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Is it an au pair I need?(8 Posts)
I need childcare for a 6yo and almost 3yo.
I would need one day a week starting at 7.30/8am, taking older one to school, looking after younger one all day, picking up from school and looking after both until 5-6pm.
3 days a week it would be 7.30/8am, taking both to school for 9am, picking both up at 3pm and looking after until 5-6pm.
I would also like 2-3 hours a week hoovering, cleaning the kitchen, doing the kids' laundry and keeping their room clean and tidy. Plus one or two evenings babysitting would be ideal.
Childcare is only needed term times.
We are not high earners, we live in a small town with no train station though could possibly make a car available.
We've only ever used nurseries and childminders before, but it is becoming eye waveringly expensive. Could an au pair be the solution we are looking for?
Au pair is not cheap childcare. There are lots of hidden costs and you really need to give her pocket money all the time (including in school holidays when she's not working). For standard au pair you're looking at £90/ week minimum, plus food, extra bills, higher car insurance premium and additional petrol, phone allowance and maybe other perks to make the job more attractive since you seem to be very remote. You need to do your maths properly and then also consider the additional inconvenience having another adult living in your home.
TBH I would go for childminder who offers term time only care and do the cleaning myself and train my children to help.
Yes, maybe a car will be too expensive to offer as a perk, she wouldn't need one to do her job. We're not remote really and the town itself has cafes and restaurants, a cinema, leisure centre, shops and there is a bus that goes to the nearest bigger town that has a train station (30 mins). From there it is only 20 or 30 minutes to the two nearest cities and 2 hours to London.
Childminder would be £280 for the 4 days, and that's without any babysitting or cleaning of course and with the added hassle of getting them there in the mornings. We have had young international students living with us before so aren't averse to sharing the house.
How much extra would you factor in on top of £90 a week pocket money?
>one day a week starting at 7.30/8am, taking older one to school, looking after younger one all day, picking up from school and looking after both until 5-6pm.
That sounds like you need a nanny, or use a childminder/nursery for youngest child and have before/after school care provided by a nanny or au-pair.
Could your youngest do another day at pre-school/nursery?
>3 days a week it would be 7.30/8am, taking both to school for 9am, picking both up at 3pm and looking after until 5-6pm.
That may suit an au-pair who is competent enough to care for children of those ages.
A standard au pair is a young girl who's come over to learn English and work around 25hrs a week. They are not in replace of a cleaner or nanny. The only issue you may have with the set up is the 1 full day of childcare that some may struggle with. But if you maybe search for a morning class for the youngest to attend with the au pair to keep them busy. It really shouldn't be a problem especially the fact the youngest is not a baby and won't obviously need as much care as a 9month old would obviously need.
Yes, the one day will be long but I can certainly find a class or group or even going over to my sister's house that day for a few hours to hang out with her and my nieces (she's a SAHM).
So, if my calculations are right, you need 1 day @ 11 hours, plus 3 days of about 5 hours, plus 3 hours of cleaning. This makes about 29 hours a week which is not bad. You would need someone with a bit of experience to be able to cope all day with a 3yo.
Has your town got plenty of other aupairs, so that this person wouldn't get lonely? £90 per week is not much, so she would not be spending money in going to London or other towns very often. She would need a social life locally and possibly a school that she could attend during the day.
Would you be happy changing your childcarer regularly? Aupairs tend to stay for shorter periods (6 months to a year). Also, if she doesn't fit in and leaves within 2 weeks, is your employer flexible enough to allow you time to sort this out.
Just a few thoughts
Employment isn't flexible but I do have lots of family available to step in short term.
Not sure that there are other au pairs in the town, but there is a fairly big Polish population so maybe it makes sense to go for a Polish au pair?
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