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Advice on how to find an Au Pair

(10 Posts)
hannah1122 Tue 03-May-16 12:35:33


We are looking for our first Au Pair and not sure where to start! There look to be a few options:

- put an ad on gumtree for free
- use or for a small fee
- use an agency for a larger fee

I would really appreciate any advice on the pros / cons of these options (or any other options?). Many thanks smile

hannah1122 Tue 10-May-16 10:18:35

Just wondering if anyone has any advice?

TheExtraGuineaPig Tue 10-May-16 11:50:30

I used an agency - Rainbow au pairs - really great, really helpful. Yes, it is more expensive but I wanted all the reference checks etc done and a second point of view on whether the match would work. Our Au Pair is fantastic.

NewYearSameMe Tue 10-May-16 11:59:43

If it's your first au pair then I would use an agency. They will do all the checks for you and there is back up support if there are problems when the au pair is with you.

We used an agency for our first au pair, she was just for the summer and it was a chance for us to see if the au pair set-up worked for our family. After that I used because I felt I could deal with checks and references myself and I knew that I wanted a particular kind of person so it was easier for me to sort through all the applicants myself. The agency would only give me three CVs at a time, and I couldn't see any more CVs until I had definitely turned those three down.

Oly5 Tue 10-May-16 12:09:03

I'm using an agency for my first au pair. I've been impressed for £500. But I don't have time to search or do checks myself

TheDowagerCuntess Tue 10-May-16 12:17:32

Our 6th au pair will join us later this year - we've gone through an agency each time and have had nothing but and amazing experience.

Cannot recommend au pairs highly enough - just make sure you feel you have a good rapport, and it will be great.

hannah1122 Tue 10-May-16 13:15:44

Thanks for all the comments. We are also looking for a specific type of person for our au pair so I wasn't sure whether I would be better investing the time myself and using Au Pair World ... not sure if the agency would give us much flexibility for choosing the person that best fit our family? If anyone has recommendations for particular agencies that would be great though.

Also, does anyone know if it is possible for Au Pairs from outside the EU / Youth Mobility Scheme area to apply for visas to come to the UK to be an Au Pair?

Karoleann Tue 10-May-16 22:11:51

After being very unimpressed with my agency experience/their terms and conditions and having known many other people with a similar experience, we've always used au pair world. We've just offered to host our next au pair through the site from September, when our current au pair leaves after 16 months. We are also quite fussy and I don't find it that difficult to find someone who meets our needs.

No, its not usually possible for non-EU/non-Youth mobility scheme area to become au pairs (were you thinking of a US candidate?), unless they can obtain a ancestry VISA. They need to basically prove that a grandparent was born in the UK. Our current SA au pair is on one of those VISAs and it took her 6 months to obtain, although it lasts for 5 years. Its also now very costly, especially now all applicants need to pay the NHS surcharge. Even for youth mobility scheme participants the total VISA costs are around £400-£500.

hannah1122 Tue 10-May-16 22:32:24

Thanks for the additional info. We were hoping to get an Arabic speaking au pair as our daughter is bilingual. Doesn't sound like that is an option though as even if they did have British grandparents the visa time and cost sound prohibitive.

Did you find ways to do checks for yourself on au pairs you found through au pair world? Eg references, checking for the equivalent of a CRB / DBS check in their home country?

Jenni363 Sat 04-Jun-16 17:09:50

I've just posted for advice for my own horrid experience with an agency...

They basically left us £700 out of pocket, with nothing to show... I wouldn't use an agency again!!!

We found a good one on one of the Facebook groups actually - with no fee!

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