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nanny taking kids to other houses, having guests

(23 Posts)
chandellina Mon 09-Nov-09 09:32:33

Hi, my son's nanny, who i'm very happy with, has mentioned taking my son and her other charge (it's a nanny share) to other nanny's houses, and she has nannies and their charges to our house too. Does anyone have any advice or guidelines on this? Ultimately, I am trusting her to use her judgement on such things, but I was surprised that she hadn't mentioned earlier that she would be doing this, since we (both mums) had mentioned at our interviews with her that we'd want to know about such visits in advance.
Should I just let it lie?

luciemule Mon 09-Nov-09 09:38:54

As a mum, you would you meet up with friends and have them over to you; being a nanny can be quite lonely if you never see anyone else and for your child's social development, it's good for him to mix with other adults and children in an environment you're comfortable with. I would mention it to her and ask where she'll be going and a few important questions (do they have dogs for example)and also iterate that you wouldn't want her to be leaving your ds with other nanny whilst your nanny goes shopping or something! I'm sure it's harmless though and she's just thinking of different things to do with your ds and giving him some contact with other dcs. My sister was a nanny and herself and a nother girl in the village who had another 2 charges, used to meet up and take the kids for cake and juice or go to a soft play centre etc.

spectacular Mon 09-Nov-09 09:40:01

It is perfectly usual for nannies to do this. I can't really see what the issue is. Being at home all day with a child (even if it is your own) is incredibly boring and so a bit of company for your employee is surely something to be encouraged.

That said, if you asked her to tell you about these visits in advance then she should do so.

nannynick Mon 09-Nov-09 09:42:08

What would be your concerns? Child protection? Damage to property? Children not being supervised sufficiently? Something else?

Would such meetups be arranged in advance?
I don't do that kind of a meetup - when meeting with friends we meet at soft-play, at the park, science centre etc. Is that any different - would you mind your nanny meeting up with other childcarers and their children outside of your home / not in someone elses home?

princessmel Mon 09-Nov-09 09:48:17

I used to do this as a nanny. For the reasons mentioned above, plus the children loved it.
I also used to take them to the park, library, toddler groups, soft play, swimming etc etc.
Lots of my friends bosses had concerns that the nanny didn't spend too much money during the week and these meet ups seemed a good solution.

nannyl Mon 09-Nov-09 09:48:19

it is completely normal for nannies to have playdates.
(I have them almost daily)

Yes i think you must let it lie because i doubt you would even find a nanny to work if she couldnt visit nanny friends.

Its perfectly fine for you to want to know who she is meeting and where they work, but playdates are a perfectly normal part of nannying

nannynick Mon 09-Nov-09 09:55:53

"had mentioned at our interviews with her that we'd want to know about such visits in advance."

How would knowing about it in advance help? If your nanny texted you a few minutes before they visited another nannies home... would that meet that requirement... it would as it would be in advance.

What happens in your own home you have a lot more control over... so if your nanny wants to invite another nanny to your home, then I feel they should get your prior permission (or have blanket permission to do so). You may want to limit the number of children involved for example.

colditz Mon 09-Nov-09 09:58:53

She probably didn't mention it for the same reason you don't mention things like "And tomorrow, I will be eating lunch" - it's a given.

frakkinaround Mon 09-Nov-09 11:03:41

I have it in the appendix to my contract so parents can lay down any rules they want to about it so 'not this person/that person', 'no dogs', 'no leaving the children there', 'no more than 2 other nannies'. I would never take a job where this wasn't allowed though! I think when children get older it's actually a good idea for them to have playdates without 'their' nanny around, but certainly not until they have well-established friendships at school and you know the other family and are happy with it.

You say you'd want to know in advance - how much notice would you want? Are you expecting your nanny to ask for permission every time which you will either grant or withold? That's actually quite impractical because if I want to meet up with someone I don't say 'oh it would be lovely if you could come round on Thursday but let me check if you're allowed', I just tend to invite them, or if someone invites you over to theirs because it was raining at the park and you need to call your boss for permission then it's a bit odd and implies you don't really trust your nanny, which I'm sure you do.

Lay down some ground rules and let her get on with it. By doing this she'll actually build up a good circle of nanny friends who may be able to help you out in a pinch. I've lost count of the times that I've picked a child up from school because mother/nanny can't get there, had someone a morning or afternoon in the holiday to help out or covered a fellow nanny's holiday/day off for a funeral.

Tavvy Mon 09-Nov-09 11:35:43

In my job I'm not allowed to do this and it's hard work for all the reasons mentioned. My mb also isn't a big fan of groups. Ultimately the parents can make the rules and the nanny is free to find another job if she genuinely doesn't like it. I'd say it's normal and have done it in all my other positions. Your nanny should use some common sense about it though. Ground rules are the best. I always used to ask if I was intending to feed other peoples children and nannies as untimately it's my boss who's paying but I never had to ask permission for playdates. In this job there's no asking - the results are one utterly bored nanny and an antisocial charge until the others get home.

andagain Mon 09-Nov-09 11:55:04

I am a bit surprised by the OP to be honest. I have to say I never thought that would be an issue. Am I missing something here? I love it when my nanny arranges for my DD do play with other kids, either at our house or theirs. I trust her to look after my child when we are both at work so by the same token I trust her to choose the right playdates for my child.

chandellina Mon 09-Nov-09 12:27:32

thanks for all the feedback. for the record, I would never consider banning such visits, and I totally agree it is normal for anyone caring for small children to crave some company, etc.

I also trust my nanny's judgement, so based on what I've heard here, I don't think I will bring it up as a potential issue.

as far as notice, I was only thinking it might be nice to know about regular places she goes, and how old those kids are, that sort of thing. I wouldn't expect her to ring me up or text me to say so.

