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A few random practical questions before our first au pair arrives(6 Posts)
So a few things I am wondering about and would be grateful for more seasoned mners' views on any/all of these:
1. bedding - I take it I supply sheets, towels etc - do you have a couple of sets just for the au pair or do you just randomly give her ones from the laundry cupboard each week (hopefully this makes sense - what I mean is, if it's from the laundry cupboard she could end up with the bedclothes we have on our bed (clean of course) and vice versa over the weeks).
2. how do you go about recording the au pairs hours each week?
3. how do you organise the au pair's hours each week (the flexible ones) ie do you tell her in advance (how long?) when you'd like her to do them e.g. babysit etc?
4. money - do you provide her with a credit card for dc expenses/household shopping or just stick to cash in a kitty?
5. is it easy enough for an au pair (from the EU) to set up a bank account - do I need to get involved?
6. can I take it that the au pair cleaning her own bedroom is not part of her hours for me?
7. laundry - is it okay to just tell her to put all her laundry in the basket with ours (we put a wash a day on) and I take it she is responsible for folding/ironing her own clothes and this is not part of her hours for me?
And, were there other practical/logistical things that you hadn't thought of before any of your au pairs turned up that I should maybe think about now? All experience welcome ?
I gave ours 2 of their own sets of bedding and towels to wash/ change as much as they needed. Our hours were always pretty regular so I just tallied in my head, and I let them know about the babysitting evenings the week before so they could plan around them. I've had 4 au pairs, all generally good (apart from the last one, who was a total loon) but I think it is best to not give credit cards etc but stick to cash just in case things go pear shaped.
I did go along with all of ours to set up the bank account, just to help with the forms as when they first arrived their English wasn't great.
I gave ours the option of either doing their own washing or sticking in the basket with ours. Our first au pair, a lovely girl but fairly shy and modest, found the thought of my husband encountering her knickers whilst putting a wash on too mortifying and so did her own!
Main bit of advice I'd give is to make your expectations entirely clear from the outset, be clear, be patient (they are often very young and away from home for the first time), and if for whatever reason it doesn't seem like a good fit for your family then cut your losses!
I say their room and laundry is their responsibility. I have 2 sets of bedding and towels for them and they sort themselves in their own time.
Bank accounts they may need language help.
We have a family planner and go through it on a Sunday evening. This records hours and firms up any flexible ones.
I do cash in a kitty.
2 sets of bedding, they are expected to change weekly and wash.
Own load of laundry or throw in main basket, up to them. Ours have all chosen to do an own load weekly.
Bank account, hsbc and lloyds do simple basic accounts, you need to go with them to open with a letter of employment. (Basic one)
I pay every week by direct debit into bank acct. Every sunday we sit down and plan the week. I dont count hours, its give and take. I give a mix of days off at weekends and weekdays depending on schedule and let the AP have input depending on her plans. It works well. Some weeks she gets lots of time off, some weeks we work our socks off. Were a family, we work, we cope.
We expect the AP to clean her room and keep it tidy, put in contract.
We have a kitty and ap helps her self to change for coffee, softplay etc. You can have a expense sheet if you prefer to record £ but we scrapped it after a while as we could see the £was being spent wisely and on the children. Its not much, 10-15 per week.
We supply two sets of needing, towels etc.
Au pair is expected to do her own laundry and bedding whenever and she has her own laundry bin and air dryer. Much better that way
She cleans her own room - it's in her contract that it is kept clean and looked after
Planning - we have a calendar where everything is written down and discussed. Kids routine is pretty much the same week on week so her duties don't change - if we need babysitting we give notice as much as poss / it is in her contract there is up to two nights baby Sitting
We give a £20 kitty for sundries during the week
Both my au pairs opened up lloyds bank accounts without issues and giff gaff sims seem to be popular
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