So you want to ask for a pay rise? 

So you want to ask for a pay rise? 

In your contract it states something about yearly pay review. You have been in your job for over a year and no mention of anything!!

Unfortunately, this is very common and has also led the nannies and nanny agencies to become satisfied and complacent about the wage entitlement.

So, to combat this the first thing you should ask yourself is “Do I know my worth?” 

Don’t agree to a position on wages that a potential employer or an agency feels you are worth, especially if you are not happy or most importantly, not able to survive on it.
We often hear parents and agency workers say “they can’t afford it” yet by the time we figure out they can, we have already signed the contract, feel connected to the family and it’s been 6-12 months so you can’t rock the boat now right!!

Wrong if they are looking into fee paying nurseries, taking additional holidays and refurbishing the house. That is great but it doesn’t help you so don’t allow their personal financial desires to cloud your professionalism when it comes to asking for a symbol of appreciation for your service.

PAYRISE 

It’s not a dirty word. It’s a phrase your employers will know. Why? Because they use it to their employer! 

Your wages aren’t  designed to just cover your bills. It should also leave enough to put aside for a rainy day or a pension or dare we say it, a night out.

Babysitting is a nice way to earn additional money but I don’t expect it to be factored into my monthly salary. 

Most nannies regret this decision when after a year there has been no mention of pay rise and you find it hard to bring up the subject. Discussion ranges from “how do I bring up I want a pay rise” to “can I send it over e mail or text message” or “do I state my desired amount or leave it up to the employer”.

Please, consider what is important when asking in writing or in person. 

In writing for instance 

Dear John and Sarah, 

It has been a pleasure working with Harry this past year and seeing him develop and gain a healthy sense of himself and his environment and friends. I feel I have been always duty full and built a fantastic relationship with Harry. You both have been very supportive and caring towards me. I hope this will help you to consider a pay rise. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Ect……………

How would a face to face chat be any different? 

It’s not the words you need to consider here but your body language!
All you really need is their undivided attention, eye contact and and a voice.
Remember, YOU are the confident professional that they chose to hire!

If they respond using the word “taxes” then suggest a cash bonus that reflects a good increase.

Single family junior nanny (I was told this is a nanny from nursery back ground or similar) should be on minimum £12 gross per hour, a nanny with 5 years+ experience should be on minimum  £14 gross per hour, nanny with 10 years + experience should be on minimum £16 gross per hour. 

Shares and part time ( and I mean less than 48 hours a week) should start at £16 gross per hour.

Our profession is very special! We are offering in home, personal and individual care for precious children, so many times including tutoring, cleaning, driving, cooking and other tasks that may or may not need a particular skill. Please, don’t undervalue yourself, a nanny is a very special person in any family so let your employer show it! 

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#lovethynanny 

#lovethynanny 

As a Norland trained nanny working with children and families for over 20 years I was left in an emotional limbo state of mind after reading the original post & continued threads titled “neglectful nanny/inattentive nanny” on the east dulwich forum. 

http://www.eastdulwichforum.co.uk/forum/read.php?5,1838801,1838801#msg-1838801



I can see both sides but it’s not about sides. It’s about one persons view of another’s behaviour! 

 The post was one sided and arguably inconclusive without having had a response from the nanny in question.

I recall when I approached a mother who had taken photos of a child in my care at a playgroup.
My charge had a public meltdown when I left the room to change the nappy of my other charge.
Harry was left in the care of 3 experienced, professional nannies. But Harry didn’t want them, he
wanted me!
The mother accused me of neglecting my charge and leaving him in an inconsolable state.
She denied taking photos of Harry, then later admitted to taking photos but said she deleted the
images.
I said “instead of trying to name and shame me on the East Dulwich Forum, you should’ve
approached me directly with your concerns”.
I would have informed her that Harry was going through separation anxiety which lasted for 5 weeks. Harry’s parents were fully aware as they were also experiencing the same on the
weekends.
The mother at the playgroup was so keen to solve what she thought was a problem, she
overlooked the fact that OFSTED doesn’t allow me to take photos of my charges without written permission from my employers, therefore she shouldn’t either!

