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Nanny not doing as

79 replies

CarlyP · 14/08/2006 13:40

ok, we hired our nanny in october, she worked at the prescool and had jsut finished her cache training, crb checked etc.

she was ok, and good at times, but about once a month i was kicking her up the bum a bit.

we got a contract etc (standard nanny one) and added an appendix to it. in this appendix it states:

i) Getting them dressed in suitable clothing for the weather
ii) Changing nappies when required
iii) Taking them to the park, play group and arranging play dates, including visits to the local library
iv) Tidying the playroom, including wiping down the toys and shelves when needed
v) Getting them involved in physical activities i.e. Watching boogie beebies dvd once a day on the same episode for a week and encouraging them to do the moves by doing them your self. Playing chase in the garden and encouraging throwing and catching of balls/frisbee
vi) Encouraging reading and writing and speech skills i.e. reading, talking to them about what you are doing and why, using ?flashcards? which animals, numbers, colours on etc, showing them objects and getting them to repeat the words to you
vii) ?Themes? for each week and activities planned around that. I.e. ?Leaves? you could go and collect leaves of different colours, sizes, shapes etc over the week and put them in a big pot and then do some ?sticking? with them at the end of the week. ?Blue? Find lots of blue objects and talk about what around us is blue etc. Draw a picture to summarise at the end of the week. ?Cars? collect and draw items from toy cars etc, put them in a big ?pot? to collect and then at the end of the week make a collage
viii) Planning trips for the week, maybe once a week/fortnight to somewhere interesting for them. Plan you route, take the bus etc. (Farm, pets corner, adventure area, soft play area)
ix) Fill in the ?children?s? diary with events from the day, and notes of sleep times and any other relevant information

out of all that she has never:

arranged a play date or taken them to the library
wipeed down the toys and shelves in playroom
encouraged throwing/catching
only done a 'theme' once
Taken them into town to play area twice and pets corner once
filled out diary for about a week.

im fed up of chats with her.........she annoys me and tbh i want out. i keep giving her chances, but she is not taking them. the boys like her and she is nice to them, but i feel they watch to much tv, and she sits and lets them play (no interaction from her).

i know its the verbal, written and then sacking route. but ive talked to her so many times, and wouldnt know what to include in the written warning and she really wouldnt know why id given her it.....seriously, she is not v v bright.

HELP ME.........what do i do???

OP posts:
Jimjams2 · 14/08/2006 13:48

How old are the children?

How do you know she hasn't done throwing catching?

Does she know anyone to make a play date with (other nannies?)

HOw easy is the diary to fill out? I found changing the format of ds1's diary at school made it more likely to be filled out. Tick charts work well where appropriate.

Can you give her some ideas of themes? Is she quite young? It might just be something that she needs a bit of guidance on, or buy her a book with idea of themes?

I would be careful about sacking her for the list you've given tbh, although I know you can sack fairly easily in the 1st year of employment.

mummydoc · 14/08/2006 13:50

go over to hte thread i started today about sacking my nanny it appears just below yours on childminder etc section - loads of good advice, seems we have similar problem

Uwila · 14/08/2006 13:50

Sign them up for activities. How old are the kids?

Loosen the cable at the back the telly so the sound doesn't work. (yes, I've done this [)

See mummydoc's very similar thread. Is it a full moon on the nanny front (can't see through all dark clouds)

Uwila · 14/08/2006 13:53

Also, I think you should have a review on a regular basis wher she can inform you of children's progress. Make it something fun. Maybetake nanny for a cheap bite to eat and have a chat. You can look at the diary, and say I like this, but this needs improvement.

Jimjams2 · 14/08/2006 13:53

I think mummydocs situation counts as gross misconduct though, this just sounds more like means well but needs a bit more direction (is she young?)

CarlyP · 14/08/2006 14:01

yep, shes 18. recommended by pre-school leader.
(my ds1 2.5yrs goes 3 mornings a week) and ds2 is 20mths old and will start in january (they take them from 2yrs)

i have given suggestions for everything and the only 'playdate' she wanted to make was with her firend (17) who has twins (aged 2) whose partner beats her (according to our nanny) and the twins both swear (according to our nanny). so i said no to that. fairly i think.

she doesnt know any other nannies, and doesnt want to find any, even though i gave her a nannies message board site and asked her to log on and make friends etc.

she tells me what she does.done when i get home and re the throwing and catching, she enver wants to incase they get hit by it. fair enough, but i have bean bag things and soft balls.

ive jsut sent off for a lsit to childminders in our area. think ill have to changed tact!

OP posts:
AlwaysOnTheGo · 14/08/2006 14:02

Oh Carly ....

