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“We understand how important it is to find the right nanny and we work hard to make sure your little ones are matched correctly to the right person. Hiring a nanny is a very important decision and we take it seriously. First and foremost our nanny service focusses on looking for childcare professionals that are qualified, experienced, trustworthy, polite, and dependable. If you choose to hire a nanny through our nanny agency then we continue our nanny service completely through the whole duration of the placement, and we're easily accessible too! We stay open later than most other nanny agencies in London making busy parents lives as easy as possible with good quality advice on hiring a nanny. We help with employment contracts, payroll services, and any questions you may have during the process of hiring a nanny for your family. So if you're considering hiring a nanny please give us a call and we'll be delighted to see how we can help you find a nanny for your family.”
Hire a nanny for your little ones
When parents decide to hire a nanny on a permanent or long-term temporary basis they will normally want to retain their nanny for the whole length of the booking with the aim of providing dependability for their children. So how do you hold onto your nanny so that they stay happy, committed, and valued? Let's start with some practical advice for both nannies and families.
As a former nanny myself It's more likely that a career nanny, who will have plenty of experience in childcare, a stable work record, and glorious references, will be obtainable through a nanny agency rather than, say, a DIY posting on an on-line nanny hiring website. There are lots of excellent nanny agencies In London and a smart approach would be to choose an agency service that voluntarily obeys an acknowledged industry standard of good practice, just as you might if you were to call on the services of a plumber or builder. Our recommendation, when hiring a nanny, would be that families go with a nanny agency service that is a member of The Association of Nanny Agencies (ANA) who meticulously check that their member agencies keep to their strict code of practice, and that agencies provide access to ANA of such documentation and records that demonstrate their adherence.
Right from the outset communication between the nanny and family will be essential in order to avoid any misunderstanding at a later date. For live-in nannies it's key to discuss and write down any house rules that the nanny will be asked to comply with, especially in terms of visitors, the use of any telephones, car, computer and so forth. The arrangements for the nannies food should be explained and whether the parents will provide a weekly budget for the nanny to buy their own food or would prefer the nanny to help themselves from the fridge or a particular section of the fridge. Some nannies will have their own kitchenette but if this is not available it's a good idea to talk with your nanny about the use of the kitchen and whether there are particular times you would prefer the nanny to use it. For live-in nanny positions, the parents will need to be aware that when their nanny clocks-off for the day that they're no longer duty, and that children are discouraged from knocking on nannies bedroom door once their nanny has finished for the day.
Paying Your Nanny
When you hire a nanny full-time in a five-days-a-week position, either permanently or temporarily long-term, the nanny will be entitled to 28 days paid holiday per year, and it's usual for the family to choose when their nanny will take half of these days and then for the nanny to choose when they will take their other half of entitlement. By working together and giving notice to each other it's often possible to match up very well, as most people choose to take some holiday at Easter, then during the summer, and then again around Christmas time. If the family take further holidays and don't require the nanny to travel with them then they will still need to pay their nanny the usual salary (as the nanny has been hired and is available and willing to work their contracted days/hours, but in this case the employers have chosen to not require any help during their holiday).
Also, it's normally not advisable for families to propose for their nanny to owe back hours in these circumstances. For instance, if a family takes extra holidays and does not require their nanny to travel with them they should continue to pay their nannies salary for the period the nanny has effectively been laid off, as opposed to, say, asking their nanny to make up for the hours when they're back from holiday. A similar example where the nanny may effectively be laid off with full pay is when a relative comes to visit the family and decides to take the children out for the afternoon and the nanny is sent home. This would be the families choice, but the nanny should not be asked to make up those hours at a later stage.
Hiring a Nanny? Use a nanny payroll service
With regard to paying your nanny, most nannies tend to talk in terms of net salary - and that is fine. However, when you draw up a nanny contract it's important to convert the agreed net total to an equivalent gross amount. There are many good reasons for converting net to gross, but a good nanny agency will cover all these points with you and simplify the calculation for you. When families hire a nanny in London, any good nanny agency service should also be able to provide up-to-date advice on nannies tax and insurance and other relevant nanny employment issues such as Ofsted registration and nanny sharing. Nannies cannot usually present themselves for work as self-employed, so as an employer, when you hire a nanny you will be responsible for ensuring your nannies tax and national insurance is paid accurately. Hiring a nanny in London can be cumbersome, however a good agency will be able to recommend reputable payroll companies. At Fulham Nannies℠ we currently recommend the payroll companies Nannytax, and Way2Paye, who for a small annual fee will do all the payroll calculations and provide you with pay slips for your nanny - making the whole process of hiring a nanny a good deal easier. Payroll companies will offer advice on current employment law and keep you up-to-date with any emerging legal requirements such as nanny pensions, enabling you to relax and know that you're performing all employer responsibilities accurately and correctly.
Your nanny is a professional
Some nannies and families keep in touch many years after the nanny has left (I still do) and many become good friends. Nonetheless, your nanny is an employee and it is a good idea to have a friendly but professional relationship. These boundaries are easy to lose when someone becomes close to your family, but if you are too close it can be hard for the employer to feel able to ask the nanny to do something a little differently, or for the nanny to say no to a request to babysit for the third time that week, as an example. This could lead to resentment in extreme situations, so it's always prudent to maintain a pleasant but professional relationship with your nanny.
Nannies do a very personal and responsible job
There will be times when both parties might find themselves in a situation where they're not 100% pleased with, e.g. for the parent there may be small things their nanny does in the home that you'd prefer done in a different way that you may feel you don't want to express as everything else is great and don't want to upset the nanny. Similarly, the nanny may want to comment on the fact that the parent has been late home on three occasions that week, but feels unable to bring this up and risk any misunderstanding of their willingness to be flexible.
It's more important than anything else that parents and nannies communicate with each other honestly and clearly right from the start!
Make a day, say, once a week when you will both sit down together for 5 to 10 minutes and discuss anything that you want to. This may be about the children or about performance of the job. However, always balance the negative with the positive, so you might say I love the way you've managed to engage little Freddie in making a craft spider, but I'm concerned he never sits still to do anything that requires concentration for me, and then perhaps discuss that you would like the towels folded differently or the food stored in a different container or whatever is that requires improvement. For the nanny too, this is your opportunity to say how happy you are in your job and you know that everyone is late sometimes, but that the family have been late quite a few times lately and you need to catch your train or whatever it is. Always say things calmly, and politely, and always accept any comments made by the other party in a professional manner. Be prepared to be fair and to compromise with each other where possible in order to make things work. If you are honest and communicate well most obstacles can be overcome.
Be prepared to be generous!
If you are the nanny and it is not specified in your job to empty the trash bins but one day the bin is very full and the baby is having a nap so maybe you could take out the bin for your employer? The employer should realise this is not your required duty and comment appreciatively that you've been kind. If you're the employer and you have written in to the nanny contract that you do not have to pay the nanny sick pay, however your nanny is very rarely off sick and now you have the flu - so maybe pay them anyway? You will gain their thanks and loyalty.
When hiring a nanny you both want the relationship to work, so see yourselves as a collaboration or partnership who work together with a similar objective to promote your little ones welfare and protection, and your nanny should stay with you for as long as you would like.
If you hire a nanny in London you want to be sure that you're hiring the best possible nanny for the job. Fulham Nannies℠ are always happy to advise parents, or if you have any concerns with choosing the right care option for your family.
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