What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfront?

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IndyB
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What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfront?

Postby IndyB » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Hello!

I am about to have my first nanny - and am putting together the contract and thinking about the types of things we need to discuss upfront (e.g. house rules). There are the basics of hours, duties, remuneration, etc, but just wanted to pose the question to those of you who've already been down this road --

To the parents, what do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny (or included in your contract)?

And nannies, what do you WISH your employer had discussed with you?

I think we've found a great nanny, but just want to avoid any pitfalls I can -- and learn from all of you with more experience in this area!

Many thanks for your help!
cheesesandwich
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Re: What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfro

Postby cheesesandwich » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:12 pm

Good question! Everything really. I would have an addendum of duties that you expect literally everything in terms of how you run your house and what you expect and not... I've had some nannies baulk during interviews when I've said about sticking in washing that may or may not be lying around which to my mind is just common sense! Expections of reasonable mobile phone use, expenses for crafts/activities, babysitting, do you want overnights or to come on holidays? What will they cook? Clean? Tidy, Use of TV, discipline... I would discuss all of it. Also discuss difficult things - what would you do if... Also remember YOU are in charge and be professional. Sometimes with nannies in the past I have tiptoed around a bit but ultimately follow your gut - it is ALWAYS right.
shopper
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Re: What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfro

Postby shopper » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:26 pm

Think of as many things you might want her to do (or may be necessary in future when children are older.) In my experience they are much easier to agree at this stage and the potential employee will generally be more agreeable rather than discussing after the event. If you have a child specific nanny (as opposed to housekeeper / nanny) then they need to be in the range of child related duties but I'm thinking of things such as regularly cleaning out toy room (if you have one), sorting out children's clothes as they out grow them (and toys), sewing on name tags, keeping children's rooms tidy, food shopping list for the children etc etc. Or it could be slightly wider re dropping off dry cleaning enroute to a kids class - ie small amount of general helping out.
I have also found that discussing some flexibility on hours at this stage easier eg there will always be times when you have to take the child somewhere and she isn't working, extra days around Christmas or other holidays. I have always looked for some flexibility on swapping these hours for some babysitting at a time of mutual agreement but this is much easier to discuss in principle at contract stage.
Good luck!
supergirl
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Re: What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfro

Postby supergirl » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:06 pm

Sick days! How many, how much etc
supergirl
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Re: What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfro

Postby supergirl » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:07 pm

Sick days! How many, how much and how you ll pay them etc
Esille
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Re: What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfro

Postby Esille » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:50 pm

I agree with earlier poster. I'm on to my 4th nanny, so now I know what I want.

At interview/job description stage, don't hold back. I need someone who's happy to cook for the whole family, do washing, collect dry cleaning etc and who works long hours and who is flexible with last minute childcare needs.

If you are honest about it upfront, then it will be easier long term.

Re sick pay, I have 4 paid sick days included in the contract.
IndyB
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Re: What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfro

Postby IndyB » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:25 am

Thank you so much for your replies!

Would love to hear from nannies as well -- what do you wish your employer had discussed with you at the beginning?

Thanks so much!
kiwimummy
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Re: What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfro

Postby kiwimummy » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:29 pm

I am an employer too i am afraid...

Must dos:

- for me knowing where they are - found out once the children were across town by accident when rang nanny to check something.

- expectations around cleaning if you don't want to come home to kitchen written off and toys everywhere. but this goes both ways - we're not especially tidy people, and we reassured our nanny it didn't need to be "perfect". one mum she worked for used to make her count out puzzle pieces and would make a point of checking under the couch for toys everytime she came home. :shock: life is too short.

- that they're expected to look after the children when they are sick. i was a little surprised when one nanny refused.

- how you'll communicate at the end of the day. some people like a written diary of what their small children ate, slept, calpol etc, in my case if you tell my husband he'll never tell me so you need to tell me. Also that doing the handover is a job too, and you don't expect them to throw the baby at you and run out the door... which has also happened. :(

- think carefully for any "firsts" you want to do - first swim etc - as that can be upsetting if your nanny tells you about it when you get home if it's someone important to you. best she knows in advance.

- expectations about manners and discipline- a temp nanny reduced my toddlers to tears (i only know as my cleaner told me) for refusing to let them get down from the table when we'd not yet taught them (age 2 and 1) that they needed to ask. the same temp made fun of them when cried - it was a record short placement.

that's all for me. good luck finding a great nanny!

enough emoticons...
IndyB
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Re: What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfro

Postby IndyB » Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:06 pm

Thank you so much - that is all really helpful!

I know there will inevitably be things that come up - but it's good to try to get as many bases covered as possible up front!