Before you ask this nanny to do all of the above, have you tried to do it yourself particularly organising weekly themes.

There is one hell of a lot of stuff there and for someone who has just finished their cache training I think you may be asking too much for a first time sole charge nanny -

If you can do this routine for two weeks, then why not write it down and schedule everthing, you can teach her the routine.

Also have you got her the right equipment and actively manage her, ie big planning book and made up a daily book for her. Do you give her ideas in the book or leave it to her to decide, do you make time for an hour at least once a week to catch up with her - with no children around to discuss over coffee / glass of wine her how week is going and any concerns, scheduling issues.

Trying to leave her to her own devices with a list this long and it's no wonder the poor girl doesn't hit her objectives. My nanny wouldn't either !

If your boys like her, try changing how you mange her

CarlyP · 14/08/2006 14:06

see your point alwaysonthego. but i have suggested my socks off!!!

i will buy a new diary and suggest things again. and give her the next month to try and implement these things.

after that she is off. i hope for hers and ds's sake it works out, i really do as they like her and i dont want to mess around their childcare.


OP posts:
batters · 14/08/2006 14:07

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Uwila · 14/08/2006 14:10

Carly, you might want to post a draft of the schedule here and see what others think of it. Then, if she fails to meet up to it you will be confident it was a fair expectation.

Do you have a nanny diary?

CarlyP · 14/08/2006 14:16

uwila, we have a book she should write things that the same?

batters, im going to draw up a daily schedule.

thanks everyone.


OP posts:
jura · 14/08/2006 14:17

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jimjams2 · 14/08/2006 14:19

themes for a 20 month old?? You're being a bit ambitious.She may have tried it and found that the little one in particularl didn't get involved and so felt like she didn't know what to do.. I'd give her a specific list. "This week I want you to collect leaves on Monday, and set them out to dry, let the kids feel them, Tuesday stick with them- the activities may only last 10 minutes, so she may feel they don't count as themes iyswim. Then the next week "theme of baking, simple recipes for each day". She may have said she was worried about the ball hitting them for an excuse. Again she might not realise that any ball hitting/kicking activity in this age is going to last minutes, and may have tried something too ambitious in the past.

The playdate thing sounds like she's shy. Why not sign the kids up for some organised activities. Locally we have a "popkids" dance music session. It would suit you as it takes all pre-school aged kids so both of yours could go.

Re the diary- I;d really try to give her a structured tick chart. one thing I found when trying to get info out of ds1's various lsa's was that many people are not condifent about their writing when handed a blank piece of paper, but will happily give you the information if they only have to write one or two words. I decided what I needed to know then made up tick charts, and quick questions to get that info. It is easier if people are willing to write reams off the top of their heads (and more fun and nicer to keep) but some can't.

CarlyP · 14/08/2006 14:19

she works at the pre-school on her day off . so yes, and she should be able to implement ideas from wha they do etc.

im going to draw up a schedule and takie it from there.

thanks everyone.

OP posts:
CarlyP · 14/08/2006 14:20

great ideas jimjams, thank you

OP posts:
AlwaysOnTheGo · 14/08/2006 14:21


Here is your shopping / to do list for the week

2 x scrap books - for the boys to stick things in
2 x glue sticks for the above
1 x A5 line pad for daily notes
make up an A4 day sheet (for both boys on one sheet) on your PC - print it out 30 times (once for each day)
hole punch the above into an A4 ring binder
buy lots of boys stickers (fave theme) than she can use to reward for good behaviour on clothes or in day book
leave out passport + utility bill and make her task one day this week to join the library
find a mother and toddler group and tell her she is going (most don't start again until Sept
find a toddler music / dance class and tell her she is going to go (ditto September)
buy a cheap pop up goal post and show the boys how to kick the ball into it and she can be goalie
2 x suitable balls (for catch) those sponge water bombs are good - obviously without using the water ! - or may do if it makes the game more fun

you have to help her

good luck and remember this nanny is entitled to a lunch break, forget the dusting, that's not her job

get the childrens stuff spick and span yourself then ask her to maintain that level.

remember this is not a home boot camp, let the boys have some down time.

Jimjams2 · 14/08/2006 14:26

I'm tempted to do that for myself alwaysonthego

CarlyP · 14/08/2006 14:34

thanks alwaysonthego. will do the list.

i dont ask her to cook, clean or do any other housework and she does have a greak when boys sleep at lunch.


OP posts:
DominiConnor · 14/08/2006 14:39

We don't have a detailed formal list of nanny duties to the extent specifying that there should be "themes" etc. But we do expect there to be activities, and the nanny to "engage".

