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Childcare

people with nannies what did you do when all the kids are ft school?

19 replies

hatwoman · 07/12/2006 10:02

that's it really. got a great nanny, kids adore her, she adores them. at the moment she has 2 childless hours a day (works 3 days a week) as dd2 still pt. she does all the cleaning and the ironing - works out about right ie 6 hours a week. but what when dd2 is f-t?

OP posts:
MrsWobble · 07/12/2006 10:10

you have two main options I think - (i) reduce her hours/money to the time you need or (ii) continue the arrangements as at present.

Under (i) you run the risk that she will leave because she needs more money. you also need to think about how you will cover school holidays, inset days, illness etc

Under (ii) you run the risk that you resent the money you are paying her to "do nothing".

You have to decide which of these risks you can cope with and if neither then it's time to look for a new childcare solution.

That's the analysis we did anyway - and decided to look for a new solution so parted company with our lovely nanny who had been with us for 9 years. We are all now still in touch and on good terms - something that I think would have been difficult if she had stayed under either option (i) or (ii).

nannyj · 07/12/2006 10:14

When i was a live in with full time kids at school i did washing, ironing, errands for mum, grocery shopping, clothes shopping for kids, all cooking from scratch so was kept pretty busy. When i had gotten it all done my time was my own but it was a different situation from you as in was live in and did long hours.

If i was her i would be more than happy to take on extra duties.

Issymum · 07/12/2006 10:32

Good question Hatwoman. DD2 starts full-time school in September and Jura and I have been discussing this issue on another thread somewhere. Thinking about this strategically (Anchovy is the master of this), you need to work out all the tasks required to keep the household afloat:

1 School runs
2 After school childcare
3 Help with homework
4 Food shopping
5 Cooking tea for the DCs
6 Cooking an evening meal for you (could be combined with 5)
7 Errands (e.g. buying birthday presents for parties)
8 Laundry
9 Ironing
10 Cleaning

Currently our full-time, live-in nanny does 1 - 7 and a little bit of 8 and our cleaner does 8 - 10. I think it's virtually impossible to find a single person who is willing and able to do them all (other than an SAHM!). Somebody who can help with the homework may well be unwilling to do your cleaning and vice versa. So, I know that our nanny (NZ teacher) really enjoys the childcare element, particularly the homework, but struggles with the cooking. Our Czech cleaner is fabulous, but really couldn't manage the homework and whilst she would love to look after the children probably wouldn't be disciplined enough with them.

I think that our nanny will be ready to return to full-time teaching in September, but even if she's not, I don't think we can afford to keep her on, particularly as there is no way she would do 8-10 (fair enough!). She's talked about combining teaching and childcare, but deep down I realise that just won't work - too many competing interests and needs. We've got plenty of space, so currently we're thinking of getting an au pair couple who will do everything but the homework and hiring a maturish student or teacher to do the homework for one hour a day (DH or I are back at 6pm but it's too late to do homework). We may also get a student/holidaying teacher to do a chunk of the summer holidays whilst our au-pair couple take a break back home. That's the current thinking....

Mrs Wobble's sage advice on the other thread was, if it's working now, enjoy it and only start worrying about it nearer the time!

Issymum · 07/12/2006 10:33

"I think it's virtually impossible to find a single person who is willing and able to do them all (other than an SAHM or nannyj!)."

foxinsocks · 07/12/2006 10:34

a few round here have started doing nanny shares when this happened (with a family with, say, a toddler at pre-school)

PeterJones · 07/12/2006 11:08

What troubles me about this is the school holidays. although I only have on 18 month old DS at the moment (hope to have more), I am the master of worrying about things WAAAAY before they happen. so if you go change to a more housekeeper/nanny type person/combo, what about the school holidays? DH and I could probably cover about 80% of them if we took entirely seperate holidays but that is not a recipe for success so there are still weeks when you need full time childcare........

hatwoman · 07/12/2006 12:54

issymum I love the idea of an au pair couple - kind of like a housekeeper and a gardener/odd-job man. you're also scaring me re homework - I'm a bit precious about this and would like to do it myself - and at the moment it's just about manageable (20 mins 2 nights a week plus weekends) but that's going to get more. our nanny is the reverse of yours - ok with ironing and cleaning but not homework - you're right that only a parent would do the lot! and as for enjoying it while it lasts, well, it might only be til January!

