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AuPairWorld - where have all the au pairs gone

(27 Posts)
PiledUpPenguins Fri 13-May-16 12:09:34

We always recruit via au pair world. We always recruit each May for a Sept start and find someone for the academic year. We always use the same profile but just update it each year.

Every year we are inundated. 100+ applications within ten days or so.

Not this year. 20 applications in three weeks and the good ones I have messaged have all drifted off, stopped answering, found another family or not been that committed.

Is anyone else having unexpected difficulty finding an au pair this year. I am wondering if Brextit is putting of EU au pairs and terrorism is putting off the Canadians and Australians.

Or is it just me???? Are we suddenly unattractive as a host family despite always being popular, living in central London etc?

PiledUpPenguins Sat 14-May-16 09:10:27

Just me then? Where is everyone else finding their au pairs? Are there good agencies that place APs? I think I'm going to give up on AP World.

UnityBlottisaTosser Sat 14-May-16 09:17:42

That's a bit of a worry. Our au pair will probably be leaving at the end of the summer and I've always had tons of interest on au pair world in the past. About three or four years ago I had so many applications that they were coming in faster than I could read them and I took my profile down after 27 hours.

It would be interesting to see if interest will pick up again after the referendum. I'm in Ireland so it shouldn't affect me either way, but it might, a surprising number of Europeans are a bit hazy about the difference between the UK and Ireland.

Artandco Sat 14-May-16 10:22:09

I think many have realised they can work as an inexperience live in nanny without qualifications also and get a better income and rights. Around us ( central London also), a qualified live in nanny is £500net a week, ( about £700gross). So people especially those with older children 5+ are happy to pay for a first time live in nanny who will be avaliable longer hours than an au pair, usually looking to stay long term, and will pay £300 a week.

Saves parents £3-400 a week compared to experienced nanny, plus someone is then on call in the day if kids sick and during school holidays. Would be au pair gets a lot more money per week, and still free time in the day half the year when kids at school.

dilys4trevor Sat 14-May-16 10:28:46

I also struggled on APW (first time user) although it got a bit better when I changed my profile (although still only about ten-fifteen applications).

One thing I will say is that I think families may have started writing more 'exciting' profiles. My colleague uses it and says that each year they seem to need to make it more appealing.

She also had precious few replies when she went on again recently, although she was quite specific about nationalities.

Karoleann Sat 14-May-16 12:08:16

i've had a few less this time (although not that many less), i suspect the nhs surcharge may be part of it, visas for australians etc are double what they were previously. it probably took me a week or so longer than before.

i also think many au pairs prefer slightly younger children, so as your children get older you get slightly less applicants?

our new one is staying until next may so will be interesting to see if its different this time next year, although if we do leave europe its going to be tough to get anyone at all!

PiledUpPenguins Sat 14-May-16 18:50:41

Thanks all. I actually think there may be as issue with me not appearing in AP's feeds or something as last night I opened up to applicants aged 18-24 from every single EU country and haven't got one new application in 24 hours :-(. Before I was 18-21 year olds in Canada, Australia, NZ and Germany only.

UnityBlottisaTosser Sat 14-May-16 19:16:07

Do a search as though you are a Spanish prospective au pair of the right age and see if your family profile pops up.

PiledUpPenguins Sun 15-May-16 08:35:32

OK I am not invisible as I had a couple of applications overnight. I just have to accept I am v v unpopular!

What do others offer nowadays? Maybe I'm not competitive any more. We offer a great room in London v close to three tube stops. All meals and bills paid. Lots of opputujityto do stuff with us as a family. Utter freedom in time off. We ask for 24 hours a week of work with two additional babysittings and we pay £100 a week. Any extra hours are pie at £8 an hour, for example if the kids have a day off for polling day. We also give a Sim with unlimited data.

BeauGlacons Sun 15-May-16 08:45:23

piledup is it the money? We had our last au-pair in 2009 and I paid 80pw for the same, possibly slightly fewer hours and paid a term's language tuition, one return flight home, gave them a payg mobile, an oyster with £20 for starters, double room and en-suite, all food, bills, etc. but probably didn't go overboard on them doing stuff with us as a family. We found Swedish girls suited us best. Good luck. We were in zone 2.

PiledUpPenguins Sun 15-May-16 08:52:37

I thought £100 was competitive but maybe not. I don't offer the language tuition as we have generally had english speakers or Germans who didn't want formal language tuition. I do give an Oyster with £10 at the start but they never have to use it for work because everything our children do is in walking distance.

I would love to know what others currently offer.

