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Is this too much for an au pair?

(17 Posts)
GatherlyGal Wed 12-Nov-14 21:10:05

We are looking for a nanny-housekeeper 4 days a week and really struggling to find anyone.

Kids are at school so its a couple of hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon with another couple of hours of housekeeping / cleaning while kids are at school partly to make up the hours.

Would an au pair be able to do this 4 days a week? Is it possible to find slightly older or more experienced ones? We have great living space for an au pair (granny flat) but had been reluctant to go for live-in because we don't need someone full time.

Am running out of ideas otherwise as no nannies seem to be interested and I start work soon!

MrsNuckyThompson Wed 12-Nov-14 21:18:44

Sounds a lot to me for an au pair. If you have a granny flat with separate entrance is it really such an imposition to have a live in nanny / housekeeper even if they only work 4 days? Surely someone would jump at the chance of a flat provided the terms are right?

PixieofCatan Wed 12-Nov-14 21:20:17

Too much for an AP IMO. Can you get an AP for the childcare and then hire a cleaner?

Gusthetheatrecat Wed 12-Nov-14 21:21:20

How old are your children? As they're at school, it doesn't sound as though you have a very little one, and 2 hrs in the morning, then 3 in the afternoon should be ok for an au pair.
Four days a week this makes 20 hours, whereas a 'normal' au pair contract is for around 25. I am not sure, even with 5 hours in hand, that I would ask an au pair to do a few hours' cleaning a week, but perhaps I am too soft! I tend to think an au pair is there to assist, especially with children, but asking them to do fullscale cleaning whilst you're not there crosses a line. But I know this is a live debate and others disagree.
Worth considering what you would do during the school holidays, if you haven't already?
We have a lovely au pair, who helps out with our three children, and lives in our spare room, and the arrangement is working really well for us, but with the proviso that it's not at all like having a cheap nanny. An after school nanny I would expect to be entirely self-sufficient: make a wholesome dinner, clear up, supervise homework where appropriate, organise arts and craftsy type activities, manage play dates, clubs etc. An au pair, by contrast, I'd expect to physically collect them from school, to perhaps heat up a dinner I'd prepared, and to keep everyone safe. Supervising homework or any activities would be pleasantly surprising. Organising playdates / dealing with letters and after school clubs is all out of the question. I love having our au pair, but I am still in charge of absolutely everything, which is bloody hard work!

GatherlyGal Wed 12-Nov-14 21:23:09

Yes if we had an au pair we wouldn't expect the cleaning to be done just before and after school.

Am a bit scared of live-in but it would probably be fine with the right person!

GatherlyGal Wed 12-Nov-14 21:28:26

School holidays would be a challenge too I guess.

I think we will try some agencies to find a nanny as that's the ideal. Youngest is 5 so not too little but I really like the idea if a nanny so I can just leave them to get on with it more and not worry.

Maybe in a couple of years an au pair will a better fit.

Is there anywhere else I can advertise other than and ?

NannyNim Wed 12-Nov-14 21:31:21

I'm a live-in nanny whobworks 4 (full) days a week. I agree that you really do need to find the right person and make sure you have a lot in common - both in terms of child care and personality. But it really can work - particularly if you've got a granny flat for her to escape to and get some space!

GatherlyGal Wed 12-Nov-14 21:36:55

Thanks nannynim that is encouraging.

Time for a rethink!

Thanks all.

Karoleann Wed 12-Nov-14 22:36:22

Why don't you get an au pair to do the childcare and then a cleaner to do a big clean once a week. Au pairs do light cleaning, so can do the fill in stuff during cleaner visits.

Many au pairs are happy to do longer hours during school holidays as language classes don't run. You can also supplement with holiday courses etc.
we've ended up with an au pair as I couldn't get a decent reliable after school nanny and it's been great.
It is a very different relationship to a nanny though, you do have to integrate them into your family more than you would a nanny.

FlorenceMattell Wed 12-Nov-14 22:54:02

Can I ask where you are and what rate of pay you are offering for the nanny?

GatherlyGal Wed 12-Nov-14 22:59:03

Have pm'd you Florence (I think I have anyway am on phone).

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 13-Nov-14 09:14:16

Agree too much for an ap tho if you go that route to have so and a cleaner

Or look about for nanny/hk

Would you have nwoc so happy to have days free ish to do things with own child then fulltime in holidays?

GatherlyGal Thu 13-Nov-14 10:37:52

Yes have said happy to have NWOC. Just hardly any interest at all!

One person has applied and they are not suitable. Trying agencies today so we'll see if that's more successful.

Thereshallbeaspirin Fri 14-Nov-14 11:27:45

We used to have an au pair for school drop offs then 2 hours doing laundry and general tidying, then in the holidays she did the laundry around helping out with kids. It was 25 hours during term times and 36 hours in holidays (doing 3x12 hour days). But our kids are older and need very little supervision (holidays is usually little more than being a taxi service to/from friends and sports centres).

It only worked well because we had a proper cleaner 2 mornings to do the heavy lifting stuff (bathrooms, mopping, all the manky stuff), and we had an ironing lady weekly, too. That left a relatively light role for the au pair.

Bear in mind that on top of their low salary you will need to add their food, and cater to their tastes, too.

GatherlyGal Sat 15-Nov-14 11:14:29

I think an au pair will be a better fit when kids are older.

We are probably going to go for live-in nanny. I haven't been working for a year or so so it will be hard going back. I think having a nanny will probably make for an easier life than having an au pair.

confusedalways Sat 15-Nov-14 11:24:05

Gosh I'm a nanny and would kill for a job with a granny flat included! As it is I have been with my current family long term and now they're all at school have kept me on. Obviously I work longer hours out of term time but also keep the house ticking over during. Being in for deliveries, work men, kids sick days Ect.

Would it be worth employing a nanny for things like that for you?

GatherlyGal Sat 15-Nov-14 12:08:46

Confused yes I am offering a couple of hours each day for that so it's not bad hours even though kids are at school ! Perhaps we should change the ad to emphasise the flat ?

Got a couple of people interested now at least.

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