Help again with nanny

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  1. I have mentioned I have had some nanny issues in the past. My husband and I are now considering getting a live in nanny. My current nanny who I thought was great, just told me she must have all the federal holidays off. She feels it's unfair for her to work on federal holidays when the other nannies have it off. I have explained to her multiple times that I work in a hospital and that I work holidays. I told her the day after thanksgiving, mlk day, and president's day are not considered hospital holidays so she can't have those off. To compensate, I gave her 6 other days off paid in addition to her 3 weeks she gets off for vacation. She is on vacation this week and sent me an email saying she thinks it's unfair that she has to work holidays when the other nannies are off. She took mlk day as an unpaid day off becuase my mother was in town. I had to work that day, and my mother agreed to watch the baby. She had gotten three days off the week before.
    My problem is that she may have to work other holidays because I may be on call. I don't understand why it's so hard for her work a holiday and in return get another day off. I am worried that she spends all her time chit chatting with the nannies instead of taking care of my child.
    When we interviewed her we told her we needed someone flexible since I am a physician and take call. I also told her I would not get all the holidays off butbwould never make her work a holiday that I was not working.
    I am so worried she is going to walk out on us, I am considering finding another nanny preemptively. My husband and I both have very demanding schedules so I thought we should look into a live but I have no idea how they work. I live in manhattan so the space is tight in the apartment. I have a few questions:
    do you think I am being unreasonable with making my current nanny work on federal holidays I have to work?
    Is it fair to give her another random day off to compensate her?
    How much paid vacation do most nannies get?
    Can you make your nanny take unpaid vacation time?
    Can a live share a bedroom with the baby (she/he would have a queen size bed.
    Do livein work only certain hours?
    Do you provide food for the live in nanny?
    Thanks for the help. I feel like I have no one to turn to. I think my nanny does a good job, but I don't want her to walk out on me all of a sudden. I am afraid if I am honest with her she will find a job before I find a replacement:
  2. nycdiva, I think you are being more than fair. I also think that looking for another nanny pre-emptively is essential and you should get on it ASAP. Honestly, I thought you should start looking when you had the previous problems. The sooner you make the switch, the easier it will be for your daughter to transition. I agree you want to keep it under wraps until you find someone that will work, but you need to start looking NOW.

    I don't get why you'd want to get a live-in, though, especially if space is tight. Especially so tight that you're rooming her with the baby. Is there some aspect of the live-in situation that's appealing?

    Tried to tackle your questions below. I will preface this by saying that I don't have a live-in nanny and would probably never consider it. However, I moderate for a 3000+ member parents' club, so I see a lot of information on nannies, both live in and live out, so answers are based on that.

    Is it fair to give her another random day off to compensate her? Yes, totally, as long as you were up-front about the holiday situation when you hired her, I think it's fine. I think you might need to be flexible a bit on which random day you give her, since she may have her own family stuff that she wants to attend to.

    How much paid vacation do most nannies get? Three weeks is about right. Two weeks is on the skimpy side, but some people do it.

    Can you make your nanny take unpaid vacation time? I don't think it's right. People around here certainly seem to consider it, judging by the posts that I see on my parents' club. However, I try to treat the nanny as a professional and this as her career (after all, that's why I chose this person - professionalism and experience). If it were my job, I'd be pretty pissed if someone said, "you get these days as vacation, but we're not paying you." Not if we didn't agree on that when you hired me! You need to keep in mind that a lot of these women are not making that much money, so an unpaid day is a big deal to them, much bigger than it probably would be to you. I know our nanny and her friends that I've used are always looking for extra hours.

    Can a live share a bedroom with the baby (she/he would have a queen size bed.
    You could try, but I think you will have a hard time finding someone who is qualified and professional who would be interested in that. I would be concerned that someone who would agree to that would be on the desperate side, and I don't think that's the nanny you want. Most here have own room, bathroom, and separate entrance to the home (but we're also in the burbs where it's all detached homes, not apartments.)

    Do livein work only certain hours?
    Generally, yes. Many of them will be somewhat flexible and will work extra hours for extra pay, but they will want a regular schedule and then those extras on top of that. This doesn't necessarily mean the exact same fixed hours, but at least a general schedule with a little give. Some people here guarantee a number of hours and a time range (e.g., 50 hours between 7am - 7 pm M-F.) Again, anything is fine if you can negotiate it up front, but I would be concerned about someone who would take the job without at least mostly defined hours.

