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Additional costs of a nanny

(11 Posts)
dontrunwithscissors Thu 06-Aug-09 21:00:19

Good evening,
I'm having a bit of a panic about my plans to employ a nanny when I go back to work from maternity leave (which is ages away, but I like to be organised!) I have a decent grasp of wages, and the additional tax/NI costs, but I'm wondering how much extra I should factor in. So far I've considered:
- extra food (given that they would be fed at nursery)
- heating the house
- payroll
- 40p per mile to nanny/transport costs
- Petty cash for activities (how much would you expect to need for that? I'm looking at a nanny 3 days per week.)

Is there anything else I've missed?

Many thanks for any help.

wickedwitchofwestfield Thu 06-Aug-09 21:13:25

this is in no way helpful but I've just finished working for a woman who didn't provide me with any meals (was there 7.30am - 5pm), no petty cash (we had 2 specific activities we went to that she left us exact change for, she used pennies sometimes. lol) refused to pay my tax 'as her last nanny was self employed so why couldn't I be' never turned the lights or heating on (admittedly it was mainly hot but some days were bitterly cold!) and wouldn't let us leave the area we were in ever

so I think what you've thought of is pretty good grin

with regards to food, I've always been told (last job aside) 'to help myself' and I'd like to think I've not taken the mick or used up lots of food - I'd treat it how I treat food in my house, I don't use everything up and I keep on top of things with the petty cash. that being said I'm a really frugal shopper so I'm pretty cheap to feed!
how old will baby be when you get nanny? when I've had little 'uns that are on solid food I've often made us the same food and just mashed theirs up or made it a little bit different with spices etc

whats your ideal petty cash budget? some people have a set amount each week/month and when its gone, its gone, others top up as and when.

heating could be on a timer I suppose?

sorry I've not really been very helpful and I've just ranted blush

dontrunwithscissors Thu 06-Aug-09 21:28:18

Thanks for that reply - it was very helpful. (As an aside - if she didn't turn the heating on and you were cold then presumably so were the children?)

I think it's the petty cash issue that I'm really unsure about. I read this evening about nannies expecting to have loads of options to take the children places, do activities etc. I want my children to get out of the house and have fun, but it got me a bit worried that this would be a large expense that I hadn't considered. My daugher will be 3.9, and the youngest 1 year old when I go back to work. To be honest, we don't really do much that costs so I'm a bit lost. The only things I can think of are playgroups, soft play. Erm....

nannyL Thu 06-Aug-09 21:32:47

Your list is good smile

dont forget;

Maybe cost of extra buggy / car seat to keep in nannies car

food for nanny as well as child. (and things like her brand of tea bags)

how many children do you have? are they (m)any activites you specifically want them to do? if so whatever they cost.
maybe £5 a day... sometimes nanny migth spend more, but other days could be free.

You may get an annual pass for local farm / soft play / zoo etc which would give nanny lots of free places to go so less of a float is needed.

IMO its not unreasonable to suggest nanny and baby mainly take picnics / drinks from home and have lunch out as a treat rather than routine.

hatwoman Thu 06-Aug-09 21:53:29

hi there - I wouldn;t panic too much re the petty cash thing - in that hopefully you'll find a nanny that has a view on activities and spending money similar to your own. when it comes to interviewing you'll hopefully spot the unimaginative/profligate ones and find one who is creative enough to fill her time with your dcs without going ott on expensive activities. yes, in order to be fair and reasonable, you'll need to allow for some paid activities - but ultimately how much you spend on this stuff is up to you. If she's going to be full-time I would say a middle ground might be one or two cheap activities a week (playgroup type things) and maybe one more expensive one - Monkey Music type thing, leaving her with 2 or 3 days for the park, craft at home, visting friends etc

wickedwitchofwestfield Thu 06-Aug-09 21:59:31

she was a little odd.
they used to spoon feed the boy baby jars in front of the TV or whilst reading a book to 'distract' him
... he was 3 years old.
and she once got really stressed that I had been not been cooking sausages with the grill and having the audacity to use the oven to bake them hmm

agree with nannyL - I have generally taken packed lunches out for days out unless parents have specifically suggested it/or are happy to pay for the odd day out.
I must admit recently during a temp stint I have been buying myself £3.49 boots meals as I'm on a diet and have been out and about blush but thats been on 3/4 occassions

crunchygranola Fri 07-Aug-09 11:58:06

re petty cash, I think it depends on (a) nanny's attitude to spending and (b) how clearly you set out your expectations. I have had nannies who really enjoyed spending my money (one of them spent on average £10 a day on coffee/cakes/playgroups; once spent £35 on a dinner, at 4:30pm, for herself + 2 pre-school children!) and those who are very careful. My current one spends £5 a week max - she rarely eats out and just goes to the park, free activities and places covered by pre-paid annual memberships. (Of course to some extent it depends on whether there are such places around you.)

