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Au pair, own room or sharing with child?

(40 Posts)
Farala Thu 03-Oct-13 00:10:06

We live in a tiny flat in central London, with only two rooms (one bedroom and one living room which we use as second bedroom). For now it's just me and DD, but we want to bring an au pair and don't know what would work best, if to give her my room or to put her in DD's bedroom (in another single bed). Whatever the case, one of us would have to sleep with DD. Thoughts?

PosyNarker Thu 03-Oct-13 00:17:25

How big are the rooms & how old is the little now?

You can't expect an adult with limited childcare responsibilities to share with a young child with multiple waking, bed wetting, whatever. If she's 10 that's maybe okay, but how do you work DD's bedtime with letting the AP be an adult. On a night off she might stay out beyond 1am and unless you've explicitly stated that's not okay, she won't know.

JeanPaget Thu 03-Oct-13 00:22:16

I don't think many AP's would agree to sharing a room with a child to be honest.

With the limited hours AP's work, they have quite a bit of free time and mine have always enjoyed having their own space to chill, Skype and watch TV etc.

Farala Thu 03-Oct-13 00:23:11

True! DD is 5, almost 6. She still wakes up sometimes and gets in my bed. hmm

When I thought of putting them together, I was thinking it'd be easier for the AP in terms of dressing her up in the mornings, putting her to bed etc. But yes I think the girl would like some privacy / rest from us too!

Ah, I wish we lived in a bigger flat! Has anyone had the same problem?

MacaYoniandCheese Thu 03-Oct-13 00:24:19

Oh gosh. I don't think you can expect a grown (or semi-grown) person to share a room with a child. That's not reasonable confused.

Farala Thu 03-Oct-13 00:24:58

Thanks for the tip, I think putting a tv in her room a great idea!

I really want her to be OK and this to work for everyone! I'll be starting a new full time job soon and am trying to arrange everyhing...

Farala Thu 03-Oct-13 00:28:09

MacaYoni the girl is 17 and used to sharing with other 2 sisters.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 03-Oct-13 00:44:14

Has she been to your flat?

I honestly can't see it being possible to have an Au Pair in such a tiny flat sad

bsc Thu 03-Oct-13 00:47:34

I thought they were supposed to have their own room!
You'll have to share with DD, or get a live-out nanny. It sounds like you'll need more childcare than an AP is supposed to do.

duchesse Thu 03-Oct-13 00:48:15

I think you're going to have to give the AP the bedroom and you and DD use the living room bedroom. AP need their own living space ime. Maybe the size of the flat will be compensated by the location but it sounds a bit of a tight squeeze to me.

Farala Thu 03-Oct-13 01:18:32

No, she hasn't seen the flat, but I sent her pictures and explained her the distribution. She is very excited about coming to London.

Re the hours, I had thought 2 hours in the mornings, 3 in the evenings, 5 days per week, plus two nights for babysitting... that's less than 35 hours per week I think, what is the usual? I feel a bit clueless, it's my first time hiring an aunpair, any advice would be of great help.

How much do live-out au pairs charge? What are their pros and cons?

Farala Thu 03-Oct-13 01:19:25

sorry about the bad typing, Im using my phone

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 03-Oct-13 01:48:55

There's no such thing as a "live out au pair", the whole point of the relationship is that the au pair is part of your family, like a big brother/sister, who contributes various domestic tasks (childcare of a six yo for those hours would be fine) in return for a roof over the head and a bit of dosh, usually around £80 a week. And English lessons would be good, the reason they au pair is to improve their language skills.

whatnameshallibetoday Thu 03-Oct-13 02:16:32

actually I know a liv eout au pair, she came here to be with her boyfriend and the arrangement suits everyone, I doubt she is officially living with him though

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 03-Oct-13 03:00:26

So perhaps on a tourist visa, rather than a working one? So not really an au pair.

I totally understand the need for affordable chiildcare. I also totally understand the disquiet around "private" arrangements. But I don't think it's a good idea to get childcare on the cheap.

Cindy34 Thu 03-Oct-13 06:32:14

Even if this aupair is happy to share with your child, the next aupair may not be.

A live out unqualified nanny in London, 35 hours per week could easily be £250 a week.

LittleRobots Thu 03-Oct-13 06:39:56

I can't quite see how you could fit 4 of you go two rooms. During the day, when she plays with your child she'd effectively be in your room? If she stays up watching tv in the sitting soon you can't go to bed? You won't have any private space at all away from her will you? Part of it is that they're to share the family experience.

We have a small house and have ruled an au pair out. It does seem as ever if you have money you can save money!

Jaynebxl Thu 03-Oct-13 06:56:46

Not sure it is 4 people Robots. Think it is the Op, her dd and the au pair.

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Thu 03-Oct-13 07:20:05

She should have your room and you should share with DD.

BlackberrySeason Thu 03-Oct-13 07:41:09

Put her in the spare room and you share with dd - an ap needs her own room. Our ap works 35 hours for £90 per week.

There are far more ap applicants than ap host families at the moment so you stand a very good chance of getting someone.

London is a great draw.

HSMMaCM Thu 03-Oct-13 08:11:51

What hours will she be working in the school holidays?

