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How do you solve a problem like Maria

September 18, 2010

I’ve booked it in – I’m going back to work (part time) on the 4th October.  So the past couple of weeks we’ve been looking for a nanny who will be looking after Lady G and one of the other babies from mums’ group, Miss N.

I guess I had a preconceived notion of who this person would kind of be.  She would have been an older responsible woman with kids of her own.  Instead we’ve hired a 21 year old artist with messy braids and a bicycle.  To mix my Julie Andrews metaphors, she has a cheery disposition rosy cheeks, no warts! Plays games, all sorts. And both Miss N’s mum and I felt immediately that she would be a good fit, and would enhance the kids’ lives, rather than simply child mind them while we’re at work.

That’s I guess to be seen, but it makes me feel much more positive about returning to work, feeling that she will be having fun and being cared for while I’m not there – and I’m only working 2 days in the office this year, and another from home so it’s not a hugely long time.

I went into work yesterday to start handover with JD who’s been manning my desk (she’s leaving to have baby #2 very shortly) and I got quite excited about some of the things coming up, so that’s good too.

While we went through an agency to find Mary Poppins, we’ve decided to hire her as an employee ourselves based on cost.  The agency wanted us to pay them $5/hour each for admin – that’s $5,200 a year for each family, in addition to the cost of the actual nanny.

So instead we pay a finder’s fee of $2750 each (still a whole lot, which covers the hire process and advertising, police and reference checks, plus replacement care if Mary’s sick, and processing of our Child Care Rebate with the Family Assistance Office (we get 50% of the cost of childcare back, up to around $7,500 a year).  In return, we’ll need to do a whole lot of tax, super and WorkCover payments and paperwork – but it’s worth it to save $7-8,000 each over 2 years.

So provided we’ve picked the right nanny and she sticks around for a year or more, we should be saving some serious cash – if not, I guess back to the drawing board.  It helps that my income is relatively high and we’re splitting the cost of a nanny, but I can see now how people do the sums and work out that returning to work is not financially viable though.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 18, 2010 7:43 pm

    Now that’s *exactly* what I picture when I hear about a nanny. I must be too used to the Kelburn lot.
    The Tall Guy is quite keen for us to get a Swedish au pair, I have said yes as long as his name is Sven….

  2. Esperanza permalink
    September 22, 2010 5:37 pm

    Your nanny sounds really wonderful. I hope she works out. It’s nice to read about someone who is excited to go back to work. I return to my full time teaching job (I could not find a job share despite much effort) after Thanksgiving and am DREADING it. I cry about it every night and it’s still months away. Of course, I’ll be away from home a lot more. Can I ask you what you do? How old is your daughter?

    Good luck going back to work, I’m sure it will be difficult even if you are mostly looking forward to it.

    I look forward to following your blog!

    Esperanza (ICLW #95) @ esperanzasays.wordpress.com

    • The Barreness permalink*
      September 22, 2010 7:33 pm

      Yeah, I hope she works out too! Lady G is 10 1/2 months old, and it’s really been in the past 2 months or so that I’ve started to look forward to work again – before that it really wasn’t something that appeals, so if you have some time to go before you have to work again, you may well feel better as it approaches. A few mums in my mums’ group have already gone back (including a teacher), and they’re loving it. Although, we’ve all been able to negotiate part time work, which from what I understand is often a factor in returning to work feeling manageable. I hope things are better for you than you’re expecting!

      I work in marketing communications by the way – mananging a small team doing advertising and copywriting etc for a huge corporate beast. Which means lots of project work and working fairly autonomously, which helps with the part time thing. I hope!

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