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Perfect Au Pairs

(22 Posts)
OvertiredandConfused Wed 21-May-14 09:42:50

Anyone used them? Success or horror stories to share?

nannynoss Wed 21-May-14 09:45:11

Are you still struggling to find an au pair Overtired? sad

OvertiredandConfused Wed 21-May-14 10:02:06

How did you guess nannynoss!

I really don't think I'm being over-fussy.

What we need:
- 22+ (for insurance purposes)
- driver
- reasonable English
- max 5 hours per day, some of which isn't arduous as DC are 10 and 12 so hardly needing constant entertaining / supervision, although it is still working time
- some housework and laundry is included (I've asked several previous au pairs if there is too much and they say not and I do believe them)

What I offer:
- all the basics (own room, wifi, food of their choice etc)
- £80 per week
- driving lessons
- use of car during most of time off
- bicycle
- trips / meals out with the family
- happy for them to get a second job during school hours or at weekends

We live a one hour train journey from central London (where DH and I both work). Not a rural location particularly although most activities are a short (no more than 10-15 minute) car drive. Local towns and city have language school, cinema, bowling, ice-rink, usual shops, bars and restaurants.

Any ideas?

QuintessentiallyQS Wed 21-May-14 11:09:33

You need a driver, but offer driving lessons?

I paid £80 per week 6/7 years ago, but that was London.
Au pair also had an Oyster card for travel, and a mobile phone.
Language course/other course (as some did not need English lessons)

OvertiredandConfused Wed 21-May-14 11:24:02

Driving lessons to help them get confident driving on the left.

There aren't so many au pairs in my village but I know I pay more than the others - previous girls have always enjoyed being paid more than their au pair friends. And I cover fuel for local private journeys - although if they take the car for a weekend trip to Brighton I expect them to show willing and put in some fuel!

I'm also very accommodating about them taking time off for a long weekend if they want to travel.

nannynoss Wed 21-May-14 13:11:07

It does seem strange. The au pair who took over my job when the children were in school full time had pretty much the same as you, similar distance from London and pays £70p/w. The only differences being the children are younger and the au pair has an annex of the side of the house rather than a room (which they are obviously very very lucky to have!)
So it can't be money related.
My first thought was that maybe some girls might find it daunting looking after a 12 year old, but you've said they are all over 22 so that can't be it either. (Just thinking of myself when I was 18ish!)
Are you limiting yourself to a specific nationality?

OvertiredandConfused Wed 21-May-14 15:23:00

Nationalities I currently invite are

Spanish
French
Italian
Swedish
German
Australia
New Zealand
Dutch

nannynoss Wed 21-May-14 15:28:56

Clearly not limiting yourself there either then. I'm stumped!
You could always ask your last amazing au pair if she has any friends. wink

fluffymouse Wed 21-May-14 16:05:47

Maybe you need to pay more to make up for being out of London? The majority of au pairs want to live in London in my experience.

Have you tried advertising on au pair world? There are lots of Spanish au pairs.

OvertiredandConfused Wed 21-May-14 16:19:43

I usually use au pair world fluffy and this is the first time in five years I've had a problem. I pay more than other local families and the rate has never been included in the initial ad so I doubt it puts off any applications. I'd be willing to negotiate a little with the right candidate anyway.

fluffymouse Wed 21-May-14 17:11:28

I'm surprised you haven't had enough applicants from au pair world. We had in the region of 200 in a couple of days when I put up an ad, and my criteria were very specific. Maybe try advertising again and putting all the details including pay negotiable and terms.

QuintessentiallyQS Thu 22-May-14 10:23:28

I have had two great Polish au pairs. One from Au Pair world, one through acquaintances.

SiLovell Sun 01-Jun-14 14:55:48

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

mumtoothree Sun 01-Jun-14 20:27:03

Are you looking for an aupair to start asap? as i have always found it hard to recruit around this time as most haven't finished uni yet. Most of aupairs have been Austrian have been fab. We had one Spanish one - and never again!

schlafenfreude Sun 01-Jun-14 23:48:05

We're struggling for a September start. Distinct lack of response to messages...

Fillybuster Mon 02-Jun-14 14:54:11

Perhaps you're looking too early? We've used that site a few times, and normally get our best responses 8-9 weeks before the start date. I'd have thought that most of the people you want to target would be knee deep in school-leaver or university exams right now, so may not have started thinking about next year quite yet.

Good luck smile

schlafenfreude Tue 03-Jun-14 09:12:16

I ideally would like someone mid-August so we can get settled before school/work starts again but I've sent about 50 messages to people who are about to graduate from university who say they are available from late June/July and nothing....

meadowquark Tue 03-Jun-14 15:11:50

I am joining the bunch as I am looking for a male au pair for my DS. Just advertised for a regular au pair job in non-central London. I would love a German boy and have sent a couple of messages, but let's see what I get....

dreamssynth Fri 06-Jun-14 12:52:03

Hello there,
I am looking for an au-pair position and saw this website by chance.I was searching for a au-pair one with au-pairs talking the good and bad from their point of view.I have had 4 experiences with 3 of them a nightmare and one really perfect.I stayed 2 years with the perfect one.I am looking for a "job" in London or near mainly because I already lived in London for 2 years and most of my friends are still there.Because of a bad experience I am looking really carefully plus I want this one to be my last time and want it to be very fun, special and to have a good memories.

Cindy34 Fri 06-Jun-14 14:39:40

As you have been an au-pair for several years, why still looking at au-pair positions? Why not look at live-in nanny jobs? Use the experience from your au-pair work, or do you not feel you are ready to care for children without parents around?

dreamssynth Fri 06-Jun-14 19:32:37

I am composer and have music work as well plus an Art projects, nanny's work never interested me, wanted to have a childcare experience because I can't have biological children and am not sure at this stage of my life if I am ready to adopt!I never said I wasn't alone with the kids- I was in sole charge 3 sometimes 4 days and nights in a roll alone with them in the house.

meadowquark Sat 07-Jun-14 18:20:32

dreamssynth if you are not afraid of 2 boys, one of them potentially ADHD, we are looking for an au pair at the moment...

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