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Advice please! how much to pay an au pair plus and agency/website recommendations.

(8 Posts)
MiddleAgedMother Sun 01-May-16 07:25:47

Our lovely nanny housekeeper has decided she wants to move on to a live out role.
After initial trauma - we all love her - as our DC are older now (youngest almost 9) we are thinking of moving to an au pair plus and a cleaner.
For the au pair, we will need 35 hrs per week for school drop off and pick up, play dates and fun activities post school, dog walking, cooking for the children, ironing, and whipping the cordless hoover round between the cleaners visits!
In the hols, it's children only and 40 hours unless they are doing eg tennis camp and we would pay overtime.
Almost never need baby-sitting or weekends as eldest DC is 17.
Does this sound ok?
We are in a London suburb (zone 4).
What is the going rate for au pairs?
Do we give a phone/gym membership too?
What is the best way to recruit? Agency fees look high if they only stay 6 months? Is it worth it? (We would love someone to stay at least a year - is that usual?)
How long does it take - it is too late now for beginning of June?

LoopyNuts Sun 01-May-16 08:42:27

We have always used au pair world but the process of getting someone is long and subject to people dropping out last minute. Saying that we've had 7 au pairs through au pair world. The latest for a year.

MiddleAgedMother Sun 01-May-16 09:19:03

Thanks LoopyNuts.
How long is "long"? Do you think we could find someone in a month?
It would be fairly dire if they dropped out at the last minute as we both work full time. Any tips for identifying those likely to or how to avoid it?

ConstantlyCooking Sun 01-May-16 10:01:58

We used au pair world. It is not too late to recruit for the summer. However it is time consuming. In the end I had 2 or 3 standard emails. The first with some info about us (often repeating the ad because au pairs reply to so many they forget who is who) and stating the weekly amount paid plus asking questions based on their profile. I would also confirm important facts eg driving was vital for us. Second email would include an average day plus matters based around questions from each side. Then we would arrange Skype interviews and take up references. We asked for 2 or 3 but one had to be a professional email address. We would make it clear that we were interviewing 2 or 3 candidates and give clear time scales for replies. Once we offered the job we sent a contract to be signed. We then stayed in touch via email.
When people dropped out after accepting, we had often felt that they had lost interest or began to suspect they were applying for jobs with more money. We paid low end of the going rate but the hours were fewer and the children older than many better paid posts (equally I recognise that some au pairs would rather work longer hours and be paid more),.
We supplied a mobile plus topped it up each month, we didn't give a travel pass ( but they had use of a car and we paid petrol), we didn't pay for English lessons but organised free lessons at a local school that trains TEFL teachers and offers free classes (this is also a great way to meet other au pairs). We would also take them to help open bank accounts, register with doctors, Include them in all family outings and events ( but never force them to be part of it), chat to them a lot and help them feel at home.
We found it a lovely experience and are still in touch with several au pairs.
Pm me for more details if you think it would be useful.

RNBrie Sun 01-May-16 10:09:41

Au pair guidelines say they should only be doing a max of 30 hours a week. They aren't rules or the law so you don't have to follow them but I'd be asking myself if an au pair is what you really want.

UK Guidelines Here

You'll struggle to find an au pair who's happy to do your ironing as well.

We found ours through au pair world, she's been with us a year so far. She does 30 hours a week and cleans up after the children but not us. She doesn't do any washing or ironing. We pay her £120 a week plus a mobile phone contract plus any travel she does with the children. We give her extra if she babysits in the evening outside the 30 hours at normal babysitting rates for our area.

Karoleann Sun 01-May-16 11:03:16

I think it all looks fine, except for the 40hours in the holidays. I'd add a camp one of the days for the children instead , maybe midweek to bring it back down to the 35hrs.
I'd offer around £120/week.
All the tasks look fine, some au pairs do ironing. Mine doesn't but our cleaner does it instead.
I think its worth trying on au pair world for a couple of weeks, put an ad on with what you want and see how you get on. Police checks etc can take a few weeks to come in.
Good luck with your search

MiddleAgedMother Sun 01-May-16 15:35:59

Thanks all. Looking for an au-pair plus which I think is 35 hrs.
We don't need evening or weekend work so was hoping overtime for extra pay in the holidays would be OK. It wouldn't be every week as there would be camps, play dates and siblings and DH and I can work flexibly sometimes.
I do need ironing done though -we have a cleaner but not with enough time for ironing and doesn't come often enough to keep on top of it!!
In term time 35 hrs will be masses - even with dog walking! 30 would do but I'd rather have cover.
Will post and offer £120 pw. (Have seen huge variation on line some at £100, some at £170pw!!)
Clearly we would pay any work related travel - should we offer any of phone, gym, bus card and a contribution to language classes? It would all start to add up?

ConstantlyCooking Tue 03-May-16 14:16:50

Are you North London? I k
Can give you details of the free lessons.

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