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What to expect from new au pair

(2 Posts)
GettingThereSlowly01 Sun 13-Nov-16 12:22:22

Hi

We're about seven weeks in with our first au pair. She's lovely, from Germany, but quite quiet. So far having her here has been more work than before she arrived. I'm off work at the moment but I'm hoping to go back soon.

My children are four and six and both at school. The au pair works about 25hrs per week- 20 hrs childcare (school run, a couple of hours of ironing, some evening babysitting and about 5 hours on one day at the weekend. I give her the choice of her days off and she has two days off per week. We've had her sister to stay for a week also. She only has sole charge in the evening for about half an hour and I do the cooking and putting them to bed. She starts her English course for one morning a week in two weeks and has met some other au pairs- two locally and more in the nearby city which is an easy train journey away.

There are a few little problems- not coming out of her room until 9:30 when I've asked her for childcare from 9 and doing her own ironing while looking after the children whilst putting the littlest in time out because she wouldn't stay out of the way. This morning I've had to ask her to either take the children to the park or help them get some of their games out and play with them. She'd put them in their own rooms for bad behaviour and was sitting in hers with earphones in.

My children aren't too difficult but squabble a lot of the time if left to their own devices. They love being played with.

Obviously I need to have a chat with her but I'm worried about it because she seems so shy and I'm worried it won't go well. Am I expecting too much? I'm trying to make requests and give pointers as we go along but I'm starting to get quite cross.

Thanks in advance.

nannynick Sun 13-Nov-16 18:57:37

Ever heard of a shit sandwich? You give feedback such that you start with a positive, then have the negative and finish with a positive. That way with luck the person receiving the feedback will accept that you are happy about some things but not others.

Focus on things that are most important to you and your family.
Timekeeping - if start time is 9am, then coming down at 9.30am is not acceptable.
Duties - during her work hours, she needs to dedicate time to the children and/or assigned tasks. There are plenty of other times when she can do things relating to herself.
Discipline / Expectations - Children do squabble and it can often be worse when they are bored. So during her working hours she needs to keep the children entertained. Children like to play alone sometimes and it is good to encourage that but other times they like to play with someone. She is that someone to play with, that is her role.

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