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Asking daily nanny to live in

(24 Posts)
MollFlounders Mon 12-Oct-09 13:40:22

I have a fantastic daily nanny who works 8.30am to 7.30pm Mon-Fri looking after my one year old DD in Central London and for that I pay her £500 a week net. I rely on her heavily as I am, of late, a solo parent and I have a really demanding job with long and unpredictable hours plus occasional travel.

My nanny is always really flexible, has no problem coming in earlier or staying later or even sleeping over if I'm really stuck. The only problem is that literally every day I have a panic that ranges from either minor to major about how I'm going to get home on time. I also worry about my nanny feeling like I'm exploiting her flexibility (no signs of this at this stage and I know she really loves the job).

So I'm wondering whether I have to bite the bullet and look at a live-in arrangement. I really, really don't want to replace my nanny so my Plan A was to ask her whether she'd consider living in Monday-Friday. Those of you who are nannies out there, the question is: is that something you'd consider doing if you were otherwise really happy in the job? And what would you expect in terms of your salary if you were a weekday live-in: should it stay the same?

One other question - until I sort out whether I should get a live-in, I'm not sure what to do with my nanny in terms of extra pay when she does things like sleep over. I pay her for babysitting on the odd occasion I have something scheduled, but last week I was stuck at work and she offered to sleep over. She put DD to bed at 7.30pm (her normal finishing time), made herself dinner and watched TV until she went to bed herself. We haven't discussed extra pay for that and I'm not sure what to do.

Last question: if my nanny says she doesn't want to live in and I have to (with huge regret) recruit a live in, what should I expect to pay for Central London?

Sorry this is so long!

frakula Mon 12-Oct-09 14:01:23

If I took the job as a daily I wouldn't really want to live in because I would still be paying rent etc on my own place, or I may own it. I wouldn't take a salary drop because it's unlikely my own expenses would be much lower assuming I had my own place. However I do know of at least one nanny who lives in M-F in London and goes home at the weekend.

Sleepovers: nannies usually charge babysitting rates until midnight, a sleepover fee or around £30 and usual rates from about 7am.

Live-ins will be at least £350, more likely £400+ depending on experience.

Do ask, but dailies are often dailies for a reason.

andagain Mon 12-Oct-09 14:40:04

You seem to really like your nanny so I reckon hold on to her. I agree with the other post that she will still have to pay her rent etc if she lived in Mon-Fri so reducing her pay would really not be a fair option.
Would she consider doing longer hours for more money?
I used to be a live out nanny years ago so this may not apply these days but we had a similar situation and what we did was that I had my regular pay for initial number of contracted hours but then every time I stayed longer I wrote it down and would get paid additional money according to that record at the end of the week/month. We did have a cut off time every evening though. Perhaps she would agree to that, except if she has something booked in which case she would tell you in advance and then you will have to make sure to be home on time that day. I did this as I loved working for them (still seem them often 16 years later!) and knew they were not taking the mick as whenever they could they would let me leave early, have more holiday etc.
I know it's a long shot and an expensive option but if you are happy and so is your child and your nanny, then it's worth it.

We have a live in nanny now who is a marvel and I would not want to see her go so am thinking find a way to keep her.
Good luck!

argento Mon 12-Oct-09 14:45:47

Even if she lives in, you still have to get home on time surely? Living in doesn't mean on call 24/7 hmm

argento Mon 12-Oct-09 14:51:30

If you have the space and money, have you thought about an au pair maybe? Then you can have someone living in who can cover the early morning/late evening bits and do a bit of ironing and hoovering for you, babysit, and maybe take on some of the nanny's nursery duties so she can devote her time entirely to DD?

nannynick Mon 12-Oct-09 15:30:44

>My nanny is always really flexible, has no problem coming in earlier or staying later or even sleeping over if I'm really stuck.

That's a great start as finding a nanny who is able to be very flexible is hard. So you already have a very flexible nanny... so you don't want to lose them, so I feel it is good that you are looking at keeping them as Plan A.

