Hi - I am returning to work soon and have just been let down by a childminder I had arranged for 5 mths now. I was wondering if you knew if the cost of a live out au pair was way more then childminder? Also the best place to look?
An AP is an young woman (or man) usually between 17-28 , it is not recommended that they are left in sole charge of young children. They often have little or no experience. All the ones I've employed come here to improve their English, mostly by taking p/t college courses.
A live out AP costs between £5-£7.50 and hour in my area (SE). A live-in AP is only cheap as you are giving them 'pocket money' and board and lodgings.
Having employed 6 APs of different ages and standards, only 2 were capeable of doing a childminders job.
I would not consider one interchangeable for the other.
They have to live in and are not proper childcarers. I know people who do use them for sole care all day but you would be mad to do this in my opinion - Au-pairs are for babysitting and school drop offs and playing with the kids, not for childcare. If you want to leave your child with someone all day, you need someone either fully qualified or with experience. The cost is around £6.50-£7.50 net outside of London (you could go lower if it was someone's first job outside of college). I think in London it's a fair bit more expensive.
This whole childcare issue is getting more stressful by the minute now!!! I am now doing everything I wanted to avoid...looking for a childminder in a blind rush as I have 6 weeks before I am due to return to work. What worries me the most is how do I know that all the childminders I am looking at now won't be lying to me (I found out the other CM was dropping off 3 kids to various schools with a further 3 two year ols in the car. There was also discrepcancies in how many children she actually cares for). I feel so stressed and can't sleep at night worrying about the situation. I know I am not the first mum to return to work but I do feel very powerless and alone.
sheepgirl - don't panic, we will help you.
au-pair not suitable for sole charge of pre-school children, but cheap, around Ã?Â£70 a week live in.
Live out the hourly rate is similar to childminder, have you thought about a nannyshare?
This is a good time to find a nursey place too as all the big ones have moved to school and spaces open up lower down.
I am a CM and charge 3.10 per hour. In Dorset. I wouldn't recommend an au pair until a child can tell you if they like the person and if something is wrong. They are not qualified in childcare but are police checked. However, if inexperienced they can be problematic in areas such as behaviour/discipline, feeding etc. To find a good childminder ask for their EY number (registration) to check their latest report. If its less than a good don't entertain them.
Thanks for the support and please don't get me wrong I do not think all childminders are bad. Lots of my friend's children go to CMs and think they are superb. I still think the CM I had lined up is very good at what she does. You could tell she really loves children and when she first met my little boy she just swooped him up in her arms and went off to play with him. 20 mins later she came to say hello to me! She also came as a recommendation from a friend that used her 5 yrs ago. Unfortunately I think she has taken on too much to handle.
I live in the Mill Hill (NW7) area if anyone knows any good CMs. I am going to see one tmrw but she also cares for her 8 mth baby...do you think that si a bad thing?
Have read the OFSTED report for the CM I am seeing tmrw, she got a good grading. She has been registered since last year. The report was very positive about her abilities but my only concerns was the fact that she looks after her own 8 mth baby.
i don't think you need to worry. My dd was only 14mths when I started minding and if anything I am stricter with her than my minded children, she gets away with less. When I go on outings they are treated according to their needs and ages and personalities.