Any Advice for a Pro?

opinion 2 I am a semi professional nanny who is taking the leap to pro. What I mean by that is I have worked off and on for a variety of families in the past five years and I am now taking the leap to a full time live in nanny. The family I will be working for has seven kids but I will only be caring for three as the others are in school. Does anyone have any advice? Oh I forgot to mention it is located about 3 hours from my home where my fiance and family as well as all friends live. PS: miss cl wtf.


Alex said...

I miss it too! I don't have any advice except make sure you have your hours and such in writing along with other promises. You may have already done that but I would definitely make sure of it!

WA Nanny said...

Oooh boy. I am not a proponent of living in because boundaries get blurred and one party gets taken advantage of. Have a contract and don't be afraid to be assertive. In it, include what happens with the erm, 3 children, are home and you are taking care of 7 children, not just three. Get all these things taken care of BEFORE you live in. A problem I see? The family wanting a curfew, but if you want to go see your fiance, you need to factor in the drive home.

Wow said...

Have a place to live lined up in case it doesn't work out.

I agree with the above posts to have everything spelled out in writing. And you can anticipate that there's an almost 100% chance that the parents will leave you with all seven children at times, with the proclamation that the older ones can take care of themselves. It should be clearly understood and put in the contract that you expect to be paid for the number of children that are in the home any time you are present and both parents are absent. I suggest that you make an agreement of how much more pay you will be expecting when caring for numbers 4,5,6, and/or 7. This can be tricky because the older children might trickle in and out of the home if they participate in activities.

Also, what is the living arrangement? Keep clear boundaries in time and space. I hope your room is away from the rest of the family's. What will your hours be? Keep up with those, and don't feel obligated to entertain the children if they come looking for you during your off hours.

And understand that a family of 9, with 7 children is a HECTIC household, no matter how well behaved the children are or how nice the parents are. Consider whether your personality is a good match for this situation.

I, personally, would not even consider accepting a job like this. There are too many children and too much room for the nanny to be taken advantage of. You never know, though, it might be a rewarding experience.

Good luck!

Wow said...

Have you asked the parents for contact info for past nannies or babysitters? If not, you should consider it and make contact to see what type of employers they are.

Truth Seeker said...

I would have a back-up plan just in case. Meaning, if things do not work out, make sure you have a back-up living arrangement worked out so you are not stuck living in a hostile home. I am not trying to be negative here, but in life you should always have a "Plan B." This applies to any life situation.

Also, make sure you have things in writing prior to moving in. Job responsibilities, pay rate, house rules, etc. Make sure you run a fine-tooth comb through it all because any little detail overlooked may blow up to something HUGE later on if not dealt with NOW.

I am a little skeptical of this job. My gut tells me that you will be responsible for the seven children. I think they are luring you in...saying you won't be responsible for all the kids (so they can pay you less perhaps), then later on they will have you watch all the kids..even by default since if they leave the home, at least they have the security of knowing there is another adult there.

I hope the job works out and you tell us in a month or so that things are great. Really, I do!

I just get a weird feeling about the seven kids. I personally wouldn't take the position unless they had another Nanny because seven kids is a lot.

Have you heard the phrase, "One child is one, two is ten..."
I shudder to think how much seven is.....

Best of luck OP.
Again....I hope things work in your favor.

Lola said...

Actually, pretty much once you get to five, the more the merrier in my opinion. In fact, it gets easier because they tend to take care of, and entertain, each other, leaving you to concentrate on the younger, and/ or, problem children. This is knowledge gained from personal experience. So I wouldn't sweat the number seven, unless they are terribly behaved to begin with that is!!

MissMannah said...

This is one of my biggest parent pet peeves ever! I hate it when I interview and the parents say "Oh you won't be responsible for the other kids because they go to school." So are you planning on taking them to work with you on school vacation days? Public school is out for professional days and federal holidays every 6 or 8 weeks and religious schools are out even more frequently than that. You absolutely must factor this into your contract and up the pay on those days, otherwise you are going to get majorly screwed. Summer vacation is a reeeeeally long time with 7 children, I can't even imagine it. I hope their house is huge!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't consider taking a job like this either. I wouldn't pack much. I don't think you will be there long. There are 7 kids, but you will only be watching three. Yeah right. Now about that bridge.

I could be wrong, but I think you are in for a world of hurt. Before this is over, you will be caring for seven kids, and cleaning the house, laundry, and dishes.

I love being wrong. I always learn something. I hope I'm wrong here. But the warning alarms are so loud, I'm about to go deaf.

