OT: Hiring a nanny for 4 day business trip

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by bethyg, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. bethyg

    bethyg Mouseketeer

    Nov 20, 2004
    DH has a "managers and their wives" retreat coming up next month for 4 days. He cannot go alone. We have 2 children (DS 13 and 4). Both our parents are too elderly to watch them, and other family/friends have plans for the time we would be gone. We cannot take the kids. It would be best "company wise" for us to attend this function.

    I am looking into hiring a nanny to stay with them for 4 days. There are 2 "childcare nanny" agencies in my area. Both require the basic: criminal background check, over 18, cpr and first aid, drug test. I have spoken at length to one agency (owned privately by a couple.....ran out of their home). They explained they come out to assess our home, meet us, etc...... then assign someone "compatible". They have about 25 nannies on staff, staffing child and elder respite care.

    I have never hired a nanny before, and our sitters (for our once YEARLY) night out, are people we know. I have contacted my local BBB and there are no reports filed.

    HELP! What questions do I need to ask? Where else can I search to make sure my boys will be safe with this agency?

  2. Tinkerbell_Tiffany

    Tinkerbell_Tiffany DIS Veteran

    Jan 3, 2006
    I wish I could help, but I have family to sit with my kids.
    I have seen so many bad things happen on the news, I just look at it this way, and again this is my own opinion about this, "I would not leave my car with a stranger, so I would never leave my children with one regardless of references" and I must admit I am way too over protective of my kids so I guess that's just me.
    mabe if you had someone come over everyday and check on them?
    good luck! :)
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  4. SleepyatDVC

    SleepyatDVC DIS Veteran

    Jul 8, 2001

    I don't know if I would be comfortable leaving the kids alone with a stranger especially overnight.

    Are there any friends or family that they can stay with? Many times they might be too busy to physically watch your kids but maybe if they came over WITH the nanny?

    Ideally, the kids could stay with the grandparents and the nanny can take care of the kids at the grandparents. That way at least they are not alone with only the stranger.

    However, if my choices were limited, at the very LEAST, I would have the nanny agency send the nanny over ASAP for a few nights and days so you can figure out how comfortable you and the kids are with that person. I wouldn't wait until a few days before your trip because by then it might be too late to either cancel your trip or request someone else.

    If possible, it would be best if someone you know at least stays over even if they actually don't babysit. Make sure your 13 year old knows the rules and has a number where he can reach you 24 hours a day.

    Good luck with your decision.
  5. sk!mom

    sk!mom DIS Veteran

    Dec 30, 2000
    I would not leave them with a stranger under any circumstances. I like the idea of hiring the nanny to stay with the children and the grandparents or some other friend or family member.

    DH and I are going away for four days next month and DD10 is attending dance day camp and then grandparents will have her in the evenings only. By that time of day she will be tired out and will feel quite happy to have a nice dinner and then watch a movie with grandma. Some type of camp might be a solution for your older child. Four year olds are tricky.

    If there is absolutely no way to have someone that you know there then I would stay home and DH and would go and his employer would just have to understand. Good Luck
  6. ntink

    ntink DIS Veteran

    Nov 24, 2005
    Does DS4 go to preschool? If so is there an option of hiring one of his teachers. At my DD's preschool, many of the teachers babysit on the side. Best of luck, this is a tough situation.
  7. cgcw

    cgcw <font color=cc0099>On the blinkie Crocs foot-fetis

    Jul 28, 2000

    I have never hired a nanny but I have been involved in hiring and firing care givers for my handicapped Mom. I've dealt with agencies that have been good and some that have been awful.

    One of the concerns I would have is whether or not your going to be able to meet the person first. Most of the caregivers sent by the agency to care for my Mom were sight unseen. None of them spoke fluent English -- which has been a challenge in it's own way. Some of them were put out by the job they were hired to do. Some of them made long distance phone calls to their home countries and left before the bills came in. Some of them were downright mean and nasty. One of them I had to have physically removed from my Mom's home with the help of two police officers who stayed at my Mom's residence while she packed her bags.

