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Advice please! Considering swapping from love out nanny to live in au pair

(32 Posts)
JugglingChaotically Tue 28-Oct-14 17:50:09

Bit of a scary step but full time nanny is silly with 3 at full time school and financial pressures mean we need to make the move so-
3DDs. Older 2 pretty independent at 14 and 16, youngest (7) at school 1 mile (15 mins) walk away 830am to 4pm. Dog too!
Would an au pair plus be ok?
DH does drop offs some mornings and would like continue to do some when he can. We both work full time.
Duties
730 to 1030 - help with morning routine, walk to school with dog (dog walk only if DH dropping DD) then tidy up, pop laundry in. Take in grocery delivery, children's ironing, occasional Hoover/dust.

Optional dog walk during day if wished, occasional errands pick up parcels, drop dry cleaning (can be on way to school)

330pm to 630pm - school pick up with dog, homework, play dates, take to sports etc, supper for youngest. One of us home by 630pm.

More time in hols but paid extra. Older girls v helpful and sports camps parental hols too.

Not sure what to offer?

West london so will include Oyster card at least for buses and mobile phone on full contract.

Driver helpful but not essential.

Good sized own room plus en suite shower room.

Also can't start till February/March as work ongoing in house and need things to be calmer first - so when should I advertise or look , agency and where?

Advice from experienced au pair families - and au pairs - would be appreciated!

Tapestry12 Tue 28-Oct-14 18:00:04

Just chuckling at thought of a 'love out nanny'.

There are quite a few threads over the past few days that can answer all your questions.

Still chuckling.

Messygirl Tue 28-Oct-14 18:04:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JugglingChaotically Tue 28-Oct-14 18:05:05

Oops!
A lovely smiley nanny but def live out!
iPhone keeps wanting to swap to "love" or "lice"....

JugglingChaotically Tue 28-Oct-14 18:07:10

Thanks, Madrigals.
How soon would you look for a Feb/March start?
Would like it to be earlier but not sure re builders schedule (or lack of!).
Also what would be reasonable pay?

Messygirl Tue 28-Oct-14 18:14:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JugglingChaotically Tue 28-Oct-14 19:17:03

Wow. Hadn't realised I'd have to start the process so soon. I guess Christmas will take out some time too.
We are zone 4 and bus pass will be around £80 a month. The phone will have 3G. And wifi and TV in room.
Not sure what else to do.
Local college does lots of EFL courses.
Maybe 50% more for London. £135 a week?

schlafenfreude Tue 28-Oct-14 19:45:24

£135 takes you into taxable territory which won't be new to you as a nanny employer but it doesn't increase to au pair's salary massively. Best stick around £100 and give good perks.

JugglingChaotically Tue 28-Oct-14 20:20:32

Think I will be ok at that level as both NI and tax thresholds have gone up.
But benefits might be more valuable.
Bus pass will be used for work and personal. Phone also.
Not sure what else?

Karoleann Tue 28-Oct-14 20:37:11

Job sounds perfect for an au pair, bear in mind that langauge courses can be in the mornings so maybe have a look at those first before setting the hours. It'll make little difference to you if some household chores are done 2-3pm rather than 9.30-10.30am.

We'll be looking for a new au pair in march and I'll put in ad in mid December.

We give gym membership too as it gets e au pairs out and about and keeps them healthy. £100 for au pair plus in london fairly normal, I'd pay a bit more if you're outside the tube network.

JugglingChaotically Tue 28-Oct-14 20:43:34

Karoleann. Thanks. Still on tube network - just!
Good idea re English lessons - will fit hours round those. Do you pay for them?
Local pool has a gym - would that do?

Karoleann Tue 28-Oct-14 21:27:25

I don't pay for the course, but pay registration fee.

Council pool with gym sounds perfect.

JugglingChaotically Wed 29-Oct-14 06:41:20

Thanks. That sounds like a good compromise.
Do you use aupairworld also or an agency?
But wary of sifting through so many applications given it's our first hire. Any guidance on key requirements would be great as there seem to be so many applicants.

Messygirl Wed 29-Oct-14 07:49:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JugglingChaotically Wed 29-Oct-14 08:14:07

Madrigals. Thanks for that. Am really unsure on all of this as know it's not the same as a nanny but really key to get it right. Kind, smiley is key I think.
Will def do trial visit if from Europe.
Had lovely Australian nanny in the past. Great attitude. Outdoorsy.
Think if gym membership appeals then it might be a good sign?
Lots of walking too.
Driving would be a bonus but not key as busstop only a few feet from the door - once we reclaim our house from the builders!

Simmy12 Wed 29-Oct-14 10:56:03

£135 doesn't put you in taxable territory. £150 does.

JugglingChaotically Wed 29-Oct-14 15:09:37

Thanks Simmy. That's what I thought.
It's national insurance that bites then not tax.
So annoying that the small business NI exemption excluded employers of domestic help.

schlafenfreude Wed 29-Oct-14 23:13:06

Sorry taxable territory is where you need to start making declarations and handing over cash to HMRC in my head, not necessarily income tax, but clearly that's something that you have been doing (albeit possibly via a payroll company) so the idea doesn't come as a complete surprise.

JugglingChaotically Thu 30-Oct-14 06:30:12

Schlafenfreude, NI is a tax!
Just wish the govt would understand that it makes the cost of help sky high.
If they gave the same NI breaks to domestic help as other small employers it would make a huge diff and make nannies more affordable and thus create extra jobs for those who are marginal at the moment and thus don't work plus they would get extra tax from the extra working parents.
But don't get me onto that one!

HRHQueenMe Thu 30-Oct-14 06:58:15

Use AP world. Agree with previous posters:
Must have lived away from home before, someone looking for their second ap year is ideal, they do come up but get snapped up quickly!
Independent, social, and with younger siblings is great, (oldest in large family ideal) also look at what questions they ask, i look for someone who asks what I would have asked at that age; communications, other ap's , things nearby, childrens likes and dislikes, childrens activities. Its not as daunting as you think, scandinavians and Dutch all speak superb english and usually come for the experience more than the language. For older highly educated candidates wanting to study English look for a spanish Ap. The german and french usually have good knowledge of English from school but are not always confident speakers. Good luck!

JugglingChaotically Thu 30-Oct-14 20:36:15

HRHQueenme - thank you. All great points.
How does an au pair meet people and fill days if not at language courses. Thinking Dutch etc might be lonely or bored?

Messygirl Thu 30-Oct-14 20:42:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HRHQueenMe Thu 30-Oct-14 22:51:11

They are never lonely and bored! Fb groups are great, also post in your local parents fb group, in ours there are always several "i have a new ap who needs friends" posts, but most aps are pro active and will already have plans set up when they arrive! When you have your second ap arriving make sure the two overlap so old AP can hand over her group of friends and get new AP settled. Ours are rarely in as they are busy withfriends, gym, pub etc.

JugglingChaotically Fri 31-Oct-14 22:45:40

That all sounds very positive! Phew.
Remember a friend ages ago having an au pair who never left the house - possibly before social networking was so big though!

HRHQueenMe Sat 01-Nov-14 15:07:32

Juggling, its all in your recruitment and why I dont use agencies. If you want a happy AP choose a social butterfly. I ask what their plans to meet friends are, have they looked at fb sites etc? I also befriend them on social networking sites under the guise that they can get to know us, butmostly so I can look at what they post and check them out. Also google them, you will be amazed what comes up! But a quiet homely person is not always bad, my girls are big xfactor fans and we make sunday night a big occasion popcorn and and the APand friends all join in. (The AP and I also do secret midday tea and Top Model marathons...)

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