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To the nannies on here....

17 replies

reindeer · 21/04/2005 13:09

Just wanted to ask.....

There is another thread running about what to include in a nanny's contract.

When you as a nanny go for an interview, what sort of questions do you ask the parents and what do you find acceptable or unacceptable?

Just wondering about a nannies take on the contract business.

OP posts:
uwila · 22/04/2005 17:23

oh, bump. This is a good question. Nannies?????

reindeer · 22/04/2005 19:11

Maybe the nannies have a life and have gone out tonight!

This is a serious question, BTW.

I'm not trying to incite a nanny/employer debate, just wondering about things from a nannies point of view.

OP posts:
uwila · 22/04/2005 21:05

I agree. I'm genuinely interested to know what things are important to nannies. I am soon to hire a nanny to start in mid august and this is definitely a good thing for me to understand.

Pol25 · 22/04/2005 22:32

Used to be a nanny and now a mummy,
I'd think about you and how you like your family run: will you be expecting them to clean the house, do the dishes, washing, ironing for all of you or just children. What are your ideas on meals- all home cooked, organic or junk, lol. I used to have the rule that we had one 'freezer' meal a week- such as chips, ready made pizza, nuggets etc...
Will she be live in or live out, what hours will you expect her to work, whether she will have use of a car on duty/ off duty. If off duty will you mind her possibly driving round the uk in it. Will you expect her to fill up the petrol she uses? If you're expecting her to use her car what mileage rate will you pay- RAC have a good site to guide you on this.
If live in- can she have buddies around, to stay over night, can she have a boyf back; does she have a boyf or other...
What are her views on discipline? What would she do if your child (for example) took to biting her? How would she stop it?
What does she like doing in work and out of work? Why is she a nanny? What is the best thing about job/ worse/ most challenging etc...
On her time off will she work elsewhere? What does she like doing out of hours- do you want a all night partier under your roof???
Will she let chidrens friends play often or is she stuffy... etc.
Trust your instincts, if you don't 'click' immediately I wouldn't employ her. Your children are precious to you and seens as your nanny is going to care for them- there should be a place in your heart for her too.

UKMickey · 22/04/2005 23:35

Gosh what a long question/s to answer tonight it will need to be a short one because my charges should be waking up soon for a feed.
Many,many moons ago when I employed a P/T Nanny professional nanny,(children all adults now) Nanny Kate had the choice as live-in or daily. S/Contained cottage was on offer all found & car for on/off duty.

Nanny Kates hours were 8-6pm (then)£150npwk (3 days mid wk)plus £5/6hr (from memory) for over time & for babysitting when available. Responsible for own petrol off duty & any tyre punctures off duty. (would need to seek permission to use car overseas)

Myself having a professional experienced nanny allowed me to see to household, my horses, go for wonderful long rides...knowing @ all times the children were having a wonderful time & always in a safe enviroment. The messy play, art work, mud pies (only a mother would own them)cooking with the children, reading, singing education through play, social activities, T parties, play dates..they always started off clean & Nanny Kate as T-time only the hands were clean & that because they had been washed for tea. The bath my goodness @ the end of the evening..recon we had shares in bathroom detergents. Nanny Kate was with us from 1st child 6mths & NB followed & stayed with us for 8yrs including Nanny Kate getting married (both then lived in cottage, husband followed own occupation) through to Nanny Kate having her own child & then returning after maternity leave to work as nanny with own totally worked for us.

With Nanny Kate who was also on the same way as myself in childcare (perfect of course!! ha ha).

The other 2 days I was able to give full quality time to my children & @ the weekends it was spent with the family as a whole etc.

It work for me & it worked for our family

UKMickey · 22/04/2005 23:44

Many moons ago when I use to go for interviews most was usually tied up upon the telephone call if I still liked what I was hearing & obviously visa versa I then would agree to interview with mummy & daddy etc. It would be pointless to attend an interview if what I was hearing was not on my wave length costs for parents soon can become jolly expensive for a nanny to waste their time, get their hopes up etc & nanny as well.
Ooooop's I'm needing finish this another time tinies surfacing

ssd · 23/04/2005 07:27

UKMickey, am I right in reading you once employed a nanny and now you are a professional nanny?
Sorry to be nosey, I'm just getting confused..

UKMickey · 23/04/2005 11:01

Yes to your question...I have always been a professional nanny also followed being a parent & continue to being a profesional nanny etc. As I have previously mentioned always being able to be emplyed with different professional childcare qualifications.

The odd daily nanny that I also know employs a f/t nanny whilst they work...really know different to the Mummies & Daddies who do their f/t or p/t employment in their profession & need childcare.

Other professional childcarers/nannies etc who have become mummies often return (when permitting) to work as nannies with own child in tow (so to speak).

I think you may be surprised that there is many a comfortable nanny who is comfortable in their own right prior to following their own profession. Again the odd nanny I know do have extra strings to their bow one dear friend invests her monies in to properties Hampstead,chelsea, & other parts of the uk & rents them out(property investment) another owns an interior design business, others entrepneuers (oop's spelling again where on wehere is spell check when you need it!!!)Obviously when one is working as a professional nanny/childcarer etc one needs/has a management team etc to run the businesses (well they do).

