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Au pair agency help

(11 Posts)
CMCC Sat 09-Aug-08 15:07:39

I will soon be returning to work and hoping to take on a live in au pair.

Can anyone recommend a good au pair agency?

Any idea how long the whole process takes?

would be greatful for any tips/advise

Thank you for your help

C

CMCC Sat 09-Aug-08 23:21:13

PLEASE- someone must know a good agency

objectivity Sat 09-Aug-08 23:22:08

don't know about agencies per se but greataupair.com is the site I used to self-hire.

CMCC Sun 10-Aug-08 08:53:28

Thank you objectivity will have a look

Millarkie Sun 10-Aug-08 08:56:00

I've used www.aupair-world.net but no real agencies.

Mayze Mon 11-Aug-08 10:29:55

I was in the same position as you last year, so have learnt a lot in a year!

I used agencies last year when I got an au pair for the first time, and again this year when I got my new one - they have given me much more confidence that I have found someone I can trust living with me and helping to look after my girls. The agencies have relationships with au pair agencies in the other countries, so all applicants are screened locally, and depending on the agencies, are interviewed, vetted with the local police, health-checked, with childcare references taken up etc. You will still need to interview the aupair over the phone but its much safer to go through an agency (at least the first time so you can see how it all works)

My advice is to register with more than one agency so you get access to a wider range of available au pairs - especially if you need someone to start by a certain date. There seem to be plenty of girls about but most didn't want to start until end Sept, which was no good for us.

The agencies I used this year were angel au pairs (tel 01252 851978) and millennium au pairs www.millenniumaupairs.co.uk - though i think they may possibly only operate in the South East. I found their details from my local Family Grapevine directory - here's the link to their website http://www.thefamilygrapevine.co.uk/publications.htm, it's not particularly user-friendly but it's worth perservering to find your local childcare agencies)

Once you've found an au pair it still takes a couple of weeks before they arrive, and then a few weeks for them to settle in and get to know your children, your house, your routines etc - and very importantly for you to assess their capabilities and learn to trust them with your children.

So my advice is start looking asap, then there's one less thing to worry about as you prepare to return to work.

Good luck!

Weegle Mon 11-Aug-08 11:25:46

I also self-hire through Au Pair World. I prefer this as I feel like I've done the vetting, asked all the questions I want to ask, done the research and all communication etc so no crossed wires etc. Also saves you on the agency fee. When we started out looking for our first AP we went to an agency and TBH I ended up doing all the leg work anyway (and was sent loads of applicant's details who didn't fit my criteria) so it seemed I was paying the agency for nothing really, so abandoned that route and went with self-hire.

Badpups Tue 12-Aug-08 08:07:42

I've just found an au pair through Childcare International and our previous one through Peek-a-Boo (although they gave us some slightly inaccurate advice about work permits so beware!). I've also looked at A Class APs and Cosmopolitan APs.
All these agencies charge a fee when they place someone - there are a few agencies that charge you to register with them as well and I've never tried any of those.

I registered with the online sites but had no luck with them at all.

cloudberry Thu 14-Aug-08 23:10:36

I use a fantastic agency for my au pairs and have recommended her before see her Good luck

NewTeacher Fri 15-Aug-08 14:16:25

I have used a great agency and their price is reasonable too.

Their website is:www.abacusaupairagency.co.uk

cheapskatemum Fri 15-Aug-08 18:41:16

I use greataupairs and aupairworld. Had the same experience as Weegle with agencies. It might seem petty, but I repeatedly advise against using Smart Au Pairs as they sent me a "driver", who couldn't drive and refused to refund me the £80 premium I paid for an au pair who could drive. (The £80 was just the tip of the iceburg of the fee I paid)

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