Talk

Advanced search

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

Nannies who bring their own children? Views and experiences, please.

(12 Posts)
Penthesileia Thu 11-Jun-09 11:12:43

We've recently advertised for a nanny for our 1yo DD, and had quite a few responses, several of which are from nannies who would like to bring their own babies with them.

(Info: It's a P/T job; we're offering £9 gross per hour, 28 hours in total, thus about £210 net per week; 8 weeks paid holiday. From comparing other ads, I think we're offering marginally over the average - about £7-8 for our area - and 2 weeks additional paid holiday).

I'd really like to hear from people, both nannies and employers, who have experience of this kind of set up.

I can think of several pros and cons, e.g:

Pros:

- the babies provide company for each other
- a nanny with their own child is more likely (as is borne out by the responses to our ad) to be a more experienced nanny overall
- nanny has personal experience of being a parent
- presumably the nanny is happier to be working with their own child, and thus is more "incentivised"

Cons:

- nanny can't give the same level of 1-to-1 care
- what if nanny's own child is unwell
- the children may not get along
- we'd have to factor in things like a double buggy, another high-chair, cot, etc.

All of this is beside the financial considerations, which seem to me rather fraught.

Having searched the archives on MN, I can see that opinions are (understandably) divided about whether the nanny should accept a 10-20% cut in salary for bringing their own child.

I can see both sides of the argument: on the one hand, £9ph is not exactly luxurious, I realise, so to cut it further seems mean; also, the nanny is likely to be more experienced, therefore is owed a decent salary; furthermore, I'd be reluctant to disincentivise the nanny by cutting the pay (given that we advertised the salary as stated, and didn't put in any conditions, e.g. "according to experience" or "dependent on nanny not bringing own child", etc.).

On the other hand, the nanny would be benefiting from bringing her own child (and thus not having to pay for care herself); also, we would not be receiving the same intensity of care we might expect from a nanny without a child.

Paying for a nanny is going to be our single biggest expenditure over the next couple of years and will constitute a significant proportion of our take-home pay, so naturally if we could save some money, that would be terrific and would make a big difference to the "comfort" of our day-to-day lives; but I am also of the mind that getting good care is a luxury worth paying for, so don't necessarily want to make savings for the hell of it; yet neither would I want to feel like we're being over-generous. Yet I can see that being "generous" (though, as I said, I can see that £9ph is not exactly high-living) might pay dividends in other intangible ways.

Anyway. I'd really like to hear from people who actually have experience of all this, so that I can make a balanced judgement on the issue.

Many thanks in advance. smile

MrsWobble Thu 11-Jun-09 11:33:08

based on your earlier threads about your nanny search I think you need to discuss this with your dh. There is a difference when a nanny (or anyone, including a parent) looks after more than one child (whether they're both yours, yours and hers or yours and someone else's). Given the comments you have already posted you ought to make sure that he's got his head round this or you are setting yourself up for a fraught employer-nanny relationship through nobody's fault.

lizzyboo Thu 11-Jun-09 11:38:34

I used to nanny and take my DD along with me, Its nice for the children to have someone their own age to interact with. Plus if I had had to leave my DD with someone to look after another child I would have spent the whole time feeling guilty and not really put my heart into my job. Ask them to come round and spend a few hours and see how the children get on. The nanny would probably have a travel cot she could leave at your house and you could get a 2nd hand buggy and so on. You need to meet them and decide if the nanny is the right person for the job then look at how things will work. You obviously want the best person and you might have to accept her child comes to to get her. I still see the children I looked after and my DD spends time laying with them, she is now 10 so they built a good bond in the early years and it has carried on even though I am not looking after them anymore.

Penthesileia Thu 11-Jun-09 11:38:35

Hi MrsWobble. Thanks for your advice.

Strangely, DH is reasonably open-minded about this (which is odd, given his obtuse thinking on other matters... hmm).

We have discussed it (after the first few responses came in, and it became obvious that we would need to think about whether to call these nannies for interview or not), and he agrees with me that the most important aspect of this search is to find someone who we trust, who DD seems to get on with, etc.
Although I am more positive about the nanny bringing her own child with her than he is, we would both hate to reject out of hand a nanny who might be "the one" for us because of this.

Penthesileia Thu 11-Jun-09 11:40:47

X-post, lizzyboo. Thanks for your message. Yes, I thought it might feel that way from a nanny's perspective.

