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what should a nanny be doing?

7 replies

KatyW · 19/09/2002 12:37

I went back to work a year ago and have a nanny to look after ds who is 22m. From the start we were thrilled with her, v friendly, reliable, trustworthy etc. The trouble is now that ds is getting a bit older I think he needs more 'structured' playtime than he is getting. Dh works from home quite a lot, and apparently she will sit on the sofa reading a magazine/on the phone to her friends etc while ds plays with his toys. She works a long day (8.30am to 7pm) and I am quite happy for her to have a break, it's obviously very hard work, but I am beginning to feel like she's taking life quite easy. We're in London and paying top whack and I just have a feeling that other nannies are more proactive (and she has recently asked for a payrise). Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can ask her to do eg cooking/finger painting/play doh etc. Thanks in advance for your help

OP posts:

Batters · 19/09/2002 13:43

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alley22 · 19/09/2002 14:48

Hi KatyW,

Can you ask your nanny for a timetable of what she does with him on a day to day basis? my ds goes to nursery and he comes home with a diary sheet. When he has had his bottom changed and whether its soiled or wet, times of his sleep, times of his snacks, lunch, drinks and what activities he has done during the day painting, sticking, cooking, soft play, building blocks going for a walk to feed ducks, playing in the garden etc.

Perhaps you could pre-print one for her so she could use it as a checklist to make things easier and ask her to fill one in everyday she is there. This may put your mind at ease.


bells2 · 19/09/2002 15:38

Hi KatyW. One thing our Nanny has been very good at is getting out and about with our two and also doing lots of activities. I would be disappointed if she sat and read a magazine while they played although of course accept that she will make personal phone calls and do a bit of shopping and so on during work hours.

I would certainly expect one outing a day - generally just a trip to the park or the local library but also, on occassions things like swimming lessons, crechendo/tumble tots, art classes, music group or general play groups. Once a week I think it is reasonable to expect an outing further afield (i.e. musuem, boat trip, farm etc). I would also expect her to build up a network of local Nannies and Mums so your boy has lots of children his own age to play with. Generally our children go to someone else's house once a week for tea and they came to us once a week (our Nanny works a 4 day week).

Most Nannies i know are very good at the arty side of things. Again, I would say that ours do finger painting and so on at least once a week and they also always make Easter cards, Birthday Cards and Christmas Cards together. In my view you should definitely try and encourage her to get involved in cooking with your son.

I am hopeless at trying to get a message across to my Nanny but if I were you, I would do something along the lines of saying that somebody has recommended a great playgroup or whatever nearby and it sounds like just the sort of thing your son would love. I would also buy a load of Art materials, children's cook books and aprons and so on and tell her that you painted / cooked together at the weekend and how much he enjoyed it.

It is also pretty standard for Nannies to keep a diary detailing their day (although ours tends to be full of the lyrics of the Bunny song from Music Group rather than useful info such as whether they've eaten or slept much!). I think the standard working week in London for nannies is 50 hours so your day isn't exceptionally long.

Nannies are lucky in the sense that they don't have to do any housework and so on so I think its reasonable to expect an interesting range of activities to be provided.


KatyW · 20/09/2002 15:42

Thanks for all your replies, they've been very helpful. She does take him to a couple of playgroups/music groups etc a week which is good, it's just the 'at home' time that I am concerned about. I have asked her to fill in diaries in the past, both activity and food, but they seem to peter out after a few days...and I suppose I just give up asking. Maybe preprinting one would be the answer - Alley222 what would you put on it? His birthday is coming up soon so will take up your suggestion Bells. Had been thinking of getting an easel anyway.

It's funny isn't it that I have no problems managing a team of people at work, but 'managing' my own nanny just fills me with dread !

OP posts:

prufrock · 20/09/2002 22:53

My dd's daily event card shows:

What I ate toady -times/amounts
When I slept today
Nappy changes
What I played with today
Where I went today
How I felt today

Should be a good start.


prufrock · 20/09/2002 22:55

Actually she doesnt tend to eat toads - or any other amphibians


Ghosty · 21/09/2002 04:14

Prufrock !
I have never had a nanny but my ds did go to nursery for two years before I gave up work for good and I am quite good friends with a couple of nannies on the playgroup circuit. I will ask them about what they do and what they think nannies should do.
If I did have a nanny I think I would ask her to do the things that I do with my ds in the week. I divide each day into two - mornings and afternoons and try to follow a basic timetable.
So for example, we go to playgroup twice a week, we do the supermarket shopping one morning a week, we go swimming once a week, we have people round once a week (at least) and go to people's houses once a week (at least), we have quiet afternoons at home in front of the telly, I try to go to a museum or the zoo or a farm or something like that once a week and I try to do painting/playdoh/sticking once a week (though that is my least favourite bit - not an arty type!).
I think some children can be over - entertained so there is nothing wrong with them playing on their own now and then!

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