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Worried about an au pair

(8 Posts)
remem Wed 19-Oct-16 14:56:42

Today I was at a playgroup and a woman came in with a 2 year old boy. We got chatting and she told me she is his au pair and she is from Spain. The parents are both military but only 1 lives in the house as the other lives somewhere else at their posting. The au pair looks after the 2 year old boy from 7am till 9pm every day (apart from weekends but does still help) and has sole charge of the boy when the parent is away (up to 3-4 weeks at a time).

Now to me, this is a live in a nanny, not an au pair as I thought au pairs were limited in the hours they work and children.

The little boy hits her, bites her, is very aggressive to other children. She seems totally exhausted and run down. The little boy repeatedly called her mummy.

There's not much I can do, but wondered if this is standard for au pairs?? This is the first time I've met her but will probably see her again and will make sure I take the time to talk to her. It just worries me that she's unlikely to be being paid appropriately and I don't think she's getting regular time off!

oleoleoleole Thu 20-Oct-16 22:27:13

She's definitely doing a nanny job as she's proxy parent in their absence. She's being exploited if she's not being paid as a nanny!

BuggertheTabloids Thu 20-Oct-16 22:33:06

That is most definitely not an au pair job. I have employed both nannies and au pairs and there is a big difference!

grandmainmypocket Thu 20-Oct-16 23:22:52

My au pair's friend was looking for a post and the number of inappropriate jobs out there was shocking. One family told her in the interview they wanted to fly to Germany within 2 weeks and leave her with an under 2 for a few days.

Wizotto Sat 22-Oct-16 08:14:01

Did she agree to this working pattern at the beginning or was it forced upon her when she arrived as I can't imagine she agreed to this. If I were her, I would leave as soon as possible.

JoJoSM2 Sat 22-Oct-16 09:51:04

It's neither an au pair or a nanny job. Slavery, maybe? 14h/day + what do you mean by sole charge? Do you actually mean proxy parenting for 3-4 weeks because both parents are gone and she has 24/7 responsibility for the child? It seems that it's sole charge on a daily basis as there was no parent present when you spoke to her. Sounds horrendous and the boy sounds a right little mess. I'd be tempted to speak to social services about it. If the boy's parents were half normal then one of them would have quit the military and got a local job to bring their child up.

remem Sat 22-Oct-16 15:15:24

Yes I mean she is alone with the child for 3-4 weeks at a time when the mum goes away (dad is rarely there) and she has him all day from 7am till 5pm (but is required to help the mum till 9pm). Slavery is the word I would use too.

Next time I see her I will make sure I talk to her more and see if she can open up to me. She seems very caring and good with the child but he is hard work and she looks exhausted.

I'm glad to see that I was right in thinking this isn't a usual au pair set up!

LoisEighty Sat 22-Oct-16 18:04:40

If she's Spanish then she won't need a visa to be here - if she is unhappy she needs to look for a new job.

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