When To Tell

I've been having trouble with my current nanny job for some time now. I watch twin 2 year old boys and their 4 year old brother, it is a lot of work and a lot of running around all day. This is not the problem, the problem is that the parents refuse to give me car seats or lend me a car I can drive. I have been working with them for over a year and the only places I have taken them have been the library once and the zoo once. It is very hard to be in a house with three hyper boys all day. I'm bored and they are bored.

The other issue is that they cut my hours from 50 to 20 when the boys started pre school in September I picked up another part time nanny job but I'm still really not making enough to pay my bills. I think I need one full time job instead of two part time jobs. I am actively looking for a new full time job and have secured two interviews. My question is when should I tell the families I work for in looking for a new job? I would still give them two weeks notice but j would like to write them down as references and give them plenty of time to find a new nanny.
Employment question? Email


Corina said...

From experience do not give more than 2 weeks notice. I had experience where I gave notice and was canned within a week.

Unknown said...

Would you be able to help find someone to replace you. A nanny friend who is looking for part-time perhaps? Someone with pre-k or daycare experience maybe who has experience working with kids mostly indoors all day.

Taleia said...

I work with 2 yo triplets (and they have a 4 yo brother that I'm not responsible for) and I was stuck at the house with them for the first year, after which the family got a nanny vehicle and I got pretty much free reign to go wherever (the playground, library, pool, etc). After that first year, I don't think I'd take another position where I couldn't do outings with the kids - it would be a requirement for me. There were days I wanted to tear my hair out and the kids were going nuts!

Anonymous said...

While I was on placement when completing my nanny qualification, I was often stuck at home because while I had access to a nanny car, the parents put strict restrictions on what it could be used for - it could only be used for taking the kids home from kindy, and twice a week to take the older girl to ballet and drama. I often would stop at the library or video store on the way home from ballet where the kids could play on the slide outside, and take the little one to an afternoon playgroup session while his sister was at ballet, because the rest of the time, we were completely stuck at home. Some things you could try to keep you busy:
- Learn about stuff. What are they interested in? Dinosaurs, earthquakes, fire? Take that interest and build on it. Maybe you can't take them out anywhere, but you could make papier mache dinosaurs and paint them if they're interested in that, print out internet articles on them, dress up as dinosaurs or do dinosaur face paint and have imaginative play, etc. If they like Fireman Sam, extend on that interest by learning about fire - how quickly it can destroy a house, show them real videos of houses burning down in two minutes. Have them check the house and point things out that are dangerous like blocked exits, loose cords, left out lighters, etc and show them what needs to be done about them. Watch the Simpsons Fire Drill video and ask them what was done wrong and how they would do it differently, then do a real fire drill with them.

- Playdough. In my experience, kids can't get enough of it. A single batch could keep them entertained for as much as a week.
- Bubbles, these are always good for a couple of hours. Ditto gloop, slime, water play, etc. Supervise and clean up.
- Make resources. Roll up magazines and tape them, then have a swordfight. Cut up sponges and bind the strips together so they can throw the balls at each other and around the room without damaging stuff.
- Make a collage, collect autumn leaves and make crafts with those, finger paint, or any other type of cool crafts.
- Imaginative play and dressups, kids love.
- Go for a walk.
- Bring along some lego or a big bag of paper and felt pens.
- Play tag.
- Make up a story with them, or make up a story to tell to them.
- Cook or bake with them. Even something simple like fruit kebabs, smoothies or chocolate mousse.
- Build the tallest tower in the world with their building blocks.
- Make a home movie that you can send to the 'rents or grandparents.
Or, ask the kids what they want to do. I have had kids who only want to watch TV or go on the computer, and everything else to them is boring, no matter what you do. You don't have to buy into this. If they want to treat every other activity like a chore, they are the ones missing out, not you. Also, it's not a crime, every now and again, to ask them to go and play by themselves.

As for the reduced hours: If the jobs aren't meeting your needs, look elsewhere. That simple. How I would handle it: "Mrs X, I absolutely love nannying for you and your boys, but unfortunately I need a job that requires a few more hours than what I am getting here. I have decided to start interviewing for full time work, however, I can assure you that you will get at least three week's worth of notice, should I be offered a position. Can I count on you for a reference?" Give her the extra week if you can, as it could take her longer than two weeks to find a good replacement nanny.