I a lucky to have a lovely cleaner she is reliable, on time and does an ok job and I have had her for over 2yrs now BUT
standards have slipped slighty and I feel she has becoe complacent, I would feel awkward discussing this with her, I also know she has left early on at least 1 occasion when DH and I were both in the house, there could be more I don't know about and I think if she woud do that when we are here the she would do it when we weren't, I didn't say anything at the time because i didn't notice the time until just after she had left.
Her prices have gone up as you would expect after 2yrs but I feel I'm paying more for less work.
I'm not expecting to be earning as much over the next few months and I am looking at saving money but I will still be working 50hours per week with 5 dc's here most of the day and I do trust her and like her.
I would have a word with her. It may be awkward but you are paying her to do a job and if she isn't doing it properly then she needs to be told. I think you could do with a cleaner if you have 5 dc's and work 50 hours a week!
If you can still afford it, it sounds like you need one!
You like her and trust her - that's a good start for a working relationship. So try to fix this one before trying a new cleaner. Maybe identify a couple of areas each week for her to focus on 'if she has the time' - she'll soon get the hint?
<disclaimer - I'm utterly rubbish at managing my cleaner and am also hanging out here looking for tips>
Reliable cleaners are hard to come by, so if you can, keep her, but have a word about what you expect from her based on what you pay for.
When we had a cleaner, she seemed to think that even though we paid her for 3 hours, if she got all of the regular duties done in 2.5 hours by rushing and cutting corners it meant she could go, but still be paid for 3 hours. We soon put a stop to that by providing her with a list of extra jobs and I said something along the lines of "if you've finished all of your regular jobs in the 3 hours we pay you for, here's a list of some other stuff you can get on with, thanks".