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Thoughts on live-in Au Pairs?

(5 Posts)
Catzenobia Thu 13-Jun-13 20:01:06

We have an au pair who lives very much in the thick of family life and ultimately it's about having the right person and showing respect on both sides. We make it clear that she is completely free on her time off (does not prevent the children from barging in to her room occasionally tho') and we have welcomed her friends to stay etc. We had a contract and timetable (I am a control freak) setting out what she'd need to do which was helpful at the beginning but things have developed from there. She is the complete opposite to me - very laidback and relaxed about things and has been a very positive influence generally. We had a few email exchanges and then did a Skype interview but it was all based on gut reaction really. Hope that helps!

vixsatis Thu 13-Jun-13 19:44:50

We have a school holidays only arrangement and are on our third au pair. I would not take someone on without having met them and interviewed them myself and taken up references from a reliable source. You will get a really good idea from an interview of whether they will fit in.

All of ours have been completely wonderful; but we are lucky enough to have self-contained space in which they live, so they only join us for meals etc. on an occasional ad hoc basis. This makes it a lot easier, especially with boyfriends etc., although we have been really lucky with them too. My son (12 and getting to the age where being "looked after" is a bit irritating) has loved all three au pairs and having the boyfriends with whom to play football.

Make sure you set the ground rules clearly at the outset in a contract- what do you expect them to do? What behaviour will you consider beyond the pale? On what basis can you sack them?

I have also been an au pair; and I was completely miserable because: (a) I felt that no space or time was my own and I was on "guest behaviour" the whole time; (b) the job was far more housework and far less childcare than I had envisaged but I couldn't leave because I needed to learn French and only had a limited time to do it; and (c) the woman I worked for kept telling everyone how fat and spotty I was in my hearing, not realising that my French was improving.

I think it an arrangement which can work brilliantly; but you need to be careful whom you take and both sides need to exercise kindness and consideration and problems should not be left to fester.

nannynick Thu 13-Jun-13 19:35:53

Have a read of Can you share your Aupair Experiences and other threads on here about aupairs.

Some people will have had good experiences, others will not.

MissMarplesBloomers Thu 13-Jun-13 19:25:57

Bumping this for the evening crowd, it's a minefield isn't it?

KellyK74 Thu 13-Jun-13 09:50:02

My sister in law is thinking about getting an Au Pair to look after 3DCs in the school holidays, (having seen the price of other childcare options!), but is nervous about having 'a complete stranger' living in her house (and taking charge of the kids). Has anyone got any positive experiences I can share with her? (Especially if you've started off feeling the same way?). Any thoughts welcome!

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