Nannying

What should be included in your nanny contract?

Some nannies are not always certain about what things should be included in their nanny contract. It’s important to have a contract with your nanny family, like any job. It’s also important that we get what we are legally entitled too as well. Here are some points that you should look out for. This would also be helpful for potential nanny employers.

  1. Holiday – all the legal websites I have come across such as gov.co.uk states that all workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks of holiday. If you work part time, this would be pro rata. Your employers may include bank holidays in your holiday entitlement or may give you this on top. That is up to your employer. Some families wish to share your holiday entitlement. For example you would pick when you take half and they get to pick the other half.
  2. Do you need to use your own car or your employers car? Some families prefer you to use their car if they do not need it on your working day. This will save them from paying expenses. If you are to use your own car, you are entitled to expenses. Expenses cover mileage and wear and tear. The advisory rate is 45p per mile, which most nannies get. But this is a question to raise with your employer.
  3. Your salary. Make sure you have a GROSS salary rate in your contract. Employers are responsible for paying you TAX and NI. So if your contract states a GROSS amount your TAX and NI will be deducted from this total.
  4. Make sure your contract states your working hours and the rate of pay if you are required work any overtime.
  5. No banking hours. If your family decide they don’t need you to work on your contracted working day and you are willing to work – they should still pay you fully.
  6. Food. Some nanny families add in if they will be providing your meals. Especially if your live in. I have been with a family before where I started early before school drop off and finished late after school pick up and my breakfast and dinner was included in my contract.
  7. Pension. Are you entitled to a pension? As of March/April 2017 my nanny family have to legally start paying into a pension scheme for me.
  8. Having the date of the month you are due to be paid stated in your contract. Some nannies make sure a clause is added stating that if the family are late in paying by the agreed date, then the family are responsible for any bank charges etc.
  9. Childcare vouchers – if you are Ofsted registered some families will use childcare vouchers to pay you. Some nanny families offer to pay your Ofsted registration – make sure this is clear in your contract of who needs to pay this. Sometimes 50/50 payment is a good idea – parents pay half the nanny pays half too.
  10. Kitty money – make sure kitty money is included in your contract. For example money for taking the children out to groups, outings etc.
  11. Notice period
  12. Job title. If you are expected to do any house work make sure that this is stated in your contract and what jobs you are responsible for. If you are responsible for house work them your job title may be nanny/housekeeper.
  13. Sickness procedure. Do you get SSP?
  14. Household rules – some contracts include rules such as no smoking in front of the children or on site, avoiding smokers entirely, asking for permission prior for house visitors such as other nannies, not using the house phone or personal mobile (or just in emergencies).
  15. Normal duties
  16. If you are live in – have stated about what is included. For example, your own room, bathroom, meals, furniture.
  17. Name of your employer, working address and contact details of your employer
  18. The names and ages of the children in your care
  19. Will there be a probationary period? If so, how long?
  20. Make sure your employer has added they will provide you with payslips
  21. Confidentiality terms
  22. Make sure your start date is clearly stated on your contract and is signed by both parties!
Activities · Craft Activities · Nannying

Salt dough handprints

Today the 3 year old and I made some salt dough. Salt dough is really easy to make. you need 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of flour and a little bit of water. Mix them all together to make a dough. You can make all sorts with salt dough. You could make hand prints, foot prints, christmas tree decorations, ornaments, jewellery and the list goes on. The 3 year old wanted to make his hand print though this time.

First he mixed up all the ingredients and made his dough and used a rolling pin to flatten it out. He then firmly pressed down his hand to make a print.

We popped it in the oven to bake until firm at 200°c (fan oven) for about 40 minutes.
We got it out and let it cool down a little before we painted it! The 3 year old mixed up some blue and white paint to make a baby blue colour and decorated it once cooled enough.

This is our end result…

Nice little activity and keepsake 🙂

Activities · Craft Activities · Gifts · Mother's Day · Nannying

Candle Making

Last year I made a photo calendar for the boy’s parents for their Christmas present full of pictures of the boys I had taken throughout the year. While I was looking through the pictures this year to make another one I came across a picture of homemade candles which I made with the boys for mother’s day. So I thought I would share it as it could be a lovely idea for a Christmas gift or another occasion.

The 3 year old and myself took a trip to Hobbycraft (again!) to pick up some wicks, candle scent, crayons and a glass ‘bubble ball candle holder’. We also picked up basic pillar candles that we bought in ASDA for 50p each. You could buy wax in a bag ready to use but I found this way the cheapest. Follow the link below to be directed to the items…

http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/crisa-bubble-ball-candle-holder-15-cm/565864-1000?queryFromSuggest=true&userInput=glass%20

http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/home-crafts/candle-making

http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/coloured-wax-crayons-24-pieces/562636-1000

You will need either a glass bowl that you can pop on top of a saucepan (with a little bit of water in) to use as a double boiler. The boys didn’t have one in their house so I used a baked bean tin. I obviously emptied the beans out and cleaned the can thoroughly.

