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Normal for nanny to go to toddler group, an hour bus ride away?

(27 Posts)
firsttimer08 Fri 10-Jul-09 20:13:36

I understand nannies typically go to groups and activities where their friends also go - but is it normally to travel 1 hour each way by bus, when there are perfectly good baby groups 5-10 mins WALK away?

Should I discuss this with the nanny? I didn't even realise the group was so far - it doesn't seem appropriate given the heat.

rubyslippers Fri 10-Jul-09 20:20:58

2 hours is a long time on a bus

would i be happy with this? No,i don't think so - have a chat with her

EyePeam Fri 10-Jul-09 20:21:26

sounds very odd and unneccessary. 2 hours spent on a bus is a bit much for a small child if it's solely for the purpose of going to a toddler group!

also would your nanny not benefit from meeting other local nannies?

I would raise it with her.

FeelingLucky Fri 10-Jul-09 20:31:59

My ex-nanny wanted to take my DD to a library which was an hour's bus ride away when there are perfectly good libraries a stone's throw away from our home.
I posted on mumsnet to ask if it was odd and some people suggested that perhaps DD would enjoy the bus ride.
Could this be the case with your DC?

In my case, my ex-nanny was just a bit odd as she knew my DD hated bus journeys and when I raised it with her, she stumbled for an explanation.

nbee84 Fri 10-Jul-09 20:33:18

I think if it's something she's doing once a month it's reasonable. Once a week - not.

Hopefully she is using the time on the bus to point out things out of the window, read books and generally talk with the child. Children love going on buses.

firsttimer08 Fri 10-Jul-09 20:33:28

I don't want to sound like an unreasonable employer. Whenever I've read postings on mumsnet, it seems that its very normal for nannies to be doing this type of thing. So I just keep quiet and go with the flow (first time i've employed a nanny) - but its just turning out to be a bit much. We've asked her to stay in due to the heat, for instance last week, but she feels its better to go out for the baby than be cooped up in the house (albeit at the risk of a sun stroke !)

firsttimer08 Fri 10-Jul-09 20:34:52

well he always goes to sleep in the buggy - so hardly being stimulated by the outside environment !

nbee84 Fri 10-Jul-09 20:42:24

I think it would be quite reasonable to ask her to limit the distant toddler group to once a month (if you are happy with that) Could she ask her friends to come to a toddler group local to you once a month?

It's quite important to see other friends with children otherwise nannying can be a very solitary job, but if you have toddler groups and activities near to your home then really she should be trying to make some friends that are a bit more local.

firsttimer08 Fri 10-Jul-09 21:24:10

Honestly speaking, I don't quite follow this argument on mumsnet all the time - 'that nannying is v. solitary and you need your friends'.

In all my jobs, I have not known a single person before I joined (similar to going to a new toddler group with strangers) and even after few years sometimes its hard to break into the cliques. My typical day is so busy, that I sometimes don't even speak to my manager - just finish my work and leave. That's fairly solitary, but I'm not asking my manager to move my desk (or hire my friends) so I can have a good time too.

nannyL Fri 10-Jul-09 21:36:02


firstly (from a nannies point of view) no i do NOT think it is appropriate to go to a toddler group and hours bus ride away!
I very rarely (drive) anywhere more than 30mins away and most places would be arrived at within 15 / 20 mins max!
(that said i have accompanied my nanny friend to her toddler group a couple of times when we have been spending the day with them at theirs, (and theres was a 20min drive away!)

As for your description of your job i really dont see that is relevant.
If you are looking after 1 baby you are NOT run off your feet, you do NOT have loads to do, in fact you may well a couple of blocks of several hours a day with NOTHING to do while your charge is asleep! It would be VERY boring to be in all day, and i dont think its fair to suggest that just cause you are busy working all day without seeing friends, that your nanny should sit in by herself all day too! As nannies a major perk of our job is that we do get paid to go to beach / zoo / park / farm / swimming etc with our friends wink.
when you are working a 12 hour day (maybe with a child who cant even talk) with no break you DO need adults to talk too

nbee84 Fri 10-Jul-09 21:36:29

I can see what you mean - but you are working a shorter day than your nanny, I expect you get a lunch break and maybe even a tea break and a nanny has no chance of a break (unless you only have one young one that has a sleep) and how many Mums are out there that will agree with the fact that you need to get out and about and see people otherwise you would go stir crazy. A nanny chooses to do her job as she loves children but it doesn't mean that she wants the company of the baby/toddler/child to the exclusion of adult conversation and company every hour of her working day. I like to do something out the house every day - sometimes with other nannies and mums, sometimes not, but I spend far more of my time with just the children and I enjoy that just as much as being social - and I think the children do to.

nbee84 Fri 10-Jul-09 21:39:09

nannyL - bear in mind that 1 hour on the bus can equal going 20 mins in the car in terms of distance. Buses go all around the estates and have to stop every few minutes smile

nbee84 Fri 10-Jul-09 21:42:30

firsttimer08 - when I talk about seeing friends - it would only be other friends (or nannies) that have children too, as obviously I am working and my charges would get the benefit of socialising and having other playmates.

