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Help! - hiring a nanny for the first time

48 replies

zoej · 23/05/2006 19:12

Hi I am hiring a nanny for the first time and have been slowely gathering information. I have registered with 4/5 agencies and I am shocked about nanny agency fees - they seam very high and then add VAT too!

I have seen the site and was wondering on helpful tips on hiring - is it best to use an agency - what am a really getting for my £800 plus that I can not do myslef? I get the idea that even through an agency I need to follow up references and do the enhanced CRB check (at the price plus their administration fee) myself.

what are the pit falls and pluses of agencies v sites like nanny job?

Any advice will be greatly received.


OP posts:
DominiConnor · 26/05/2006 10:25

Being a pimp myself I wasn't impressed by nanny agencies much. We advertised on Gumtree, TNT etc, was much cheaper. Got some rather strange replies, but found our current nanny that way.

We were told by more than one agency that we were "picky". As far as I can see that was because we wanted a bit of experience, car driver, non smoker and some education. Direct ads bought us a few graduates, one with an MA (but no driving licence), and peple without visas.

Several very plausible candidates had visas, but quite naturally wanted to get something set up before coming here. In the end we apssed on them, because it was critical that we saw them intereact with the kids.
2.0 actually interviewed them as well, and it was actually quite instructive. He measured them (outgoing nanny was 6'1, asked them their favourite colour, and "would you like to be our nanny"). A couple failed this. We obviously don't care about height but, they didn't seem at ease with an bright 4 yo who can strike up conversations with strangers.

Uwila · 26/05/2006 10:31

Ah, I think you'll probably need live-out then. Or, possibly you could find someone else with a live-in who make like to make it a nanny share?

There's a website called... oh can't remember? I think that matches up familes looking to share. You might have a look and see if there is anyone in your area.

paramount · 26/05/2006 10:41

Hi Zoe,

I run a nanny agency near Gatwick, and I noticed you are looking for a nanny in the West Sussex area, I'm not touting for business, but I would like to add to the comments below that not all nanny agencies charge high fees, its worth looking around at different nanny agenices for example our fee for all permanent placement regardless of how many days a week is only £200.

Good luck in find a nanny.

Kind Regards


zoej · 27/05/2006 11:14

Next Question - Nannies with their own child?
What are the pro's and cons?
Has anyone any experience of using a Nanny who brings their own child to work?
and do they still expect to be paid the going rate or do they get paid slighly less due to the fact they are sharing the care between their own child and my children? Also I guess they are effectively saving themselves chldcare costs of their own?


OP posts:
Uwila · 27/05/2006 15:52

Some will expect to be paid the going rate. I, personally, wouldn't pay them that. I would expect it to be my portion of a nanny share. I've never hired a nanny with her own child, but I would consider it. It would depend on ages, what activities you want kids to go to, does her child go to the same school. If not, are drop off times compatible. Is her parenting philosophy compatible with yours? For example, is her baby on a strict GF schedule that is not conducive to your child's ballet class?

I think pros are 1- save a bit of ££ since it is effectively a nanny share and 2- her child might be a good companion for yours.

I would actually suggest you start a new thread called something like "Nanny share: pros and cons?" and I think you'll get a lot more responses.

DominiConnor · 01/06/2006 01:24

Nannies aren't exactly paid great big piles of money, so even a small reduction for this would not go down well at all I don't think.

Also if you can afford a nanny, odds are you pay for other stuff for your kid, like music or clubs.

I'd just feel awkward if my nanny's kid couldn't go to stuff mine enjoyed. Maybe you'd strike some sort of deal on this ?

zoej · 01/06/2006 07:40

Its more of a case of struggling to afford a nanny, I have even had to go back to my new job and beg for more just to be able to afford a half decent basic rate. I dread to think where all the extras are going to come from for prtol money and outings.

Due to being rural location we have no childminders locally that will collect from my sons school, let alone have spaces for 2 pre-school children plus holiday and after school care.
The Kids jollies are already having to be cut! Its not easy having to say no to the after school clubs or french lessons.

I don't think the agencies help, as they are trying to push for £1 net more than the general going rate which I guess is so some of them get more commission. One even said a nanny with her own child would expect more than the going rate as they have a large number of children to care for and have a mothers experience (even if their child is only 6 months!)

OP posts:
WishICouldGiveUpWork · 01/06/2006 10:03

Totally agree with you Zoej-it is a struggle.I chose specifically to go the nanny route unltil dd was at least 2 and financially planned (well kind of) for it.
However,salary and tax and NI are one thing,the other expenses which are now adding up are...

Outings-soft play/swimming etc on top of usual Musical Minis and swimming classes.
Coffee/lunch for nanny if she meets up with other nannies.
Car insurance/tax/maintenance
Food/soft drinks

Sounds petty written down but I reckon it adds another £300 per month...

