How young is too young(10 Posts)
DH and I are considering an Au Pair our two DS will be 1 and 2 around the time of hiring for childcare, are they too young to be left with an Au Pair? I think they are but my DH thinks it's fine.
DS1 went to a childminder from 10 months when I was back at work but I felt comfortable with her as I met her a few times before, settling in sessions, lots of good recommendations etc and she used to be a teacher so lots of experience!
Am I being silly in not feeling so comfortable with an Au Pair? It would be so I could go back to work part time.
Personally, I think that's too young to be left with someone with no experience and a language barrier. What if something went wrong and the au pair need to call the emergency services? Plus, I'm not sure that you would find anybody who would want to look two of that age, I would be daunted by it and I've had two DC (with a bigger age gap).
Could your childminder take both DC?
No, the only reason someone would hire an Au Pair for children that young some charge is because they think they're getting away with a cheap option for childcare.
Far too young if you're talking about anything approximating full days over a consistent period of time.
You could find someone able to do that as a one off, odd days here and there. They could collect from a nursery and watch them for a couple of hours until you got home from work or look after them while you were working from home.
There is a lot of handwringing on here and reference to 'UK law' which doesn't exist for au pairs - much of it is quite hysterical. But they point is an au pair is very unlikely to have the patience/time management skills/ability to assess risk for children that age in such a way you could rely on it as a permanent childcare solution.
Thanks all, you have pretty much confirmed what I was thinking and feeling. Sometimes I need a bit of weight behind me when DH has a different idea of something to me!
You are right, they are way too young for an au pair. The whole au pair thing seems to have got totally skewed over time, basically because childcare has got so expensive. They are supposed to be young people who are treated as part of the family who get pocket money in return for some help around the house. You are leaving children who are too young to tell you what is happening with a total stranger, more than likely with absolutely no experience of looking after children and probably with no desire to do so.
I have tried to tell DH it's more of a "cultural exchange" than anything else, I also don't want lots of chopping and changing for the kids, I'd hate to think of them getting attached to someone and then they leave and it's a constant stream of different people. I'll have to choose my moment to put my foot down but I'm convinced it's not right for me. DH has a work colleague who uses an Au Pair (albeit incorrectly for cheap childcare) so thinks it's going to be like that for everyone
Do you think they would be capable of staying calm and calling 999/ making a decision about whether a child needed medical treatment/ juggling two children when out and about? My guess is not, unless they were exceptionally capable.
I use au pairs and would never use one for sole care of a young child. I hired one when my DS was one but only for wrap around care. He went to nursery 9am-4pm every day.
All au pairs have used the tv (and their phone) a lot rather than engage directly with my children. For me that's fine as it's only wrap around care.
Could you use a combination of nursery / childminder and au pair which is what I do?
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