    Yes, there have been some good ones over the years but I have to tell you, honestly, the majority have not been.

    We are now past all that with my Mom but based on what I saw, there is no way that I could leave my own children with someone I didn't know extremely well.

    Is there anyway you can bring the kids and a caregiver with you to the retreat? Then you could keep an eye on them during breaks and at night. The caregiver could keep them entertained during the day with attractions in the area or swimming in the pool or playing games. But, you would still be there to oversee exactly what is going on.

    Best of luck.
  8. princessjv

    princessjv DIS Veteran

    Jul 29, 2005
    I was a nanny. There are many, many great nannies out there! The few times you hear about a bad nanny experience, is far less than you hear about parent who abuses/neglects their children! That being said, as a former nanny, I am one of the hardest parents to please, when it comes to the care for my children.

    My suggestion is to start interviewing a few quailified nannies, pick one or two and have them over for the evening/day (seperately) while you do a few things around the house. Then ask them to watch your kids while you go out. Tell them you will be back at x time, however come home earlier. This way you can get a great picture of what is going on. Also, given that one of your children is a teen, they will be a great asset and judge of the care for the little one. After a few times watching your kids, you should start feeling comfortable with the nanny, as well as the nanny should feel comfortable with you kids and their schedules. Then pick the one that is a better fit with your family.

    Good Luck!
  9. daisyduck123

    daisyduck123 <font color=green>I just love those parmesan mashe

    Aug 18, 2005
    There is no way I would go on the trip. If DH couldn't go alone, then we'd all be staying home. Surely his company can't fault your DH for you both not being able to attend.
  10. ~Kathie

    ~Kathie Tinker Bell Fanatic

    Jan 2, 2000
    When my kids were younger, we used to switch off with our neighbors who had kids the same age. We'd take their kids for a weekend and another time they would take ours.

    Does your older son have a friend that you really know the parents well??
    That might be another option.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  11. summerrluvv

    summerrluvv <font color=darkorchid>Work Hard. Have Fun.<br><f

    May 9, 2001
    4 days is a long time for 2 children to be with a stranger. They may do criminal background checks on them, but remember, all criminals don't get caught. You can't get the local sitter to watch them? I personally wouldn't feel comfortable with that situation at all and I wouldn't go on the trip.
  12. pearlieq

    pearlieq <font color=green>They can sit & spin<br><font col

    Aug 3, 2004
    You've got plenty of time to establish a relationship, which is nice.

    I would recommend developing relationships with 2-3 nannies now, so that by the time you go, everyone is comfortable and knows the ropes. The 13 year old is old enough to advocate for himself and old enough to let you know what he feels comfortable with.

    You might not get a lot of support here on this question--a lot of people can't imagine leaving their kids. That's fine if that's what works for their family, but it's not the only way it has to work. It's not like you're hiring someone on Friday and leaving on Saturday. You have 4 months to find someone you trust.

    I do like the idea of combining the nanny with your family or friends--the nanny can help out where your friends might not be able, and you'll have an extra layer of comfort while you're away.
  13. Wish I lived in Fl

    Wish I lived in Fl DIS Veteran

    Jan 31, 2004
    Because the kids are 13 and 4 i wouldn't be as worried. 13 year old old enough to tell you if anything wrong so Nanny would know anything they do will be reported to MOm and Dad. But the best would be the Nanny to provide care and Grandma for secure feeling at night. Maybe at your house?
  14. zumbergc

    zumbergc DIS Veteran

    Feb 23, 2004
    What about lining up a few friends, or a few family members to watch the kids. Have each family or friend take a day.

    Many of your friends or family may be overwhelmed by a 4 day commitment.
    But, possible a day or 1.5 days would fit better into their schedules.

