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House rules for Au Pairs and any other tips please!

(49 Posts)
Millarkie Sun 27-Apr-08 16:13:59

I'm in a minor panic - we were looking for an au pair to start in September because the kids change school then...but a local au pair whose host family no longer need her (mum given up work) has contacted us and asked if we would want her from next week.
We are very tempted to take her on for a month or so since it will give us experience of having someone live-in and because dh has at least 5 days away from home next month so she can cover the school drop off (saves me having dMIL staying over).

So, I need to write a job description and house rules before Wednesday- argh. She has a boyfriend who is living locally so I know I need to put in the 'no guests in working hours including babysitting nights, or past 10pm type rule'. but my mind has gone blank on other situations that are best avoided.

Any advice please?

Oh and does anyone have/use a contract for au pairs??

Weegle Sun 27-Apr-08 16:25:18

Contract you can download from Aupair World.

Our basic house rules are:
If you're the last out you are responsible for locking all doors and shutting all windows.
If you're the last to bed at night you are responsible for turning off all lights and shutting the cats in.
Don't download anything on to the computer without asking first.
Don't use the phone for outgoing calls more than 1.5 hours per week and dial 18866 first.
Write on the kitchen calendar if you are planning to be out so we don't book you for babysitting and know not to provide a meal (vice versa we also write babysitting on the calendar).
No friends over or long phone calls whilst you have sole care. (phonecalls allowed when he's asleep obviously!)

Think that's about it!

blueshoes Sun 27-Apr-08 16:38:48

Millarkie, you don't need a contract for aupairs. I just have a set of house rules I go through with aupair on her arrival.

The relationship between aupair and family is pretty much a consensual arrangement. If aupair is unhappy, she can up and leave anytime - impossible to stop her. Similarly, if I had serious issues, I can see myself showing her the door within weeks. Hence, no contract beyond houserules.

If you want my houserules, CAT me your email. They are too long to post.

Apart from house rules, you might also want to create a schedule, so she knows exactly what happens at what time of the day especially re: schoolrun. eg I put 6:50 am - wake up, 2:30 - start walking to dd's school with buggy etc

HarrietTheSpy Sun 27-Apr-08 16:55:14

blueshoes...for those of us considering au pairs, I would personally love to see those rules as well...Can you post?

blueshoes Sun 27-Apr-08 17:02:12

No problems, Harriet. I will go dig them up tomorrow.

Millarkie Sun 27-Apr-08 17:32:50

Thanks Blueshoes and Weegle. I have been trawling the archives looking for tips too!

poodlepusher Sun 27-Apr-08 21:08:03

I know an important one is - no getting drunk while working / night before working / in front of the kids!

Quattrocento Sun 27-Apr-08 21:11:16

To add to the other rules

An unspoken rule is no sex at home - we are awful prudes

Also everything has to be washed up and put back

Also we pay for all outings and trips (our aupair reluctant to accept money for these, cannot imagine why)

ingles2 Sun 27-Apr-08 22:01:00

As a few of you know I have a looooong list of rules and a contract smile
CAT me if you want them...

Millarkie Sun 27-Apr-08 22:50:40

Thank you very much for your suggestions and especially for Ingles and Blueshoes offers of house rules (will CAT you thanks).

After long deliberations we have decided not to take on this particular au pair but will wait til September as per original plan. This one have very poor english (has been in UK and taking lessons for 8 months) and we decided that we could not have confidence that she would be able to cope with the children when I am not around (would only be for school drop off/pick up but still..)

She did make us laugh as dh asked if she had any questions for us and she said to him 'Would you like children?' After a lot of smirking from dh it turned out she meant to ask 'What do the children like to do?'

HarrietTheSpy Sun 27-Apr-08 23:08:49

Millarkie - oh dear. I reckon the right decision!

Blueshoes. Should I CAT you too or will you be posting them? Either way is fine with me.

Thanks again.

blueshoes Mon 28-Apr-08 09:30:13

Message withdrawn

blueshoes Mon 28-Apr-08 10:42:43

Millarkie, I also value a decent standard of English highly. It is the difference between being able to take/give instructions over the phone and not (eg emergency situation whereby dcs have to be picked up from school/nursery/illness or accident in the house).

All the best for your September aupair. I will be in the market for one at that time as well.

CharliegirlB Mon 28-Apr-08 13:51:22

Blueshoes - you might want to remove number 54 from your list. For security reasons, of course, as you have just given the world your neighbours name and address.

blueshoes Mon 28-Apr-08 14:23:50

Thanks CharliegirlB. I thought I had taken out all personal info - looks like that one slipped the net. Hurrah that mn was so quick to respond.

