Wednesday

Help Letting Nanny Go...

Received Wednesday, November 14, 2007-Perspective & Opinion
I have a wonderful nanny to my two children. I am expecting my third in February and plan to stop working and staying home with my children. At what point should I tell my nanny of this plan? She's been with us for almost a year and she's the best! I have a friend that would like to hire her after she leaves us (where the set-up would be almost identical to what she has now-same number of children, same preschool for older child, same pay, same hours), so she won't be unemployed unless she wants to be. I don't have paid maternity leave and plan on working right up until I deliver. I really need her to stay with us until then, but I realize that she may need time to find a new position. My thoughts are to give her about 30 days notice. Is that enough? What are your thoughts on the best way to approach this with my wonderful nanny.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you should definitely let her know as soon as possible. As you said, she's going to need time to figure out what her next job will be. Also, if she has bonded with the kids, I think she'll want to make her last few months with them special. Definitely suggest the friend's offer, but don't be too upset if she turns it down. Definitely let her know that it is nothing personal and that you still want her to be a part of the children's lives (If that is the case)This might be a bit hard on her at first, but I think if you give her time to get used to it, it'll work out just fine. Good Luck!

Rhiannon said...

I think 30 days is fair. If you can give her more, that might be helpful for her.
Also she can help the children during this transistion - though it is certainly a good transistion.

unreal said...

If you know now this is the case-i would tell her now. You have said your friend wants to hire her-so, there you go! Tell her your plans and tell her about your friend and she can stay with you until February and then start with your friend-sounds good to me.

Anonymous said...

You should let her know ASAP. And regarding the SAME salary, given that she's experienced, she should be getting MORE on her next job. Cost of living doesn't just go up for YOU!

Anonymous said...

I would tell her now. First, good nannies are usually very loyal; I doubt she'll leave early. 2nd, it helps her to prepare your kids for her leaving. My son still misses his 1st nanny, they didn't have enough time to get used to the break before it happened. Also, your friend should probably be prepared to pay your nanny a little more than you paid her. Because when you go to a new job, usually you get a raise in exchange for having to get used to all the new rules & people (and because it's just a good time to get a raise). I mean, at least an extra $25 a week.

Anonymous said...

It isn't just the amount of days notice, but the timing of the month for certain jobs. I believe Sept and January are big months for changeover in childcare, so employers are looking, well, now, considering the holidays. Also, you can't guarantee when you deliver, what if it is in January? Will your friend pick up employment the day you stop? Any severence or paid break?

Then again, if you give notice now, you risk losing her to another job by a month or so, if she gets her own. Probably the fairest thing to do is the 30 days notice, with some sort of payment information to cover early delivery.

happynanny said...

I have to agree with the people who are saying that if you are SURE that this is the case NOW, then there is no reason NOT to tell her.

If she is as you say a great nanny then she should understand where you are coming from and will most likely be excited for you. If you are worried about her leaving right away and finding a job, I would say that seeing as she has been with your family almost a year, chances are she's happy there and will stay for as long as possible...

Plus since you say your friend is offering her basically the same job, then telling her now shouldn't pose the problem of her leaving since she will have that already set up for a smooth transition.

I myself am leaving my current job mid-08 and I have already discussed this with the family (many MANY months in advance) as it makes everyone's life smoother in regards to plans and mind-set.

I do however have to agree with the person who posted ahead that since this Nanny obviously has more experience now that she has been with you a year that her, it WOULD be nice is you could mention to your friend that rather than the SAME pay, maybe a slight raise would be appropriate (especially since most nannies receive a raise each year if they stay with the same family). Your friend is lucky to be getting a nanny she already KNOWS is good and so she shouldn't think twice about this. It need only be a $1 an hour or so more - not much to you, but it will at least be something for your nanny to look forward to when she has to leave your family!

Sue Doe-Nim said...

30 days sounds really reasonable, especially since you've found her a job with a family she knows and likes (????)

Good luck with #3. Whew, more kids than hands...

Caroline said...

I nannied for a family in a similar situation. I had only been with them 3 months when they made the decision for mom to stay home. They explained the situation and asked if I'd stay the extra 3 months and that they would assist me in every possible way to find a new position.

If you have a great nanny - I'd hope she's great enough and loves your children enough to have a smooth transition. If at all feasible, you might want to consider keeping her for a couple of weeks after your 3rd child is born as you will be tired, stressed and the other 2 might need a bit of extra hand holding.

Good luck - as much as your children may miss having nanny around for a while, they will remember that you wanted to be home with them forever!

Anonymous said...

I would tell her now..

terri allen said...