We all need a little nest egg to fall back on when we retire regardless of what career we are all in. Pensions ermmmmmmmm I surpose though some of us pay in to private ones, some on odd/rare occassions have one from our bosses but again I say investing your monies right (I know we can try!!)Something for when we are all little old ladies/gents etc.

ssd · 24/04/2005 09:49

Thanks for your answer

NannyL · 24/04/2005 20:26

Im a nanny!

Things i like to know at interview are:
Do the children eat well (i like to cook good 'proper' food, and as a result would not work for a family where children are fed nuggets and chips night after night... i like children who eat their veg!)
What are the employers opinions of me meeting nanny friends with their charges etc
What duties i have to do (my charges mum does all the washing, i only do some of the childrens ironing!)
Are they happy for me to regularly take the children out, rather than some who like the children to be cared for in the house and garden for most of each day... (i like to get out to the park / swimming pool / tumbletots / music classes etc)
Obviouse things about the children... their likes / dislikes / best friends / toys etc!

Talk about mileage for me using my car.
I also make it clear that i will ONLY ever carry children in car seats (which includes childern freinds etc, i have 3 of my own car seats which i insist on using!)

I like to do a weekly shop where i buy the food for me and the children so i normally discuss that!

As for contract: hours of work, holidays, sick pay, which duties, milage, notice period, overtime etc

Hope thats helpful

uwila · 24/04/2005 20:57

I'm particularly interested in "I like to do a weekly shop where i buy the food for me and the children so i normally discuss that!"

How does this work? Do you have set budget withing which you this shop? Do have some kinf expense account/credit card which is billed direct to parents? Do you fund it yourself and then submit expenses to parents for reimbursement? Do you have a set budget or do you just spend however you see fit? Do you actually plan out the meals for the week before you do this shopping?

The reason I ask is because the nanny I have now (who is leaving soon and I shall be replacing mid August) Has a habit of announcing what she has run out of in the evening (as if I'm going to drop everything and run out and pick it up for her on the spot). I find this ever so irritating. I do a weekly shop. There is a sheet of paper in the kitchen on which she can write ehatever is needed for the week. I shiop online Sunday evening for Wednesday evening delivery.

Anyway, I'm wondering what other nannies do so I can perhaps establish a similar routine with new nanny.

Thanks for your input. It is always helpful to be aware of nannies expect.

omega2 · 24/04/2005 21:11

I only ever buy bits of shopping like milk, bread, fruit and veg or anything else the family has run out of. Anything i want for the next week gets written on the white board and is usually bought when the Dad shops on a friday evening. I also buy other bits as and when needed usually with money from the kitty.

tanzie · 24/04/2005 21:41

Uwila, I can't decide what I hated most from last au pair "We've run out of milk/bread/tea/other breakfast essential" At 8.30pm when the shops are shut so can't buy any more, and despite the fact that she had a cash float to buy what we had run out of/were about to run out of...

OR the diluting of the washing up liquid.

Drove me insane. But I think the "We've run out of..." one won hands down.

NannyL · 24/04/2005 22:42

Hello Uwila
As for the weekly shop bit... in my previouse job they had a waitrose account and i was given a card for that account, which worked fine.

In my current job i just put everything (music classes, tumble tots, car parking, swimming or whatever) on my credit card and every couple of weeks my boss writes me a cheque for however much it is. Im very happy with this. She offered to give me a float but to be honest i find it easier NOT having to seperate MY money from THERE money!

As for budget it is expected that will spend about £50 per week, tho very often it is a lot less. I normally get change from £40. I also by the majority of things 'organic', especially meat / poultry, dairy fruit and veg (because the mum LIKES organin food, if she rather i went for cheepere i would), though personally i REFUSE to feed the children 'chicken nuggets' or similar made out of reconstituted 'meat'... YUK! I will only feed children food i would eat myself.

Its just easier if i do the shopping myself cause i know what ingrediants i need for my recipies, and plan the weeks menu in advance.

On monday morning 'mum' phones me to say "we have loads of carrots, hardly any milk so please by extra, and can you get Fairy liquid and pork chops for our (the parents) supper please" etc

hope that answers your questions

mishwheelie · 25/04/2005 19:46

A good book to read for nannies and parents is The Good Nanny Guide, it offers advice n what parents can expect from the nanny and what the nanny should expect from the parents.

If you are finding a nanny through an agency, they should be able to provide you with a draft contract that you can then adapt to your own needs.

I think that the trouble with nanny vs employer is that it all takes place in the home so it too easily becomes personal (as some other threads show). The best way for things to go smoothly is to keep the lines of communication open, so one thing I would want to know at interview stage is how often could we sit down and discuss things - and I don't mean that rushed hand over period in the am or pm. Ideally should be on neutral territory, after the children have gone to bed - yes I know that thats in the nanny's time, but the parents would also have to get a babysitter.

majorstress · 26/04/2005 12:11

I found that book an eye-opener as a parent, it needs updating a bit though.

soapbox · 26/04/2005 15:27


We set up a housekeeping account as a joint account between the nanny and myself. It operates as a satellite account which means that it is aggregated with mine for accuring interest etc.

I transfer £200 a month into the account and the nanny has a debit card and cheque book. She pays for the childrens activities, bits of shopping, petrol if needed etc out of this account. I have a sweep function which will either transfer money into or out of the housekeeping account if it goes below/above a set amount.

I have to say it works really well. She keeps a note of any cash she withdraws and what she has spent it on, and for the other transactions I can tell from the bank statement what she has spent it on!

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