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a Complicated Ishoo to do with our nanny and her college course - you know you want to read and help don't you...?

27 replies

Tutter · 26/09/2007 20:03

brief background: recently recruited nanny/mothers help to work alongside me at home and to take occasional sole charge of ds1 (2yo)

she is studying for an nvq3 in childcare for which i release her a day or so a fortnight (to attend college). her college assessor sometimes comes here to discuss progress and observe our nanny working - i've always been happy for this to happen as it's important for her to get her qualifications (for her, not really important for us)

her college assessor has bugged me a bit with what i see as inappropriate behaviour/attitude - e.g. insisting on seeing evidence that our nanny is covered insurance-wise when working here (her work here has feck all to do with her college course). she was clearly unhappy that we had had to rearrange today's session as my friends couldn't make the first date

today she arrived to observe nanny supervising 3 children (so i had arranged for friends to bring their dc around)

she arrived first and i heard her giving our nanny a hard time. nanny in tears. assessor carrying on regardless

my friends arrived, so i intervened to ask if nanny's (i wish there were a MN abbreviation of nanny - DN perhaps?) assessor would continue this another time as i didn't appreciate DN () being upset and didn't want my friends to be uncomfortable with the obvious atmosphere

to cut a longish story shortish, assessor not happy (affronted?), nanny not happy (bullied, imo) and tutter not happy (all kicking off Chez Tutter and feeling protective of DN)

assessor decides to leave. i caught her outside to say i wasn't happy with the demands she was making on me (esp with a newborn) on arranging these sessions and e.g. seeing insurance details, fire extinguishers, first sid kit etc. asked her if maybe she was unclear about the relationship (or lack of it) between the colege and me as an employer

assessor then tells me that i have a legal requirement to provide such evidenec to the college!

(have established with nanny agency that this is of courtse bolleaux)

when i explained that i am helping DN out - doing her a favour if you like - by helping her ger her qualification, she said "i'm doing you a favour by coming here to assess DN!

upshot is that DN now planning to quit course. i have suggested thta if she feels her r'ship with her assessor has broken down irrevocably, that she should ask to switch assessors

am feeling a bit bad that i got involved, but i couldn't bear to hear her being spoken to that way, and i was frankly hacked off at being nagged by someone i have no obligation to whatsoever

opinions? advice?

OP posts:

rantinghousewife · 26/09/2007 20:08

It's a bit awkward isn't it? Mainly because the college course is being done by your DM off her own bat.
I suppose you could complain to the college administrator about the assessors behaviour as it occurred in your home but, I'd ask the nanny first, in case she feels uncomfortable about.
Assessor sounds terrible, bet you wish you'd fired a rocket up her arse on her way out, don't you?


NannyL · 26/09/2007 20:11

sounds awful

Can i say tehre is obvioulsy not any legal requirement or anything at all.... you can do what you like in your house, nannies are unregulated, end of!
(they can ensure that nanny knows she should advse you but ultimatley its your house and you do as you like)

I did the same course a few years back. My assessor did not have to talk to my boss at all, and nor did they require me to show insurance or any other thing actually.
The only thing my boss had to do was sign a few of my personal statement where i wrote refelctive accounts of what i had done and my boss agreed it was accurate.
I think i may have had to ask my boss to write 1 short paragraph aboue me too, that was it!
so she wrote a paragraph, signed a few bits of paper and that was it!

First aid kit was covered by the fact
1st aid kit lived in my car and my car was always close by to me!

Sounds like your poor nanny needs a more sympathetic asseor and nasty asssor needs to find another job!

Would be a shame for her to quit the course IMO. In my college there were 4 assesors, wonder if your nanny could swap to a different assesor?


WideWebWitch · 26/09/2007 20:15

Assessor's a wanker, get nanny to change course and then you'll have happy nanny, happy you. Complain about assessor in writing to her college.



edam · 26/09/2007 20:15

Assessor sounds extremely rude, with a poor grasp of her role and power-hungry to boot! Poor nanny. And poor you.

My old nanny was doing one of those NVQ courses - her assessor came here a few times but was no trouble at all. Never asked me for any of the stuff your DN's assessor was demanding. The college were pants, though - I think they feel they can get away with treating NVQ in childcare students like rubbish. Because people on that course are unlikely to be militant.

Would be an awful shame if poor DN abandoned her course, though, because of one crappy assessor.

How does DN feel about you tackling the college? And is it something you want to do?