I'm not a nanny and not a nanny employer but I would be pissed if someone found me another job and thought that would make everything okay. The hardest part of any job is acclimating to your surroundings and gaining the trust of your boss. Besides, you don't know what goes on behind the closed doors of your friend's home. She could be a raging alcoholic and demanding employer.

mom said...

I think I would feel complimented.
It would mean my employer spoke only well of me, and possibly that the friend had also observed me at work and thought highly of my skills.
It does not mean she is obligated to take the job. It only means that, since her currrent employer will no longer be needing her, she has one option already available to her.
Where's the insult in that?

Anonymous said...

OP here - just to clarify - my nanny would be under no obligation to take a position with my friend. I just want to offer it to her as a suggestion if she would like it. Thanks for the thoughts on raises and timing. I do need to give my kids plenty of time to adjust to not having her around. I am trying to figure out a way to have her around once a week if she is available, as my kids LOVE her and she is one of the best nannies I've ever encountered. $$ will be tighter for us once I am no longer working...

TX Nanny said...

While 30 days is fair, you should tell her now and I doubt she will leave before you're ready. I had one family tell their old nanny that they were putting the boys in school and wouldn't be needing me anymore before they told me and it really hurt my feelings that they waited to tell me last because they thought I might leave early.

Anonymous said...

dont be sneaky, tell her now.

erics mom said...

Give her adequate notice. You mentioned you are having your third child in February. I am not sure where you are from, east coast or not. Just wondering if you should (if you can afford it) keep her around at least thru the winter months. Your going to need an extra set of hands to help out. Since, most of your time is going to be wrapped up with the N.B. it would be nice if she can spend the time with your other two children. It may make it easier for them as well, with having a new sibling in the house.

Meme said...

First of all, I think it is great that you have decided to take on raising your children on your own since you will be home. You will be greatly rewarded.

Secondly, sounds like you can offer a nanny a glowing recommendation and you really have love for her, so I would just let her know now so she can adjust more easily and your children can too.

Anonymous said...

As a professional nany I gotta say tell her now. You have needs but so does she. If she is as great as you day and you are as fair as you sound I am sure you will be able to woark it out between you so everyone is happy.

Also, write her a letter of recommendation, even if she does go to work for your friend. A good letter like that is worth a lot and very valuable to have. My husband still has one he got 15 years ago and it has helped him as recently as 3 years ago.

Best of luck with the new baby!

Anonymous said...

A suggestion,
I have left a couple of jobs when the children reached school age and no longer needed me. I continued to babysit on occasional evenings with them. It was easier for the children to deal with the transition, because they knew they would still see me.
Congratulations on the NB!

nk NY said...

I am a nanny now for two girls. One is 6 and one is 10. The parents seem normal. But I got to know some of the other nannies and they told me that the family had a really great nanny for the first 5 years of the older child's life (and first year of the younger childs') and that they decided she was too close to the children, so what did they do? They all went to an amusement park and left her there. They seriously had a van waiting there that left the house an hour after them and had all of her stuff in it. She didn't even get to pack up. And the children didn't even get to say goodbye. The mother took the children on a ride and the father took the nanny the other direction and that was it. And she was told never to call them or try and contact the children again. And all of the nannies have said she was just a really kind and sweet person. Which, don't you imagine? Isn't it the truth that you wouldn't try and pull that on one of these mean and bitter nannies. Maybe that is why they have to appear so hard- so they don't get close to the children and burnt by the families in the end.

So sad. I enjoy your blog but there are for more sad nanny stories than there are bad nanny sightings.

Anonymous said...

If it were me I would let them know as soon as possible, but that is just because I am an honest person. Just remember that when you do give her 30 days notice, she is going to realize that you made the decision more than a month ago to not go back to work. That is the type of decision that people make further in advance. She will know you have been keeping it from her.
30 days notice is fine in a less personal type of situation, but for a nanny that you say you adore, you deserve to be more honest with her than that. As far as pointing her in the direction of another family, that is nice of you. But she needs to decide for herself if they are the right family for her.

cutefemmegirl said...

I'm sure finances will be tight, as you said. But what you should be concerned about is not only are your dc getting a new sibling, they are also losing this wonderful Nanny ... who I am sure they've become very attached to. Try to make the sacrifice and keep her for an extra month or so - it will make the transition much easier for you AND the kids.
Best of luck to you!

tree said...

I was a nanny to a family for 5 yrs. I was told they don't need me anymore. I was told the week before Christmas. (I was flying home for the holidays) I had no time to find myself a job in a week so I had to pack and ship everything back home. I knew they had that planned for awhile. I was told I could be a pen pal to the oldest child (6 yr old girl) I wrote a couple of letters and never got a response. I think they were upset I was too close to the kids. (3 yr old boy too)

cutefemmegirl said...

