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Au Pair just announced she's leaving early

(32 Posts)
BerkshireMum Sat 22-Jun-13 21:50:56

Our Spanish au pair started in mid-April and promised to stay until at least the end of September and probably until Christmas. She announced on Thursday evening that she's decide to stay in Spain when she goes for a planned visit in August.

Really angry about it - as I work in London full time but we live in a village an hour outside London so I really need someone on the ground who knows where the key places are and can drive the children where they need to be. We'll now get back from a two week holiday on a Friday when we both have to be back at work on the Monday and there'll be no au pair. Can't get a new one and then abandon her for two weeks straight away and neither of us have enough leave to take an extra week.

Do you think I should try and get a replacement ASAP and then send the current girl home?

blueshoes Sun 23-Jun-13 22:23:00

I have had aupairs leave at pretty inconvenient times. It is a pain but you get through it. I cannot even bother to get mad these days. I just get hiring. And I can usually get an aupair to start within 2 weeks of my starting a search.

It is a well oiled operation and as an aupair host family, a good skill to have so you don't allow anyone to hold you to ransom.

7 aupairs in 5 years is good going. You mentioned a lazy one which I presume did not last long. So that means most of your aupairs have lasted close to a year. Any family who hires aupairs knows that is good length of stay. The children don't skip a beat because before and after school they are looked after in the same way in their own home. I agree I prefer this arrangement to before/after school clubs and cms or nannies (who would be overqualified for this job).

Once you find the replacement - which should not be long now - you can breathe a sigh of relief. I think 3 weeks should be more than sufficient for the replacement to bed in and be left alone. You might have to send your current aupair home early but I don't think by much.

Mimishimi Mon 24-Jun-13 05:06:47

Did your au pair have to pay for her own ticket to Spain when you decided not to take her on your trip with you? Since au pairs only earn around £100 a week or so (not leaving much to pay for enrolment into increasingly expensive language colleges), perhaps she could not afford a return ticket back to England or felt that if she did come back, she'd only be working to pay that portion of the ticket off. If you covered the costs of her tickets, would she consider staying longer?

singlevillagemum Mon 24-Jun-13 10:10:05

Just to sympathise Berkshiremum,

I've now realised that the longer school holidays are a sore point. AP2 left us with a weeks notice last summer depite only being 2 months in to a 9 month contract after a job in Spain came up.

AP3 also cut their 9 month contract short [with sufficient notice at least] to leave over the Easter holidays as the girlfriend wanted to go back to Spain.

I think it is part of the hazard with the Spanish economy at the moment that the AP jobs can be looked at as a stop-gap until something they want comes up.

I also don't think it is anything to do with your terms and conditions, so I wouldn't worry about some of the other things posted, it sounds like a lovely job.

AP4 is French, as was AP1 and seems to treat it as their 'job' and their length of contract as a binding thing [but I still have a back up plan in case they disappear over the summer holidays so I don't get caught like last year].

Fingers crossed for you that it all works itself out.

PostBellumBugsy Mon 24-Jun-13 10:23:48

BerkshireMum, I understand how annoyed you feel. I had aupairs for 6 years and on the whole it worked really well for me. However, I had one who left me massively in the lurch & it was very frustrating. She went back home for a holiday & sent me a text to say she wasn't coming back. Argh!

As you know only too well, aupairs need a lot of input in the early days to get them feeling settled, comfortable driving, show them where to go etc - so, get back on AuPair World or to your agency and get recruiting asap. If you find one that can come at a time that works well for you, then you just let the current one know that given she is leaving it makes more sense for you to get the next one in and therefore you will be paying for her to go home on X date.

Good luck.

BerkshireMum Tue 25-Jun-13 11:43:17

Thank you all. Mostly very helpful and appreciated. The hunt is on. Lots who want to start in September but not so many older ones (22+ for insurance reasons) looking for July or August. My wonderful mum has offered to cover the last week of the school holidays so I have a bit more flexibility now.

Scarletlips Wed 26-Jun-13 19:56:05

Hi BerkshireMum,
I feel your pain. Could you organise a new au pair before your present ap leaves. The present ap could then train the new ap and show her around the area?
Also you sound totally reasonable when it comes to being fair to your au pair and thought some comments above were a bit harsh ;)

Murtette Wed 26-Jun-13 22:22:48

Are there any Uni students local to you who are home for the summer and could cover the summer holidays so that you have a new ap starting in the autumn?

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