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Thinking about getting an au pair but very unsure how it all works

(5 Posts)
PrincessScrumpy Wed 19-Oct-11 13:38:00

I am planning to go back to work in September after having my twins, I already have dd1 who will be starting primary school in September. I am hoping to negotiate hours so I can take and pick up dd1 while she settles into school on half days and once she's full time I can pick her up and take her, so I would be looking for term time childcare for dtds from 8am-3.45pm ish 4/5 days a week. Is this too long for an au pair to do childcare?

What can I ask of an au pair? What would I be looking at paying? She would get 12 weeks holiday but I'm expecting to still pay her during this time (as I would for nursery).

I'm wondering if this is a feesible option for us as nursery will cost more than I earn.

Any ideas/tips?

Ghostfillybuster Wed 19-Oct-11 13:48:04

Probably not...sorry!

Of course, the real answer is yes, of course you can find someone to look after your dts all day who will accept a low rate of pay in return for living in your home and scraping a bit of an income, because there's a global recession on, and there are girls (and boys) from all sorts of EU countries and beyond who are desperate for any chance to improve their lives.

However...you're not going to find someone with reasonable childcare experience at aupair rates. I'm not being 'judgey' but the idea of having an aupair is that they help you for a few hours a day, or for a few days a week, normally for up to 30 hours in total (including any cooking/cleaning etc), in return for board, lodging and about £100/week 'pocket money', and time to attend language school or just travel around and learn about a different culture.

We're on our 2nd aupair, and they have both been lovely girls, who I've been happy to entrust my 3 dcs to for a few hours a day, but definitely not able to look after any children (let alone young twins) on their own all day. Nor would they want to.

Having said that, I understand that nursery fees for twins would be prohibitive!

Aupair world dot net might be a good place to have a look, so you can get an idea of the sorts of people looking to come over the the UK as an aupair. I saw lots of adverts from slightly older (25-35yo) women, with some nannying, aupair or nursery experience who might be willing to take on a 'more than aupair but slightly less than nanny' job, with good hols, for less than 2 sets of nursery fees but more than aupair wages.

Good luck smile

fraktious Wed 19-Oct-11 13:52:57

Yes, that's too long and too much responsiblity for someone who would normally be termed an au pair. A junior inexperienced/newly qualified nanny might be suitable though.

What's your budget?

PrincessScrumpy Wed 19-Oct-11 14:03:14

My salary is £800 take home so it needs to be less than this - don't think it's likely somehow. I was clutching at straws but I think I'll accept I'll be a SAHM for a few years. We planned a baby so dd was at school with baby in nursery - twins was a surprise (lovely but expensive! grin)

Ghostfillybuster Wed 19-Oct-11 14:19:38

Oh dear, I was too negative, wasn't I?

Look the hours on their own (I assume you also want some help when you get home with dd) aren't stupidly long, so you can probably find someone with decent experience for about £250/week plus board & lodging.

Might that be worth it for you?

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