They get themes from other sources anyway so in our particular case would feel it might actually be too much to have one at home as well.

The questions I would ask her is what she was doing instead. She may simply lack time management skills, and not actually get round to it. I don't know if it makes me a crap dad, but when looking after the kids, doing the N things necessary like cook, deal with fights, investigate worrying silence, etc I rarely do all the things I wanted to do.

Also she may be doing good, but different stuff.
Our nanny took DS1 to an epping forest "mini beast" hunt. Quite happy for this to displace a trip to the library.

Of course she may be doing different but bad stuff. There is a whole swarm of social scientists who study the difference between what your boss tells you to do, and what you actually do. Applies to bankers, nannies and squaddies. Just part of the joy of management.

I think she needs a bit more hands on management.
Having bossed people around at work, I believe that only a small minority of people are capable of efficiently managing their own time.
Shopping with kids (for me) can soak up a huge amount of time.

I think questioning, and monitoring is the best way of fixing her behaviour, if it is fixable.

Ask her to write down how she spends each day.
Then sit down with her, and see how it can be improved each week.
Have a set of tick boxes for things that ought to happen.
I hate doing this stuff, and I rather think you might feel the same, but it's that or suggest to her that she should consider other career opportunities. She might be happier in a more structured environment like a nursery. Not everyone makes a good nanny, I wouldn't.

expatinscotland · 14/08/2006 14:57

'Having bossed people around at work, I believe that only a small minority of people are capable of efficiently managing their own time.'

So, DC is actually a shepherd.

I always wondered.

AlwaysOnTheGo · 14/08/2006 15:03


ok I have given myself away as a professional Project Manager

expatinscotland · 14/08/2006 15:08

I'm just one of the sheeple always on the lookout for a larf.

ecb · 14/08/2006 15:09

i was a nanny for many many years, and a good one at that i think, with many people offering me jobs and trying to poach me.i woul dhave refused a job if you gave me an itinery of what was listed below. Themes?she is a nanny, a replacement mum who should provide safe and stimulating activities. would you do a theme a week with your children? it is not a nursey. i also used to write a daily diary stating where we had been what had been,slept, eaten etc and any queries etc always written down. if you did this you could write rather than confront the nanny thatyou would like them to go to m& t or library a certain day. it is then written in black and white and you can query why it hasn't ben done. it is very hard work to be a good nanny.

NAB3 · 14/08/2006 15:37

TBH What you have written is not usually what you would expect in a nanny's contract. I was a nanny for many years and now have three children of my own and I think you might be asking a bit too much. If you are looking for a reason to get rid I wouldn't bother. I would give her her months notice and be done. Be honest. If you want her to go, you want her to go and if she did all those things and you still wanted her out, what would you do then? It is hard to get out on your own sometimes and I once did a nanny share where for a couple of days before I started the Mumm took me to a couple of playgroups and introduced me to the playgroup leaders, who then did the same with some other nannies, and that helped. Reading you post my first thought was she is not a teacher and your children are quite young to be expected to be doing flash cards to read. Would you do all of the above if you were at home? Don't expect a nanny to do something you weren't prepared to do yourself. She might be unhappy too and actually want to leave you. Maybe it is time you had a chat....

annh · 14/08/2006 17:15

NAB3 has said exactly what I was thinking in that I don't expect my nanny to do anything I wouldn't do myself and although my boys are now 8 and 5 and on a whole different level of activity, I don't think they would have had the slightest interest in weekly themes or flashcards at the ages of your sons. They would have enjoyed the ball games but they certainly wouldn't have caught anything. And all of these activities would have held their interest for - ooh, about a nano-second! If you can honestly say that you have been at home with them and have yourself maintained this kind of routine, then you probably need a different, more experienced nanny. But if you haven't done it yourself, maybe you honestly don't realise how difficult it is. Having spent a couple of years as a SAHM at around about the ages of your children, I have to say I found it exhausting! Of course, your nanny is going home at the end of the day but she is VERY young to be in charge of two chldren of that age and it sounds like it's just too much.

If you want to salvage the situation with this nanny, I think I would scrap some of the themes and flashcard activities and just be very firm about some of the other activities i.e. they must go to the library once a week for storytime (whenever that is), they must go to the park/playground/for a walk every day unless it is raining or cold. Arranging playdates or going out with friends is difficult - she simply may not know people to go out with and sometimes it can be jolly difficult to just "find" friends. My first nanny used to go to a M&T group with ds2 when she first started but was mostly ignored by the mothers (she was only nanny) and had a miserable time so I told her not to bother anymore and put her in touch with a friend of mine who also had a nanny and similar aged child. Can you help out in a similar way?

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