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Au Pair needed urgently - where to look?

(16 Posts)
Strix Thu 01-Jan-15 16:57:00

We had one... did a runner. In 11 years of employing nannies and au pairs that has never before happened. Oh well, I guess my time was due. I am now in a bit of a panic to hire an au pair who can move in and start work on Monday 05 January.

Can anyone suggest where I should look without paying agency fees. There's a facebook group, but I'm not a member of the group so can't type there.

We are in West London.

Any ideas?!?!

Karoleann Thu 01-Jan-15 17:07:35

I'd give gumtree and childcare.co.uk a try. They wouldn't work where we live - out of London, but there seems to be quite a few au pairs on childcare.co.uk.

A couple of my last au pairs friends who were not being treated very well, but got new hosts off gumtree in London.

You'll need someone who is already here as they won't have time to get all the police checks etc done, if you go on au pair world.

Alternatively, you could just get a temp nanny for a month and recruit off au pair world.

Good luck.

Yerazig Thu 01-Jan-15 17:20:50

I would maybe look at a few nanny agencies to get you through the Period until you can find someone if financially that is possible. Obviously as you know choosing an au pair you don't want it to be a rush decision

OVienna Thu 01-Jan-15 21:08:51

You might get someone off AP World if you can give it an extra week. But build in a decent probation period. I think I would be less wary if someone in that situation than someone already here... I'd wonder if you're inheriting someone else's problems...

schlafenfreude Thu 01-Jan-15 22:20:17

Similar situation here - on APW, great au pair, easy au pair (free) and au pair village (free). Not sure you'll get anyone by Monday but good luck!

Strix Thu 01-Jan-15 22:28:49

I haven't tried Gumtree. I normally find I get inundated with unsuitable applicants. But it bring in people who are already here.

Thanks for suggestions

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 02-Jan-15 11:05:59

Oh no strix sad

I would consider a temp nanny for 2 weeks while you advertise and sift through adverts

blueshoes Fri 02-Jan-15 11:59:40

Sorry to hear that Strix. What a bummer.

The shortest period I hired on aupairworld is about a week, but it is a tricky time of year so you may need longer.

Agree with others' suggestion to put in place back up childcare anyway just to give yourself some flexibility to not have to offer your children and house keys to the first moving thing outside your front door. Very true about not inviting someone else's problems into your house.

A temp nanny or roping in friendly grandparents or your and your dp taking turns to work from home or wall-to-wall breakfast and afterschool club or afterschool playdates are all strategies we have used in the past.

I have had to do emergency hiring about a handful of times sad but have used aupairworld each time. Interesting what you said about gumtree. I think you get chancers on there but you never know.

Good luck!

OVienna Fri 02-Jan-15 18:50:31

Strix as another longtime AP host I need to know if you saw this coming??? Were there any clues at all?

Strix Fri 02-Jan-15 23:27:15

No warning signs. I think she just got a better offer and buggered off. She was lovely for the one day we had her -- although my 11 year old has said she couldn't cook and was generally not a very good carer. Anyway, glad she showed her true colours sooner rather than later.

I think I have found a new one on APW. Seems lovely, great references, and she getting on a plane Sunday morning. My back up plan was (is?) to take holiday / work from home.

Knicknacks84 Sat 03-Jan-15 00:00:25

I'm glad you've found someone. Amazing you were able to check references so quickly.
Do you mind how good their English is usually?

blueshoes Sat 03-Jan-15 00:11:52

Great news, Strix. Hope she works out.

Strix Sat 03-Jan-15 20:34:46

her references came in very quickly (and it was therefore obvious she was on close and good terms with these families who were prepared to write them and send them off so quickly for her). The references were in Spanish, but one of my colleagues is from Spain so I had a very convenient translator at my beck and call. And a quick Skype call with potential au pair (mostly to check her English level).

I'm not terribly fussy on the English level. So long as written English is understandable we can cope. But also my 11 year old is taking Spanish so someone who speaks Spanish is a plus!

So, luckily it all fell into place on Friday. Finger crossed!!!!!!

I shall come back and let you know how its going.

Knicknacks84 Sat 03-Jan-15 22:18:30

Great news.
I think I was taken aback by the spoken English of two Spanish girls I interviewed. And couldn't remember my first au pairs level of English when she arrived.

Strix Sun 04-Jan-15 18:37:18

Well I have drugger her an inserted a chip in her heel so I can track down if she tries to escape.

Seriously, she's lovely so far. Of course, its a bit soon to judge.

Knicknacks84 Sun 04-Jan-15 23:10:32

Mine left whilst I was at work. With no childcare in place for my child. I feel a tiny bit sorry for next au pair as I won't trust her till ..... probably never. But I'm going to just be myself and hopefully we'll get along.

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