What the mum at the playgroup saw and what she knew were TWO different things.
I asked the mum to write down her contact details so I could pass it on to my then employers.
She refused, claiming it wouldn’t get to them but I did inform my employers of the event and told
them to look on the forum for photos of Harry and descriptions of me.
I had nothing to hide!

I endured many comments & looks of disapproval.
One person suggested Harry’s mum stay home until the anxiety passed.
His mother, a surgeon,  didn’t fancy that option!

The point is, Harry’s parents and I were all on board with the “ignore, reassure and carry on” approach. All onlookers saw was “ignore”.
As a mother to a cheeky 6 year old boy, I would want to know if he was upset or being mistreated
by our nanny. I’ve heard her raise her voice and ignore his unwanted behaviour but I trust her
implicitly.
Parents, grandparents and childcarers respond in ways that I wouldn’t. Some are too harsh, some too soft! Overall I know that people judge me the way I do them. We can’t always discipline children according to how society wants us to.
I get away with more as a parent than I did as a nanny! Parents don’t get judged as harshly as a
nanny does. Especially when it’s clear that your charge is not your child.
At a time when terrorism, hate crimes and tragedies are at the forefront of our minds, let’s start
supporting each other. Share your #lovethynanny posts and show your appreciation of your nanny! 

After all, you never know who’s watching you.

To raise awareness we would like to hear and publish your nanny story, anonymously if preferred.

Please, send us your story via email

HOLIDAY! CELEBRATE! 

HOLIDAY! CELEBRATE! 

Do you find yourself fretting over having the children during the holidays? Not sure where to go or what to do? Here are some tips that can help you survive the holiday madness.

Search online and ask around for age appropriate activities and play spaces. There are lots of places to find activities and fun days out. Try apps like Hoop and Time Out to see what’s on and ask other nannies.

Plan your weeks and make sure that the group that you want to go to is actually running. Some of your regular groups might not run during the summer holiday. It is a good idea to check what the organisers have planned for the summer break. You might also want to head further afield to a farm, the seaside or a castle. Big trips like this take a little extra planning.

Prepare some meals in advance and have a cash kitty for meals out. Make mealtimes fun and involve the children in cooking. You will have plenty of time since the children are not at school. Get creative making pizzas, baking, inventing new meals. If you are feeling brave you can let the children set the menu.

Have rest days. No school equals no rushing to get to anywhere. I have often had school children tell me that they want to do nothing for the day. Let them have a chill out every once in awhile. You could watch films, get the paddling pool out, try new hairstyles…

Have plenty of crafts and colouring to hand as these can keep the little ones entertained while you do the more time consuming tasks like laundry, cooking and ironing. I must admit that I am partial to a bit of colouring myself. Pinterest is a great app for craft and activity ideas. Also look for free printable downloads online.

If you can, link activities into your children’s interests and make the days fun and varied. Meet up with friends and have fun. Have a great summer holiday everyone! 


Article by Delithea Denton 

 

To raise awareness we would like to hear and publish your nanny story, anonymously if preferred.

Please, send us your story via email

Do you know your worth? 

Do you know your worth? 

Nannying is changing 

We hear this all the time.

What is changing? I see the working days split into 2 shifts, 2 and 3 days work are on the increase, parents working from home, the job market on the whole is tough.

Minimum living wage in London for the over 25 year old  is £9.75. 

https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage/what-is-the-minimum-wage

Many unskilled jobs offered will cover this rate and more. 

Unfortunately many of my nanny friends with many years experience, qualifications and certificates find themselves having to accept a position where the pay is not reflecting their worth! 

The prospect family can’t afford your rate which is reflecting your experience and qualification! What do you do? 

I know what most nannies do if they are pushed.

If you love your job and you have chosen nannying as your profession I urge you to always state your worth and explain yourself.

Nannying used to be a well respected profession. Now I fear we are on the brink of working for minimum wage (and less when you consider what share families are currently offering nannies)! 

Please, stand up for each other and ask for fair wages not minimum wages! 

To raise awareness we would like to hear and publish your nanny story, anonymously if preferred.

Please, send us your story via email

Take care of yourselves! 

Take care of yourselves! 

Attention! Nannies are people too

I have worked in childcare for twenty years and have been a nanny for six. There is one feeling that you can guarantee when working with children and that is tiredness. You. Will. Be. Tired. Nannies especially so.

