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Talk to me about Au Pairs and what they actually do

(13 Posts)
MTBMummy Tue 18-Apr-17 14:39:59

For the first time since DD was born over 7 years ago it looks like DP and I both have the opportunity to work in jobs we enjoy and that are financially rewarding (for the past 7 years one of us has been a stay at home parent, while the other worked)

We've been looking at the logistics and a friend suggested an au pair would be the best way to go, rather than a child minder, house keeper and dog walker.

I guess what we'd be looking for is someone to...
- Walk the kids to local schools (30 minutes to do both schools - I do this myself)
- Walk the dog in the morning, about an hours walk in the local woods
- Hoover, empty dish washer, accept shopping delivery from online groceries (very basic house work not wanting them to clean toilets, deal with laundry, except maybe bring it in off the line if it starts raining)
- Walk the dog again
- Collect kids from school
- Feed kids dinner

Would this seem like too much for one person, once the kids have been dropped off and the dog walked, they'll have 4 - 5 hours to themselves.

This is all completely new to me, and I really haven't a clue what is and isn't acceptable.

AnnaNimmity Tue 18-Apr-17 14:45:31

my au pair doesn't do any housekeeping or dog walking. She helps with breakfast in the morming and picks up from school in the afternoon. Keeps the kids until 6 - so about 15-20 hours a week in total (less actually because I usually work from home 1/2 days a week). mine is free 9-3.30 every day. I pay £100 a week for that.

Yours looks like more hours, and not like a typical au pair role in my view, but having said that, provided you're paying the right amount and you make it clear that dog walking etc are part of the role, you could find someone who's willing to do that.

MTBMummy Tue 18-Apr-17 14:51:22

Thanks Anna definitely happy to pay to get the right person and want to make sure we do everything correctly and above board (NI, tax possible Mat leave etc)

AgentOprah Tue 18-Apr-17 17:03:20

All looks fine except for maybe the dog walking. Au pairs generally do 25-30 hours a week of childcare and light housework, for around £85.

WorriedLAC Tue 18-Apr-17 17:20:38

Our au pair did minimal housework, tidying up the kitchen after breakfast and dinner and doing some of the kids laundry, no ironing.

When our cleaning lady left, she asked if she could take on the cleaning job as well as she wanted to earn extra money. So we pay her for 30 hours au pair work and then additional per hour rate for cleaning and ironing. So far it is working out okay.

MTBMummy Tue 18-Apr-17 20:19:18

Thanks all, so does it all come down to a rough you'll be working x agreed hours doing x, y, z and you'll be paid £xx for that.

I'm curious as to why dog walking might be an exception to his/her duties? My main thoughts are that the dog is very much apart of the house, and if they're going to "bond" dog walking is a perfect way to interact, he's an exceptionally well behaved dog and aside from crossing the road, hes' off lead so it's really more like a forced country side walk, be apprecaite that may not be everyones cup of tea.

roverrange Tue 18-Apr-17 21:00:28

We have dogs and found it really sorted the wheat from the chaff with our applicants!

We have a great aupair, but honestly, set your expectations low wrt to being good with children and dogs.

We just found that it was better to manage the dogs ourselves and have her there as company for them.

We underestimated what a skill dog walking (and etiquette) is in the uk.

SouthPole Sat 22-Apr-17 18:46:42

NI, tax and mat leave/sick pay stuff is all nanny area. Not AP, they are not employees.

Lunde Mon 24-Apr-17 16:08:16

Is the OP going to be attending English classes as many do? If so when would she be free to do this?

Are you expecting the dog to be walked for 2 hours per day, plus before and after school care, plus making dinner, plus cleaning and laundry? Because it sounds as though it might take more than the 5 hours per day that an au pair typically works.

GinAndOnIt Mon 24-Apr-17 16:17:41

What will happen in school holidays?

I think you may need a nanny/housekeeper rather than an au pair. I have been a nanny/housekeeper previously, and done all the things you list (plus children all day during holidays), and I really think it's too much for an au pair.

Trifleorbust Tue 25-Apr-17 05:30:23

All turns on how many hours after school care you need for me. If it's 3-4, this is too much and she needs to be free in the day.

ThisIsNotARealAvo Tue 25-Apr-17 06:09:07

I had a job like this when I was a student, it fitted in with my hours. I dropped the kids at school, went to uni, then went to theirs and waited for them to come home (they were a bit older so came home on the bus) and then emptied the dishwasher, tidied up a bit, made them a snack and started dinner. The parents got home about 6 and I could go. Sometimes they asked me to hoover, take the dog for a quick walk, or do some ironing, which I probably couldn't have managed if the kids were older. It worked quite well so maybe you could find someone like this?

MTBMummy Wed 03-May-17 09:48:26

Thanks for the replies, to be honest the whole area of child care is completely new to me, as we've always had one parent at home.

I'll have a look into nannies/ house keepers then, it was just because a few friends suggested an AP.

At the moment DS the youngest, only attends nursery for half a day, but we'd move that to a full day, so the AP would have 3-4 hours to themselves (based on what I do on the days DS is in for the morning)

I really appreciate all the comments because I'm really new to this and there's so much I don't understand and want to get it right, for both them (the AP/nanny) and our family.

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