Uwila · 01/06/2006 10:17

Zoe, pay your nanny a GROSS wage. Never never never accept responsibility for her taxes. You must extract them from her paycheque and send them off to IR (or nannypaye, etc.).

For expenses, I pay tuition for two activities (ballet and gymnastic) and then give nanny £100 / month to cover travel and anything else she wants to organise (meet ups with other nannies, trip to Kew Gardens, etc.). I also give her a pay as you go mobile and £30/month on it. If she goes over that, she tops it up.

For her expenses, she collects reciepts, and submits them all at the end of the month. When I recieve this, I give her an advance on the next month's £130.

Uwila · 01/06/2006 10:21

Oh, and DC, most sentances that begin "Also if you can afford a nanny..." are a bunch of tosh. Lots of people hire a nanny because she provides the only childcare that will cater to the parents' full time jobs. For example, I have to be at work by 7:30. For this to happen, a nursery/childminder would need top open at 6:30. And then I can pick up at about 6:45. No one offers these hours. So, a nanny it is. But, I certainly struggle to pay for her.

Also, a live-in nanny is often cheaper if you have two young children.

WishICouldGiveUpWork · 01/06/2006 10:25

Uwila-I decided to ignore DC's bigoted comment but you are so right.
Twice a week I have to leave the house at 5am and am not back until after 7-there is no other childcare which offers this care and I also feel it best for my dd to be looked after in her own home.
Financially it is crippling me but I know my dd is happy,ergo I am happy.

Uwila · 01/06/2006 10:26

5am to 7pm? Wow, respect. What do you do?

WishICouldGiveUpWork · 01/06/2006 14:09

Those are the days I have to travel to my office and the factory a 4 hr drive away.I also never know what the traffic will be like so it is 7pm on a good day but can be gone 10.
I am lucky in that some days I get to work from home or have meetings in London when I can be home early.

Suppose I could always leave dd on the doorstep of a local nursery and hope someone picks her up on the way in.Grin

MrsBigD · 01/06/2006 14:17

DC... 'if you can afford a nanny...' I highly resent that :)

We have a nanny, yes. Can we afford her? barely, my boss could basically give my wages straight to her! and only because she works for a very low rate. cm for 2 kids or all day nurseries are well beyond our non-existent budget. Ergo it's not a case of being able to afford a nanny it's about available choice.

Actually mentioned to my boss in jest that they could take my nanny on as their employee and I do the work hence only paying NI/tax once as opposed to me having to pay her wages + NI/tax after my already taxed/NI'd income Grin

zoej · 01/06/2006 17:14

It is scary that I will have to pay NI & Tax and then have just enough to cover the nannies NI payments (employer and employee) and tax. The government are definatly stitching us working mums up.

When i have my first I went back to work in London. DS was in a nursery for 11 hours a day and that took most of my wage then! Now I have 3........!

OP posts:
Coolmama · 01/06/2006 19:45

Uwila, I could well be wrong, but if you hire a nanny you are considered her employer and therefore legally bound to deduct taxes etc from her salary - Au pairs, maternity nursese etc are considered self-employed and therefore responsible for their own taxes, but I think nannies are different - might be worth checking up on as the fallout if you are caught is huge! -

jura · 01/06/2006 20:01

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Coolmama · 01/06/2006 20:16

Oops - sorry about that - I guess I misunderstood her post - Blush - would hate to open the paper one day which has big headline "Tax Evasion ring on Mumsnet!" Grin

WishICouldGiveUpWork · 01/06/2006 20:49

It's avery good point,all nannies talk "nett" pay and actually they generally have no idea how much tax and NI we as employers have to pay.
Uwila-great idea,one I will be adopting during my new nanny hunt.

As for DominiConnor

DominiConnor · 02/06/2006 02:07

I said "probably", which bit of that got lost ?

MrsBigD · 02/06/2006 07:34

DC no 'probably' in that post unless you're referring to 'odds are' Grin

Odds are that I would pay for activities whether having a nanny or not just as to not go stir crazy at home with the kids Grin

Uwila · 02/06/2006 08:10

DC, I'd say chances are if you employ a nanny you probably have nothing left in tha bank.

Yes, thanks for clarifying, Jura. I meant extract the tax from nanny's pay and not your own bank account. Tax evasion is not on in my house.


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sfraser · 12/06/2017 12:34

Hi anyone
Looking for a nanny (ideally live-in but not essential) for 8 year old twins in Chiswick area as wife and I both work (and travel). Just moving back to UK from Turkey as of July. Seems agencies are a waste so personal contacts and other sites are best.
Any advice welcome ! Many thanks

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