Millarkie, Harriet and any others, please feel free to CAT me for the House Rules.

stressed2007 Mon 28-Apr-08 16:37:50

Blueshoes I would like the rules please too - how do I "CAT" you?

blueshoes Mon 28-Apr-08 17:00:23

hi stressed. good question. I have never done it myself!

There is a blue menu at the top of this page. One of the options is 'Contact a Mumsnetter'. I think you must be paid up (£5, I believe) to use the CAT facility. I have not paid up myself so cannot CAT you.

Alternatively, if you leave your email address on this thread, I can email you.

Otherwise, no problems, I will post the House Rules again.

Millarkie Tue 29-Jul-08 22:18:00

I'm BUMPING this old thread because I have finally (i think) got mumsnet to accept my money and get CAT to work...so Blueshoes and Ingles, is it still ok to contact you and ask for your House rules????

Please

Simply Thu 31-Jul-08 09:13:35

Bumping for you Millarkie.

Millarkie Thu 31-Jul-08 15:22:31

And another little bump -

MarmadukeScarlet Thu 31-Jul-08 18:34:38

Ingles may well be away, she may have her crackberry with her though

<incoming hijack>

<hello lovely if you see this>

<also Weegle, how's the new AP?>

(sorry been away, a little out of touch, hijack over)

I don't have a contract, although a few nice mumsnetters have sent me theirs as Blueshoes says they can up and leave at anytime.

I DO have house rules, which started at a few and now are more extensive.

Includes 'we do not smack, hit, threaten or scare the children.'

'DS is not to be left alone in the garden at anytime'

Millarkie Thu 31-Jul-08 18:42:24

Thanks for bumping Simply

And thanks for info Marmaduke - I thought I hadn't seen Ingles around recently.

I used a contract from aupairworld (although I think I read this week that it's totally invalid for the UK anyway - made AP happy and that's what I needed)..it's house rules I have to think of/write out.

Could I persuade you into sharing your house rules Marmaduke? My brain isn't functioning due to lack of sleep (have managed to get ill and have 2 kids all with different things). Au pair arrives in 2 weeks (unless I have upset her by saying that if her mum wants to visit in October she will have to have a mattress on ap's room floor - we have had email silence since then)

If any other au pair employers are reading this - has anyone else put a single bed in AP's room (it's a funny shape and choice was double and barely any storage furniture or single and proper sized wardrobe, drawers, desk etc..so have gone for single)

And what do you do if they ask if their mum can visit - for some reason I am a lot more nervous of letting a (judgey) adult into our home than a (hopefully flexible) 22yr old.

MarmadukeScarlet Thu 31-Jul-08 18:53:22

I have an Ikea day bed in my APs room, it pulls out into a double which makes the room fairly cramped - but it is up to them. There is bedding for both sizes in drawer underneath bed.

House rules...Well many of them are really only pertinent to my DS (has SN) or my general parenting style (benign neglect grin)

But after DC in bed (AP off clubbing shortly) I will have a rumage around for them. May be tomorrow if that is OK?

How long since contact with your AP?

I have invited APs mother over here, I'd like to meet her and gain some insight into how she brought up her DD to be such a fantastic person in the vain hope some parenting skills rub off on me and my DD turns out as lovely!

I am always nervous of being judged for my cluttered homely abode, by anyone of any age!

Millarkie Thu 31-Jul-08 20:18:31

I do 'benign neglect' too - just this side of feral. Although dd managed to find a test pot of paint one evening this week (I'd put her to bed but she often potters about her room for a while) - she painted pink splodges on the landing walls - oops.

Tomorrow would be fab if you could - I have 2 weeks to get things together (I'm hoping that she won't be too phased to get house rules when she arrives rather than discussed in advance).

AP emailed a couple of days ago - mainly to ask if her mum can stay in October. I had to go into a complex answer involving decorators (who haven't turned up) and bedrooms/beds.. which culminated in me saying that the 2 of them would have to share a room (there is floor space for a mattress but a full-size double bed is too big I think)..and that we may not have the spare room which we offered to put her boyfriend up in (he is flying over here with her, staying the first weekend and then flying back - they have been living miles apart for years so hopefully I won't regret taking an AP with boyfriend)..and could he possibly stay in her room on mattress. (We have 2 empty bedrooms at the moment, wallpaper stripped and ready for absent decorators, kids are sharing the spare room, au pair's room is being furnished, and our room is a tip..t'is a bit of a disaster - but not as bad as your bathroom (it was you with the bathroom wasn't it?)

Millarkie Thu 31-Jul-08 22:33:10

Bumping because I've just noticed Blueshoes is about

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