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First time looking for an Au Pair - How long do yours normally stay?

(17 Posts)
Sezramum Wed 27-Jan-16 14:08:14

Thanks in advance for any advice. This is all new to me and I am learning as I go along!

I am currently 28 weeks pregnant and work from home full time. Unfortunately I have to start back at work 6 weeks after the baby is born and I really need some help with the baby so that I can manage feeds myself, but then be able to do some work in between. I have older children who are all at school and this is when I get most of my work done. The rest I do in the evening when my youngest (aged 10) has gone to bed. My Mum is coming in one day per week and I thought an au pair might be good for the other four. I am not asking them to look after the older children.

I am offering the weekends off plus the weekday when my mum is here and I have had quite a few replies already. My only concern is that many of the au pairs seem to be looking for a summer stay of between 1 and 3 months and I was hoping to find someone that would stay for longer.

I wondered what the average stay was? Is it quite normal for a three month stay and do I need to consider this? I did wonder whether as this was our first time, whether a short stay might be better, but I am not sure I want to have to change au pairs on such a regular basis.

Any advice much appreciated!

Karoleann Wed 27-Jan-16 14:41:08

I have a minimum stay of 6 months, but so far they have all extended and stayed between 8 and 12 months. Current au pair will have been here 15 months when she leaves.

1-3 months is pointless IMO, you just about train them up and then they leave!

Just put on your profile that you want someone to stay for 6-12 months.

writingonthewall Wed 27-Jan-16 17:03:08

Do you really want to to leave your six week old baby with a young untrained person? I know you'll be in the house, but even so. You need a nanny. Plus it sounds like too many hours for an au pair.

DragonRojo Wed 27-Jan-16 20:05:53

I don't think it sounds like too many hours. By the time you discount the time you will spend feeding, plus the time the baby will be sleeping, she would probably only be on duty 3 hours per day. As you would always be a few metres away, I cannot see any problem in having an untrained person. However, I do think most aupairs stay longer. Mine always stayed at least 6 months

Artandco Wed 27-Jan-16 20:26:27

Au pairs shouldn't be left with an under 3 year old

WeetabixExpress Wed 27-Jan-16 22:51:16

Artandco many aupairs are highly qualified and experienced. The OP has a young baby. She will not choose a teenaged airhead from the great choice of candidates. She will employ a suitable person to be her aupair and help her with the baby. Recruit well.

OP Specify in your profile that you want your aupair to stay 12 months.

Sezramum Thu 28-Jan-16 00:44:55

Thank you for your positive comments.

I agree Karoleann, they will be leaving just as everyone has got into a good routine!

I changed my profile quite early on to state that we were looking for a minimum of 6 months, but I wondered whether my expectations were unreasonable. Now that I have had a few more enquiries, I am feeling a little more reassured.

I agree Dragonrojo. I have thought hard about the hours and what will be required and tried to balance this with them having three full days off. I intend to provide a good rate of pocket money and will be adding in benefits such as travel passes and local gym membership depending on what their interests are. I am being quite open minded on this though as what works for one may not interest another.

Thank you Weetabix. I have had many enquiries already and have sifted out those who I believe to be too young and who do not have enough experience of working with younger children or babies. I already have three that I am messaging who are experienced au pairs and who are early 20's. It is early days (I only started this week), but I am allowing myself plenty of time to find the right person. smile

citytocountry Thu 28-Jan-16 12:59:24

I look for one school year minimum, 11 months - September to July/August. Otherwise the training is too much, and its too disruptive. I've been lucky (or recruited well?!) and mine have all happily stayed for longer.

I think its perfectly reasonable/desirable to set out your expectations clearly about length of stay from the outset.

