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'Continuous sole care'

(20 Posts)
welshweasel Mon 12-Jun-17 13:59:02

Can anyone explain what is meant by 'continuous sole care' in regards to au pairs looking after under 2s? We'd need someone to take our 18 month old to nursery in the morning (DH leaves for work at 7am and nursery opens at 7.30) and very occasionally do pick up if DH running Kate but would literally be a few minutes. Is that something that would be up for negotiation or is it a definite no?

OVienna Mon 12-Jun-17 21:38:21

That is absolutely fine.

RelaxMax Mon 12-Jun-17 21:42:58

I think generally au pairs aren't left in sole charge of under-2s, even if it's just half an hour.

Reow Mon 12-Jun-17 21:57:14

I didn't notice the topic category and thought this was about pet fish.

welshweasel Mon 12-Jun-17 22:07:50

See, some people say no and others say it's fine if they are in nursery most of the day as it's not then classed as continuous. Can't seem to get a straight answer!

Suspect my life would be more straightforward if it were fish that needed looking after!

underneaththeash Mon 12-Jun-17 23:00:05

See (or should I say sea....) I think that's okay.

Have you had an au pair before? you do generally need to spend time with them when they first start and be very very prescriptive. So download safety tips for au pair sheets and make sure you do the nursery run with them a few times re-itterrating that you need to make sure straps are done up etc.

JoJoSM2 Tue 13-Jun-17 14:07:39

I think that's reasonable.

welshweasel Tue 13-Jun-17 16:17:39

No we've not had an au pair before. If we do go for it there would be a period of 3-4 weeks when I'd be off work before starting the new job that means chilcdcare is going to be tricky so would be time for showing them the ropes. We've got the room for it (they'd have whole top floor with bedroom, bathroom, sitting area) and my brother is very enthusiastic about their au pairs but I'm not sure if they'd be bored. We literally need someone for half an hour every morning and sometimes an hour in the evening playing/supervising bath/giving snack, whilst DH would be cooking etc.

Puffthemagicdragongoestobed Tue 13-Jun-17 22:19:57

Are you sure you want an au pair for so few hours? Maybe post on childcare.co.uk for an alternative, like a nanny who wants to work more hours or a gap year student or similar. We are just on our first au pair. And whilst it's great and we really need him, I do think having another person living with you has quite an impact on your family life. You lose your privacy, you have to feed an extra adult, you lose a room in your home, you have to really get along with that person on a day to day basis. If I only needed someone for so few hours I would probably look at other options as well.
Anyway, just a thought!
Otherwise I think it's fine with regards to the care. I think the concern would rather be if it was entire days or half days.

welshweasel Tue 13-Jun-17 22:21:29

Totally agree, but am finding it really hard to get someone to do what we need. Bare minimum is 7-7.30am, either at our house or theirs. Happy to pay £10 a day. No takers.

OVienna Wed 14-Jun-17 10:29:16

I think it would be next to impossible to find a part time nanny wanting so few hours (and very much not worth running payroll, keeping within the law for that amount of time) and whilst I have often heard the suggestion of a student, I have never heard of that working either. They are like hens' teeth or else their schedule changes and you can't rely on them. I think au pair is probably your best solution. There are plenty of sensible ones out there. TBH a 20 year old who can't keep a toddler safe for half an hour is likely to have other life limiting judgement issues in any case. Sure, there are safety issues you run through but really it's not a huge risk.

welshweasel Wed 14-Jun-17 10:31:51

Thanks. Yes I'm starting to think the same. Nursery is a 20 minute stroll away so literally as DH left for work they could be putting him in the pushchair and setting off.

Gusthetheatrecat Fri 16-Jun-17 22:19:59

We have an au pair, and have had for a few years now. I am normally fierce in responding to people who say to me, "Oh, wow, you have an au pair. I'm going back to work full-time in a few months, that could be a great cheap option for my nearly three year old and my 12 month twins!"
But in your case, I really think care for a very short time of a child under 2 is fine. I felt fine asking our first au pair to take my then nearly one year old to playgroup (around the corner) for an hour and a half whilst I worked at home. But I would never have left her at home with my girls for a whole day, whilst they were so small.
It seems like a sledgehammer to crack a nut approach for such a small length of time each day, but if you can't find any other solution then there's definitely no reason not to, in my opinion.

ImNotReallyReal Sat 17-Jun-17 21:44:24

It's fine, mine are 4 and 5 now but au pairs are perfectly capable of pushing a buggy to nursery.

I've had 18 year olds who could be Mum's themselves! A buggy trip to nursery isn't really sole care. Leaving them with a baby all day is sole care, that's how I got my latest au pair. She was expected to look after a 1 year old as a nanny would. I got her through a friend. She's a big sister not a nanny. Some people are so cheap!

Check out Gumtree and look what people are asking for, it's mind boggling.

All of my au pairs have been great and once settled in they've been happy to push a buggy for 20 minutes.

A good au pair is a godsend. Mine leaves next month, I will miss her. The children will be distraught. I may cry at the airport blush

24hoursinER Mon 19-Jun-17 07:06:08

It's totally fine

There is no law on what they can do, it's common sense and some au pair's have loads of experience. Ours is a 21 year old Aussie who is ulta sensible and responsible and loves looking after our baby on her own for three hours a week (she is mainly here for the older kids).

BoraThirch Fri 23-Jun-17 23:17:56

I think you need to make sure she has enough to do so she isn't bored - I'd make it at least an hour of childcare in the morning, then maybe picking the baby up at 5 instead of 6 in the evening plus an hour once your DH is home. 3 hours of childcare a day, plus 1-2 hours of housework (she could do all the baby's laundry, load and unload the dishwasher daily, hoover) and 1-2 nights babysitting makes it up to a more traditional au pair role.

blackteasplease Sat 08-Jul-17 00:52:36

The no continuous care of under 2s thing isn't the law, as others have said, it's just what most agencies insist on (for common sense reasons).

However, just taking a little one to and from nursery is fine.

We did this when our younger one was 18 months - au pair just did some nursery drop off and pick ups (at the time when nursery closed) where necessary. Started doing a bit more with him when he turned 2 but not much.

Our current au pair started when he was 2 1/2 so we then reduced his nursery hours to more in line with his sister's school day.

Toomuchocolate Thu 19-Oct-17 16:20:54

Have you considered a nanny instead? You could even have a live in one and for that age would be generally better. Plus you could use them for babysitting etc.

underneaththeash Fri 20-Oct-17 10:30:17

toomuch - I assume that the OP would have already thought of that. For one child a nanny is significantly more expensive and you have to go through the bother of running payroll, pension contributions, sick pay their holidays etc to consider.

Au pairs generally have 2 babysits a week in their contract anyway.

roses2 Fri 20-Oct-17 11:36:10

I think wrap around care for under two's is absolutely acceptable. You'd also need them for when your child is sick so you don't have to worry about work.

You're right about the bordem part though. Are there any English schools nearby they could attend?

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