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poaching nursery staff (un pc!)

(28 Posts)
bubbasmummy Wed 22-Jun-05 11:59:14

We are going to pull our kids out of nursery (long standing problems with staff turnover, poor management, etc) and get a full time nanny instead.

One of the girls who looks after our youngest is absolutely fantastic and we would love to have her nanny for us. I know that it is not pc to do so but does anybody have an tips for poaching nursery staff! I think that they are on around £12k a year (presumably gross) so a nanny job would be a big cash up for her (alot of them leave to nanny anyway) but what else should I be offering her to tempt her away (we thought about paying for her to do one training course a year if she wants, etc).

bundle Wed 22-Jun-05 12:00:58

you're taking your kids out because of high staff turnover, and you're going to errrrr increase their staff turnover even further?

QueenOfQuotes Wed 22-Jun-05 12:02:35

Haven't got a clue how to do it (I'm not very tactful as you're probably quite aware).

But if she's the one which you feel would be right for the job then I'd definitely go for it.

bubbasmummy Wed 22-Jun-05 12:08:08


we have put with the turnover being awful for the last year plus - keep being told that the next worker will stay only to have them stay for 2 weeks! the staff are all fed up to the back teeth about the manager (she's a big fan of the carrot and stick approach to managment with a tiny carrot) we have been patient and thought about the big picture re the good of the whole nursery when loads of people have pulled their kids but it has started to upset dd1 and i don't want the distruption to dd2 as she is getting to the age where she sees carer's as more than feeders, changers and pick me uppers (she's 18m)

head office and the local area manager don't seem to do anything about it after many meetings with many parents so i'm afraid its got to everyone for themselves

bundle Wed 22-Jun-05 12:09:38

hope it makes you feel good, taking the staff member (if she chooses to go) away from the remaining children there.

QueenOfQuotes Wed 22-Jun-05 12:12:21

But what's to say the staff member wouldn't change jobs soon anyhow if the management is that bad bundle????

It's VERY common in lots of professions for companies to 'poach' workers - and obviously it's the good workers that 'go' - often because they're unhappy or unsettled in their current jobs

Bubba - your idea for the course sounds like a good one, why not approach her direct, or write a letter to her inviting her to work for you. If she's happy there she might say no - but if she's not entirely satisfied with her job at the nursery you may have found yourself a new nanny

beatie Wed 22-Jun-05 12:13:50

Are you sure you couldn't find another nanny? If you thought that this nursery worker was thinking of leaving soon then by all means you'd want to snap her up for your children but it does seem unethical (to me) to take her away from all the other children and parents who must appreciate her continuity in this time of high staff turnover.

bubbasmummy Wed 22-Jun-05 12:14:16


I don't know what your situation is but regardless of where i hire a nanny from we want someone with experience so i would be "taking her away" from somewhere (be it through her choice to move jobs or not) anyway.

Any suggestions on where we could get someone without doing this?

HappyHuggy Wed 22-Jun-05 12:15:33

If i though she would be the best person to look after my kids then i'd snap her up straight away!

QueenOfQuotes Wed 22-Jun-05 12:17:00

"Any suggestions on where we could get someone without doing this?"

I'd definitely try her first ok maybe (as you say a little un-PC) but very common these days. You could kick yourself later if you find a nanny from somewhere else and she doesn't turn out to be as good as this girl from nursery perhaps could be, or if you find out the girl 'moves on' soon anyhow.

Tommy Wed 22-Jun-05 12:17:32

I would go for it bubbasmummy - I think it's quite common. Presumably, you're not going to force her to leave and work for you are you?! It's her choice. The rest of the children at nursery are not really your concern. I think bundle might be playing devil's advocate here

Lizzylou Wed 22-Jun-05 12:19:51

I'd definitely go for it BM, you seem to have put up with a lot from this nursery and I'd bet your chosen employee would jump at the chance!

TracyK Wed 22-Jun-05 12:20:22

I feel sorry for the ones left - but your babies are the most important to you. So go for it - send some money to charity to make yourself feel better.