I think you can make your expectations clear at the outset, but if your nanny is the kind of person who eg really likes to meet up with other nannies in cafes/restaurants/playgroups, or isn't very well organised and prefers to say buy sandwiches rather than make picnics, then I believe your efforts to prevent that might make her unhappy in the end. So ultimately you need to choose the kind of person who shares your views on spending. In my view, this isn't easy to establish during an interview, but it's something you can ask her references.

fridayschild Fri 07-Aug-09 18:27:06

I would suggest that when nanny starts, you get her to account for every penny of petty cash - either a receipt or written down in a book. Once you're happy with the spend rate, you can drop that requirement. I'm on my third nanny now: nanny one loved spending my cash, and I needed to keep a close eye on the kitty the whole time I employed her, but nannies two and three were much better at the packed lunches on days out and free library sessions.

When my two were both pre-school, our nanny had a music class and an art class per week for both, which I paid up front, an annual membership to our local attraction and a £30 float which lasted a couple of weeks (it would have laster longer had I not kept running out of milk/bread which she bought). blush The local attraction membership was a great investment, lots of mums and nannies used to arrange to meet there, and we would go at weekends. Then sometimes they would arrange a trip somewhere as a special treat or meet up - zoo, farm - and I would top up the kitty for that as a one off.

K75 Fri 07-Aug-09 22:00:37

Have had 2 nannies; both eat breakfast at the house; so expect to get a bit more milk/cereal/coffee/tea etc. Seem to prefer to get a sandwich or equivalent while they are out; they are offered from the fridge but maybe it's not v exciting and eat at home in the eves. Unless they babysit in which case we leave take away money or something nice and home made.

£20 petty cash a week (one child) - covers the odd activity that is not pre paid e.g. drop ins/playgroups and odd bits of food/lunch. Most shopping is done by leaving me a list for the weekend.

Yes, your heating bill will be much more! Watch this one. Electric too with additional washing, dishwasher, tumble dryer etc. In all cases, make it clear you expect things to be full i.e. don't put washing machine on for 2 tops.

As others mention an annual pass is v useful if somewhere good to go.

Good luck

nannynick Fri 07-Aug-09 22:38:42

I care for two children and £5 per day seems about right in terms of funds for activities. It will depend on what things cost locally... I find that some things cost a lot (such as softplay - barely any change from £10 this morning for 2 under 5's) to nothing at all (children's centre Stay and Play session).

If you have local attractions which your children will visit regularly, annual passes are great. I'm near Legoland so go there frequently - Duplo playground is loved by the children, plus the puppet show. Also a local science centre - pass for that was great value - we go so often we are on first name terms with most of the staff!

Personally I prefer not having pre-paid activities scheduled, as it is then much harder to be child led. It isn't long before children go to school, so I feel that in their pre-school years they need to experience a variety of things and a good way of doing that is to ask the child what they want to do. "Go in a helicopter" may be the request from a 3 / 4 year old... so one day that week, we sit in a helicopter. It could be something more simple... the 4 year old I care for wants to walk up Box Hill (near Dorking, Surrey) sometime next week.

Food wise, encourage your nanny to eat with the children - eating after-all is a social event. It also can help keep costs down as your nanny will be eating the same as the children... today for example I and the children had a leftover mince dish made into: Cornish pasties (morning snack) - as the oven was on for those, also made some jam tarts, Cottage Pie (though didn't have potatoes so I made a suet pastry topping so was a bit like a dumpling toping) with Sausages added to bulk it up a bit, Broccoli plus Carrots, Yoghurt and Fruit.
Encouraging your nanny to use left-overs as a base for Lunch may help with food costs, plus can help reduce waste - though children can be fussy!

nouveaupauvre Mon 10-Aug-09 22:32:14

electric and heating is a lot more with someone at home in the daytime.
other costs you might like to consider are insurance (if insuring her to drive your car, or liability insurance as an employer); OFSTED registration if you are going to do this (£100 annually, i think some people make the nanny pay this but we have always paid ours for the nanny); things like training courses/firstaid courses if you send her on anything extra. christmas and birthday presents. if you have leisure centre membership, you might want to join her up too.
activity costs really depend on where you are (in london or in rural area would be v different) but i just give my nanny cash as and when she runs out and she probably gets through between £10-£20 a week (say a couple of days at playgroups which might be £2 each, a free day of park and playground, a day with a more expensive trip eg going to the zoo with another nanny and a friend, and picking up bits of food or babywipes or whatever we run out of). get them to keep receipts at first and then see how you are going - i reckoned on it being fine for her to spend as much as i would if i was at home, so fine to have the odd trip to a cafe but not taking toddlers for expensive meals out. she usually takes sandwiches if going out with him which is what i do when i'm with him.

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