That's a crying shame, Tree. Some Moms just can't handle sharing their childrens love. They probably feel a little guilty working in the first place, (that's providing they give a shit to start with) and are maybe jealous that the kids might love Nanny more than them. Pathetic.
You can never love a child too much.

Anonymous said...

I would let her know now. I'm a nanny, and the mother at my old position let me know many months in advance that she was going to leave her job to stay at home with her son. I more than understood her situation and I was very grateful that she let me know a couple months in advance. They also gave me 1 month severance pay. They didn't have to at all, considering their notice, but let me tell you that it was more than gratefully appreciated. It did come in handy as finding 'that perfect' position took a lot of time. Good luck

Awesome said...

Great article! And look who got a big quote!!!

Anonymous said...

This is interesting...
I left a position recently, and even though I knew months in advance of the possibility of leaving this position, I gave them only 2 weeks notice- why? because she was a nut and would try to sabatoge me by kicking me out earlier.

She was quite ticked that I gave her only 2 weeks, and boy did she show her true colors- was I happy I was outta there.

I agree with at least a month notice on either side, but when you work for a nut, you treat them likewise- it was because of her why I was leaving in the first place.

That being said- give your nanny aw much notice as possible- it shows respect.

Anonymous said...

You need to give your nanny some severance pay, because she has to do the job search all over again... i hate the instability of being a nanny...

Sarah and Mitch said...

I went through this same thing with a family I worked for, only I am pretty sure they knew when they hired me what they wanted to do when their second child was born. They told me about 2 weeks before her due date that they decided the mom would stay at home after the baby was born. They said they needed me full time until she delivered, and then they could have me work part time/hourly until I found another job after the baby was born.

Besides other complications with this family, this kinda just topped it off. I gave them a week's notice and found another full time job asap because I needed to make sure I could pay my bills.

In that case, she could have gone into labor that same day, or in 3 weeks from then, and it wasn't reliable for me to count on the paycheck. I would recommend you tell your nanny now, and make sure you present the opportunity to nanny for your friend as an option and not as your solution. Also, if you can swing it, try to give her a date a couple weeks after your due date that you can guarantee her employment.

Like if you are due on the 1st, tell her she will have a paycheck through the 15th, and that way she can plan to start a new job on the 16th or later. It's not all about the paycheck, it's about appreciation and understanding, and courtesy. It's a security thing. But definitely tell her, and as soon as possible. I think she will be glad to know that you are thinking of her best interest, and she will stay with you and your family until your baby is born.

Anonymous said...

Just because you like your friend and you THINK it's going to be the same... each family is extremely different and you surely cannot predict who she will or will not get along with. Tell her now! She has the right to go meet that family and then decide for herself. Please don't be selfish!

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a mother, I was very honest and told my ex-nanny months in advance that I would no longer need her in September when the youngest child would enter school. She was a wonderful nanny but she left our family before September came around and only gave us 2 weeks notice. I understand that good opportunities won't wait and that her new job required her to start a lot sooner than September but it wasn't a very nice thing to do. Not that she had to be nice, she needed to look out for number one: herself. In retrospect, I should have looked out for myself because sadly, that's how this world works.

Meme said...

8:31,

The world would be an even sadder place than now if everyone operated under your philosphy. Screw them before they can screw us! Honest caring decent people could not sleep at night if they behaved that way. Apparently you can.

Anonymous said...

.... ouch!

manniegirl said...

8:31,
While I see where you are coming from, I disagree with your philosophy. In your situation, it wasn't "not nice" for your nanny to look out for herself: she was being put in a postion of having to find employment, and you were not. It is as simple as that. It sounds like for her it was a choice of offering you more notice and not being able to accept a job, or giving you the two weeks she gave you and taking a great new job. Terminating a good nanny because you no longer need her is not the same as firing someone and in a good nanny relationship you own her honesty so that she can take care of herself, her bills, her own life and family. There is nothing nice or not nice about it and you make yourself sound juvenile by describing it that way. When you tell a good nanny you no longer need her services, you must expect them to perhaps be unable to give you EXACTLY what you want from there on. It doesn't mean she is "not nice" it means that her rent and grocery bills take priority over your babysitting needs.

Anonymous said...

8:31, were you working or not? If you could survive without the nanny this is not quite the same thing as if you had a paid position, in which case I agree that what she did was "not nice", especially as September is a good transition period. In any case I understand why you 'd rather tell her later than sooner, but I think it is fair to leave her ample time to find a new job.

Anonymous said...