Artandco Thu 28-Jan-16 13:09:22

Really? In my experience those who are ' highly trained' will 100% not be working as an au pair but as a qualified nanny

Au pair - 20hrs per week = £85
Live in nanny - 20hrs a week = £250

They aren't going to choose to be an au pair if they have a choice really

Op - I would be looking for a qualified nanny rather than au pair. They can be found live in or live out. Pay approx £12 gross per hour. Far better for baby of that age, and you can get actual work done knowing they know what they are doing.

WeetabixExpress Thu 28-Jan-16 18:22:01

Artandco, yes they will. I came here as an aupair when I was 21, and stayed a year. I had lots of experience and a degree in science. I came to experience the Uk in a safe controlled way with a good home and job built in. The jobmarket in Spain and Italy is dire and many teachers and professionals simply cant get a job. By Aupairing for a year they gain invaluable language skills and a job on their CV. This massively raises their employment options on their return. They are not nannies, they are aupairs. Look through the ads on aupairworld and you will find that there is lots of really good applicants that are more than qualified to spend a few hours a day caring for a baby.

Artandco Thu 28-Jan-16 18:28:44

But nobody's ' really experienced' at 21 are they? How? You just said you had a science degree so presumably that took most of the time for three years. Science degree is nothing to do with children.

I'm pointing out that for a 6 week old baby, op is probably better getting someone who is used to caring for that age professionally. A maternity nanny or baby experienced nanny will very very likely have far more than an au pair. An au pair is likely to have looked after their baby brother for an hour or two, a maternity nanny would be used to up to 24/7 care from newborn for months on end.

WeetabixExpress Thu 28-Jan-16 18:30:47

https://www.aupairworld.com/en/aupair_detail?&a=2876507

For Example Maria, 26 , chiropractor. Has had several aupair positions. Also experienced with babies.

WeetabixExpress Thu 28-Jan-16 18:34:18

Artandco I am not going to out myself by explaining my experiences and qualifications but I already had one nannyjob under my belt and several very young siblings in my care which gave me credible experience to care for a very young baby which I did very well. I still see the family and the baby is now a strapping young man.

Karoleann Fri 29-Jan-16 10:28:06

Art - I would normally agree with you. But the OP is working from home and is therefore on hand. She's possibly bfing as well so will be with the baby a lot of the time anyway .
I think its mainly having another person on hand so the OP can do some work rather than a nanny position.
A lot of 6 weeks olds are very easy (my second and third were) and they didn't do much apart from sleep for the first 3 months.

Karoleann Fri 29-Jan-16 10:33:07

OP Can I also add that 30 hours is about the max that au pairs should be working, otherwise you're getting into 'is this an au pair position' territory and there may be tax implications. But that is still giving you 7.5 hours a day of childcare.

Sezramum Fri 29-Jan-16 11:25:38

I really do appreciate people's different views and thoughts on the situation. I am happy that experience comes in many forms and willing to look at all options and applicants with an open mind.

We have thought long and hard about what we need and what will fit in with our family and I am very excited about hosting an au pair. I am already in contact with a 23 year old who has trained in a nursery with 0-3 year olds and also worked in summer camps with older children.

This is my fourth child and I intend to bf as before, so baby duties will be quite minimal, especially in the early days when everyone is settling in to their new routine. Like Karoleann said, it is just having someone on hand to help me when needed. I sit on my bum all day at my desk on the ground floor, so will not even be hidden away upstairs! smile The maximum hours would be 25 hours per week and I think having all weekend off plus one day in the week sounds reasonable. My other children are independent and will not need to be looked after in the evenings.

My background is in Early years, I have been a childminder, have managed a small nursery and worked in training for the local authority. Although I am ideally looking for someone with a good varied experience with children, I also feel quite confident in finding the right person, especially now that I have had a few positive responses!

writingonthewall Fri 29-Jan-16 13:15:07

I sit on my bum all day at my desk on the ground floor, so will not even be hidden away upstairs!

you might want to reconsider this, especially when your baby is older. It's very tricky for a nanny or au pair to keep discipline etc if mummy is in view, for toddlers it is much better if mummy is tucked away upstairs.

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