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Need childcare support - is it a nanny or au pair or mother's help?

(5 Posts)
brihoney Tue 16-Nov-10 14:20:02

Hi all

I am new to employing someone to help with childcare and have slightly strange needs - would love to hear advice from more experienced on what I need and what is reasonable to need to pay:

I'm looking for someone for 1 year from Jan - Dec next year so that I can take up an amazing opportunity working 5d/week (I'm an artist).

I have 3 year old, and am due to have a second end of April. My mother currently does a lot to help me, and will be the main carer for the new baby once I go back to 'work' after about 6 weeks.

I am thinking of a live in nanny, au apair, or mothers help, who can help for morning drops (3 yr old at nursery school, or baby to my mothers - 15 min bus ride or drive), can help my mother a couple of afternoons a week (nursery only till 12), and do a couple of days pick up from my mothers back to our house. Plus some housework support for me at home would be great.

There would be some sole charge of the new born - but only for short periods to help w/ journeys.

They would have own room w/ A computer/TV, but it is a small room.

London zone 2.

As I am an artist money is tight, but I obviously wouldn't want to do anything to harm my children.

Please advise what you think is reasonable pay. Also - would total cost to me be greater than what I would pay them? when does NI/Tax kick in?

Thanks so much for your help

jendot Tue 16-Nov-10 16:03:20

I don't think an au pair would be ideal as any sole charge of a 6 week old (even for journeys) IMHO would be too much to ask of someone so inexperienced.
A new 'trainee' nanny or a mothers help would probably be more suitable...but would obv cost alot more.
You also have to pay tax and NI ontop of wages for a nanny/ mothers help..someone more exp will be along who knows the exact figures.

frakkinup Tue 16-Nov-10 17:15:55

The threshold will change in April as to where tax and NI become payable. The cost to you is likely to be greater than what they get in their bank account. If you're having them drive take nto account the cost of car insurance, or the cost of an Oyster card.

Approximately how many hours a week would you be needing a) in terms of childcare and b) for housework, although a nanny would do nursery duties so children's housework, laundry and cooking. That will influence what you pay them. And can you be flexible about when those hours are done to allow them to pick up an afterschool nanny job or similar?

Agree an au pair wouldn't be suitable for sole charge of a newborn. Bear in mind that they are very often young, with no childcare training or experience and don't have great standards of English, which IMO isn't ideal in terms of linguistic development and can be frustrating for children when they try to communicate with someone who has trouble understanding but other people aren't as fussy as I am. That said you can find people who are older/trained/relatively experienced/have good English but they are more expensive.

As a guide I'm offering approx £200 gross a week for 25 hours sole charge plus a babysit a week of a 6 month old plus gym membership and am expecting candidates to be english mother tongue and either qualified to level 3 or with 2 years experience including newborn. I'm abroad though so people are often willing to work for a little less to come here!

Treeesa Tue 16-Nov-10 18:50:06

brihoney - I think it could be an ideal job for the right au pair if your Mum is really going to be available to care for the baby after April.

I'm sure there are au pairs who have experience with babies - as long as the sole charge is only journeys as well and helping your Mother as her extra pair of hands then it should be fine. I would look at Romanian or Bulgarian candidates. They can't work here in the UK as nannies until they have been here for 12 months or more in an au pair capacity, so it's possible to find people with very good qualifications and experience.

Our Romanian au pair has a degree in psychology and a pedagogical diploma that allows her to teach. She had a lot of practical experience working with young children before which we didn't need so much, but she is great for homework supervision and she is a wizard on the piano so has been teaching them too..

frakkinup Tue 16-Nov-10 19:03:27

The only potential issue with Romanians/Bulgarians though is that they can only work limited hours - 5 hours a day. So if OP wants an hour in the morning plus the afternoons helping out her mother from 12 the au pair would have to finish at 4pm, which wouldn't be that helpful....

It really depends on how many hours a week is needed, but overall I wouldn't be actively searching for an au pair.

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