Though I don't want to lay down rules on it, there are things that would bug me, like if my son was going on long journeys so she could see a particular friend. (this is already a slight issue because me and the other mother in the share would be happy for the nanny to stay local with our sons, where there are scores of parks, playgroups and libraries but she prefers to get out and about in her car.)

It's also somewhat disconcerting to realise people are coming into your home who you weren't expecting. I came home the other day and another nanny was there with her charge. It's no big deal, and I very much see my home as my nanny's place of work, not just our home, but still.

Fabster Mon 09-Nov-09 12:32:12

I don't think you are being unreasonable to be a bit surprised to see a stranger in your house and tbh as a boss you can make your own rules about what your nanny can and can't do.

Just ask the nanny what she will be doing that day and then you will know and if she is driving out of the area too much you are within your rights to say no.

Ebb Mon 09-Nov-09 12:39:16

I would tend to mention to my boss that X is coming for lunch or we're going to so and so's more in polite, general conversation than anything else. I also only tend to meet other nannies with children of similar age so the children can interact. Although it is good for children to learn to mix with all age groups. If I want to 'socialise' with a certain nanny then I do that out of work hours.

Rolf Mon 09-Nov-09 12:42:23

I used to have a nanny 3 days a week for my boys. I asked her to carry on with some activites that I was already doing with them (eg music group, swimming) and said that I was happy for her to meet up with nanny friends and their charges once a week if she wanted to.

I didn't want it to be more frequent than that as I was worried that when she left the boys would have more to deal with than just losing their lovely nanny - they'd also lose a social life that depended on that particular nanny and her friends. I wanted any new nanny to be able to slot into their routines and activities.

It seemed to work fine. I did chat to her about the activities so that if there things that the boys weren't enjoying (or that she hated!) we could stop them. I had things that I did with the boys on the days I was at home and I wanted the nanny's time with them to fit in well with those activities.

I don't think I'd have been very comfortable about my house being used for playdates.

IrritatedMe Mon 09-Nov-09 12:47:40

I love coming home to find my nanny and my dcs causing carnage in our house with her friend who has 4 children around the same age as ours!

I would much rather my dcs were having a good laugh and the nanny was happy and relaxed rather than having a perfect, but dull home.

TBH - I consider that my nanny should do everything with my dcs that I would do. So, tons of play with other kids, whether I know them or not!

nannynick Mon 09-Nov-09 12:52:15

>I was only thinking it might be nice to know about regular places she goes, and how old those kids are, that sort of thing.

Fair enough. Ask your nanny for the info, she surely won't mind telling you about the other children your son meets up with.
Mileage records will show where your nanny goes on a regular basis, plus lets you evaluate if such journeys are something you are prepared to pay for, or not.

Does your nanny take photos of your son when he is on outings? I try to take photos when out and about, so my boss can see how much her children are enjoying their trips out. I'm an out-and-about nanny, so try to go somewhere every day... be it quite local, or further away (mileage for very long trips I don't do at 0.40 per mile... I only claim 1/3 which covers fuel).

AtheneNoctua Mon 09-Nov-09 12:57:32

I often come home to a house full of people. They have great fun. And it doesn't bother me at all. On Wednesdays one of DD's friends comes home from school with her. And the two girls from next door come over with their au pair / nanny. So I come home to two nannies and five children. And on other days the kids and nanny go off and play at other people's houses.

IrritatedMe Mon 09-Nov-09 13:03:23

Exactly the same as Athene.

After all, its not just my home, its my dcs home too and its nice for them to have company.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 09-Nov-09 13:16:06

perfectly normal for a nanny to see other nannies/parents/children

i agree its nice for parents to know what their dc are up to, so a diary/calender on wall is a good idea - so you have a rough guide BUT plans do change

for exampe this morning we were meant to go to a friends house, but her mb was there (and friend doesnt like her being there)wink , so she came to me (though my mb is here) i just carry on as normal

nick, you are one of the rare few who doesnt do play dates - is this because the other mums/nannies dont invite you as you are male sad

shame you are not nearer to me or you could come to our coffee morning we have every fortnight

i organise a summer party/teddy bears pinic at work and mb loves the idea and that we have it at my work - this year we had 30+children and 18 nannies/mums

as long as you tidy up after you have had company, then i dont see the problem

in the end , if you trust your nanny to look after your child, you need to trust her judgement who she sees/plays with

frakkinaround Mon 09-Nov-09 16:11:57

I think the comment about going out in the car is fair enough - is she going in the car to see nannies she already knows? IMO that's not really on as she should be building up a local social life which she can hand onto any nanny who succeeds her.

Ask your nanny to keep a diary/planner with contacts for her friends and write up what she's been doing each day. Then you'll have a good idea of what they're up to.

argento Mon 09-Nov-09 19:16:46

I don't tell my boss every time we go to/host a playdate, wouldn't occur to me to. I would mention it in general chat about plans for the day/week, or if she specifically asked. I don't really go out of the area though.

GreenBlack Mon 09-Nov-09 19:27:10

I think you are being absolutely reasonable being surprised and unsettled by finding strangers in your house. For one thing, you are legally liable for ensuring your visitors' safety. Also, I didn't particularly enjoy my house becoming even more of a public place, and not a private sanctuary that I let in only those that I choose to.

With my current nanny, I laid down the rules at the beginning, becuase a previous nanny used to take kids out on an hour's bus journey to see her friend+kids and DCs were not at all in the same age range as the friend's kids. My rules are: local (no more than 30min travel), similar aged children preferably from same school/nursery, no more than 2 days a week. Nanny and I are both happy with this arrangement.

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