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Nanny bringing own child - contract and how to deal with a problem

25 replies

WindyAnna · 12/09/2007 07:37

Good morning

Just after a bit of advice on any specifics I should include in contract for a nanny with her own child who she brings to work. I'm thinking about her responsibilities to my child, some stuff about what happens if her child is ill, if my child is ill ... etc.

Also I had a nanny start this week who is doing some part-time work for me whilst my permanent nanny is on maternity leave. She brought her own small baby with her, I wasn't home but my husband was and he was really concerned that nanny was concentrating on her own child and seemed to be paying no attention to my 1 year old. I did speak to her about it and she said she had found it hard and I will talk to her properly about what I expect from her when she is back next week - any ideas on what is reasonable? I certainly don't want her to ignore her own child but on the other hand I am paying her for the care of my daughter and yet all she is doing is actually caring for her child in my house!

All help really appreciated.

Thanks, Windy

OP posts:

amidaiwish · 12/09/2007 08:00

don't know about the contract thing, but how old is the baby with the part-time/temp nanny?


NKF · 12/09/2007 08:21

My advice would be to find another nanny. I think unless a nanny already has a relationship with your child, it will be very hard for her to build a relationship with yours.


eleusis · 12/09/2007 08:33

When is maternity leave for permanent nanny over? Just wondering if you will have the temp nanny for a few weeks or another 9 months?

HAve you got a nanny diary? If not, I'd get one? I'd also set out a sample schedule. And probably sign them up for some activities just to make sure your daufghter is getting some attention/stimulation. You might also ask them to attend a M&T group where you know some people and then you can talk to the people you know and ask how things are going, like does nanny play with the 1 year old at the group, and so on.

However, if you are paying the market rate and this nanny is due to be with you for 12 months, then I might have a more serious chat and consider replacing her. But if she's only there for a month or two then I'd probably be more tolerant on the basis that it's not worth the usual pains of the recruiting process.


louandphoebs · 12/09/2007 09:04

Hi there

I am new to this site but just thought i would say i am a nanny and have my own child who is just 1. I think perhaps your nanny has a child who is too close in age to your own child. I would not work with a family who has a child under 2 just because i feel it would be unfair on the child and my daughter as well. I think it is very unfair on your child if she is being totally ignored - perhaps you ask your nanny about her baby's routine and then you could agree on activities at set times for her and your child to do together while her baby is sleeping - so your daughter gets some one on one time with the nanny. There are plenty of games and songs etc that she could do with both children.

As a nanny your job is to make sure that the children you look after feel loved and safe and stimulated whether you have your own child with you or not and if she finds this difficult perhaps you need a new nanny?


WindyAnna · 12/09/2007 12:09

Thanks for all the replies.

Baby is only 4 months old and nanny is due to be with me for 6 months but one day per week and am paying market rate. When I offered her the role she was pregnant as was going to leave baby with her Mum but that hasn't happened. She works the other days for another family with school age kids and I think that is working well for her as is a completely different situation. One day a week is not brilliant for building a relationship with DD at best of time but with a baby to consider is even harder.

I have also got cover for other days with another nanny with her own child - is working really well as her daughter is a little older (mine is coming up to 2 and hers is 2) they play together and also the nanny is more used to it an copes much better.

A long story but the reason for the split care is that my maternity leave nanny was only part-time for me when she got pregnant and so I sorted cover for those days but then my other nanny resigned so that maternity leave nanny could go full time and I needed to sort care for the extra day.

I do have other options for the day, I found a local CM who I really like and who my daughter likes too, she could go to her for a day as she is happy to have her on that basis. I just need to decide what is best for my daughter and fairest for everyone!

OP posts:

eleusis · 12/09/2007 13:04

Have I got this right? You have two live out nannies who each work one day a week and a childminder who can provide cover on other days if needed? And your DD is almost 2.

That sounds like a lot of shuffling round for a 2 year old... but then I'm a bit of a routine freak. But, jeez even if the DCs were okay with it, I think it would do my head in.