nbee84 Fri 10-Jul-09 21:46:38

And grin (I know, I'll shut up in a minute!!!)as you know this topic has been covered before and as long as the nanny is not just gossiping and ignoring her charges you will find that the vast majority of nanny employers are happy and even want their nannies to get out and be socialable with their children. I expect most employers would be worried if their nannies and their children saw nobody week in week out.

nbee84 Fri 10-Jul-09 21:47:38

socialable - new word wink

firsttimer08 Fri 10-Jul-09 21:53:01

my point was simply that you can form new associations at a different toddler group too. I just feel any employee should be able to adapt to the environment. For instance a nanny should be willing to go to a new toddler group and make new friends. While adult conversation is fine, but it doesn't have to be with friends of your choice only.

In any case, whilst my job is not at question here, I actually don't take a lunch break or tea break. Before I could take this liberty, but I need to be much more efficient in my work as I must leave early to pick up my baby.

nannyL Fri 10-Jul-09 22:01:25

i completely agree that yes, she should be able to go to new toddler groups alone, and then make new (more local) nanny / mummy friends!
as i have done in ALL my jobs smile

many of my really good nanny friends have been nannies i didnt know who i met AT local toddler groups / classes! And i have a few great "mummy" friends at these classes too smile

nbee84 Fri 10-Jul-09 22:01:37

But my post mentioned going to see her friends at the distant toddler group only once a month and going to the local toddler group to make local friends too.

Until you make new friends it is nice to see older friends, because as you mention it can be difficult to break into a 'clique' and wouldn't be nice to work in solitary for a month or two or three.

But, going back to your original question - you are the employer and if you don't want your nanny travelling that far then you need to have a chat with her and she needs to respect your wishes. (BTW where do you live? It hasn't been hot in Herts this week smile)

nannyL Fri 10-Jul-09 22:03:44

firsttimer... it is YOUR choice to not take a lunch break.... im sure you could nip out for 10 mins to pick up some milk / get a newspaper etc.
obviously a nanny cant leave the house at all wink

firsttimer08 Fri 10-Jul-09 22:13:52

nbee84 - nope I meant last week ! today was quite warm though.

yes we should have a talk, but its just not a nice thing to do is it - I end up complaining but get scared about annoying the nanny too much.

fair enough nannyL - though I 'choose' not to take a lunch break because i work in the 'city' and if i were taking a lunch break and then taking off before 6pm everyday - I'd probably lose my job.

nbee84 Fri 10-Jul-09 22:32:17

I'm sure you could approach the chat so that it doesn't come across as a complaint. Any professional nanny will be happy to follow your wishes if they are reasonable - and this is a reasonable request, it's not like you're asking her to be a hermit.

limonchik Fri 10-Jul-09 22:38:10

I don't think it's normal for a nanny to go to a toddler group an hour's bus ride away, unless maybe you're somewhere very rural where there are no local groups.

I actually disagree with nbee84 about the importance of nanny friends. I think it's important to have a nanny circle/network with similar aged charges so both the nanny and children get to go out, socialise etc during the day, but I see this more as a "work colleague" kind of relationship than as a matey one. I have met nannies through work who have become really good friends who I socialise with outside work, but lots of my nanny friends, though lovely people, I wouldn't necessarily choose as mates - I see them because our charges get on really well, or we work locally, or go to the same groups/school etc.

It's important to have adult contact during the day, but that doesn't have to be particular mates. When I start a job in a new area I go to local groups and try to meet local nannies. I think it's a bit unprofessional of the nanny to be travelling an hour to see her friends, when she should be making new, local friends for her and most importantly her charge.

nannynick Fri 10-Jul-09 23:00:59

As a male nanny I find it very hard to become accepted in groups - thus I tend to stick with the few groups where I am tolerated.
If you nanny finds it hard to make friends with other adults, then they may feel most comfortable at a group they know people at.

>is it normally to travel 1 hour each way
No, I don't feel a 1 hour travel time is acceptable just for a 1.5-2 hour toddler group.

>by bus
You have a bus that is reliable? Must live in a big city.

>Should I discuss this with the nanny?
Yes, it would be useful for you to establish why that group has been chosen.
While there may be local groups, those groups may offer different things. For example,currently I have to avoid any groups that do singing... as one of the children for whom I care has taken a dislike to signing groups.

nbee84 Fri 10-Jul-09 23:02:31

limonchik - I don't see that as disagreeing with me hmm My 'friends' that I'm referring to are my 'work colleagues' or nanny circle/network. One of them is a friend socially outside of work (just as you have mentioned some of yours are) but she has small children and is also friends with some of my nanny circle so I would see her at toddler/music goups anyway.

nbee84 Fri 10-Jul-09 23:04:54

Reading through again limonchik I'm confused. My views seem to be the same that you have stated???

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