Nanny Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I would ask to interview their past nannies before making ANY commitment. Ask those ex-nannies open ended questions (What was the most challenging part of the job WRT the kids? What about WRT the parents? How much housework did you do? What were those chores? What was the average number of hours worked per week? Were the parents promptly home when your shift was over? and so on...)

And of course, the big question for the parents: "Who will be caring for the older four children when they are not in school due to vacations or illness?"

If the parents don't provide you with that answer and hem and haw, you need to RUN away as fast as you can.

If you do choose to take the job, you need to have 2 things:

1) An extraordinarily detailed contract outlining exactly what you are and aren't supposed to be responsible for and exactly what you are being paid and what other benefits you'll be getting.

2) A plan on how to leave quickly if things go south.

Please let us know how the interviewing goes and what you decide!

nanny2 said...

Tales from the Nannyhood has a great suggestion for interviewing previous nannies.

As others have said, make sure your contract is detailed, and understand that the household is going to be chaos no matter what. Personally, I would be willing to pitch in, as it were, given the size of the household, but would be very particular about my boundaries of space and time (e.g. no floating day(s) off or wishy washy start and end times- such as, starting whenever the kids wake up or ending whenever they go to bed). You really have to know yourself and what under what conditions you work best. Also, as pp's have said, can you manage all 7 on your own? Because unless they have another babysitter, you will have to.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

If I hear that line one more time, I may scream!! How many times have I taken a childcare position and have been told that I would "only" be responsible for certain children, and that their siblings would not be in the picture. Then a few weeks down the line, I find myself caring for an extra sibling,then another, etc, etc.....but at the same pay.

This line is as old as the hills OP. They are telling you this to suck you in....then once you are settled into your new job (both literally and figuratively), they will not only add add'l children, they probably will add add'l household duties as well.

I would run for the hills now before it is too late.

UmassSlytherin said...

lol at Village :)

Who knows if it will work out? I think that OP may be cut out for this job. It takes a special person, maybe she is!!

Me personally? I would never ever live with my nanny employers. I cannot think of a more hellish living situation than the one that OP has described. I'll bet OP is getting big bucks for this job!

Good luck OP! Please keep us posted!

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Really Umass? I bet she's been offered squat. For one thing, LI nannies dopn't get OT - they supposedly get straight pay for each hour worked.

For another, savvy employers know they can legally reduce pay by whatever they deem "reasonable" for her room and board - I've heard of this being up to 40% of the wage.

And employers can also cheat a LI by claiming she wasn't REALLY working any hours beyond the 40 or 50 in her contract, even when it is made clear to her that she is expected to "pitch in" at all hours, day and night.

So, worst case scenario, OP might be "scheduled" 50 hours a week, and paid a little over minimum wage - let's say $8 per hour. No OT makes that $400 per week. Subtract room and board of 40% and OP is looking at $240 per week GROSS, and she's working 6a - midnight 7 days a week because she's expected to "pitch in". That's about...$1.90 per hour before tax deductions.

Or we could assume her employers will pay her $20 per hour but everything else stays the same as above. Then she's making the princely sum of $600 GROSS for 126 hours of work, or $4.76 per hour before taxes.

And that's not even covering the possibility that she'll be caring for 7 kids, not just 3!

OP, do you mind sharing what you've been promised WRT pay and benefits, as well as where you will be working - just a state, no specifics!

♥♥ Leslie ♥♥ said...

This job sounds like it has too many red flags. I would skip it.

For instance, many families with multiple children try to start off saying the Nanny will only be responsible for so and so. Parents use this line to suck in the Nannies,then slowly they add on child after child, yet still pay the same measly amount they originally offered.

Don't be a sucker OP. Do not take this job. You will regret it. ◄

just curious said...

Leslie, not trying to be a sourpuss but whats with all the hearts and stuff?

calinanny said...

i would never ever be a live in again!!

Unknown said...

Dude, I feel ya , I am so sorry these people/kids sucked. And I know what it is like. Most families dont show their true colors until after they hire you, and suck you in their web, psshh...My advice , unless you are Julie Andrews, lol ;), do not succumb to the ways of rich, inconsiderate, dry, boring, snobs who are condescdening and frankly malcontents....This up and coming generation is sad and scary. I have been a nanny for 15 years and I am retiring , never again. I mean why even have a kid if you dont raise it!? I am looking forward to a child free relaxing life. These people and their "organic" foods and fake personalities. Get outta here and get a life. God help these families and help us all!