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Anyone had an Australian au pair?

(13 Posts)
Haggismcbaggis Mon 17-Nov-14 12:45:03

We have a lovely Australian live out after-school nanny who has just told us she is leaving to go back home after 7months. She has been absolutely lovely, but to be honest is much more like an au pair/ babysitter than a true nanny. (We have had v professional nannies in the past when the kids were babies etc).
Her child are experience was fairly limited and any tough stuff I tend to deal with. Largely her role was shared care as I work from home and finish at 3 most days anyway - so her job was to share the logistics of ferrying 3 kids (ages 5, 9 & 11) to & from school and after school activities. I was happy to accept this as the kids love her and she is a positive upbeat person.

Anyway, we paid nearly two grand to the agency so it's rather gutting to find ourselves looking again after such a short time. I am however considering an Aussie au pair plus (we'd need a driver) for 25 hours per week. We would be able to offer a good package - London zone 3, spacious house, en suite etc, good pocket money etc.

But to be honest some of the au pair posts on MN fill me with horror. But I am wondering if anyone has had someone from Oz/NZ and how that worked out (especially if they had European au pairs too in contrast ). For us having English as a first language would be a massive bonus and I just have it in my head that Aussies tend to be no nonsense sensible types (vast generalisation I am sure there are plenty of moody lazy Aussie girls).

Anyway, if anyone has any experience or thoughts - gratefully received. Thanks

AusBabysitter Mon 17-Nov-14 16:37:15

I'm Aussie so I may be a bit biased ;) I started off as an Au Pair, then Au Pair plus now full time nanny.

Apparently I have heard us Ausies have a good reputation of being hard workers (this is what previous
employers told me was their reasoning for getting an Aussie)

Try Au Pair world? Lots of Aussies on there, and for me personally it was a great start in london as I was able to find my feet, go exploring while kids at school etc!
Only thing is most Aussies can only get 2 year visas, so won't be long term!

OvertiredandConfused Tue 18-Nov-14 12:33:44

I had a brilliant Aussie au pair, found from Au Pair World. She was great with the DC, helped loads round the house, often cooked supper and stepped in whenever there was a mini domestic crisis. In fact, after a few weeks of her being with us, I had a moment of revelation when I realised that I was experiencing life the way it had always been for my husband!

BeattieBow Tue 18-Nov-14 12:38:40

I've had 2 aussie au pairs - they've both been good

Like all au pairs, they have their strengths and weaknesses (e.g. the first one couldn't cook) but me and the children have liked both of ours and they've been good with the children too.

They are both very no-nonsense, but all my au pairs are generally because that's what I need in my household to be able to deal with the children.

I've always used gumtree.

OhReallyDear Tue 18-Nov-14 15:07:25

That is a bit weird to be honnest. It's not because 60 people here had a good Australian Au pair that you will have one (or the opposite). hmm

Unless someone recommend you an Au pair, there is no way the way Australian Au pair have behave in the past will help you know if your futur Au pair will be good...

Haggismcbaggis Tue 18-Nov-14 19:16:12

Thanks Ausbabysitter - I'm glad you have had a good experience here. Yup I know we are looking at 2 years very max. More likely 1 year.

To those who have had Aussie au pairs thanks for sharing your experiences. That's really helpful.

ohreallydear - I think I make the point you've made in my Op ...

FlappertyFlippers Mon 24-Nov-14 23:32:44

We had an Australian au pair last year and she was awesome!!! She was really energetic and enthusiastic when playing with dd, great at cooking and general housework, no language barrier, and easy to live with. We found her on au pair world.

I think we've been really lucky with all of our au pairs (German, Italian, French, as well as Australian). We're still in touch with them all apart from one who wasn't great (she was ok, just not up to the standard of the rest) she was an American, luckily she was just a summer au pair wasn't with us for long but we all breathed a sigh of relief when she left for the airport and I have to admit it's put me off US au pairs

LtGreggs Mon 24-Nov-14 23:41:45

Haven't had an Aussie au-pair, but we are on third year of European au-pairs. They've worked well for us. But I can see that a MAJOR advantage of an English-first-language au-pair would be if you want them to give input in to homework & reading together.

We've always chosen au-pairs with good English, but who still really benefit from language school / immersion - due to location I think we would be not so attractive to au-pairs who did not need that.

So I guess I'm saying I see why you'd like an Aussie au-pair - but just check that there's enough reasons for them to want to come to & stick with you? (Sounds like your location would be a big one)

OVienna Tue 02-Dec-14 10:47:45

Hi - can I reinvigorate this thread please with a couple of queries?

I have never faced a mid-year AP recuitment before as we've always had European APs before but may be looking at one now and remembered that we might stand a good chance of getting an Ozzie because of when their school terms finish. Quick search on AP World suggests this may be the case.

Our role is really 20 hours a week with two school aged children which makes it perfect for a European au pair looking to go to language school in the mornings.

Seriously, what would an Ozzie girl do all day, every day, until 3.30 in the afternoon? I do the mornings. I guess we could steer her towards another type of course. I would prefer that the au pair doesn't get another job because of the reporting requirements (I think if you do it for one person now, don't you have to stay in the system so to speak?!) and I also think that there is an increased risk that someone who starts with this mindset would be using the position as a launch pad, with us quickly coming second priority.

We have paid �80-90 p/w for these hours for the European APs. Given their language skills, the level of oversight required, and time spent with us as a family on trips, in the evening etc I am comfortable that this is a reasonable rate for this set of APs, i.e. we are both getting somethig out of the arrangement in the form of an 'exchange.' I am wondering though if an Ozzie/native English speaker would quickly get bored/try to look for a nanny job or other higher paying role given that the other benefits of the exchange aren't there.

Is there anyone out there that has had both non native speakers and native speakers with aview on this?

I was also thinking that we could go for six months that way if they get here and want to move on we've got expectations right.


AusBabysitter Tue 02-Dec-14 14:22:59

OVienna, to be honest, I started off as au pair, and for first 6 months it was nice...went shopping, met up with new friends, would call home, chill in the house...but after that I did start getting bored, so got a nanny job with the blessing of my employers.

OVienna Tue 02-Dec-14 14:30:04

Yay! A response! Seeing us through the school year would be okay with me. But should I be open about this upfront or?

AusBabysitter Tue 02-Dec-14 16:41:34

Totally up to you. Maybe say it's a 6 month job with the possibility of extending. You are likely to get young graduates (around 18) as that's the age we graduate high school and looking for a gap year. That's what happened to me and never went back.
Only thing with saying its a 6 month job is that may scare some, they think its only a short job, moving all the way over then what do I do? Do you know what I mean?

Thereshallbeaspirin Wed 03-Dec-14 06:51:45

OVienna, I always used to get APs who were fairly fluent already. Here's how the ones ive had over the last 11 years have filled their time
1) one was a horse-riding nut who used to exercise local horses (for free).
2) two have completed long distance masters
3) one shagged my mate's AP all day, every day (hey, it worked for them, it worked for us...)
4) one chilled out for a year after finishing uni and spent the days meeting up with other APs for coffee, planning weekends away, etc
5) one had medical condition so rested during day and sometimes baked stuff for fun (was an ex-chef)
6) one worked lunchtime shift in local village pub
8) one did nothing but watch reruns of Friends (she didn't last long)
9) one did a photography course at local adult education centre

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