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Would an au pair do this job?

(40 Posts)
Waveney Wed 24-Jun-15 18:07:09

Our nanny is going on maternity leave and we are thinking of using an au pair while she is away (starting just before the nanny goes). We need someone to pick up the toddler from playgroup and look after him all afternoon (6 hrs a day four days a week, plus the occasional extra afternoon), and also do after school for our older child from 3-5.30. We don't really need housework doing (although a bit would be appreciated!) and we won't need her at weekends. So in total between 25-30 hours childcare a week. Ideally someone with some previous childcare experience.

Does this sound like something an au pair would do? It would work well for us but is it too many hours? We could offer a competitive salary and use of a car, niceish room and so on. Any thoughts or tips gratefully received! Thank you.

pinkyredrose Wed 24-Jun-15 18:10:19

No you need a nanny. An au pair should only be expected to do light household duties and occasional babysitting, not full on child care. Plus an au pair is unqualified and almost certain to have a low amount of child care experience.

Waveney Wed 24-Jun-15 18:10:26

Sorry should have said post will be four months total.

Waveney Wed 24-Jun-15 18:11:31

Ah ok, thank you. I've seen posts suggesting 25 hours a week is ok - is this too much or should 25 hours be split w housework etc? Sorry for stupid questions, total novice!

Radiatorvalves Wed 24-Jun-15 18:17:00

When our DSs were young, 1&3, they were in ft nursery, and the AP took them to/ from nursery, and was on her own with them for an hour or so in the am and pm. It worked for us. AP did a bit of housework but in total no more than 25 hours.

6 hours a day is too much IMO.

Waveney Wed 24-Jun-15 18:17:50

Would 22 hours over four days be too much? & if we ignored the requirement for experience?

Waveney Wed 24-Jun-15 18:20:42

OK thank you, that's v helpful. Back to the drawing board!

QuinoaLenghi Wed 24-Jun-15 18:32:24

It would be fine for an AP. Despite the dim views taken of APs on here they are a varied and capable bunch.

Our AP does 28 hours mainly before and after school but one full day with out toddler and despite being only 19 she is fab, as was her predessor who looked after our baby (shock-horror!). They were both v happy with their jobs and they were/are great additions to our families.

As long as you are totally clear about expectations from the start you will be fine. Have a look on AP World as there are all sorts on there including qualified teachers and psychologists: the pull to learn english is huge. I personally prefer a young AP who is enthusiastic but easily moulded but you may prefer someone older.

Radiatorvalves Wed 24-Jun-15 18:34:47

Most APs don't have a lot of experience, beyond a bit of babysitting. As lovely as some of our APs were, they were not able to spend 6 hours with a toddler - they didn't have the experience. If you were in and around the house, that might be different.

Karoleann Wed 24-Jun-15 20:12:46

I wouldn't have left any of our au pairs with a toddler for 6 hours a day either. - and they've all been older.
You just need a temp nanny.

electionfatigue Wed 24-Jun-15 20:23:25

How old is the toddler? some people use that term for a child aged two and a half, which is very different from 18 months!

superram Wed 24-Jun-15 20:23:47

An au pair plus would. A bit more expensive and you may have to drop any cleaning but I have a friend whose au pair does this.

superram Wed 24-Jun-15 20:29:49

An au pair plus would. A bit more expensive and you may have to drop any cleaning but I have a friend whose au pair does this.

Nameeman Wed 24-Jun-15 20:30:27

On the day our AP has the toddler there is plenty of structure. Any child loving 19 year old is more than capable of amusing a two year old. Her day usually goes:

8.30am walk older two to school with toddler in buggy
9am stop in park on way home and play on swings
10am home to play with trains or play dough
11am rhyme time at library
12:15 home for lunch
1-3pm nap
3pm walk to collect older two with toddler in buggy
3.30-5.30pm all three kids play something fun with AP (usually painting or baking or play dough or park).

