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Chores/housework for au pairs(21 Posts)
Sorry, another au pair question!
How much do your au pairs do around the house? What is reasonable to ask of them? Obviously I am expecting a young person who is helping out rather than a professional cleaner, but what does 'light housework' mean in reality?
To me that's nothing a cleaner would really do, but just basic tidying and keeping things going. Such as emptying dishwasher, wiping table over after kids breakfast, hoovering floor after kids have eaten or craft if a mess, maybe odd load of kids laundry.
Nothing like major cleaning of bathrooms or kitchens or dusting etc. Rinsing bath after kids used or wiping sink after kids toothpaste if they are young, yes. But scrubbing toilets and floors no
Mine does a big kitchen clean once a week, apart from that its just tidying, hoovering the playroom, changing the kids sheets, mainly things associated with the children - putting their clothes away etc. No bathrooms, ovens, windows.
Mine washes the kids clothes, loads and empties the dishwasher and wipes down the kitchen surfaces - thats about it
Mine does the work that a cleaner would do but over one week. There is a cleaning roster of one area of the house for 4 days and ironing on the last day. I make that very clear in my correspondence with prospective aupairs. It is not everybody's cup of tea but then again, they are free to not take this role on.
Apart from cleaning, the aupair role is dead easy. They don't even have a school run. My children are old enough to just need to be told to do things, but can pretty much do it themselves. It is a a tidy and efficiently run household in which the aupair has lots of free time, which appeals to the right aupair.
Ideally I would like them to unload and load the dishwasher every morning. Wipe down kitchen/table if they've made lunch. Get kids to tidy toys up at the end of the day. Hang out kids laundry if there's some to do/put it away. All that stuff can be done while with the kids I think?
Then there is a two hour 'slot' every week while DS2 is at pre-school when ideally I would like the kids bedding changed (fortnightly), their bedroom tidied , and hoovered, any of the kids laundry put in the wash, living room hoovered. A more thorough clean of the kitchen and floor mopped would be good too but don't know if that's too much to expect in 2 hours?
That's sounds fine except the living room and kitchen expectations.
Sorry when I said kitchen expectations I meant in the two hour slot. Dishwasher , wiping down sides all seem fine.
Our previous au pairs would only do house work relating directly to the children. So children's laundry, loading dishwasher after children's meals. Wiping down sides after cooking for them. Tidying and hovering children's bedrooms. Rinsing the bath after bath time. Etc
Littlenelle - I think that's okay for your 2 hours slot if you remove the kitchen and floor. I also recommend making things really straightforward, so changing sheets weekly is best for a routine. So she's doing:
Put children's washing on before pre-school run
Transfer clothes to dryer
Change bedding and then put on to wash
Tidy rooms and hoover floor
Hoover living room
Fold laundry out of the dryer and put away.
As a general rule both au pairs and nannies only do stuff related to the children.
Is not cleaning the kitchen and floor because it is too much to fit into 2 hours, or because you personally don't believe it is part of an au pair role?
It's because I don't think it's part of an au pair role.
Ah ok. I definitely want someone to take a bit of the pressure off with general chores during the week as well.
Our au pairs clean the kitchen. Personally, I don't think they'll manage to get all that done in 2 hours if you include the kitchen clean and mopping.
Yes, I was wondering about the time slot. There's bound to be a difference between how much an older adult would get done in the same time when they've been used to doing it for years!
I would get a seperate cleaner to reduce the actual work load. Cleaner £20 for 2 hrs a week, they can do deep clean of bathrooms and floors and kitchen in that time. Au pit will reduce work load by sorting kids things, surprising how much stuff is just child related. Even if they just sort kids laundry, kids bedding, tidy kids things that spread around home, and after they have eaten etc that's a lot less you have to do. They will also cook for children also and may make enough for you all if a big dish or lasagne
There are no rules as to what aupairs can or cannot do. Aupairs are not nannies. I don't expect them to have the same childcare skills as a nanny. In fact they do not. At the same time, there is no expectation that their role is limited to housework related to the children.
The important thing is to make it clear at the outside (and I give them the timetable and duties) what your expectations are. I have no problems hiring aupairs to do general chores. I say plainly that if they do not like cleaning, this role is not for them - no hard feelings - and some do walk away. There are other things to appeal to an aupair. It is all about the right fit and to reduce the surprises.
Agree it might be worth separating out 'cleaning' jobs to a cleaner. Would two hours be enough for a cleaner to:
clean two bathrooms
clean kitchen including mopping
hoover living room, stairs (2 flights) and children's bedroom?
That would leave the au pair with:
changing bedding on two beds
putting a load of laundry on
tidying children's bedroom
tidying living room
maybe receiving the weekly shop too?
I get mine to clean the kitchen floor and vacuum the hall every morning after school drop off. Keep play room and kids bedrooms clean (and tidy). Change kids beds once a week. Put on load of washing (for whole family) every day and hang it to dry. Folding of laundry (I have an ironing lady who does the ironing). Dishwasher during the week. I expect the kitchen to be left clean in the evening when I take over (equally, we leave it clean for the au pair). Empty kitchen bins every day.
25 years ago, I was an au pair in Belgium for a child who went to school. I was expected to clean the whole three storey house every week. I wasn't told this until I'd been there over a month.
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