If you don't mind me asking, did you accept a cut in salary? If so, how did you feel about this?

willali Thu 11-Jun-09 12:28:39

I think it depends on the ages of the children involved. Years ago we had a lovely Nanny who got pregnant and did ask if she could come back after her baby was born. With a heavy heart I declined on the basis that at that time my youngest still wasn't steady on her feet and I could envisage a scenario where they were at a park or something, Nanny would be breastfeeding her own newborn on the bench, and my daughter falls over and hurts herself. I know Mums have to do this all the time but I took the view that if I was paying a huge chunk of money to the Nanny to look after my child then I would want her to be in a position to give 100% attention. However if my daugher had been that bit older I would have accepted her back in a heartbeat.

Popilol Thu 11-Jun-09 12:33:33

When we were looking for a nanny for our children, I interviewed one who had her own child (18mo at the time) who would have come too. The nanny was very experienced (10 years +) and as it turned out I couldn't afford her - usual mix up over gross vs. net and I was new to the nanny world. She was looking for the same salary as another experienced nanny who came without children.

As it happened we employed a nanny who had worked in a nursery for several years but hadn't nannied before and therefore wasn't looking for so much money. She's been fantastic. A few years later and she has now just had a baby of her own and will be returning to work with her baby. I won't be cutting her salary.

I agree that the relationship the nanny has with the children is key. If considering a nanny with child, I would want to see how they interact with my own children and also meet their own child to see how all of the relationships might work.

lizzyboo Thu 11-Jun-09 12:35:17

No cut in salery, I took own food and nappies and so on with me, paid for my DD if we went anywhere and petrol to get there. It worked well. If I employed a nanny now I would want her to be a mum, your calmer once you've had kids and able to deal with situations that may arise in a better manor. You could look at getting someone older more a mothers help, that way you get the benefit of them being a mum but if they have older children they wouldn't have to bring them along, almost a granny sub. A friend of mine did that and the kids call her nanny jean and she's almost part of the family.

AtheneNoctua Thu 11-Jun-09 12:47:15

I wouldn't consider a nanny with child without at least a 20% reduction in salary. What happens in 12 months when you want to sign your DD up for tumble tots and her child doesn't want to go. Or are you going to have to pay for both of them to go? What if you join a private gym? I think it's common that you buy nanny's membership, but are you going to pay for her baby to join as well? When this nanny leaves your employment your DD will be stripped of not only a nanny but also a best mate. What if nanny has another child and you have another child? Is she going to be able look after 4 under 5s? And how big a pram will that task require? She'd probably need a car at that point. In a couple of years they will go to school. Will it be the same one?

I tink this could work short term if she gives you the incentive of a pay cut (it would have to be at least 20% for me to take on the extra hassle). But, if you want a nanny to stick around for a few years or more I think this arrangement is destined for ruin.

I don't know what your DH is like, but mine doesn't like having kidsin the house when he works from home(Fridays). He puts up with obviously because it wouldn't be fair or nice to tell the nanny she can't come home on Fridays. Be, he'd be doubly distraught if there was another child involved EVERY day.

I just think it's much to complicated for your first nanny. You should ease into this nanny employer stuff to protect your own sanity.

LadyMuck Thu 11-Jun-09 12:57:42

Nanny with child comes at at least 20% discount locally. Unless you are looking for very part-time hours and you have very few applicants? But ime there are plenty of nannies who would love to bring their babies too so there is plenty of competition.

Why are you offering 8 weeks paid holiday? In my experience the nanny will usually get more paid days when she is not required to work than holdiay stated in her contract. Eg contract states 6 weeks, she chooses 3, we choose 3. We will still have another 2 weeks holiday at some point anyway, or travel to see family etc, so nanny ends up with 8 paid weeks even when contract says 6. Nannies don't always give tons of notice of when they are planning to take holidays.

For my own experience the nanny with own child worked well when there was an age difference of a couple of years. Trying to integrate 2 baby routines or 2 with naps can be tricky. When ds1 was 9m his nanny had a 3yo who provided entertainment, and the routines worked very well.

nannynick Thu 11-Jun-09 13:30:23

How long will this job be for? If you hope the nanny will stay for several years, then consider what happens as their child gets older - which pre-school they would attend, which infant school. If the nanny lives very close to you, their child may attend the same school as your own... but that may not be the case. While a share may work now... would it still work in 3 years time?

Penthesileia Fri 12-Jun-09 11:24:53

Thank you for all your replies. Obviously there is such a lot to consider (and I hadn't thought at all about the "evolving" nature of the situation, e.g. as each child grows up and requires different things).

I think we will continue to look at these nannies, simply because you never know who the right one for us may be, but we will probably err on the side of "caution" and go for a nanny without children.

Thanks again (and sorry I didn't reply yesteday - computer on the blink).

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