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Nanny becoming unreliable, what to do?

68 replies

Fressia123 · 09/10/2020 09:39

We have a part time nanny that helps me between 15-20hrs (she puts as many hours as she wants to). The problem is that she's starting to let me know on the day what hours she's coming. I usually have a meeting on Fridays and today (just like last week) had to postpone it. We're viewing a nursery next week as we want the baby to be with other babies but we're planning on delaying it until January.

I have a fear that she'll just stop coming altogether at some point or just coming random /odd hours. Would you get another one until January? Or just send the baby to nursery sooner than planned?

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TooManyDogsandChildren · 09/10/2020 09:42

Definitely think about the nursery soon er rather than later but in the meantime you need to ask her to let you know when she is coming a couple of weeks ahead and explain that on the day causes you to miss meetings. That is not unreasonable.

MaizeBlouse · 09/10/2020 09:46

I've never had a nanny before so maybe I've got the wrong end of the stick.. but why is the arrangement so informal?
Surely you tell her that you need childcare over X hours and days and she arrived for those times? Not her setting the hours of her childcare.

Youre the employer, sounds like you need to take charge a bit better. Or send the baby to nursery.

Fressia123 · 09/10/2020 09:49

I try to be a very relaxed employer. But maybe being so relaxed and flexible backfired.

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Elieza · 09/10/2020 09:51

She’s either taking the piss or doesn’t realise it’s affecting you and thinks everything’s rosy.

Either way you need to plan things better. You could have set hours which don’t vary and if you want her to do extra or if she wants to do extra then that can be discussed.

Are there places available at nursery just now? It could come to that if she’s so unreliable you can’t make meetings.

ShalomToYouJackie · 09/10/2020 09:51

Why is she telling you what hours she's going to work? You're her employer, you need to tell her what days and hours you need her and give her a rota.

What's the point in having childcare that just turns up when they want?

Ohalrightthen · 09/10/2020 09:51


I try to be a very relaxed employer. But maybe being so relaxed and flexible backfired.

You can't be relaxed when it comes to the person looking after your child! They have to be someone you can trust 100%! Being the "cool boss" does your kid no favours, they just end up with someone who doesn't GAF.
fatherliamdeliverance · 09/10/2020 09:57

just tighten up the arrangements, agree hours say a week in advance letting her know they are fixed from that point (unless of course she is sick). This is still flexible and reasonable on your part.

She might respond well to clearer instructions regarding hours. I'm sure it's what she is used to.

Florencemattell · 09/10/2020 09:58

Do you employ your nanny or is she self employed?

HollowTalk · 09/10/2020 10:02

She's taking advantage of your good nature. You would be much better off with a nursery arrangment.

Fressia123 · 09/10/2020 10:02

She's self employed and very young. This is her first role as a "nanny" before she was just more of a babysitter, but she's on her last year of her studies. Generally she's great but she's just so unreliable.

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Pertella · 09/10/2020 10:02

When you say flexible do you mean you want to have her "on call" to do childcare as and when it suits you?

Otherwise I fail to see why you don't have specific hours that you employ her to work on?

MsSquiz · 09/10/2020 10:07

If the arrangement has always been flexible, and you have let her pick and choose her hours, I'm not sure it's fair to call her unreliable.

Why not just speak to her and say, at the moment you are happy to be flexible on certain times, but at these specific times, you need her there?
So, she can be flexible on a Wednesday, as long as she's there by 2pm to do 4 hours, but on a Friday you need her to be there by 1pm until 3pm as you have a meeting at that time.

Then if the times aren't stuck to, look for an alternative

Sycamoretrees · 09/10/2020 10:08

If you're not challenging her about it she will continue to think it is OK. I suspect she's fallen in to a pattern of coming when she feels like it because it's more convenient for her and you don't seem to mind. Time for a chat I think.

Fressia123 · 09/10/2020 10:08

Oh no, she's never on call. We have set days and in general set hours BUT she's been moving the hours for the past two weeks. So for example, she originally did 8-4. Then that moved to 830 to 230, and now it's more like 1030 to 330. I've always said I need a core 4 hours whenever she comes, because otherwise I can't get work done

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Fressia123 · 09/10/2020 10:09

That's exactly what I feel @Sycamoretrees!

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Tadpolesandfroglets · 09/10/2020 10:10

Just tell her this ‘relaxed’ informal method isn’t working as well as you had hoped and you actually need some set hours to attend meetings/work related stuff. She should be open to a discussion?

Evilwasps · 09/10/2020 10:12

If you can plan and schedule meeting then you can plan and schedule her hours. She's meant to be working as and when you require her to, not whenever she feels like it. You're paying her so you set her hours

GreyishDays · 09/10/2020 10:15

Tell her:

I need to to be in between x and y for definite, don’t mind whether you do your extra time before/after or both, just let me know (each time? Or do you want it a regular time?).

Then see if she can achieve that. If she can’t, we’ll that’s that I think.

Carouselfish · 09/10/2020 10:18

Get a different nanny. 'baby being with other babies' has no benefit to the baby at all. Just that it won't get 1 to 1 care and will catch all the colds being passed around. Nursery would be a last resort.

GreyishDays · 09/10/2020 10:19

That should be

I need YOU to be in between x and y.

Charleyhorses · 09/10/2020 10:19

I think you just need to be firm! You are paying. You get to call the tune!

Sycamoretrees · 09/10/2020 10:22

Just a thought, if its just been the last couple of weeks has she got something going on in her life to be causing it? (Either good or bad!). Doesn't excuse it, but worth bearing in mind when you have a chat.

Fressia123 · 09/10/2020 10:23

I think the red flag was that I always tried to set hours so I could pay her in advance and she's never wanted to! She sent me the original message one hour ago and I still don't know at what time she's coming.

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Fressia123 · 09/10/2020 10:26

Well we had a brief chat that she sometimes drives someone to school (and why she prefers to be here later), she had a pink eye once and that's about it. I understand the eye issue but the other one could have been addressed in advance

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12309845653ghydrvj · 09/10/2020 10:26

I think it would be a bit unfair and extreme to basically get rid of her when it seems it’s a communication issue? You’re her employer, she would expect you to be quite firm about what you want and if you’re not she’ll fairly understandably think you’re flexible and don’t mind.

Have a conversation with her, make clear what are core hours and what is flexible.

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