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Best time of year to recruit a new au pair?

(11 Posts)
MGMidget Fri 18-Jan-13 10:31:15

I am wondering if those who have au pairs have worked out if there is particular time of the year when most au pairs want to start a placement? I think September and January are the peak months but I am wondering if July and August are actually more popular times for au pairs to want to start a placement than September? I'm just trying to be smart about recruitment and currently planning the timing of the end of a placement with my next au pair. She is willing to stay until beginning of September if I want although I get the impression she would rather go a bit earlier if I don't mind. So is August or even July a popular starting time for an au pair? I would be looking for someone long term - preferably willing to commit to a year - so July to July or August to August. I don't want to end up with a short-term summer au pair and then another one starting in September. Does anyone out there know more about this than me?

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 18-Jan-13 13:04:03

We do end of August to end of the school year in July which seems to work with the au pairs we have who are happy to have a few weeks' holiday before starting university.

The first time we tried to recruit for Jan/Feb it was pretty dire - we really struggled and I wouldn't do it again unless I absolutely had to.

MGMidget Sat 26-Jan-13 11:53:39

Thanks very much. Yes, we had to recruit for January this time although on paper at least and based on skype interviews I think we found someone reasonably good (there was also a lot of 'rubbish' ones looking too but the occasional gem). I've decided to agree on finishing in first week of September and aim for new au pair to overlap her last week so there's a handover - so that would mean the new au pair starting at the end of August. This is of course if it all goes to plan!

chloeb2002 Sat 26-Jan-13 19:41:26

we find au pairs are looking in and around Christmas onward... for a start date of anywhere from June to august. Most finish exams in june and graduate then too.

nosferatu Wed 30-Jan-13 19:36:32

most of them are finishing A levels so it probably varies from country to country. Scandinavia and Eastern Europe /Balkans finish school in june, so they get to be free earlier, whereas some other countries finish in july. I would place an add and see what happens- it is all individal after all-is my experience.

Gracelimsh Thu 31-Jan-13 12:15:35

We started looking for our au pair at the end of last year, to start in Jan this year, but we didn't get too many candidates, so I am thinking of ending my au pair's term early and looking for a new one to start in Sept. Our au pair is also driving me nuts as it's like having another child to pick up after. She is really bad at tidying up after herself and just doing her jobs generally (apart from cooking, which she is good at) and I come home from a long day's work to find the laundry not hung up (I did specify that she had to do that in her job description), the kids' toys not properly tidied away, remnants of food on the kitchen floor not swept up, etc! Do people generally find that their au pairs are good at just doing general housekeeping or is that an unrealistic expectation? She is our first au pair as we had to let our nanny go (too expensive), so am I expecting too much? We are saving a lot of money and I try and remember that when I am sweeping up the kitchen floor and emptying the overflowing recycling bins, but it is really difficult to keep things in perspective when you have been at work ALL DAY!

I digress, sorry.

MGMidget Thu 31-Jan-13 12:45:49

Gracelimish, I think it is a certain amount of luck whether the au pair is good at housework and tidying up. Our last one sounds like yours and worse. However, we have had au pairs that are better and our new one seems to be shaping up well in the first few days at least. In my somewhat limited experience, I am finding the older Au Pairs with more experience of living away from home are better at the housework and have a better work ethic generally.

Thanks everyone for the replies. I have agreed on an early September finish as our new au pair doesn't know what she is going to do next yet and when that will be. We are going to talk again about end date when she has settled in for a while before I start looking for the next one so I can keep an open mind on whether to recruit for an earlier start in the summer. Good to know that June to August can also be good times to recruit.

mummyofteens Fri 01-Feb-13 12:10:09

Hi, can I just ask that when you are looking to recruit an au pair, do you use primarily use agencies and which, in your opinion, is the best one to use.

I only ask as my daughter, finishes A levels this summer, taking a year out before university, would like to au pair, and there just seems to be so many agencies out there. Thanks for any replies smile

NumericalMum Fri 01-Feb-13 21:43:00

Sorry tO hijack but is it usual to have a handover? Our first AP will leave in June and I really don't want too much time without anyone. How do people manage that?

MGMidget Sat 02-Feb-13 22:30:57

I don't think a handover is that common. Firstly, you need another spare room to accommodate the second au pair, and secondly it depends on luck. If outgoing au pair is a good one who will train up a new au pair well it can be a great idea. However, if they have habits you don't want repeated you may prefer to avoid this. Also if the outgoing au pair cuts short her stay your plans for a handover may fall through. It is optimistic planning on my part so may not come to fruition but worth aiming for.

MGMidget Sat 02-Feb-13 22:48:36

Mummyofteens, I don't use agencies as I had a bad first time experience with one. I prefer to use Au Pair World. Easy Au Pair is another busy website alternative.

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