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Hire a Grandma

(17 Posts)
MrsRiceNZ Thu 26-Dec-13 09:15:11

Hello there,

I am a Working Mum with two small children, we currently have to engage the services of an Au Pair to help with before and after pre school care. As nice as it is our perfect solution would be for an experienced "granny" to be there for those couple of hours in the morning and again in the afternoon to help with the pick up and giving the children dinner before we get home from work. However upon looking into this option it appears it isn't an option as no organisation other than one based in the USA actually offers this service.

So, my question to the Grandma's out there do you think this would be a viable business opportunity?, do you think there would be Mature Ladies, experienced in childcare, cooking and generally worldly wise that would be interested in picking up paid work during the week, or am I being unrealistic and going off on a crazy tangent?. I would really value the input/advice of some Grandma's out there if you don't mind spending a few minutes to let me know your thoughts. (We are based in New Zealand and our Parents in the UK, hence our first choice Grandma's aren't around to pitch in as they & we would love them to grin( - thank you)

Brendawymms Thu 26-Dec-13 10:28:45

Think its a good idea but there would need to be considerable safeguards for all parties. Child protection issues for a start. The health of the "Gran" and sufficient wages. The Gran would need to be safeguarded from exploitation and should not be expected to undertake other duties such as housework.
The insurance on the car used to transport the smalls around May be an issue.
I think a professional agency running the scheme would safeguard all.

Grandmanorm Thu 26-Dec-13 10:31:20

That is a wonderful project for some enterprising you person so start.
There would be a huge amount to do but most probably worthwhile.

Lona Thu 26-Dec-13 10:49:17

One of my friends did this for a year or so, not in the morning, but she picked up youngest, went 'home' then out again for two others, 'home'again.
She helped with homework, made their tea, and did mountains of ironing!
She was 69/71 and although she was well paid and appreciated, she gave up because it was too tiring and she wasn't able to have a life of her own really.

Agus Thu 26-Dec-13 10:58:44

I would think the only difference regarding Au Pair V Granny would be energy.

I was an au pair in France when I was 17 and never felt tired out. I do the childcare you mention 2 days a week for my two GDs, aged 4 and 8 and now aged 63 healthy and energetic, I can sometimes feel it tiring. I know I would find it too tiring to do this 5 days a week.

It's a lovely idea but I think this could be something to consider.

harrigran Thu 26-Dec-13 11:50:22

I think you would be better sticking with Au Pair. It may sound homely having a Grandmother figure looking after children but in reality it can be exhausting and a lot of Grans do it because it is family and it is difficult to find an alternative.

glammanana Thu 26-Dec-13 14:47:19

Doing something like this has gone through my mind many times over the last few years and it is something I would be willing to do and would enjoy as Brendawymms mentioned the safeguarding issues would have to be checked and a clear list of expectations agreed.I think many nana's would cope very well and we must remember we are much more active than we where years ago and more healthy in ourselves,there should also be an ongoing backup system for care just in case "nana" is unwell at anytime but this would be the same case as with an Au Pair.

granjura Thu 26-Dec-13 14:59:25

The Granny Au Pair option is very much alive in the UK already. Great idea I think.

glassortwo Thu 26-Dec-13 17:25:17

Well I do it day in and day out and if I hadnt been doing it for family personally I would run a mile.
You would need to pay a small fortune for me to take it up as an occupation, I am worn out 7 days a week and I do it for love not money.

tanith Thu 26-Dec-13 17:40:58

I too think this is something done for love not money.

ninathenana Thu 26-Dec-13 17:48:38

I thought the same as glass and tanith as I read the OP

Charleygirl Thu 26-Dec-13 18:23:57

I would do it but not on a regular basis because I also would be exhausted and I would like to think that I have a life. The occasional "help out" would be fine for me.

granjura Thu 26-Dec-13 18:39:11

One site here in Switzerland is for younger grans and grapnpas who will lend a hand from time to time, babysitting, house sitting, pet sitting- but definitely not full-time. The other site is for, again, younger grand-parents or retirees who would like to experience something new- be it a new region, town or even country- but have limited means- so exchanging free lodgings and food, + total immersion in the language in an area where it would be absolutely impossible to live otherwise- seems like a great idea to me.

I for one often exchange services- in a different way- with other people (normally French, English or German lessons) against help with gardening or decorating. Great.

MrsRiceNZ Thu 26-Dec-13 19:45:45

Thank you so much to all the Grandma's that took the time to respond to my question. The main theme that came out of this was the time and the energy that Grandma's would need to commit and I totally agree that if done if would need to be set up properly to safeguard everyone involved just like an Au Pair agency. I think if I was a part time working Mum it could work perfectly as I could be there for the majority of the time and Grandma could help out for those other days.

Thank you again, I really do appreciate your time and input.

Ariadne Fri 27-Dec-13 07:07:59

Yes, Granjura there is a Granny au pair thing doing well here - there was an article in T2 in "The Times" a while ago. They even us granny's from abroad, like the young au pairs. It's a great idea.

granjura Fri 27-Dec-13 10:39:01

DD1 is seriously thinking of having a Granny AuPair, now the children are at school (they both work full-time and commute into London)- rather than have a young girl that needs to be entertained and shown how to do anything around the house. A great idea- as you say, these Grannies are not local, but come from abroad in order to experience a new culture, country and learn English- whilst being hosted for free + pocket money (they normally have a pension from 'back home').

The REntaRentner (rent a pensioner) scheme in Switzerland is quite different- and pensioners offer part time and occasional services in babysitting, dogsitting, gardening, decorating- whatever they are good at. AGain, a great idea.

nuttynana Fri 27-Dec-13 11:27:24

Well a couple of years ago I wondered if this was something I could do , perhaps just for the summer. As a teacher I had a 7 week break each summer and would have loved a way to keep occupied and perhaps travel. I would have paid my own travel expenses , I wanted to "get immersed" in French . I had looked after my own grandchildren during school holidays, when they (and I ) were younger and I love children. My fantasy job would have been with a charming family(of whatever nationality) spending the summer at their villa in the South of France , they would have been delighted to have someone reliable, responsible and mature, content to stay at home and babysit during the evenings , who would tidy up, or do a bit of housework unasked just because she doesn't like to be idle and would speak perfect English to the children. Those children would have been perfectly behaved of course, if not at first then within a day or two of my arrival!
Seriously , I thought lots of parents would find this a great solution to the problem of chilcare in the school holidays and I could perfect my French and occupy my time in an interesting way. Money was not the isssue. It didn't happen , I couldn't find any agency etc and did not pursue it.
Now just a few years and a few more aches and pains later I wonder what I could have been thinking of! Could I have kept quiet when I disapproved of something ? Could I have actually done things I did not agree with? Yes , age has big advantages but what you do for love in your own family will not be so easy elsewhere!