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hello hello -- am thinking of possibly maybe hiring an au pair -- would love your pointers/tips/words of wisdom

(21 Posts)
Tutter Wed 18-Jun-08 07:50:46

never fancied it, as don't like the idea of someone being around all the time

but new house has separate accommodation which would be perfect (vendors have an au pair)

have a 3yo and an 11mo

any general advice you can give an au pair virgin? good places to start? happy to use an agency - we're an hour or so west of london

phraedd Wed 18-Jun-08 09:45:50

don't do it! lol

Check as much as you can about them and speak to them on the phone to see what their english is like.

catepilarr Wed 18-Jun-08 10:38:33

or you can ask for an aupair who is already in the uk and can come to face to face interview /you should probably pay travel expenses when not in london as thats expensive for an aupair/

catepilarr Wed 18-Jun-08 10:39:16

youcan also ask for a trial day/week to see whether you are ok with each other

ingles2 Wed 18-Jun-08 11:45:27

Hi Tutter...
lol phraedd grin that was my initial response too.
there's some really great threads on here Tutter if you do a little search..but basically
Think about what you need an AP for... most are not suitable for sole care of small children, but can clean,iron help at dinner, play with dc's
How many hours...AP's are 25 a week for about £70 in London AP+ are 30 for 80+
You can use a agency but it will cost you about £300-400 a placement and if they don't work out they will charge you again. That said I used an agency for my 1st few...they will police check, get references.
I use Au Pair World now, but it is a major effort trawling through thousands of applicants. AP's should be European really to be part of the scheme, most common at the mo are the E.Europeans Germany etc
Ok..what else do you want to know?

catepilarr Wed 18-Jun-08 11:53:53

here'a about aupair scheme


wh ich includes 'Please note the au pair scheme is due to be deleted later this year when the new points-based system Youth Mobility Scheme of Tier 5 is launched.'

Tutter Wed 18-Jun-08 19:55:06

thanks all

would prob use an agency as am new to the system -- any recommendations? am guessing london agencies may well cover this area too

lindseyfox Wed 18-Jun-08 20:05:34

why not get a live in mothers help they usually have maybe some quals or experience in childcare but not enough to be a nanny so is a stepping stone for them.

usually pay about £100-£150 net a week for 40-50hrs live in with one or two nights babysitting included in that. depends on where you live.

Tutter Wed 18-Jun-08 20:13:07

i've had a mother's help before lindsay, but am really just looking for an enthusiastic, bright extra pair of hands!

Tutter Wed 18-Jun-08 20:13:19

sorry, lindsey

sparklysparkles Wed 18-Jun-08 20:15:38

V.mixed experiences, watch out for the young and clueless who just think they're on holiday at your expense. If you've got sep accommodation I'd agree that a mother's help - an older lady - would be a good option. Stacks of Poles and Romanians around. Might not be good at English so you wouldn't nec want to leave them with sole care too much, but will do all the housework and cook and babysit. My best experiences are with those who are mothers themselves, so know how to deal with kids. 19 year old au pairs tend not to have much patience with 3yo ime.

ingles2 Wed 18-Jun-08 22:32:34

I've heard quite good reports about Almondbury agency.. if you're going to use one, try and find one that is affiliated with aupair2aupair which is about 8 agencies who put their ap's details on a website so they can make friends...friends help a lot IME.. (by the way don't use smart!)
also,.(disclaimer: just my experience grin )
.make sure they actually have some childcare experience...most say they've babysat their niece or something. it usually means they've visited once or twice
don't go for someone under 21
try and pick someone who actually wants to go to college for language lessons they're usually more dedicated
make sure you speak to them before they arrive to make sure they actually have some English,
Tell your agency exactly what you want and don't let them fob you off with someone unsuitable because they haven't got much on their books
make sure you check out 'the agencies "exchange" policy..
don't spend days bending over backwards to please AP...
jaded? moi?.......nooooooooo

cheapskatemum Wed 18-Jun-08 22:39:20

I agree with ingles2, don't use Smart Au Pairs.

catepilarr Thu 19-Jun-08 09:12:16

you can try maggie at

catepilarr Thu 19-Jun-08 09:13:03

she does both aupairs and mothers helps and i am sure she'll help you decide what you need

sparklysparkles Sat 21-Jun-08 16:15:54

I've used Almondbury - helpful, not too expensive, and have a lot of girls on their books. But in the end they don't really know the people they're sending to you, so you need to chat on the phone to likely candidates, exchange lots of emails, and make sure to get and check their references.

I really recommend writing out precise details of what you're expecting her to do, what she's not allowed to do, and what kind of things would not be accepted in your house. Then call and make sure she's actually read it and agrees with it. Or even write a contract and get her to sign it. It might not make much difference to how she behaves when she arrives, but you will then feel more comfortable telling/reminding her houseguests aren't allowed/she's to eat with dcs not you and dh/she can't do a language course that starts at 9 because won't be back from taking dcs to school in time/whatever. You also won't risk ending up with someone who is offended that you're asking her to hoover the living room - if that's what you need.

MissChief Wed 09-Jul-08 13:51:21

can i just gatecrash a second and ask when people are recommending "aupair world" (I assume .com as opposed to which is a dodgy-looking dating agency shock ) do you then mean any of the links - ie aupairinengland or ??
Au-pair virgin here and haven't a clue, thanks!
OP hope your search is going well.

catepilarr Wed 09-Jul-08 20:48:22

iheartdusty Wed 09-Jul-08 21:22:01

my friend has recommended
findababysitter dot com

it looks good, is for nannies/mothers' helps/ as well

also gumtree dot com

jura Wed 09-Jul-08 21:52:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MissChief Thu 10-Jul-08 08:20:51

thanks, I was looking at which has country links to aupairinengland etc. will try the other one now.

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