    Do you provide food for the live in nanny?
    Most people in my area provide room and board, but I think you could negotiate this. I think a lot of them use the nanny to do meal prep, so it would be a little awkward to not let her eat the food if you are doing that, IMO. Some give a food allowance.
  3. #3 Feb 10, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
    Wow your nanny is high maintanence. I am also a nanny and tend to be a lot more relaxed about this sort of stuff but I know lots are very strict about when they want holidays.

    The thing is this nanny knew what the situation was going to be when she took the job. I think you might have to review your relationship since she first started because I find lots of parents (and any other employer) say one thing at the beginning but become a bit more demanding and unreasonable as time goes on so maybe see if you have increased your demands towards her? If you had a contract at the beginning stating her holidays etc she really doesn't have much of an argument but if there is no contract then I would be working out terms with her asap and both of you sign it.

    With regards to your questions:

    Is it fair to give her another random day off to compensate her? I think it is very fair for that. Some nannies would ask for extra pay on the holidays that they have to work for eample "double time".
    How much paid vacation do most nannies get? I have no idea with the US but where I come from we usually get at least a month p/a plus 10 days sick leave and 10 days for public holidays which would be the random days of for you (Australians are a bit laissez faire:graucho:)
    Can you make your nanny take unpaid vacation time? No, i'm not sure about the US law but in Australia this is illegal. Of course if you have it agreed upon in a contract with your nanny prior then this is acceptable I think.
    Can a live share a bedroom with the baby (she/he would have a queen size bed. No. You will be very hard pressed to find a nanny to share a bedroom with a child and it is very much an invasion of privacy for her. If you want a live in nanny they you need to set up some other kind of accomodation. I really think to get the best level of professionalism you need to have a live out nanny. The reason that I say this is because often young people think "oh free board and all I have to do is look after a kid" which as we all know is not the best philosophy on childcare. In other words they probably aren't primarily interested in your child. That being said sometimes live in situations are fantastic but make sure she doesn't abuse your arrangement and don't pay her $1 an hour after living epenses like I have seen advertised.
    Do livein work only certain hours? Yes, they cannot be expected to be on call 24/7. I know if I was the nanny I wouldn't mind helping out a bit more often to certain times and being part of the family but lots wouldn't. Live ins should be flexible but you can't lump the baby on them 24/7 without a pay increase.
    Do you provide food for the live in nanny? As far as I am aware you provide all living expenses for the nanny Ie phone, internet all household bills like electricity etc, unlimited food, board and laundry obviously. The nanny can top it up for herself if she wants but generally you would provide like she is family.

    If I could tell you one thing from this it is get a contract. With nannying in particular people are very emotionally involved from all parties so it can be a bit irrational compared to other jobs.

    I cannot believe some of the horror stories I hear of nannies and how they treat the children. IMO they should not be anywhere near children. Good nannies are like gold dust and beause they are working with your most precious posssion you really need to look after them. What I mean by this is give a little, the old saying don't get divorced over christmas lights rings true in this situation (except the divorce part) basically don't sweat detail if she doesn't clean up one afternoon or something and pick your arguments or gripes. I see on alot of sites people offering for live in nannies all living expenses paid and then they only get $100 a month for working 40hrs a week. I just shake my head, people want the world for peanuts. Imagine having $25 worth of money to spend on yourself a week.

    But all of that being said this nanny of yours doesn't really sound too committed. She has no give and she knows she is working for a physician so what doesn she expect 9-5 or something?. A good nanny would change her holidays around for the needs of the children because we do love them too and want the best for the childrens sake. If you are worried about her quitting then I would say let her go. There are too many people willing to jump at an opportunity like this and show commitment.

    You don't want to hire me buy any chance, I'd love to live in NYC:graucho::lol:
  4. This might not be what you're looking for but have you ever considered hiring a foreign nanny (ex. from the Philippines) through an agency? You could ask for certain qualifications(nurse,teacher,etc.).This person would certainly be much more compliant and less demanding.

    When I lived in Asia(Korea,Malaysia) for a few years,people had devoted and hard-working full-time or live-in nannies for no more than 1500$/month(KR),much much less in Malaysia. All they asked for was 1 free plane ticket back to their home country once/year.Obviously,I would expect the nanny salaries to be quite different (much higher) in NYC.

    If both you and your DH have demanding work schedules,your nanny needs to be flexible. I think that you're already quite generous.Good luck.
  5. I wish I could come work for you! I just love NYC. I currently work as a nurse in the ED department, I wanna do some au pairing in America but they all want experience, which of course you can't do if you haven't got experience. Catch 22.