Do you need someone live in? Someone living at your home can change the dynamics of your household. If they live out - then you know they will go home at some point. You know that once you are back from work, you get the place to yourself - no fighting over who uses the bathroom first!

As Argento says... a live in nanny will still be wanting to know their hours of work. So I'm not sure how much more flexible someone live-in would actually be... compared with your current live-out nanny.

Maybe consider increasing your nannies existing hours, so that you are generally coming home before they clock off. Could that work?

Chat with your nanny. They may well have suggestions as to how things could be adapted to suit both of you.

nannyj Mon 12-Oct-09 16:53:36

When i was a live in nanny i still had a finish time and wouldn't have been impressed had my boss not been home on time apart from the odd occasion. You may find it best to pay and get a 24/5 nanny but can't imagine a live out wanting to go live in unless she is struggling financially.

StillSquiffy Mon 12-Oct-09 17:38:41

We used to have similar problems. We resolved it by having an Au pair as well as the usual nanny. Saying that, you will need to find an AP who is happy to do mostly evening work and stuff like ironing, etc. The last thing you want to do is to annoy your nanny by having the AP trying to take some of her work away.

I agree with the others that you should not change your live-out for a live-in. Good nannies should never be let go if you can help it.

nbee84 Mon 12-Oct-09 18:16:41

If your nanny is still living at home with her parents then she may be open to live-in during the week. I would suggest that her pay stays the same for the increased hours, but that you sit down with her and find out what she would be happy with in relation to your times that you get home - a live-in nanny doesn't mean that they are on call 24/5.

Obviously if she rents her own place then it is different and what other people have already said applies.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 12-Oct-09 18:30:42

tbh most nannys want a live out job for a reason or else they would go for interviews for a live in position

but always worth an ask smile

also live in do expect a finishing time - they are not on call every night till the employer decides they might come home

as nick says, and you say, you have a nanny you are very happy with, so dont go getting rid of her

talk to her to see if she will stay later maybe one/two nights a week if getting home at 7.30 is a problem

sleepovers i get paid a bs fee till midnight then £30 sleepover fee - though if you are home and would be tending to baby then i prob wouldnt ask for a sleepover fee

FABIsInTraining Mon 12-Oct-09 19:25:31

My first thought is to say that you would like her to sleep over Monday to Thursday nights but if you get home at the normal time, then she can go home. Or you could pay her some sort of retainer.

FABIsInTraining Mon 12-Oct-09 19:26:44

You also need to pay her over time asap for what she did the other day. That is a bit off tbh that you didn't straight away.

Northernlurker Mon 12-Oct-09 19:36:23

You have a great and flexible nanny - who sounds like Mary Poppins to me. Even if she lived in she won't want to be on duty till whatever time you choose to get home. She has a life too. She's your employee not your wife.

You should certainly pay her overtime for any extra hours. It's great she's happy to help - now show her just how much you appreciate that!

I think you need to look at your hours and your job. Could you take more work home? Why are the hours long and unpredictable - is that an essential to the role or is it what you feel you have to do to keep up?

frakula Mon 12-Oct-09 20:52:22

As other people have pointed out you could pay her for being there 24/5, but you would need to nearly double the salary. Also you are likely to have quitre a large turnover of nannies because 24/5 just isn't workable for long periods.

MollFlounders Mon 12-Oct-09 21:01:24

Thanks everyone. Sorry haven't had time to get back to this thread- I need to go through the comments when I have a second but right now work is too busy.

Just as further info, she still lives at home so doesn't have rent issues to contend with. I know she is keen to move out of home (parent issues) and has been looking at flats to rent and getting horrified at how much of her salary that would take up. So maybe she would be amenable.

No option re the long and unpredictable hours- I work in the service industry and what the client wants the client gets. I do what I can around that. I should emphasise that it's ups and downs. I'm focusing on the bad times (because these are what I stress over) but I would say that in the 7 months she has been working for me she has had many more early finishes than late ones. As soon as I get home, I let her go so there is a fund of goodwill on both sides.