Nannies work long, unsociable hours, and often spend more time with the children than the parents do over the week. It is a demanding job which requires you to be on top of your game, you are taking responsibility for little lives after all. I often come across nannies doing extra hours on top of an already long day. In order to be the best nanny for your children you must take care of yourself first. Here are a few tips to ensure that you don’t burn out.

Be organised

Plan your days and weeks in advance as much as you can. Go to regular groups so that your children will be comfortable with their surroundings and everyone will be relaxed. If your children are easily adaptable then feel free to go wherever you please. I also find that batch cooking and freezing meals works really well and means that the children get lovely home cooked food without you having to cook every single day. You can certainly switch things up from time to time, a meal out or a picnic is always a real treat and hey – no cleaning up!

Keep it in check

Be wary of creeping chores and little favours. I manage my work household so that everything is tidy in the evening and am lucky enough to find it tidy in the mornings. I have known nannies to come to work faced with the weekend dishes. Daily tasks like loading and emptying the dishwasher, keeping surfaces clean and clear and washing up what you have used are expected. If you do an extra load of washing or tidy the family’s meal from the night before, mention it in a polite way and make the family aware of it. If, however, they start to intentionally leave washing to be done and stop tidying after themselves you need to sit them down and let them know that such tasks take away from the time that you spend with their children.

Room for one more

Many nannies are asked to take extra children during school holidays. Along with stay-at-home parents, some people view nannies as people who do nothing all day but play with the children. You have nothing better to do but look after extra children ‘as a favour’ (read unpaid). If you are offered payment but you refuse, the response is often “you’re getting paid aren’t you?” You must consider the maximum number of children you are happy to look after. Do you have enough resources to keep them entertained? Can you safely get out and about? Ask the parents if they would be comfortable looking after that many children. If they answer “no” then they should carefully consider your situation. Be firm in arguing your point and show that you value yourself and the service you provide.

Sleep glorious sleep

Go to bed early enough to ensure that you get plenty of rest. The average adult requires 7-9 hours of sleep each night to function properly. Regularly getting less than the recommended amount of sleep can lead to a range of health implications including stress and depression. Under-sleeping by even one hour each night is equal to losing one whole night of sleep over a week. Now you have a good excuse for sleeping until 11am at the weekend.

Remember that it is OK to say no to babysitting. If like me you are a wreck without 6 hours sleep, think about whether your finish time will allow you to get home and get enough rest for the next day of work. I usually make acceptances for Thursday and Friday evenings as I will then have the weekend to recover. Can you tell I like (need) my sleep? If it is going to be a particularly late night then you can always ask to stay overnight if your family has a spare room and you feel comfortable doing that.

Over land or sea

It is important to consider travel time when searching for a nannying job. I know quite a few nannies who work the standard 10 hour shift only to commute up to 2 hours each way to work. That in turn leads to a 14 hour day away from your home. This can lead to issues with safety, especially alertness while driving.

Break away

Look after yourself during your work day. Take breaks to drink a cuppa and definitely rest once the children are asleep. I personally need around 20 minutes in complete silence to decompress after a hectic morning. Allow yourself time to eat lunch sitting down and to read a magazine or listen to some music before turning your attentions to preparing things for the afternoon. Drink lots of (non-alcoholic) fluid through the day, water, tea, squash are perfect choices and always take a drink for yourself when you are going out. Coffee and fizzy drinks are fine in moderation.

Food for thought

Eat a proper balanced meal, not just leftovers from the children. I am guilty of this and it only makes you feel rubbish and leads to snack temptation. If you are cooking healthy meals for the children then just make enough so that you can have some too. If you bring your own lunch to work then plan your lunches in advance so that you are not wandering the supermarket aisles picking up a meal deal, Haribo and a bag of donuts.

You got a friend

It is important to socialise during the day while you are working. Meet up with other nannies and parents. Have play dates, go to museums, parks, just make sure that you get out and meet people. Introducing yourself can be scary at first, especially if there is an obvious group of friends chatting away, but I think you’ll find that most people are warm and welcoming. If you see someone sat on their own at a group who is looking nervous, approach them and say hi, they may just need that little nudge to start interacting. That’s not to say that you have to go into full-on party entertainer mode – judge the situation and if the person wants to be left alone then let them be. Even I don’t want to be with other people all of the time. On these occasions a nice quiet walk around the park or a trip to the library will suffice.