    But IA with hiring a foreign nanny.
  6. sounds good to me if i was without children i would be your nanny . anyway lots of people work on holidays my husband has worked christmas day . find another nanny or make her understand people work on holidays doctors police firemen military .
  7. is there a way to make thanksgiving special when she has to work like maybe order a turkey dinner for her and your kids to share . i dont know what to say you sounds like a good boss and having to work on thanksgiving or mlk day is not a big deal to me .
  8. im not a nanny and i do not have a nanny but i would think she eats what your kids eat . dont they have nanny agencies you could lookinto i wish i could help
  9. I forgot to say in my previous post. Re: the live in situation, you can't have a situation where the nanny, you and your partner are all watching tv together and the baby stirs the nanny cannot be expected to get up and attend to the baby all of the time. That is what I meant by on call 24/7. If she is not actually supposed to be working for those few hours she is not the one to attend to the baby it would have to be you or your husband.

    Also, I have been thinking and if you surprisingly did find a nanny that was willing to share a room with the child then it may affect the childs sleep patterns. For example the nanny would not be able to do anything in the room after the baby is asleep and that is likely to be as soon as the nanny finishes her "shift", she would have to wake up everytime the baby stirs in the night regardless if she was on duty or not, as the child gets older it can be a serious lack of privacy and also the nanny probably wouldn't want the parents having access to her private space at all hours of the day in the same way as you probably wouldn't like the nanny waltzing into your room to attend the baby in the middle of the night (if the baby was staying in the parents room). With live in situations the nanny is supposed to have their own living qurters so a double bed, tv, perhaps a seat and small barfridge in their room.
  10. i agree the nanny needs her own room her own space what if she want to talk on the phone or watch tv after the kids sleeping she cant if hes in the same room
  11. we have had nanny issues before and hubby is a Dr too so i totally understand.U need to find a replacemt...FAST..she sounds like a handful.U have been MORE than nice..she is taking advantage of u and is unfair..GL!
  12. I can't tell you guys how stressed I am at the moment. My baby really loves the nanny, but I just don't understand how inflexible she is being. I paid her for a full week of work last week, vacation this week, and she is flipping out about working presidents day because it is not fair. I don't want to replace her though. I would have to take time off of work so that my dd would get used to tge nanny. I don't want to have to change nannies on her constantly.
    Does anyone have a back up nanny? My husband keeps saying we need a backup but I don't know how that works. I thought a live in would be easier since I have to take call once a month and my husband works even more than me. I just feel weird having someone live with us. I just wish she wouldn't have taken the job if having holidays was so important to her. She wants in writting which holidays she has off but I can't do that since I dontknow when I will take call. I get my schedule a month in advance. I am so stressed and fustrated right now. I just want to make her happy so I don't have to replace her.
  13. I have a live in nanny and I highly recommend it. It is awesome. He helps out with meals, even when I am home. I only work 4 days a week and my husband works 6. He doesn't really have set hours. He just helps out when I need him. He lets me sleep in and makes the kids breakfast. Then I let him take a break until I work in the afternoon. My kids love him.

    We let him live with us, so we deduct that from his pay. I provide him with a cell phone. I also give him $500 a month plus we feed him. If he wants anything above the food I buy normally for the family, he buys it himself. He has his own room.

    I use nanny cams to keep him in check. He doesn't know it. But so far, I haven't seen anything that has upset me. He does a great job.

    He doesn't really ask for holidays or anything. If he needs a day and I don't work that day, he is welcome to take it. His family lives in another state, so he spends his holidays with us. If he ever asks to take time to go see his family, I would buy him the ticket. So far, he hasn't asked.
  14. If I remember properly from past posts, you are paying this nanny off the books, which means that you are afraid to draw up paperwork outlining the days off and the days she must work or be available. That is a big problem right there, not only if you get caught, but for working things out with your current nanny or hiring another.

    It would be unlikely that a back-up nanny would be available just the days you needed her. Presumably she would have other employment and could not be on-call for you. Your current nanny has you over a barrel and she knows it. I would let her go and get another nanny, but have things written up in a contract she must sign. There just is no other way around an issue like this without a contract for employment.
  15. I now know I shouldn't have hired the nanny off the books, but it seemed so common place here. She also doesn't want to be on the books for other reasons, her husband is collecting unemployment.
    Those of you who switched nannies, how long does it take a 10 month old to adapt to anew nanny?