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Issymum · 07/12/2006 13:01

Hi Hatwoman

I'm loving the idea of an aupair couple too, but the reality may be very different. Our current nanny is the type of person who will notice that DD2 has no vests that fit her, ask if it's OK to buy some, buy something profoundly appropriate and put them in DD's drawer. I think that an aupair will need a lot more 'management'.

The problem about homework is that we're rarely home before 6pm and DD1 is just too tired by then.

hatwoman · 07/12/2006 15:59

hmmm. my nanny probably wouldn't know where to buy children's vests! but she irons so well that dh's shirts still look good when he gets home. and she makes strange puddings, involving cake and fuit and jelly, and pizza snakes. we just can't have it all, can we?

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Issymum · 07/12/2006 16:08

Absolutely! No pizza snakes here....

andaSOAPBOXinapeartree · 07/12/2006 16:28

We've just thrown money at it all TBH - still have the cleaner, ironing lady and FTish (4 days a week) nanny.

Tried to do it with just afterschool care and FT holidays but it just didn't work out for us.

The nanny does lots of lovely things with her time during the day - starts at 9.30-10am then tidies up the house, puts washing on, organises party presents, drops off dry cleaning, picks up parcels, organises calendar, makes costumes for dressing up days, drops off and picks up ironing, does food shopping, takes shoes to shoe repair shop, sorts stuff out for charity shop, keeps the childrens clothes sorted out (and immaculate), similarly toys etc etc, homework, bag packing etc ect. She does a big clean too on a Monday after the weekend - and cleaner does another big clean on Thursday.

It is proving to be quite relaxing, as she is super efficient and we are benefiting from the household being more organised. I just try not to think about how much it all costs

Issymum · 07/12/2006 16:49

Very tempting Soapbox and throwing money at the problem would be our first inclination but the cost of a full-time nanny (who quite reasonably won't clean) plus a cleaner plus an occasional gardener feels less like throwing and more like heamorraging the stuff!

Issymum · 07/12/2006 16:52

Although I've already alerted DH to the fact that all those sundy extras you've listed that we couldn't delegate to an "aupair plus":

"organises party presents, makes costumes for dressing up days, sorts stuff out for charity shop, keeps the childrens toys sorted out, bag packing etc ect. "

and are somehow regarded as 'women's work' are going to have to evenly split between us.

andaSOAPBOXinapeartree · 07/12/2006 16:53

I refuse to think about it

I've already told DH that the next time we lose a nanny I'm giving it all up! So hopefully this one will last a while

Issymum · 07/12/2006 16:56

Giving up the nanny or giving up work Soapbox? You can't give up work and leave me soldiering on in the office. Nooooo!

Judy1234 · 07/12/2006 17:00

We had 3 children so that took a while even when the oldest were at school still needed a full time nanny.
Then ours had two babies and went part time so ideal.
Then we had someone who cleaned in the mornings and did children in the afternoons and was flexible in the holidays although that combination of good with cleaning, good as a nanny never quite worked very well.
Now we have someone after school who will also do holidays.
Some people move to having an au pair

Bluebear · 07/12/2006 18:05

I've got one at school f/t and one p/t and I don't work a full week (5 days but varying hours per day), so we share our nanny. Would recommend sharing with someone who has just the one child, otherwise school hols can get a bit hairy (although we share with someone who has 2 children, but my kids take it in turns to stay at Granny's during school hols)

Anchovy · 07/12/2006 20:58

DH has a theory that rather than confront this we just have another baby and hide our head in the sand for another 5 years...

hatwoman · 07/12/2006 22:27

shhhhhh. dh has been on here tonight. don't go giving him ideas

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