Thanks again!
shazza06
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Re: What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfro

Postby shazza06 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:51 pm

As a nanny in the past as well as a parent and early years educator, my opinions would be :
Do you expect the nanny to go on holiday with you and ideally set times etc that you wanted them to work, I went on hols once with a family and never again!
They literally expected me to do round the clock care, prepare food for everyone plus guests if anybody came over, everyone's washing and no time off,
How much kitty money do you get to use each week, get the nanny to give you receipts for everything purchased and give extra if they need to buy birthday presents for parties that your child attends, money for travel, will the nanny have use of your car, a nanny car( which I always had) or use of their own in which case you'll need to pay them mileage allowance of 45p per mile at least and maybe offer a bonus to cover wear n tear, insurance as they need to have different insurance, class 1.
What do you expect your nanny to eat for lunch whilst at yours, I've heard of nannies being told they're only allowed a tin of soup!
Where do you want your child to be able to travel..how far, what activities, remember some nannies can be a fountain of knowledge as to what is going on locally...
Sleep routines: any ideas how you want your child to sleep or happy to take advice of an experienced nanny,
What qualifications do they have? Are the paediatric trained? Do they understand child development and how to encourage growth by educational activities, do you mind your kids getting dirty?
Happy to have nanny and child playmates over at yours...it can be quite a solitary job otherwise.
Overtime: what is the parade and don't forget a nanny has a life too and will often have activities planned in her free time so don't expect them to be happy to work late at the drop of a hat.. And show your appreciation as it really does help as I'm sure you would imagine within your work space...and I know it seems petty but when introducingyour nanny to anyone, please don't just say " she's the nanny" and nothing else as it's quite demoralising as though you're a second class citizen...and treat them with respect.
In All my years I've had wonderful relationships with all my nanny jobs, to the point I've been welcomed with open arms by all of the family and treated as a friend, I've even been put in the will of a wonderful family that if anything happened to them they would only want me to bring up their children..what an honour,
Well what more can I say in that I wish you good luck and any questions just ask....
 
Sessa84
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Re: What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfro

Postby Sessa84 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:00 pm

Hi IndyB!
I am a fully qualified professional nanny/maternity nanny currently on maternity leave with 10years of experience.
It is necessary to discuss:
Duties, kitty, expectations with one or more kids, possibility of a future nanny share and agreement on it
Pay, holidays, sick days, bonus, pay on holiday with the family, baby sitting
Car and its use/ work related oyster card

All the best
BabyJumble
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Re: What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfro

Postby BabyJumble » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:32 am

Our latest Baby Jumble blog post is written by an ex nanny and provides some great perspective on how you can find and keep a nanny who will be a positive addition to your family. I hope that you find it insightful. Best of luck with your search. http://babyjumble.com/blog/
Mum2Alex
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Re: What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfro

Postby Mum2Alex » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:23 am

whilst all those questions are important, I would add that the most valuable thing is to watch your prospective nanny interact with your children

We interviewed one extremely competent Norland nanny who didn't acknowledge the presence of 2 8 month olds crawling at her feet. Instead we employed the less experienced nanny who immediately plonked herself down on the floor and started playing with them, all whilst answering questions about her training and experience. Now that's multitasking!

Good luck!
KiwiAmanda
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Re: What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfro

Postby KiwiAmanda » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:34 am

Totally agree with Mum2Alex. I ended hiring the less experienced of the group based on her interaction with the children at the interview and the sense she clearly had a kind heart.

I figured I could teach her about what I wanted done around the house on the job (I leave notes most mornings but also afford her a lot of respect to be able to make her own judgement calls) but what I couldn't do was teach her to want to be playful, kind and caring to my babies.

And 1.5 years later we have a very happy home and the same nanny.
SydneyMummy
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Re: What do you WISH you had discussed with your nanny upfro

Postby SydneyMummy » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:10 am

Apologies, another parent here. I wanted to add a few things that come from personal experience and the experience of close friends:

Be clear about the duties and responsibilities you'd like your nanny to undertake.

Discuss how/when you would like holidays to be taken. With advice from the agency, we agreed with our nanny that she would take half of her annual leave at times that she chose. As we travelled for a month over Christmas every year, the other weeks were taken at our discretion.

Think about bereavement leave - like sick leave, make note of the statutory number of days. Hopefully, it won't come up but if it does, you can always decide at the time if you'd like to give her more than what's been agreed.

The nanny should always have a charged and fully functioning mobile phone with her. The phone must have a current contract or have credit on it so that she can make calls and/or send text messages especially if you are trying to reach her. If voice mail is important to you then you should also detail that.

If you ever need to make any changes to the nanny's duties, responsibilities or hours, write up a new contract and go through it with her. You should also draw up a new contract whenever you increase her salary/hourly rate.

Be clear about whether you're happy for your nanny to smoke at all. II wasn't, so there was to be no smoking at all even when outside and not even outside when our child was asleep. I mention this only because a friend let her nanny smoke in front of the children when they were outside. It then became a problem and she didn't know how to address it. For me, there was to be no smoking because we're not smokers and we also wanted to ensure a good example was being set in front of our child.

If you have hired//are hiring your nanny through an agency they should be able to give you contract templates. If not, then here are a couple that may be of assistance:

MODEL CONTRACTS FOR NANNIES TO BE - Nanny World
https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct= ... 8758,d.dGc

http://www.payefornannies.co.uk/parents ... tracts.htm

Good luck with it all. It can be a minefield but if she's a good nanny, it will be an excellent experience. Our child still adores her nanny, even though it's been years that she left us (as our child was too old for a nanny not for any other reason.)