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Question about au pairs...

(10 Posts)
Weegle Tue 26-Jun-07 18:17:40

We are looking to getting our first au pair. I am very interested in someone through Au Pair World who has emailed me in response to a long list of questions I asked her. We also gave her a lot of info about us and some pics of our family. I am now waiting for some references. My question is: is your gut feeling normally right? It seems so hard to make a decision based on never meeting someone! My gut feeling says she'll fit in just fine, her sense of humour is similar to ours over email, and she looks normal in her pictures! I'm just concerned that we will be sharing our home with someone who we'll never have met! Tell me these are normal worries and that it will all be fine!

blueshoes Tue 26-Jun-07 19:24:30

I am an ap novice - got one from the great aupair site to start in Aug. I am told it is luck. And a relaxed attitude on your part helps ie accept that your lifestyle will change with someone sharing your house (eg no more romantic dinners at home). Treat ap as a big sister rather than an employee, makes her happy and less homesick.

defo check references. Speak to them if possible. Also speak to the aupair over the phone to assess her English and consistency with her written answers.

Hope someone with more experience comes along.

Jix Tue 26-Jun-07 22:02:36

Which au-pair site did you use?
Any tips please pass on!

Weegle Wed 27-Jun-07 11:27:26

I've been using Au Pair World. I paid the extra to become a premium member so I could contact the ones I was interested in/were interested in us.

Just waiting for her references now...

Quattrocento Wed 27-Jun-07 11:30:02

Just going through same process Weegle. Think you just have to trust your instincts. Going through Au Pair World, what did you do about police checks, health issues etc?

eleusis Wed 27-Jun-07 13:19:33

I think your fears are normal, especially for the first one. But, then, sometimes you do everything you can and you get a lemon anyway.

Deffo check out threads on house rules and make sure she knows what is expected.

Weegle Wed 27-Jun-07 17:11:50

Quattrocentro - I've decided the best thing to do is to ask them for at least two references, one must be a teacher or someone they have worked for with children, I have asked for phone numbers and addresses of these people. I hadn't actually thought through the police check issue, I thought references would be enough? But then I am in the position that my son will never be left unattended with the au pair as they will be an extra pair of hands for me (health condition, need someone who can lift my 26-lber!), so I have no concerns because I will always be in the house.

I have decided the best thing is to be very up front from the beginning - I have stated in emails exactly what I expect in quite a lot of detail and exactly what housework would be required each week.

Weegle Wed 27-Jun-07 17:16:52

Also meant to say, my questionnaire asks them about allergies, what their health has been like the last few years, what they eat etc... I made quite a detailed list of questions but figure that even knowing that someone's favourite meal is lasagne and not offal with caviar helps to paint a picture of whether they will fit in to our home. Also I think if they can be bothered to take the time to reply to my enormous list then they must be seriously interested in our family.

Quattrocento Wed 27-Jun-07 19:19:05

Am interviewing someone in person this weekend! By coincidence she is already an aupair in the UK. Her contract is up so I am actually getting to meet her!

PLUS she gets to see house and children, PLUS I get to meet her current employer. All this is very good.

BUT if it does work out I am a bit worried though because she is not an EU citizen so I will have to sort out visas. I think. D'you know anything about that?

BrummieOnTheRun Wed 27-Jun-07 21:30:21

where's she from? has all the visa info

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