I'm with you on switching assessors. A formal complaint would be justified but expect DN would be reluctant.


tribpot · 26/09/2007 20:17

Well, on the face of it, I'm with you. If I was assisting a nanny/mum's help in gaining a childcare qualification by allowing my kids to be 'experimental material' (in the nicest possible way, obviously) I certainly wouldn't expect the course assessor to be giving me grief.

I would do as you have done, and suggest the DN () request a change of assessor, and I would go further than that and make a complaint to the college. Can you talk to the assessor's supervisor?


nannynick · 26/09/2007 20:31

Many years back, I started my then NNEB course while still woking. It lasted a few weeks until I realise that it was never going to work... I ended up changing to doing the course full-time, with 2 days placement. Hard financially, but back in those days the NNEB was designed to be done full time over 2 years, not as an evening class!

The NVQ should be different, but I think you are coming across similar issues to those I had over 10 years ago. There are several different NVQ's in childcare now - one is for homebased care, others are designed more for those working in nurseries/pre-schools. Is DN doing a homebased care course?

The acessor seems to lack knowledge of what legislation applies in a private home. As an employer you do have a duty of care towards your employee... but I am pretty sure you don't require a fire blanket, fire extinguishers, etc... in the same way as you don't provide you employee with a lunch break!

Could DN discuss with college regarding options to put things on hold for a while (if DN feels a break is needed, while the practicalities of working and doing the course are ironed out), options for changing to another course - either by same provider, or another provider.

End of the day, as you say it is important to her to get the qualifications, not important to you - so if things are not working out, then you need to discuss with DN the way forward. If DN wants the qualification, then will DN consider a change in job - such as to nursery work, if doing the course while nannying is providing tricky.

I feel as an employer you are being very supportive towards your employee, helping your DN to achieve what she wants.


Tutter · 26/09/2007 20:36

thanks all

i am, quite frankly, gagging to get in touch with the college, to (a) ask if DN could be assigned another assessor, and (b) complain about the assessor's behaviour and attitude towards both DN and me

but i have to back off and wait to see what DN wants to do. i sent her home early as she was so upset (lives with ehr parents, she's v close to her mum) and we have exchanged a couple of texts - she's thanked me for being supportive; i've said i'd be happy to speak to college on her behalf about changing assessor

she says she doesn't want that and that she wants to look into completing the course at home (distance learning i assume?)

will speak to her again tomorrow. hopefully by then she'll be calmer and less upset, and we can establish how important the qualification is to her

OP posts:

Isababel · 26/09/2007 20:39

I bet the asesor is not going to get much sleep tonight either. It is easy to see that she was totally out of order.


edam · 26/09/2007 20:40

I think you are being a very supportive employer, btw. I was gagging to have a go at my DN's college over the way they treated her (no lecturer for five months but no refund of course fees...) but had to restrain myself. As she didn't want to rock the boat.


WideWebWitch · 26/09/2007 20:40

The thing is, regardless of what DN thinks, this assessor was rude to YOU and talked BOLLOCKS to YOU so you are entitled to complain.

But I am a) stroppy mare b) prob premenstrual and c) it's a full moon!


prufrock · 26/09/2007 20:41

I think it is important to check taht nany is doing teh right course - in my role as pre-school chair I have 2 staff members doing NVQ3 and this is the sort of thing that their assesors are asking. But - assessor should know that NVQ fro childcare setting is innapropritae for your nanny, and should have handled teh whole thing far more professionaly.


Millarkie · 26/09/2007 20:41

I agree with the others - Complain to the college about assessor's attitude and ask exactly whether any of her demands were let them know that you will comply with any reasonable request to support your DN in her training though and encourage your DN to try to switch assessor rather then quitting the course outright.
Don't feel bad that you got involved - the assessor got you involved for a start, and as your DN's employer you have a duty to 'look after' her (morally if not legally).
Let us know how it goes!


Tutter · 26/09/2007 20:54

yes, good point about making it clear that i'm happy to comply with reasonable requests - after all i knew when i employed her that she was doing this course

i suspect that the assessor genuinely hasn't 'clicked' that this is not the same as visiting a student in a nursery placement (where of course it would be perfectly appropriate for her to act as she has done with me here)

particularly odd that she's being like this as apparently she used to be a nanny

i was prickly with her today - have just ignored her oddness to date but i hated the way i heard her speaking to DN (who is only 20yo and quite sensitive)

OP posts:

edam · 26/09/2007 22:46

I think you are right that the assessor hasn't got her head round your DN being a nanny, not a nursery assistant. My DN had a similar problem on her course.


eleusis · 27/09/2007 10:09

Tutter, assessor is a stropy cow. And I think it's a good idea to submit a formal complaint (with DN's approval). It might not look so good for nanny if she complains about her assessor. But, they can't hold it against her if you submit one -- at least I hope they wouldn't be so petty.