    It would be a lot of moving around., but family and friends are better than strangers. Plus, if you planned it right, they could look forward to staying at different friends/families houses.
  15. hollyb

    hollyb DIS Veteran

    Nov 8, 2005
    Sorry no way would we leave the kids with a stranger for that long. No matter how many back ground checks they do, things slip through. I would tell DH to ago and go without you. JMHO or take them with you.
  16. shoegirl1020

    shoegirl1020 Mouseketeer

    Dec 31, 2005
    Is it possible that the children can attend with you? If thats the case you could check with the hotel about childcare while you attend any special dinners, etc. Or maybe leave the 13 yr with the 4 yr old while you are at any event.

    If not I would be ok with the nanny if you feel comfortable with the couple running the business. Their attitude is a good indication of their employees. If you do go with a nanny I would also have them come over. I've babysat more children than I can count, even was a nanny to twin infants. I was also willing to go to a families house (I wouldn't accept payment) to let the kids meet me and to meet the parents.

    Good luck. Let us know what you choose
  17. Hannathy

    Hannathy <font color=darkorchid>When I stop laughing I will

    Jan 24, 2006
    It is easy for others to say I wouldn't go or I would never leave my kids but sometimes you just have to. If you don't have family you don't. I didn't and that is why these places are in business.It is only 4 days not all summer and you have an older child who knows enough I would hope to leave the house and go to a neighbor if there was a real problem and the 4 yr old is not an infant. I would check out the agencies and interview or meet the nanny you would use. I might have her stay for 1 night before you leave and hear what your kids think of her. The Nanny businesses don't want to hire someone who is trouble they don't need the bad publicity so do a pretty good job of interviewing.Just stick with an established, insured, bonded whatever place. My neighbor came over from Sweden as a nanny and met her husband and stayed here. Just because it is overnight it really isn't that different than the folks who pick a daycare and then drop an iinfant off for 10 hrs everyday. Your kids can talk and take care of themselves if neede. Do your research and make the best choice you can and then don't let others beat you up over it.
  18. Debbie

    Debbie DIScovering DIS magic-missing my colours

    Jun 28, 2000
    ::yes:: I have been the nanny (heck I think they called me a "babysitter") for a family that was going away for the weekend. It was a way for me to live at the time, and, in those days, it wasn't a lot of $$ either.
    You've already checked out the agencies with the BBB, so if there were problems they would likely have surfaced. Asking for and calling other clients for references would ease your mind as well. Establishing a relationship with a few and then choosing from there is the way that I would go.
    Since hiring a nanny is possible for you, enjoy your trip! Being a couple is important, and it sounds like this trip is important for your DH's career.
  19. formernyer

    formernyer DIS Veteran

    Mar 16, 2006
    I would never leave my kids with a hired stranger. Assuming the events are all held at the hotel, I'd just bring the kids along and allow the 13-year old to babysit. You and your DH could take turns running up to the room every 30-60 minutes to check on the kids. I'd be much more comfortable with that than leaving them with a stranger.
  20. DawnM

    DawnM DIS Veteran

    Oct 4, 2005
    I wouldn't go. Period.

    We have so very rarely had even babysitters. We just have some personal issues with leaving our kids.

    I don't understand how any company could make the WIFE of the employee leave your children if you have noone to leave them with.

    That is just my .02. I wouldn't do it.

  21. Chicago526

    Chicago526 <font color=red>Any dream will do...<br><font colo

    May 6, 2003
    Here's a view from the other side.

    My parents went to Hawaii twice when I was growing up, both times for over two weeks. Both time my grandparents stayed with us for one week, and a hired nanny stayed the other week (two full weeks were too much for my grandparents to be away from their home).

    My brothers and I were fine! Both nannies were older ladies and they cared for us very well. Nothing "weird" happened, nothing dangerous happened. We weren't even upset with our parents for leaving us. They called several times while they were away to check up, and we had the numbers to the hotels they'd be at up on the fridge in case we did need them for some reason.

    As long as you carefully pick the agency you use and interview the nanny well, I see no reason not to hire one.

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