I think she needs a good shove in the right direction. I'd get them out and about to some activities. So even if the child carer gets changed around, your DD would still have a familiar routine.


NKF · 12/09/2007 13:14

Your arrangements make my head spin. Isn't there something easier?


amidaiwish · 12/09/2007 15:50

sorry but if i had a 4 month old baby and was looking after a nearly 2 year old just one day a week... who i hadn't really got a relationship with, well i don't think the 2 year old would be getting much attention.

i had an 18month gap between my 2 DDs and DD1 spent quite a few days in front of the TV i can tell you... out of necessity.

I can only imagine this will get worse when the baby is a few months older and is starting solids etc, crawling etc. That's a full time job imo.


WindyAnna · 12/09/2007 16:37

Just to clarify, it is complicated but not as complicated as it seems - 4 days a week the arrangement is fine with the nanny with older child, 1 day a week is problem with nanny with small baby.

IF I stop using the 1 day a week nanny then my DD will go to CM (who I have used during nanny holidays and sickness but don't have a perm arrangement with) for that day.

When permie nanny comes back from mat. leave she will do 5 days a week.

The more I think about it the more I think agreeing to her bringing the baby was a bad idea.

OP posts:

eleusis · 12/09/2007 16:59

Can you elaborate on this bit "When I offered her the role she was pregnant as was going to leave baby with her Mum but that hasn't happened. "

Did she agree not to bring the baby and then change her tune on you? If so, she is a norty nanny. I think I'd be inclined to swap her for childminder who you already know and like. It's only one day a week. I think even i could manage a childcare run one day a week. (I hate the childcare run! It's the main reason I have a nanny)


WindyAnna · 12/09/2007 17:35

A bit more about the "When I offered her the role she was pregnant as was going to leave baby with her Mum but that hasn't happened" .... she agreed that she would not bring baby to work all the time, would be with her Mum but might need to bring babe occasionally when Mum was on holiday etc. called me a couple of weeks ago and said Mum now worked on the same day so couldn't do it would it be alright to bring baby - I agreed ... partly cos it caught me by surprise, partly cos I hadn't realised how difficult it would be and partly cos she was obviously really upset about it and I felt for her. In hindsight I should've just said she needed to sort out her own childcare before we could commit to her employment!

CM run is no hassle BTW - on my way to work!

OP posts:

eleusis · 12/09/2007 17:59

Sounds to me like she is absorbed in motherhood and not really prepared to focus on the job at only 4 months old. There's nothing really wrong with that. Lot's of people take 6 or 12 months off. But, you have to do what's best for your child. Is there a probationary period in your contract? What's the notice period at this point?

I think I'd still attempt to point her to some activities, and if it didn't work, then I'd say see ya and knock on that childminder's door. But,I would sit down with her and tell her I was concrned and that she needed to shape up fast if she wanted to keep the job.


WindyAnna · 12/09/2007 18:22

Thanks for that. Probation period is a month and notice is a week. Will talk to her tomorrow before I leave for work and explain my concerns - TBH if she is in anyway the person I think she is she will have relaised it herself.

I'm also going to leave work early so we can chat at the end of the day as well about how things have gone. Luckily hubbie is working from home again tomorrow so can observe from the seclusion of the dining room!

OP posts:

newgirl · 12/09/2007 18:41

she may well realise it herself but then she may just need the money and will go for it anyway - you need to make the decision that is right for your dd

i think it sounds complicated tbh - however lovely this nanny is

the nanny who posted on here thought it not ideal - she is probably right


WindyAnna · 13/09/2007 09:25

Chatted to her this morning, explained that I was concerned that it hadn't seem to be working and that DD is absolutely my priority so need to make sure she is getting appropriate care. She agreed and said she has arranged things to do for today - group this morning and trip to park with other nanny this afternoon. I will chat to her again this evening.

Gut feel is that this is not right for all reasons other posters have outlined but I do believe that I have responsibilities as an employer and I will make sure I give her a fair chance rather than just going with my gut feeling.