To make the candles we chopped up a basic pillar candle and put some wax in our tin (or glass bowl) with a broken up crayon. You can choose any colour crayon you wish. Let the crayon and wax simmer and melt completely. Once melted you will need to have your candle holder ready with a wick inserted in the middle. Pour a little candle scent in your mixture and stir. Then pour your mixture in your candle holder. Let dry completely, it took around 20-30 minutes for us. Repeat this step until your candle is finished. Just make sure you leave a window open! Your candle should be similar to this…

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If you are interested how we made the flower heads on their mothers day card we just used a fork! And then painted the stem.

Baking · Nannying · Recipes

Cake trains

Yesterday I baked some train cakes with the 5 year old! It was only a cake mix as the scales are currently broken and in need of a replacement. But we still had fun anyhow. I picked up the ‘Jane Asher’ cake mixture from Poundland with some chocolate frosting that only equalled to £2 so fairly cheap and very tasty.

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First of all the 5 year old greased his silicone train moulds and set them to one side. I made sure that we had all the ingredients handy to one side already to make life a lot simpler. He then poured the chocolate sponge mix into a large mixing bowl and cracked in two eggs. Next he poured in some milk in a measuring jug (practising his maths – bonus!) and poured it in with the sponge mix and eggs, then whisked together until smooth – easy!

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Once he had mixed everything up we added a tablespoon of oil and stirred. I then poured the mixture into a measuring jug for him to pour into his silicone cake mould shaped as trains! We popped them in the oven and baked in 25 minutes.

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Once the cakes cooled, we then spread on some chocolate frosting and decorated them with smarties and marshmallows!

Days out · Nannying

Go Jumpin!

This week I thought it would be a nice idea to take the 3 year old to a new trampoline park that has jumped opened in Tonbridge called ‘Go Jumpin’. I have been to the trampoline park in Maidstone with an old nanny child and it was so good. A massive room filled with trampolines, basketball arenas, a foam pit you can jump in and a ledge where you can act like gladiators with foam stick to knock each other down into a pit of foam. Pretty amazing in my opinion. The 3 year old didn’t agree.

So we turn up and first he seemed pretty excited. He was thrilled to put the special grip socks and his wristband on. He was also quite engaged during the safety video too. But once he saw the trampolines he completely freaked out. He has a trampoline at home that he loves so I was confused why he was throwing such a tantrum. First I thought he would calm down and play once we got on them but instead he ran back down to the table with our bags, instead of following him straight away I stayed put as this usually happens. He runs off at a safe distance and if I hold my ground and don’t follow him he would run back to me. Not this time though He ripped off his grip socks and made a run for it all the way back we came to the entrance. I managed to get hold of him just in time he made it outside.

A very nice lady who worked there who probably felt a bit sorry for us gave the 3 year old a free packet of crisps to console him. He scoffed those and once he had finished I decided to try and show him the other children jumping and how fun it really was to bounce. To which he responded by shouting “I don’t want to bounce, I want to go back to the car”.

I tried encouraging him to bounce with him in my arms but that didn’t go down well either. Perhaps I will only take his brother next time…

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Nannying

Confessions of a nanny

  1. I love my nanny children – it’s all real. You spent a lot of time with your nanny children. Sometimes even more time than your own family or friends in the week. I’m honestly dreading the day where I will have to leave my nanny family. There will be many tears shed.
  1. I personally love being invited to the boys’ birthday parties. I also feel very proud when my 5 year old gets ‘star of the week’ in assembly or gets good scores in his spellings tests, even down to hearing him progress at his reading.
  1. I’m a big kid at heart so I love all the craft activities, pretend play and all the Disney films.
  1. I genuinely love it even when I’m not working my nanny family still send me pictures and messages about the boys. They send me post cards when they go away (that I still have pinned on my fridge) and I keep all of the pictures, cards the boys have made for me or given me for my birthday or at Christmas.
  1. Nap time is like a god send. Both of us need it. The 3 year old needs to refuel – not just physically but emotionally. Nap time is also good for the nanny. We get to sit down (trust me as nannies we don’t get to do a lot of that!), we actually get to eat and drink – if my 3 year old doesn’t sleep I have gone days where I have been too busy to stop and make myself a proper lunch or even drink enough. If we have also had a toddler screaming at us and throwing tantrums all morning, we need a bit a quiet time ourselves.
  1. Nannying for me is the best job. I’m a teacher, a role model, a chef, a friend and a confidant.
  1. As nannies we see everything. We experience all the tantrums – even down to the smallest thing of having the wrong cup. Sometimes they aren’t always perfect angels and turn into little monsters. They hit, bite, spit, pinch, push, scream and shout. They bicker, argue with their siblings, throw and break things. But at the end of the day even if we have had the most stressful day, we still love and care for our nanny children. We still manage to keep patient, listen and do our utmost best to support our little angels (or monsters).
  1. We want an open relationship with our nanny family. When we our honest about your children’s behaviour – we are not blaming you or criticising in any way. We get it; they are small still and still learning. We are honest so you are aware and so we can work together on managing their behaviour. It can also be hurtful if the parents don’t support you.
  1. It can be really difficult when parents work from home. Some nannies even avoid positions when parents mention they will be working from home as it can cause issues. Also when the parents’ work from home being undermined can be an issue. If you undermine your nanny, especially in front of the children, it can be very hurtful and then cause issues. The children will then learn that they can play you against their parents and decide that they don’t have to listen to you as their parents then say it’s ok.
  1. One thing that annoys me is when you don’t wash your own dishes. I have worked with a family who would leave their dirty pans and dishes from their evening dinner and would leave it for me to clean up the next day. We are nannies, we care for your children, we tidy your children’s rooms, do their washing and ironing. Cleaning your evening dishes is not part of our job role. That would be more of a housekeeping role.
Activities · Craft Activities · Nannying