Get your skates on

Exercise is important to boost your energy levels. Exercising regularly can also help improve the quality of your sleep. If you find that you are pushed for time in the day you can always take your children out and go for a brisk walk or jog. Older children can jog, cycle or scoot while younger children can go in a buggy. Outside of work you can join a gym, go swimming, go for a run, join a dance class… Just make sure that you start slowly and seek medical advice beforehand if you have any concerns.

And breathe…

Take the time each week to do something that you love, be it dance lessons, singing in a choir, going to the cinema or just hanging with friends. Make sure that your employers are aware that you have a commitment outside of work so that they are less likely to ask you to stay late or babysit on those days.

Find ways to unwind each day. Relaxation is vital to being a productive person. You may find meditation or yoga useful for clearing the mind and relaxing the body. Listening to your favourite piece of music can help you relax and will also evoke happy memories. Do whatever it is that you find relaxing. Don’t forego your own time to please others and most importantly, be kind to yourself.

Article by Delithea Denton 


To raise awareness we would like to hear and publish your nanny story, anonymously if preferred.

Please, send us your story via email. 

The changing face of nannying

The changing face of nannying

I am a nanny of 42 years experience,  trained and qualified in the mid 1970s. 

I trained in nurseries then realised that nannying was the career for me. I am pleased to say I have made it my  whole career! 

The changing face of nannying over the years interests me as in those days the vast majority of nannying jobs were full time, Monday to Friday. In the last 20 years there has been a change in this where women work 2-3 days a week so part time nannies are much more sought after. Career women these days don’t want to miss out on motherhood so they often find they are feeling they are splitting themselves into two, i. e. not totally committed to career and not totally committed to motherhood either. By trying to find a happy medium like this they often find they are more unhappy than if they were working 5 days a week or at home 5 days a week. 

The happiest women I have worked for over the 42 years I have been nannying have been the full time career women. Is this because we have been told over the last 20 or so years that women can have it all? 

It seems nannies are still having trouble getting recognised as professionals, although plenty of regulations have been introduced since I started my career i. e. OfSted, DBS. What a contrast to 75 years ago when nannies lived in with the family and looked after the children, the children’s children and the children’s children’s children! Talking to some of these much older women in their 90s it seems that they are surprised these days to hear that nannies get paid holidays or get holidays at all! Perks like cars, gym membership etc. totally unheard of! These were women that were totally dedicated to the families they worked for for life. They were looked after in their retirement by the families so didn’t need to worry about pensions and accommodation. What a contrast to the modern day nanny! 

The Interview

The Interview

We all negotiate and state our terms before employment starts. This can be difficult and stressful. There are certain things I like to mention to to make my working relationship start off on the right foot. 

I will not start a new position or stop searching for a new position until I have signed a binding contract.

I will not accept cash in hand for anything other than occasional work e.g. babysitting/ overtime. I will state I prefer to be asked in advance to babysit and to be finishing on time rather than being paid late fees.

Regular extra working hours will be going through the books and my contract will be updated accordingly.

I will contact any previous child carer you may have used for reference about the potential position.

I will meet and speak with every immediate family member before accepting a job offer.

I will ask questions regarding routine, discipline and preferences to ascertain if we are a good match in those respects.

I will provide information about me professionally e.g. references, certificates.

My contract will state that my employer is financially responsible for the upkeep of my first aid certificate and Ofsted registration.

My contract will also state the charges for petrol, petty cash, overtime (including babysitting and late fees) and car valet up to 4 times a year unless unforeseen circumstances demand for more.

I will negotiate 10 days paid sick leave per year.

I would want employers to understand that if a person doesn’t feel valued and isn’t rewarded for their work it is no surprise for motivation, self worth, initiative and enthusiasm to decline rapidly. 

Payrise should be (whilst at their discretion) in line with rising costs of living.

Please, feel free to add what is important to you!

To raise awareness we would like to hear and publish your nanny story, anonymously if preferred. Please, send us your story via email!