Seriously, looking after a toddler just requires someone who has fun with young kids and is aware and resonsible. All our APs have fit that bill. As an AP employer you probably have to be a bit more directive than with a nanny, I chose the Rhyme Time etc, but as long as you find someone you trust I don't see the problem.

worridmum Wed 24-Jun-15 20:53:59

but thats not what a Au pair is ment to be about when will they have time to do their english course its meant to be an cultrual exchange not a means for cheap labour / full time job for penuts and board.........

and Nameeman thats just explotive full time hours for far less then minium wage ...... I just wish the government would acutlly in force the rules about Au pairing as I have seen adverts for Au pairs for 60 hour a week including babysitting for £130 its totally wrong and totally agaisnt the spirt of Au pairing as all these latest things leave no time for a Au pair to do a english course / cultural course (these normally only run during the week....)

QuiteLikely5 Wed 24-Jun-15 20:57:48

Yeah that sounds fine for an au pair. On MN for some reason people seem to think otherwise.

Check out Phoenix au pairs and look at their mothers help. She will be older, more experienced with young children, be able to take sole care and contribute towards house hold tasks. Cost is £150pw (if I remember correctly)

Nameeman Wed 24-Jun-15 21:07:58

Worrid - it's not exploitative. I advertised a 28 hour a week job, I specified that one day was long, I offered a central London room with ensuite, £95 a week and English tuition. I received about 100 eager applicants. Where is the exploitation? We have great and enduring relationships with all our APs, they are like part of our family and all continue to regularly Skype and visit.

Waveney Wed 24-Jun-15 22:33:28

Thanks everyone for replies. Toddler will be just two. Day is likely to be pretty structured:
11.30 pick up toddler from playgroup, walk him home
12 give him lunch
1-2 he sleeps
2-3 play at home
3 pick up older child
3-4 go to playground, library or similar
5 parent gets home

I really appreciate all the advice. Obviously we don't want to exploit anyone and the Au Pair Plus tip seems like a good idea - job wouldn't really involve housework. Temp nanny might be more realistic but don't want to pay £££ to an agency...

milkmilklemonade12 Wed 24-Jun-15 22:36:30

That sounds fine for an AP. An English native speaker would probably be better for young children though, as we have found out.
Feel free to PM me if you want any advice!

HRHQueenMe Thu 25-Jun-15 09:30:07

Most AuPair applicants see this as a job, they are fully aware that its childcare, housekeeping and work involved in return for pocketmoney food and board. Access to language courses and being part of the family is part of the deal but not every aupair wants or needs this. MN is very anti aupairs so dont believe everything you read. My friend has just welcomed her new aupair who is a qualified paediatric nurse. She is 21. Absolutly lovely with perfect English. She would be horrified and offended by some of the comments above. So would my lovely AP. They are very capable clever bright responsible girls, not here to learn English but to experience living abroad in a safe structured way. We have only had positive experiences! Good luck OP!

alexis24 Thu 25-Jun-15 14:36:24

Yes an au pair could do that. Here you can read more about an au pair duties and responsibilities:

Mintyy Thu 25-Jun-15 14:48:43

" MN is very anti aupairs "

What do you base that on QueenMe? What does it even mean?

HRHQueenMe Thu 25-Jun-15 16:46:01

Minty every single aupair thread includes the obligatory flaming of the op for thinking having an ap is a good Idea. I Read all of them and its depressing reading. In MN world au pairs are reckless strange teens who cannot be trusted and will be exploited at any opportunity. All MNetters must instead employ a Nanny....

hibbledibble Thu 25-Jun-15 19:06:47

Your toddler is only just turned 2?

What about increasing playgroup to two sessions a day, then the au pair could pick them both up around 3?

I think this is doable with an au pair, if you find the right person.

Mintyy Thu 25-Jun-15 19:19:56

Oh, I've never seen that on any aupair thread I've ever read in 8 years on Mumsnet! How funny.

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