This topic is for discussing childcare options. If you want to advertise, please use your Local site.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
How is best to find an au pair?(17 Posts)
I am completely new to this and don't know how best to go about finding an au pair. Are there any good websites or agencies that people have used before?
I've used an agency. Especially one that does all the relevant checks. I have used the same company twice now as she is a mum herself and she just gets it.
We used the aupairworld website. Our au pair has been with us a year and a half so ita worked out really well!
We used aupair world too and our aupair was wonderful.
We're hoping to visit her in her home country next year.
All depends on the age of your children. I have heard people leave there children with a spanish au pair who couldn't speak English. How would she call 999 for help? Then again I have 3 children all under 5
Hmmmm - Sophia I am not sure whether how you find your au pair really depends on the age of your children! ;)
We used an agency. I know people do use Au Pair World very successfully, but I don't have the time to do checks myself so I like that their criminal records, references, health and right to work are all checked by someone else. We've also had three really excellent au pairs this way - lovely, helpful, funny, friendly girls who have become part of our family. We've just recruited a fourth who arrives in January
The agency we use is Busy Bees Au Pairs but I know there are others. They send over a small but good selection of candidates and we skype with the one(s) we like that that's it. Job's a good 'un.
And sorry, Sophia, I was a bit flippant, yes you are right more broadly that lots of people abuse their au pairs, use them as slave labour, use them as nannies etc. But the right au pair, carefully recruited, in the right hours and duties (not full time care, etc.) can be a lovely set up where everyone really benefits, and it is genuinely a cultural exchange as it's supposed to be.
We used an agency called smart au pairs. You have to pay an agency, whereas it's free if you post on Facebook etc, however I think there is a much better chance of a successful placement. Firstly because the agency does all the background checks, secondly because the au pair tends to be more committed, thirdly because the agency will help you set the expectations/ ground rules and fourthly because they find them friends locally
Our criteria were:
* childcare experience in professional setting (summer camp, kindergarten, etc)
* v good English (you can tell when you do Skype interviews)
* no veggie / allergies (as DC2 has numerous allergies and I can't be bothered with another complication)
* no-one who lives with their boyfriend (no moping around the house)
I didn't care about cooking / cleaning as our main focus is before and after school care for our kids.
Good luck! If you read an agency website you will see lots of tips.
No offence taken I have just required help when my children are babies and needed trusted help. A lot of au pairs and nannies come with little to no English and no safety check. My point was you just need to be extremely careful with small children and some people skimp on care on that front. Yes au pairs are the cheaper option but you still have a responsibility for your children's safety!!! I didn't realise that you could name agencies. The agency I used was Crest Nannies she is a mum herself and I just felt she gave a more personal service than some of the bigger companies. This is all personal experience and I am sure most agencies are great but having had used agencies for the last 4 years I can see the difference with using these bigger companies.
We used an agency who didn't find us anyone. We successfully recruited from aupair world.
She had actually joined an agency in her home country so had all the paperwork done that I could see.
I have been using since 2008 a great agency directly from Transilvania. They have Hungarian, Bulgarian and Romanian au-pairs/nannies and I had an au-pair couple also from them. They all worked out better than I have expected. They are great with affordable prices. ijcjobs.com is the website.
-I was an au pair with and have used Celtic Childcare in Turin and I'd recommend them to anyone as they are trustworthy on both sides (as a family and as an au pair)
Sounds like a lot of people trying to advertise here ha!
I wouldn't use an agency...I still only know one successful placement in RL from an agency and 20+ more where they didn't work out.
An agency will severely restrict your choice of candidate and when you have someone living in your house, it really needs to be someone you get on well with.
It is very easy to check out potential au pairs, you just need to ask them to get a police check (which is usually considerably more straightforward elsewhere than in the UK), see their passport (I usually ask them to show me during the SKYPE interview as well as send me a scanned copy), get a copy of their driving license if they need to drive and ask them to send something to say that they are healthy and fit.
I'd recommend au pair world. Browse the other host parents profile and get an idea of what makes a good one. The idea is to sell yourself as a family , but making your expectations completely clear. You need lots of smiley family photos too.
Karoleann - we have exchanged views on this forum so much surely we are basically good friends?! ;)
Seriously, it is you being so positive about au pair world that makes me think I would use it if I had a bit more time (not being martyrish, my job is an odd one with odd hours and lots of evenings).
I also wouldn't recommend childcare.co.uk which I tried once. I found loads of families there wanting an 'au pair' for £200 a week to look after, e.g., twins for 14 hours a day 6 days a week. The candidates I messaged seemed confused by a 'real' au pair set up with light duties, 25 hours and pocket money.
(And one candidate I looked up on Facebook and her profile pictures were so extraordinary I immediately dismissed her from my mind. Though that is not the fault of childcare.co.uk it was a bit eye opening. She looked so wholesome in her childcare profile!!)
Its strange how it can vary. Round here they all do 25-30 hours, socialise a lot and go to language classes during the day (as au pairs should). The occasional ones who are being exploited soon realise it and leave!
PS Promise au pair world isn't too much bother.
Our au pair works from after school pick up until 7pm, and spends the rest of the day at English classes or hanging out with her friends. I thought that was normal?!
Anyone have any recent experience of Smart Au Pairs Agency? Am starting to feel they are never going to find us a good candidate. Is this just the state of things at rhe moment- Brexit etc...?
Please login first.