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Advice please - au pair in her room instead of with children

(12 Posts)

I agree with all the advice posted above.

I would add that last summer I was off work for 2 months after an operation, and this was difficult for the AP as someone has posted above...was she in charge, or not? It was a change from me being out of the house for 11 hours a day, and wasn't easy for either of us. A talk to clarify her responsibilities is definitely called for.

JustFabulous Wed 16-Jan-13 11:07:57

How can she justify "forgetting" to do her job?

I used to be an aup pair abroad and wasn't told some of the duties I was expected to do until I had been there for 5 weeks hmm but common sense should be enough that if there are children in the house and you are the only adult there then they are your responsibility.

andagain Wed 16-Jan-13 10:54:52

Hi,
Have you got a contract? If not, time to get one and put this in it.
We have it in our contract that when our au pair is with our daughter she is not to be on the internet or phone for personal reasons (unless it is babysitting and our daughter is asleep).
You say she is nice so you probably have a good relationship in which case sit her down and just say that when she is in charge of your children she needs to physically be with them (not shut in her own room) and not be online/doing personal things, but concentrate on your children. You need to be clear I think that this is not negotiable and her working hours are exactly that.
Good luck.

middleeasternpromise Tue 15-Jan-13 23:04:32

October - January? You will need to be more than tactful in explaining this is not what you understood her to be doing. You need to have a formal meet and say - when the girls are in the house with just au pair, they are 'her' responsibility and she shouldnt be off locked in another room. It may be that given you have been 'around' alot she hasnt got into her stride of being responsible so it can be confusing for people if you have hired them but are then around. I recruited an aupair last year who had been in this kind of set up and she told me she found it very hard to know what was expected of her (she was one of the best au pairs I have ever had).

My current aupair knows the minute I leave the house the children are her responsibility - she also clears kitchen; does laundry and hoovers communal areas. I do a deep clean at the weekends. However when the children are at school its up to her how she manages her time, she has a few friends locally she has met through school who are aupairs and therefore she knows what deals they have - apparently mine is on par except I do something if the children are in any way disrespectful or start arguing with each other when shes looking after them. Skyping can happen as soon as Im back in the house at 6-6.30 or all weekend - sometimes she does bring her laptop down to do some social networking with her friends but thats either in the kitchen or lounge so she can keep an eye on the children - I do take over as soon as Im home. You will need to spell this out rather than try subtle hints as you arent looking for a slide back the other way - you are looking for a radical shift starting tomorrow. If you are adopting a different work pattern perhaps that can be the new foundations but either way it needs sorting so the children are adequately supervised. Good luck

PlaySchool Tue 15-Jan-13 20:33:27

This is definitely not acceptable. I had a problem au pair so I wrote her a list of her responsibilities per day. This helped her but she never really "got it" and I eventually asked her to leave. Good luck!

coorong Tue 15-Jan-13 20:07:33

Thanks for the feedback, she's very nice but I think I've let things slide so will get back on top of them.

Viviennemary Tue 15-Jan-13 19:52:38

She is being irresponsible. The fact that she thinks this is acceptable would worry me. She isn't doing that many hours a day. I think I'd be looking to end this contract and find somebody more suitable.

ihearsounds Tue 15-Jan-13 19:49:26

Ok never had an au pair, but wouldn't you treat this as any professional scenario. Sit down and talk with her. Tell her your expectations - to be with the children. Leaving them unattended is not an option, and unless things change you will have to option but to terminate your contract. Forgetting is not, imo, a valid excuse because she is there at those times to look after the children, ie supervise and take them where ever they need to be.

Mintyy Tue 15-Jan-13 19:45:41

Obviously, when she is working she stays with your girls.

coorong Tue 15-Jan-13 19:42:02

Yes we've set hours from 730 to 9am and from 315 to 630pm, except for An Friday.

Mintyy Tue 15-Jan-13 19:40:33

Do you have set hours for when she is working and when she is not?

If you don't then this is what you need.

coorong Tue 15-Jan-13 19:38:09

We have an au pair since October - but until now I've been working sporadically so at home some mornings and after school, but next week that will change. While I'm not working, I've taken advantage of the au pair here and going running and working at home. So while I'm home the au pair disappears into her room to Skype etc. I tout this was because she was uncomfortable with me in the house, but I've returned home for work to discover her in her room with th door shut and her on the Internet or phone, the girls (aged 5 and 7) downstairs alone. We had an au pair last year who as far I'm aware didn't do this. She also leaves them for quite a bit of time. In the morning befor school (we live 5 mins walk). I've asked her several times not to leave the girls unsupervised, but she keeps "forgetting" what can I do tactfully. We pay her £70 per week and she doesn't clean or cook or do their laundry.
How can I turn this around?

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