Love "DN".


gess · 27/09/2007 10:13

Complain about assessor in writing to the college. I think you can complain about the way she has treated you and made demands on you with a newborn and not even mention the way she's treated your nanny. She seems to be behaving as if you're some sort of employee of hers, rather than her being a guest in your house.


Tutter · 28/09/2007 20:17

have send email to assessor's boss, who has replied to say she has arranged to meet with her on monday

will update then...

OP posts:

eleusis · 29/09/2007 08:57

Gor fo you, Tutter.


Tutter · 01/10/2007 16:59

have had a reply to my email - would be interested to hear if anyone understands the point on whether i am in fact obliged to provide the informaion on e.g. H&S as per my posts below...


I have now had a chance to talk to [assessor] , we are both very concerned that you feel unhappy with the way you have been treated by [college]. I understand how difficult it must be for you to have strangers entering your home and asking, what must seem like, prying questions. [nanny]?s training programme is funded by the government through the learning and skills council who as an organisation put a lot of pressure on us. We are unable to take learners who may be at risk due to their workplace not following health and safety guidelines or those who are not covered by employers liability insurance which is why [assessor] must complete the risk assessment forms and see the liability certificate. This is usually done before the learner starts work with the employer which is why [assessor] was keen to get it recorded. This obviously is not as straight forward when the workplace is a private home, but nevertheless is an LSC requirement.

As the NVQ is a work related qualification the training is a partnership between the learner, College and the employer, again more difficult when the employer is a busy mother like yourself, usually when a learner changes employer a representative from [college] will meet with the new employer to discuss responsibilities etc this is triggered by the completed risk assessment and liability certificate.

OP posts:

legalalien · 01/10/2007 17:22

on a "google and guess" basis, I'd say it has something to do with - if you look at para 7 on about page 9, there's an indication that the LSC includes provisions in its funding agreements with colleges designed to address learner safety issues..... which is probably quite general and fails to take account of the possibility that training is taking place in a private household...

doubtless someone with some ACTUAL knowledge will come along soon!


legalalien · 01/10/2007 17:22

[so in other words, it's not your legal obligation, its an obligation that the college has to comply with in order to get funding]


eleusis · 01/10/2007 17:25

I understand that they want you to do it because it is in their interest. I think that response is rather poor customer service and shows very clearly exactly where assessors attitude comes from: it is apparently the culture at the college.

But, that response, does not convince me you arebligated to do squat for them. It is not a three way relationship. Your contract is between you and the nanny. If they wanted to be involved, ask them what's in it for you? Perhaps they could pay you for your time? (I'm joking, but really they are very unappreciative)


Tutter · 01/10/2007 20:17

thanks both

my (slightly narky) reply:


There is no partnership between learner, college and employer. We have a contract with [nanny] but no relationship - formal or otherwise - with [college]. Should you wish to have such a relationship with a student's private employer may I suggest that contact be made at the outset of a contract of employment and roles and responsibilities agreed.

In terms of risk assessments/H&S, I still do not recognise that I am under any obligation to share any information with you. I understand that you have an obligation to seek it, in order to comply with funding requirements, but that is no responsibility of mine. This was reliant on my goodwill, which was tested by [assessor]'s attitude.

OP posts:

eleusis · 01/10/2007 20:34

I think slightly narky is the least they deserve. Had they replied with something like well we need this information in order to satisfy such and such legislation. We appreciate this may be a bit inconvenient for you but would really appreciate if you could find the time to assist us blah blah blah. IF they had said that then I would be more patient, but I just can't tolerate when you are doing someone a favour and then they come in and explain why you are obligated, when in fact you are not.

I think I'd be more irritated about the college defending the assessor than I would about the assessor's behaviour.


nannynick · 01/10/2007 22:07

The college seem to be responding to only one part of your complaint... the insistence on seeing employers insurance certificate (which you don't have as it is usually a small paragraph, if not just a sentence, in your household insurance policy booklet).

They have not responded to the other unreasonable requests, such as you having to arrange for other children to be present, or the assessor's general conduct within your private home.

The LSC funding thing seems to be taking things a bit far... surely the rules can be bent so that it fits with employment within a private home. When your nanny started the course, was she aware that there was LSC funding, and what the rules were for that? I doubt she was given a list of the rules! One way of avoiding this part is to not have the course funded - but then it may cost your nanny quite a bit to do the course.

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