Thanks again


OP posts:

eleusis · 13/09/2007 12:09

I think that sounds like a good result. She sounds like she has really listened to you and taken the initiative to to do something about it. And I think just being around other nannies will help her.

Let us know how it goes.


WindyAnna · 11/10/2007 09:20

Hi again everyone

A bit of an update on the post below and I'd value your opinions on how things are going ...

Nanny now goes out ALL day every day she works for me (one day a week). DD is very cheerful when she gets back and happily kisses nanny goodbye and will chat about her and the baby so I'm not worried about her well-being ... BUT ... I'm not keen on her being out of the house all day and she is literally out the door straight after breakfast and doesn't get back until at least 6 (her finish time) and sometimes after! One of the reasons I have a nanny is so that DD gets to spend time in her own home with her own things.

I spoke to her this morning and asked why she goes out so much, she says she finds it easier to keep DD entertained - which I do understand but I asked why she doesn't bring her home for lunch/nap and she says as she is not always near by it is easier to feed her / put her down at other nanny's family home than bring her back and go out again?!? She also says it is difficult to keep DD from interupting DH who works from home - the other nanny seems to manage it?! They have got a big day out planned today with a zoo visit but I have asked if from next week she can spend some of the day t our house and see how things go, I can arrange for DH to be out of the way if that helps.

Not sure what to so, otehr nanny has now hinted that she might be able to do an extra day for me. Also nanny on maternity leave is keen to do a couple of days a month "keeping in touch" days from Nov/Dec.

what to do?!?!

All advice gratefully received as always.

OP posts:

fimbley · 11/10/2007 17:43

just a short reply,Nanny being out of the house all day with your DD is not on,on the other hand working inside with your DH around must be extremely difficult,and if that was me i'd have to go out as well,otherwise trying to keep everyone happy would be nearly impossible.I am yet to be convinced that such arrangements(one,or both parents working from home,with nanny around) actually work.Sorry,maybe not what you wanted to hear,but it's the reason why majority of nannies insist on being sole charge


3mum · 11/10/2007 18:01

I'd take your other nanny up on the offer. Do you think 1 day nanny is simply taking your child home to her house?


NurseyJo · 11/10/2007 18:07

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

WanderingTrolley · 11/10/2007 18:14

Agree with NurseyJo - that was my first thought too.

Working as a nanny with a parent working from home not always a disaster, depends on the nanny imo.


RainingCatsandDogs · 11/10/2007 20:12

This does sound strange.I have a nanny for 2 days who also brings her just 5 month old.I had my doubts whether it could work with her having a young baby but she is very experienced and had worked for me successfully pre her own children in the past.She works around my 1 year old's routine and he always sleeps in his own cot.

Her baby fits around this and the baby lays next to them when they are playing with toys.The baby is a very contented little one and this really does help.The baby goes to the toddler group and park with my toddler and I very much set what happens.At the groups I ask her to go to there are other mums I know so I can get other feedback on how my ds is in her care.
My nanny works the baby and toddler combination really well and any unexpected visit from Dh or myself always shows my ds is receiving alot of her attention.I would not be happy with my toddler being out all day and surely this isn't the only way to keep her entertained and definately not sleeping somewhere else.I think you are being a bit too understanding!


eleusis · 12/10/2007 10:00

I think wanting your child to nap in her own bed is perfectly reasonable. I think it helps kids understand that this bed is for sleeping and when I put you here sleep is what you are to do.

And, as you say, one of the perks of employing a nanny is that you can set specific activities/guidlines, like spend some of the day at home.


WindyAnna · 17/10/2007 16:45

Thanks for all the advice. Nanny's one day a week is tomorrow and I spoke to her last Thursday and explained that I needed her to start letting DD spend some of each day at home. I am more and more convinced that some of you are right and that she is could be taking DD to her home with her. I do understand that it could be difficult with DH working at home but the other nanny manages round it - he is locked away busy for most of the day tho' he does come out for breaks AND she did know about it when she took the job. she should be raising things with me rather than fleeing the house in terror!!

Thanks again


OP posts:

lisalisa · 17/10/2007 16:57

Message withdrawn

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