only insured under mine if I have parental consent for activities so there's no 2 hour rule and if something happened I'd be screwed.

nannynick Wed 10-Jun-09 11:39:01

I have my policy document as a PDF, so I'm hunting for this CONSENT bit. Can't find it.
Which provider frakkinP?

It would be impractical for a parent to give consent to a nanny for each outing that nanny does. I can just imagine me phoning up my boss twice a day to say... can we go to x museum, go for a walk down x path by y river?

I rarely take children to my home... when it has happened it's usually due to me forgetting my glasses (I can see fine in the mornings, gets worse in afternoons!). I probably forget my glasses once every couple of years.

Feelingoptimistic - I do not feel that your nanny should be taking your child back to her home on a regular basis. Doing her own errands is also not on. It is a job like any other.

frAKKINPannikin Wed 10-Jun-09 11:52:05

It's French so that may make a difference! I get round it by having a lost of things I'm NOT allowed to do and consent is given for anything else which may crop up in the course of discharging my normal duties. I think it's quite good actually because it's pretty damn watertight and if there is an accident parents can't turn round and say 'oh but I never said you could do that, how dare ypu?this is all you fault.'

nannynick Wed 10-Jun-09 12:00:48

Yes, suspect that will make the difference. French law won't be like English law... so insurance terms will be different.
I like your way of getting around it... blanket consent for everything, then a list of Not Permitted things.

FabulousBakerGirl Wed 10-Jun-09 12:31:05

There is doing odd errands, nipping home, etc but lying about it or just not telling tells me she knows you wouldn't approve.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 10-Jun-09 13:04:03

have you actually said that your nanny CANT go to her own house?

regards insurance must be a french thing, otheriwse if insurance was only valid at the childs home then what would happen if at a friends for a play, the park, walking round duck pond etc

Feelingoptimistic Wed 10-Jun-09 13:52:39

Just to respond to some of the issues raised, I think my main concern is trust. We are in London, and my nanny does not live that close, so it's wasn't like she was just popping in to her house to get something. They had to make a special trip there, and I guess that made me feel like there was something not quite right going on. Anyway, I have had to tell her that she needs to clear it with me first. I never had to set these sorts of rules with my previous nanny.

Blondes - I completely agree with you - very happy for the nanny to pick up some groceries for herself, etc, get a coffee. My concern was that she was taking DC to a different part of London, for no obvious reason.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 10-Jun-09 14:05:45

then thats very different

i work about 6miles from my house and its about 2 from where school/nursery is

Oligo Wed 10-Jun-09 14:30:01

I think you are in a difficult situation actually. How did she respond? Your OP suggested there were other things but maybe you didn't want to say.

If so somehow you could try to get her to open up about what she really does all day. Maybe she feels/expects you have high expectations (nothing wrong with that), perhaps you could say something like wow you did a lot why don't you have a cup of tea while DC plays for a while; or in the morning just emphasise they have a happy, chilled day. I know you shouldn't have to and you might not have done anything for her to feel this way but it could be a way to get her to feel comfortable.

hope i didnt offend

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 10-Jun-09 14:36:42

how old is your dc?

are they old enough to say what they did ie went to park, went swimming/saw a friend etc

when you say "less then honest" is she lying where she has been or is she just not saying

i normally say to mb what we have done in eve when i pick her up, ie park, coffee am,seeing a friend, swimming etc - we do do the same things each week so she has a rough idea but sometimes these plans do change

i never check with my mb that i can do what i do, she trusts me, i have been with them for 3years but even from day one i would go out with dc and take them to places without checking

though at interviews i always mention that i am a very sociable nanny, and go out/see people - but i also have quiet time at home to play/bake cakes, do playdough etc

its just finding a balance

but the main thing as i said before, if that YOU are not happy with your nanny doing this so doesnt matter what anyone else does iyswim

Millarkie Wed 10-Jun-09 16:10:55

I hope you haven't got my old nanny - she used to drop my ds at school then put my dd in car and drive for 30 mins to her house, hang out with her mum (who smoked) and her boyfriend, no suitable age toys at that house etc, and then dd would spend another half hour in the car driving back. Was not impressed when I worked out what had been happening (especially since I was paying for the petrol). Not in the same league as nanny popping into post office or picking up some groceries with baby in buggy.
I would ask her to fill in a daily diary with activities that they have done and also make it clear that you expect to be asked before your dc are taken anywhere out of the local area. And do point out that you employ a nanny so that your dc are cared for in their own home with their own things about them, not to be in someone elses!
Good luck. (Really hope it's not the same nanny!)

Feelingoptimistic Wed 10-Jun-09 16:32:59

Millarkie - that's my exact concern - that she may have wanted to go back to her own place because she prefers to be there, etc. whereas the whole point of a nanny is that she works around your child, in the child's home, not the other way around...

DD is just 3 - so a tricky age - will kind of tell me what she has been doing, but her concept of time/place/people is still a bit mixed up - not a reliable witness so to speak !

Will see how it goes over the next couple of weeks and report back !

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