Deco art!

Today we started Christmas crafts! The 3 year old and I ventured into Hobbycraft to browse the already stocked Christmas section. I thought it would be a good idea to get a head start now so the crafts we make can be used as Christmas gifts for family members.

In Hobbycraft we found some deco art Christmas tree decorations for only 50p each! Bargain. The 3 year old then selected the Christmas tissue paper he desired for his decorations.

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Deco art is so easy and a great activity. It kept the boys entertained for over an hour! Deco art is pretty much paper mache but you use different coloured and patterned tissue paper called decoupage paper. Here is our end result…

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There is a ton of models you can choose from to decorate besides Christmas themes. You can find different animals, boxes, masks, numbers, letters and lots more. If you would like to give it a go yourself take a look here… http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/home-crafts/paper-mache

Nannying

Toddler dilemmas

Last week I took the 3 year old to soft play. Most of the time when we go I go in with him and play but sometimes he prefers to go in independently. I haven’t got an issue with this. I enjoy going in the big soft play but if he prefers me to hang back, that’s fine, just as long as I can see him. Plus going off on his own to play is important, it encourages him to play and socialise with others his own age and boosts his independence and confidence.

Later on I took the little one to the toilet (he is now fully toilet trained, one very proud nanny!) There was a parent in the toilet that started giggling as she overheard my conversation with my 3 year old. Basically he was telling me off and crying over the fact I had flushed away his wee wee for the next child. She joked about it being a rule of parenting not to flush the wee wee away. I then mentioned that I wasn’t his parent but his nanny. She then said “well if I had you as my children’s nanny I would be so happy as they would be well cared for as you obviously love him. I have been watching how engaged you are with him, the family are very lucky to have you”.

To receive this compliment absolutely made my day!

Nannying

Diaries of a nanny on slimming world

I love slimming world. I have lost two stone and it is so easy and I would recommend it to anyone.

I don’t know if it’s the time of the year where it’s getting colder on approach to Christmas but recently at work I haven’t been able to control eating the boys’ chocolate stash. The 5 year old doesn’t mind but his brother loves his chocolate. So I have been hiding in the cupboard so the 3 year old doesn’t see me to decide he wants some. Because there would only be two outcomes:

  1. He will have a full blown meltdown if I don’t give him chocolate
  2. I give in and let him have chocolate and have to deal with the sugar rush and the battle of putting him down for his afternoon nap or to sleep that evening.

I’m not sure which outcome is worse.

So it is best to keep it a secret. What they don’t know can’t hurt them right? I mean technically I am doing them a favour, eating the unhealthy food for them…

The boys’ dad likes to buy them lots of chocolate and sweets so the cupboard is always full. And the boys’ mum tells me I can eat it. Which doesn’t exactly help my weight loss.

Surely I’m not the only one – surely there are other nannies, parents, guardians who find themselves in a cupboard eating the children’s sweets in secret…

 

 

Nannying

Should you give your nanny a Christmas bonus?

I have recently read an article about if you should give your nanny a Christmas bonus and found it an interesting read.

I would like to note that it is purely down to the decision of the family to decide whether they want to or can give their nanny a bonus. A nanny cares for your children and is their to support you too. However, a nanny (in my opinion) shouldn’t expect a bonus from their family.

I have only been working as a nanny since March 2015 so been with my nanny family for 20 months. Last year when I had only been with my nanny family for 9 months and received a wonderful Christmas bonus and presents, I was so grateful and did not expect it in the slightest. I have never received a Christmas bonus in any of my previous jobs so I was very surprised to receive one.

There is no obligation to give a Christmas bonus – but it is a lovely way of showing that you appreciate your nanny and a way of saying thank you for all their hard work they have done for your family.

In the article I read I was a little shocked to read that some nannies would actually consider leaving their nanny family if they didn’t receive a bonus! Myself personally I would never consider leaving my nanny family if I don’t receive another bonus. I love my nanny children too much and they mean more to me than a bonus to leave them!

We have to bare in mind that having a nanny CAN be costly to a family and may not be able to financially afford a bonus on top of our wages, petrol expenses, pension, Oftsed registration, first aid courses etc.

Sometimes a simple home made card from the children is the best gift to receive!