Prufrock Wed 22-Jun-05 12:31:36

Are you sure that there isn't a clause in your contract with the nursery preventing you from doing this?

batters Wed 22-Jun-05 12:40:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HandbagAddiction Wed 22-Jun-05 13:04:26

I would check your nursery terms and conditions before doing anything. As Prufrock has suggested it may not be that simple. Ultimately there's nothing legally to stop you poaching but at our nursery there is a huge financial disincentive written into your T&Cs, this being that you have to pay the nursery equivilant of 3 months salary of the person you are trying to poach - so that would be £3,000 if in your case, the girl is earning £12,000 a year!

PiccadillyCircus Wed 22-Jun-05 13:09:20

I know that at DS's nursery there would be a financial penalty for doing that.

crunchie Wed 22-Jun-05 13:12:06

What about the subtle approach - rather than actively asking her outright. Talk to her and explain you are tinking of pulling the kids out to get a new nanny, and ask her if she knows where the best place to start looking for a nanny will be. This gives her two options, one to approach you and say she is interested, the other is to tell you the names of agencies in your area. You could also continue the conversation by saying does she know of anyone (she must have trained with some others) who might be looking for a job?

You are not directly offering her a job, you are not actually paoching her, but you are letting her know there is a job available if she wants to apply. Leaves it up to her then

uwila Wed 22-Jun-05 13:18:02

How enforcable are these payments to the nursery? If you approach this girl and tell her your interested, then put an add in gumtree or and then she just happens to respond to this ad, can the the nursery rightfully charge you?

As a nanny employer, I definitely recommend snapping up a good one when you find her. It is not your job to look after the welfare of the other kids at that nursery. It is the nursery's job to look after their high staff turnover problem (a job they don't appear to be doing very well). As a parent you must do what is right for your own kids.

bubbasmummy Wed 22-Jun-05 14:09:54


had not thought of going the subtle route (not always my strongpoint). good idea about explaining the situation & also advertising on gumtree/nannyjob - then she has technically approached me rather than the other way around.

apologies to everyone out there who thinks that I am doing the dirty on the nursery and the other children but we have put up with this for so long that it has got to the stage that we have to put the welfare of our children first. if you had a 3.5yo d crying every morning and afternoon saying that she doesn't want to go to nursery today and staying at home is not a financial option what would you do? i'm not apologetic that i have to put my children first. esp when i have just spoken to one of the other mothers who is in the same situation and wants to nanny share with me because she is going to pull her son out as well.


bundle Wed 22-Jun-05 14:11:58

you know exactly what you are doing, from the title of the thread. if I had doubts about my daughter's nursery I would change nurseries.

katylou25 Wed 22-Jun-05 14:28:35

Ummm As a ex-nursery supervisor, would advise you to look carefully at your contract. The company I used to work for would charge six months salary to you if you employed a worker within 6 months of her leaving them, was also tied into their contracts as well and think they have successfully sued a couple of former employees for breach of contract. But if it just a little nursery, not part of a chain, this may well not apply! I was offered to go and work for 3 of my families, but due to the 6 month salary option they all fell through but then fell regnant with my ds anyway so felt better leaving the company then if id just started nannnying for somenone!

ssd Wed 22-Jun-05 20:46:16

Can't see a problem with it myself. Surely good staff in whatever profession are poached all the time? Just have a close look at your contract first.

bambi06 Wed 22-Jun-05 20:54:08

you can ask. maybe she`s already thinking of leaving anyway and is actively looking for work .. you`d kick yourself if you found she`left next week wouldnt you..go for it ..theres no harm in asking

frogs Wed 22-Jun-05 21:02:26

I've done this in the past. One of the nursery workers in dd1's nursery lived near us, and had babysat dd1 sometimes. When ds was born she came round to admire the baby, and was moaning about her job (dd1 had left the nursery by this stage). I just said, "Anytime you want another job nannying for me, just let me know." A few days later she called me back. She had her own child by this stage who was about a year older than my ds, so technically it was a nannyshare. I paid her pretty generously, but was still cheaper than having a one-to-one arrangement, and more fun for ds too.

The arrangement worked well, and lasted for almost two years. She remained on speaking terms with all the people from the nursery, as far as I know.

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