Nanny Tips(13 Posts)
We have a nanny starting this month! I am very excited but also slightly worried about my capability in managing her.
In context - I am fine at managing people at work but have struggled in the past with the nanny we had before. I basically let her pound me for expenses so she just took the kids on expensive days out all the time and she did no cooking or helping around the house. I found myself unable to ever set her straight on expectations as I would then be leaving her with my kids again!
I just wanted some help and advice on finding the right balance. She isn't a work employee and there aren't KPIs as such to manage against. Her task is helping me manage the kids, the household and look after my children. I want to be aware of her 'different' task but also not walked over.
Im not sure that even makes any sense - anyone else had similar experinces/feelings?
Just be fair and consistent. The nanny has a difficult job trying to please children, parents as well as other people in the children’s lives.
The best way of avoiding problems is open communication (both ways).
Set your expectations with your nanny as to costs of activities - I have a weekly kitty of £20 I pop in a piggybank and our nanny keeps a rolling tally of costs. I then agreed with her and paid for weekly activities for the child at home all day on top of that - it enabled me to keep costs under review. Our nanny/kids know that expensive soft play etc are occasional treats rather than weekly occurrences and all are fine with that.
If all 3 kids are on holidays, then I discuss with our nanny outings in advance and book those/give extra cash for those - on other days she will take them to a museum or a park or a playdate or the library or do some baking/cooking or do a home movie afternoon with them at home (.i.e. something that is free/doesnt cost extra).
Now is the time to set the tone- it’s harder to reign them in once they start in the role and think that spending excessively for example, is the norm.
If you strike the balance right, a handy “guide” on how you want the role to benefit both of you could be good. You’d need to ensure it doesn’t sound patronising, but here you can outline the way in which you’d like things done. I know I’m rubbish in confrontational situations and hate bringing up issues, so this could help!
Thanks everyone! I like the idea of planning things before hand to gain some control on spending. I will do that for food as well I think.
Guidelines from the start! She seems a very lovely girl who has excellent references so Im sure it will be great.
Budgeting is a nannies task - so set an activities budget and get them to stick to it. Be realistic, £2.50 per child per day may be a starting point but look at cost of activities and transport/parking. Annual pass for things that the children love are useful - I had Legoland passes as my work was near there.
Start as you mean to go on, easy to increase budget hard to reduce it.
Set expectations for household duties from the start but appreciate that some days more will be that others. A unwell child will mean they are at home more but it may not mean more housework gets done as a lot more time is spent reading books snuggled on the sofa with the unwell child.
Thanks Nannynick - annual passes are a great idea. I had looked up some local groups for when she just has the 3 year old as well but now wondering if not the same for a nanny? She'll be a lot younger than the majority of the mums there.
Housework bar is pretty low - I'm more interested in her just tidying up after meals and not leaving the playroom a total dump.
Her first school holiday will be october half term so will get looking for some local things she can do (although need to save one for me too on my day off!).
Im feeling more positive about this now! Thanks all.
When I nannied the parents laid out the expectations as along the line of
“Please Help children to tidy up the playroom so it looks like it did at the start of the day”
And then general stuff like “each day make xxx play the piano, feed the pets and walk the dog (2miles)”
Then each day they would say what was for dinner and whether it was just for the children or for them as well.
Just be really clear from the offset.
I have had two nannies and now an after school nanny. First nanny, v good with children but I didn't set any expectations and in retrospect that was a mistake so although contract came to a natural end I would have ended it because she was hanging out with another person I didn't like during the day and the house was beyond a bombsite when I got home.
Second nanny was Bloody Mary poppins. Was clear from advert that I needed someone to stick a load on, tidy up, cook dinner for kids and when appropriate make enough for us, run errands if she was going to play group next to post office. We had a chat before she started about float, essentials and nice to haves. She would let me know about play dates over to ours and out in advance. I never said no but was nice to be asked.She exceeded expectations in every possible way. I treated her as part of family- paid sick even though it wasn't contractual, good wage and her school age son came during summer holidays. I miss her still ( she left because my husband took a planned career break, not that I'm bitter). Our third is lovely- but much experienced and have had to guide her gently. So far she's responded well
So be clear upfront and honest is my advice- like I manage at work
I would add nothing wrong in managing nanny like work employees and setting an appraisal date. Make it formal and document what you are happy with and maybe plan ahead - maybe she needs to update on nutrition , first aid etc.
As nanny nick said a good nanny should stick to YOUR budget not theirs. You set the amount and ask her to find activities .
Personally I would only plan one paid activity a week and mix with free outings eg scavenger hunt in park, library or museum. Allowing for petrol/travel costs. Some activities at home eg craft, baking or play date . Leave a kitty for the week and ask for receipts.
Yearly passes excellent idea too.
Don’t worry about mums being older at the group the nanny will be fine.
I disagree with Wildaboutoscar. Most nannies do not like to be micromanaged.
Yes, set a weekly budget, but if she works 5 days a week allow enough for at least one class £6-8, one toddler group £1-2:50 and maybe free (not a lesson) swim £3:50-5 roughly, dependant on area. Tell her the budget, ask her to stick to it. I don't have a set budget, my charge (before he started school) had a gym class, football and a free swim. The days we didn't have a class we would go to the park or meet up with friends. I rarely stick to a class that mum has been taking! They have been happy to find my own classes. If a nanny works 5 days she has 10 sessions a week to fill, 1 class is not really enough for nanny or child. For holidays I would give a little bit more each week so that she can maybe do more free things for a week or two and then plan a big outing to farm, zoo, theme park.
Tell her at interview that you would like to find the house in the same state as you left it. Tell her what nursery duties you'd like her to get done each week (but don't bring it up if one week she doesn't manage to do something, especially if it's been an extra busy week or someone has been unwell during the week. I tell prospective employers that I will come in if I am unwell (unless it's something that I could pass on to the children, if they haven't given it to me in the first place!!) but I will be taking it easy, the children will be fed and watered, loved and cared for but I will not be charging around and doing the ironing if I've barely slept or feel like death warmed up. Most employers have been so grateful that I've gone to work that they will take up the slack, as long as I don't take the piss!)
It's all about give and take employing a nanny and being a nanny. If my employers are flexible then so am I (for example, they come home an hour early and let me go (after a proper catch up) then I am more likely to say yes when I'm asked to work a little late. If they leave the house tidy (in general) then I will keep it clean and tidy. If they show appreciation, say thank you at the end of the day, occasional gifts!! Then I will go the extra mile for them. Do not take all that your nanny does for granted! She'll stop doing it!!
Thank you everyone, much appreciated and I am feeling more prepared!
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