I am a nanny who worked for a great family full time for about 4 years but long hours , I wanted to change jobs to work as a part time nanny so that i can spend more time with my family, I did talk this out with my employers at the time and we came up with the month and date that i can leave which will work for both of us. The thing is i told her months in advance, and we were both able to get what we wanted, with her help i got a great part time position and with my help she got another great nanny who would suit her needs. I choose not to give her 2 weeks notice which we agreed apoun when they first hired me instead i gave them 4 months notice, and don,t regret my choice.

Nanny L said...

Tell her now. The more time you give your nanny to find a new position, the more time she has to find one that works with your desired end date. Similarly, if your nanny does not want to work for your friend, I bet your friend would appreciate more than thirty (or less!) days to find a nanny for her family.

I would suggest offering your nanny a "job completion bonus" to stay through your proposed end date, which would allow her the financial flexibility to take a nanny job that starts after your due date.

cutefemmegirl said...

2:32
I also thought it would be a good idea to offer the Nanny a 'completion bonus', but I got the impression OP may not have the money for it since she said she "had to work until her due date, and did not have paid maternity leave". However, OP, if you do have the funds ... this would be a great incentive for your Nanny to stick it out to the end for you without having to worry about whether or not she will leave you in a lurch.

Mary said...

3:07,
This is America. If you do not want to work at a job, you can leave. Ethically and in the interest of being considerate it is standard to give two weeks notice. Unless this nanny was under contract to give more notice, which by the sound of things she wasn't (I refer to 8:31) since her contract was being terminated regardless, two weeks was more than enough notice. She needed to take care of herself regardless of when this mother was going back to work. If a person is putting their own interests first AND giving two weeks notice, how do you see her as "not nice?" That is so ignorant. "nice" will not pay this nanny's electric bill. It takes a long time to find a good job in one's field, nannying included. How can you fairly begrudge her adequate time in which to accomplish this? If the mother is inconvenienced, so be it: that is what happens when you make a career change or choice in your life. When I started my own childcare business, it took awhile before we got clients, now we have a waiting list. But those first few months were difficult. This mother had to realize that she was going to have to juggle something in order to get what she wanted. A nanny is an employee not a slave. If a company told someone, well we are going to let you go in six months, would that company really expect the person to be able to find a job that started EXACTLY six months from then? It's impossible. People who are hiring for jobs want the person as soon as possible, and two weeks notice is about all any person can give in most situations. Good for the nannies who can accommodate their families in this situation, but life is not all twinkies and sunshine. You have to do what you have to do. "Not nice?" Please. Get a clue.

Anonymous said...

i agree... my ex employer was angry that i gave her only 2 weeks.

I said to her, its standard, and it is when yu dont treat me nicely ( didn't say the latter). For a great employer I just dont have the heart to give only 2 weeks, but parents should expect it.

When on any job you give notice if yu arent happy and for variuos other reasons.
Heck, some nannies just dont show up!

Be prepared for anything

Anonymous said...

as a nanny I would be offended if my employer found me a job, as if they where casting me off. You should tell her of your plans and let her know that your friend would be interested in hiring her. You should give her time to get her plans squared away seeing as you already know what yours are. Plus, you may decide to keep her a little longer after the 3rd baby for extra help. My contract requires 2 months notice of termination along with a 3 week severance, and if they only gave me the customary 1 month notice they would still need to pay the above package, simply because it might take more than 1 month to find a new job and/or housing

Anonymous said...

I had a very similar sitation happen to me.. I worked for an amazing family for 3 1/2 years and the mum decided to stay home after the x-mas break last year. they gave me a months notice which didn't seem like enough to me at the time but I did find something rather quickly. They didn't know anyone at the time that was looking but I would have appriciated a lead if they would have had one, it would be totally up to her to accept the job or find one on her own terms.. One thing that my family did was like I mentioned, they gave me the 30 days notice as well as paying me for one month after that. I know that not everyone could afford this but it was certainly appricated and helped me transition without to much stress

Anonymous said...

Nowadays, it takes at least 2 months to find another job. I have been unemployed between my nanny jobs and it really hurts. So please let her know ASAP so she can start looking.

Anonymous said...

Please let your nanny know immediately! Do it with kindness and take the time to prepare a severance "package" for this wonderful woman who has cared for your family so well. Give her at least 2 months notice. Give her severance (appropriate severance for a good nanny is one month's salary for every year employed...plus any perks you'd like to include). Offer both written and verbal (phone) references to her future employers. Plan to do something special with her and your children on her last day...make sure she knows how valuable she has been in your life, and send her into her future smiling. Try to stay in touch with her (cards, the random call, letters from the kids) for at least a year after she leaves so she and the children can adjust to the change smoothly.
Bless you for being such a kind employer.