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Help me decide if an au pair is right for me

(5 Posts)
Bouncey Wed 30-Mar-16 16:18:40

Lovely mumsnetters I'd really appreciate your views.

DH is keen for us to get an au pair. Context is that he is about to start a job with a lot of travel (weeks at a time, unpredictable and overseas a lot). I return to work 3 days a week in September after a year's maternity leave when the baby will be 1. My other child is 4 and will start school in September.

We would use a nursery for the baby and after school club for the 4 year old, so wouldn't expect AP to be main source of childcare - but I sometimes have to be in London with work meaning I can't always get back for nursery closing time. We have no family close by.

My husband thinks an AP would be an extra pair of hands and could help with pick ups and collections. Is it reasonable to expect the AP to drop the children off at nursery / school, collect them and look after them for about an hour until I can get home? This would be once or twice a week.

I'm reluctant to leave my children (especially the baby) with anyone who isn't a childcare professional, but I may be being over anxious!

Thanks in advance xx

nannynick Wed 30-Mar-16 17:35:32

I feel it will depend on the individual aupair. As you say, you need to be confident that they can cope with a baby who may not be at their best given the time of day (early evening).

What other option would be financially viable? Would a live-in nanny be viable and not use the nursery? A live-in nanny may be £400+ to them plus your employer costs + providing accommodation and food just as you would with an au-pair.

Bouncey Wed 30-Mar-16 17:57:55

Thanks Nannynick. We have been considering a live out nanny but it's probably a bit too expensive. Didn't think we could afford a live in nanny tbh - surely they cost more than £400? The other issue is that we don't have an especially big house so had thought the available living accommodation (big double bedroom but shared bathroom) would be OK for an au pair but probably not for a nanny!

nannynick Wed 30-Mar-16 18:09:56

Cost of live-in nanny varies it may well be more than £400, certainly once you add on all the other costs involved such as employers NI and providing accommodation and food. Perhaps have a chat with a local nanny agency and see what sort of salary they feel a live-in nanny in your area would be wanting, based on the hours of care you would typically need.

Karoleann Thu 31-Mar-16 08:10:20

We've found having an extra adult around really useful now that DH is travelling more, we don't have family nearby and its been invaluable in an emergency. (We've had three this year, 2am hospital run, me stuck on a broken down train and me hideous migraine.) I don't quite know how we'd have managed otherwise.

I also feel safer having someone else nearby when he's away.

I think an au pair might work, provided they have a big settling in period, especially as you only need childcare 3 days a week and you're using a nursery. If you get someone to start mid-August (its very difficult to get someone July or start of August) and then go back mid-September, you'll have a good month to get her up to speed. Look for someone who prefers little ones, au pairs on au pair world can state the ages that they would prefer to care for and there are a lots that state 0-5.

You need to send them on a first aid course when they get here.

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