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 03-Oct-13 10:00:24

Ap HAS to have her own room

You share with dd

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 03-Oct-13 10:13:02

whatname she's either not living with the boyfriend (staying there, but not officially living there) or she's not an au pair. If you live-out you are not an au pair. Babysitter, mother's help, cleaner, PA maybe, not an au pair. If they're paying her 'pocket money' and not providing room and board they're breaking the law. If she lives out they're required to pay the minimum wage.

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 03-Oct-13 10:15:23

Au Pair absolutely needs her own room.

Could you not use breakfast/after school club? or a childminder? It doesn't sound like great living conditions for any of you.

whatnameshallibetoday Thu 03-Oct-13 10:42:47

she is here as an au pair, I think its an unofficial arrangement, they dont need her in night and she doesnt want to be there, so it works for both of them

Artandco Thu 03-Oct-13 11:00:24

What name - a nanny doesn't live in or want to live in but still gets around £13 gross per hour in London

Op- are you saying that you have no other rooms once you and dd are in one and au pair in another? Ie no living room etc. Where is the au pair supposed to entertain child after school? I think you should look into before and after school care tbh as doesn't sound like you have space.

whatnameshallibetoday Thu 03-Oct-13 11:05:33

but a nanny is qualified anyway its nothing to do with me was just saying is all

Artandco Thu 03-Oct-13 11:08:02

A nanny can be inexperienced and unqualified if someone will hire them

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 03-Oct-13 11:51:08

whatname are you saying she is here on an au pair visa, but isn't keeping to the terms of her visa?

Where is she from? Chances are she's European and not here 'as an au pair' at all.

There is no requirement for nannies to be qualified, although the majority are.

A nanny isn't always qualified, many aren't, I'm not. The 'au pair' you know isn't an au pair. The point of one is that they live in. As somebody else said, her employers are breaking the law if they are not paying her NMW as by living in it makes them exempt, not living out.

Farala Thu 03-Oct-13 12:51:04

Yup at the moment is only me and DD. With the AP there'd b 3 of us.

Agree the situation is far from ideal, but my flat is already really expensive, can't afford to move anywhere bigger for now. Also, I'm just going to start working again so I'm no exactly £££ hmm

After school club is crap. DD begged me not to send her there.

I am not familiar with childminders, dont know where to look for one, plus they seem really expensive (£10/hour?)

PetiteRaleuse Thu 03-Oct-13 12:57:03

I don't think AP arrangement is what you need but if you do go ahead with it then she should absolutely have her own room. In France they need to have their own bathroom too. They are absolutely entitled to to their privacy.

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 03-Oct-13 12:59:04

Is there anyway you can move further out to get a bigger place? I don't think 3 of you living in 2 rooms is really ideal long term.

Childminder rates vary, but I guess could be £8-10ph in central London. I'm in West London and they're about £5-7ph I think.

Artandco Thu 03-Oct-13 13:05:29

Farala- childminders aren't usually as much as £10 per hr even in central London. I live in zone 1 and most are £6.50-£8.50 an hour, but usually have a reduce rate for say before or after school. Ie 3-6 would be £25.50 at £8.50 an hour, but they will charge £20 for that after school duration. If only £6.50 then maybe £15 for 3-6pm.
They are usually very good value IMO and many will cook dinner for children and help with homework saving you time in the evenings.
£25 per day x5 would be £125. Probably cheaper than au pair by the time you pay say £90 p week, £20 for bus oyster to ferry child around, £20 for extra food/ electricity etc etc

blueshoes Thu 03-Oct-13 13:07:36

Just get someone from the EU (save for Bulgaria/Romania - until the end of the year - and Croatia) and you don't have to worry about visas. There are so many European girls wanting to work in London you will be spoilt for choice.

Nobody I know hires an aupair using an aupair visa. That is a thing of the past now that demand from aupairs outstrips supply of host families, particularly in London, and employers have their pick of EU candidates with no such restrictions.

Whether you call her live-out aupair or unskilled nanny or mother's help is just semantics. You are free to agree whatever arrangement with her within the framework of employment laws. If she is live-out, the minimum wage applies but market forces dictate you will be likely to pay more for her to live-out than a live-in anyway because she bears the cost of food and board, even if she were an unskilled childcarer.

hettienne Thu 03-Oct-13 13:09:14

Doesn't sound like you have room for an au pair to be honest.

If you do get one though, she needs her own room and you will have to share with your DD.

FreckledLeopard Thu 03-Oct-13 13:11:31

We had the same situation when we lived in London. Only had two bedrooms. I moved into DD's room with her and the au pair had my room (with ensuite).

I think the general rule is that an au pair must have their own room.

Unexpected Thu 03-Oct-13 16:36:42

This doesn't sound feasible at all unfortunately. What time will your dd go to bed? What will you do after that if you are in the living room which is now her/your bedroom? How can you watch tv, talk on the phone, do the ironing? And what will the aupair do? Will she be able to access her bedroom without going through your living room or go to the kitchen to make a coffee?

While the aupair may say she is happy with the arrangment now, it is easy for her to gloss over the practicalities in the exctement of living in central London. The reality when she is here may be far different.

YouHaveAGoodPoint Thu 03-Oct-13 18:32:48

I agree that it doesn't sound feasible. I don't see how bedtimes would work.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 03-Oct-13 18:41:23

Why doesn't dd want to go to after school club

Give her the option of a bedroom to herself and after school club or

Share a bedroom/living room with you and has someone at home ie ap

Or look at childminders - that seems best of both worlds

Own space at home and not after schook club

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