Re the other night, the detail of what happened is that I got home around an hour after her normal finishing time and was then at home so did indeed tend DD when she ended up waking up at 3am. The overnight stay was the nanny's suggestion because I had previously asked her to come in an hour earlier than usual the next day. So she said, "can I stay the night?". When I asked her the next morning whether she'd heard DD crying in the night she said "oh no, I knew you were home and I had the best night's sleep I've had in months without my noisy neighbours". So that's why I'm not quite sure how to deal with it. As a nanny, what would you expect in that situation? I genuinely find it hard to navigate through these things- it's not a question of being "a bit off" and trying to pull a fast one on her.

Anyway, I will read through all the really helpful suggestions people have put down so thanks for taking the time to post.

FABIsInTraining Mon 12-Oct-09 21:08:38

Just ask her.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 12-Oct-09 21:13:50

sounds as if she could be willing to live in

nannynick Mon 12-Oct-09 21:14:44

Does sound as though she may be amenable to moving in. Would get her out of her parents home for at least some of the week.
If she can sleep through while your DD is crying at night, knowing you were there to deal with it, then I'm not quite sure what to make of that. I think it would have woken me - maybe it did wake her but she ignored it and it didn't bother her. If she was working the night though, would she then tend to DD, or would she still ignore it?

MollFlounders Mon 12-Oct-09 21:32:21

I think she didn't wake up because she knew she wasn't on duty as I was there. I think if she was more officially working (e.g. if I had to go on a business trip and she was staying overnight) then she would be on alert. I think the answer is I need to talk to her.

frakula Mon 12-Oct-09 21:36:55

In that situation I would have moved in for the week!

Can she have a baby alarm if she lives in so she definitely would wake up?

catepilarr Mon 12-Oct-09 22:09:14

i find it interesting that you think she wouldnt wake up if she was on duty. thats what you do, when you are not a mother - you sleep through the cry when you know its not your duty to wake up. she is very likely to hear the baby cry if she need to. plus i dont think op needs her at night anyway.

Summersoon Mon 12-Oct-09 22:17:33

I had a job once where I was working very long hours, with lots of overseas travel. That was when my baby was less than a year old and I had two nannies, one who worked from 7 to 5 and another from 5 to 8. The two nannies worked well together but, for me it was an absolute nightmare and the major contributing factor to my decision to work part-time. But if you have no options but to work those hours, then this could be a solution. The idea of getting an AP also sounds good, although I must say that posts on other threads make me wonder just how easy it is to recruit a reliable aupair.

I agree with the other posters that you should take very good care of this nanny - good ones are not all that easy to find and worth their weight in gold. Of course, it is possible that you might be able to do a deal with her, whereby she moves in, you pay her a fortune for being available very long hours and both of you aware that the arrangement will probably only last for a couple of years. But if she is keen to save up a lot of money to get a her own place, such a deal might well suit her.

Good luck - and I do feel for you, I have been there myself.

argento Mon 12-Oct-09 22:29:34

I'm a nanny who lives in, in centralish London during the week and then goes home to my own flat and DP at the weekends - not ideal but needs must at the moment.

I totally agree with your nanny though about not hearing the baby when you're not on duty! My room is actually nearer the baby's than the parents is, but sometimes they tell me in the morning what a terrible night she had and I'm oblivious. If I'm on duty though I wake up at the slightest snuffle from her!

In the case of your nanny staying over the other night, it does seem the most practical thing as she was working late and starting early. I wouldn't expect pay for that in this case, but maybe a bottle of wine/box of chocolates is in order, just to let her know you recognise how flexible she's being?

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 13-Oct-09 11:32:45

i have spent the odd night at work when mb/db are here and they sometimes say that baby woke up (months ago) and i didn hear her as i knew mb would do it

obv the nights i was working then i had the alarm in my room and i wake up at a slightest snuffle - you do

agree with frakula about staying over the odd night/week - my mb needs to leave 5am friday and I am staying over thursday night ( and normally i dont work thur or fri!!)

its give and take smile

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