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Live-in babysitter? demi pair?

(11 Posts)
olderthanyouthink Sun 29-May-16 02:22:26

I'm new here (but a long time lurker) so bear with me, please

I've seen a couple old threads on here about exchanging a room for babysitting, but they seemed to be leaning more towards wanting a cheap au pair.

I've also recently spotted a couple ads on spare room for this kind of set up. One of them looks fairly good £80 pcm to live in chelsea and look after a 10 year old boy. The other looks, to me at least, like a piss take... £600 pcm and you have to look after a 6 year old in peckham (£900 pcm if you don't babysit).

I just started a new job (9-5:30) in south london, and I'd like to move into london as my commute is over 2 hours and costs tonnes. I guess, I would suit someone who wanted evening childcare, maybe for shift/ evening work, or an older child who can't be left for more than a couple hours or after a nanny finishes. Also some weekend childcare probably.

I was wondering if anyone had done this, and how likely you think it is to work/find a family?
What about the money thing? I don't think paying a little is too bad, especially as I don't want to become someone's cleaner.


Lonecatwithkitten Sun 29-May-16 09:40:40

For context I pay someone £85 per week to live in my house, collect my DD from school twice a week, take her to school once a week, babysit once a week, one hours ironing and hoovering once a week. Easy au pair gig, but I still pay someone to do it.

olderthanyouthink Sun 29-May-16 10:47:29

Yeah, you pay a pretty typical amount I guess for pretty light work. I figure not getting paid and just not paying rent would make up for not being able to do pick up from school at 3 and depending on location not doing drop off either. Does that sound reasonable?

Karoleann Sun 29-May-16 12:27:08

The problem is you're just not allowed to officially offer that kind of set up.

Either they have an au pair and you pay them pocket money, or you're not an au pair and you are employed and you pay min wage minus the accom offset.

The only other way I suppose you could do it would be for you to register as self-employed and then do ad-hoc babysitting when you were available. But you're still sitting on slightly dodgy ground they could be fined for not paying min wage, or even prosecuted under the new anti-slavery bill that was passed a couple of years ago.

Anyway, you're better finding a room and then just advertising as a babysitter.

olderthanyouthink Sun 29-May-16 12:51:33

Ah ok, thanks

So you're allowed to let someone live in your house for free, but it can't be on the condition that they look after your kid? But the person living in your house for free can do it as a favour?

olderthanyouthink Sun 29-May-16 15:07:24

Also does anyone know if bartering for accommodation is actually legal?

For example, work (cleaning/gardening/elderly care etc) in return for accommodation. It seems like something that's been done for a long time, but then that doesn't mean it's legal.

foxykins Sun 29-May-16 18:09:58

I'm not sure if this is helpful but in my home i have 2 arrangements:

1. Au pair paid £140 per week for 28hr and 2 evenings babysitting. Caring for 2y & 4y old 2 days per week, picking them up/ take to nursery other 3 days plus also picking up 6y old 3.30pm from school on 4 days. Does light housework few hours on the 3 days. Has room and £20 p/wk for own food as well as eating ours. No bills. Has own living room and Virgin tv.

2. Old friend pays £250 per month to live with us. As part of the cheaper rent, she often helps get 3 kids ready inc 2y dressed eg when DH is on business. Often babysits for a few hours while we go to gym/ for a walk in evening. Hovers house on Saturday morning.

Maybe put an advert on spare room or au pair world just offering school picks ups some days and babysitting in return for a room? Or on Facebook. Tbh once my 3 are all at school I'd take on someone like this to pick them up at 6pm from after school club and babysit 2 nights

I know quite a few people with different versions of what I do, say with students as live in babysitters or lodgers that look after older kids / take to activities on Saturdays if parents work ag weekend.

Floggingmolly Sun 29-May-16 18:15:23

For anybody thinking of offering this kind of arrangement; someone unable to do school drop offs or pickups (or presumably do any kind of childcare during working hours) isn't really an ideal candidate.
What can you offer in exchange for free board other than an occasional nights babysitting?

olderthanyouthink Sun 29-May-16 20:38:14

The after school club pick up would be do able. Morning drop off would also be if the child(ren) went to one of the schools in the vicinity of my office.

I could also help older kids with homework and help with taking kids to their activities.

I also have experience with SN kids, my brother is autistic and has severe learning disabilities, including sole charge of him (on the london underground was... interesting).

Floggingmolly Sun 29-May-16 20:46:54

Yes, that's certainly a more attractive prospect. Hope you find somewhere soon smile

olderthanyouthink Mon 30-May-16 09:29:55

Thank you smile

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