Received Wednesday, June 25, 2008- Perspective & Opinion
I'm not sure what to do. I have a WONDERFUL nanny. She has been with us for just short of a year. She loves our three kids and they love her and she does a great job. It was hard to find her--I went through a few nannies who could not handle/relate to all three of my kids before finding her. She works 11 hours a day four days a week and 9 hours Friday, which is a heavy schedule, but I try to be a good employer. She makes a good salary, I gave her a raise a few months into the job because she was so wonderful, as well as a weeks pay at Christmas and gifts for her and her children at holidays and birthdays. My husband is not in the picture and I have over an hour commute, so I need long hours. This is her first nanny position. Before working here, she worked in daycare settings and had early childhood education/training, but had not worked in any one job for more than a year at a time, so it was a bit of a risk when I hired her, but she was so warm she seemed like (and is) exactly what we needed.
She has school aged children of her own and they are great kids. Fairly often one or more of her kids have come to my house when home from school and even though they are a little older (5,8,and 11) than my kids (2,4 and 7), they all get along well. She did mention her kids were having a hard time adjusting to her working full days early on, but it seemed to make them happy to join her at work sometimes.
Last week, she told me she has no childcare for the summer and gave two weeks notice. To me, it felt like a blow out of left field. I really dreaded telling my kids the nanny they had come to love and trust would be leaving, plus, two weeks is not a lot of time to arrange for childcare. She had not indicated she had any issues--in fact, she often talked about planning next school year and summer activities for my kids and even asked me two weeks age to get her a pass to our local pool so she could take them there over the summer. After talking to her about what was behind her giving notice, she said she didn't really want to leave, but the problem was she couldn't stay until 6 every day after school ends because she didn't have childcare for her own kids after camp. I told her if that's the only issue I can rearrange my summer work schedule a bit and arranged for a family member to help out so she could leave in the early afternoon up until her kid's summer camp ends, then take a few weeks off, and come back to a slightly reduced schedule come the fall. Thought that was a good resolution and she indicated that works and was planning on staying. Yesterday I got a call from a nanny she met in the park she had told would be leaving because she needed to spend more time with her kids. Although I know that her kids had trouble adjusting to her working early on, she never mentioned that as a reason for wanting to leave. Now I'm wondering if I should be spending the summer looking for a new nanny since this is a more serious issue than helping her bridge a gap in her own childcare arrangements. Part of me says I need to take what she said at face value and trust that these arrangements will allow her to stay, part of me says I'm being foolish and will be in the same boat (looking at a rough transisiton for my kids and two weeks to patch together childcare) come the end of the summer since the underlying problem hasn't been addressed. Advice?