BeauGlacons Sun 15-May-16 09:02:46

I'm obviously out of date. Probably best to check the market rates.

juneau Sun 15-May-16 09:20:42

Can you look at the other job postings by families on the site so you can get an idea of what they're offering? I suspect that the Brexit vote will be making Europeans nervous of applying, but that doesn't explain the other, non-EU nationalities' reticence. It might be worth contacting the site's moderator/owner too to ask their opinion on why you're not getting more applications.

juneau Sun 15-May-16 09:31:01

Wow - just had a look at APW and some of the jobs on offer in the UK. Jeez - a lot of those people need a nanny, not just an au pair! So many families with three kids wanting someone who will work 4-5 days per week, plus babysitting, and basically doing everything a SAHM parent would be doing otherwise - and all for pocket money. Good on any au pair who would take that on for so little. When I was an au pair I had one school-age DC to look after and it was a doddle. Some of those families want a slave!

PiledUpPenguins Sun 15-May-16 09:44:40

Juneau - v few families state what they pay. Most wait until they are in conversation with an au pair. That's why it is hard to compare.

Yes some families take the piss. But maybe they pay more. We designed a very 'by the book' workload and don't ask for any cleaning. Maybe we should ask for more and pay more!

Artandco Sun 15-May-16 09:54:51

I think your hours are high. 24hrs plus 2 evenings will be 30+ hrs a week. Personally I think most are looking for 20-25 hrs maximum to include evening babysits. So if you want evenings need to reduce daytime hours, or pay additional for the babysits Imo. Also people expect more per child now I think as tbh why would they work for £100 for 3 children when they can work with 1 child for less hours. They choose the easier options.

A friend is zone 1 London. Has au pair for her 6 year old boy. Au pair works 3-7pm mon-thurs, so 16hrs. Plus one evening once a week. So around 20 hrs max a week. Has own large double with ensuite, Oyster card paid. £120 a week. Also has use of gym within building they live in.

There are many offering similar. So if you want an extra 10 hrs, for less money and perks, you can see why people may not be choosing unfortunately.

For 24hrs plus 2 evenings I would say you need to be offering £120 a week for the 24hrs, plus pay £8 per hr for any babysitting in evening

PiledUpPenguins Sun 15-May-16 10:41:05

I really think up to 25 hours plus two babysittings is v normal. We actually rarely use both babysittings and we state that in the ad but occasionally we do use both. It is v useful to know others pay so much more for so much less though. I will take that on board.

TBH if it starts being as expensive as your friend's care then I would be better off renting out our spare room and paying a live out nanny with the rent money I would get from the lodger. That would be a shame though as we have loved having APs as part of our family.

DaisyFranceLynch Sun 15-May-16 10:51:45

Our au pair gets £100/week, zone 1&2 travelcard and a SIM card for two full days a week looking after a one year old, plus evening's babysitting and helping out at other times. About 30 hours all in.

I have friends who have paid more for longer hours but I think £100 seems standard.

We're in central-ish London (zone 1/2 borders) and she has her own kitchen and bathroom.

Artandco Sun 15-May-16 10:58:30

A live out nanny is min £10 net (£13 ish gross).

£13 x 24 = £312. Plus evenings would be more like £400 a week . They will still eat your food in the day, use heating, and need travel paid for if using with children

If you can get an au pair less than that it's a bonus surely? Even increasing wage and benefits would only be less than £200 a week for 30 ish hours care.

PiledUpPenguins Sun 15-May-16 11:07:35

Art - it's a large double ensuite with great views. Looking on local sites we could easily rent it for £225 a week bills incl.

We could get a live out arrangement for under £13 given our kids aren't tiny so a fully qualified nanny is unnecessary, we could find a student or other for £10 an hour I reckon. We would not have to pay evening meals, weekend meals, meals when we eat out as a family, family cinema trips etc. We rarely use both babysittings so we would not pay that each week. It would definitively be more cost effective but obviously not as flexible.

TheExtraGuineaPig Tue 17-May-16 15:51:23

We pay £100 a week for before and after school care Mon-Thurs (8-9 and 3-6 though often I'm home earlier) and one night a week babysitting that we don't always use. No cleaning though she does change kids sheets and make sure they have clean school uniform. Big double room close to Kingston with no ensuite (but own toilet/ cloakroom). We did use an agency and the Au Pair is from Spain.

IceMaiden73 Tue 17-May-16 16:00:18

Don't forget that if you rent your room out you might need to pay tax on the income

PiledUpPenguins Tue 17-May-16 18:31:46

We are beginning to get a steady trickle of good applicants so I think things are on the up. I Skyped a few candidates to day and subject to referrencrs I am going to choose one of those before they all get nabbed by others!

sunnyday35 Tue 17-May-16 18:43:40

Aupair world is pretty rubbish imo. I gave up on it a few years ago. What you are offering is fine and normal. I would use gumtree. O

sunnyday35 Tue 17-May-16 18:52:09

Sorry hand slipped and posted too soon.... What was going to add is the benefit of using gumtree is the interface is loads easier and also more of the people who reply will be in the UK already so can interview in person. I used to use Aupairworld but I found much higher quality au pairs had moved onto gumtree and I think my last 3 hires have been off it. I think what you are offering is fine and normal so don't worry about that.. I've just moved to a live in nanny paying much more for more hours, but also used gumtree to hire her.

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