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Hubby says we need an au pair and I don't know where to start!

(43 Posts)
ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Mon 25-Aug-08 11:02:32


SqueakyPop Mon 25-Aug-08 11:22:23

Put together a description of your family/house/neighbourhood, and decide what you want your au pair to do.

Then go over to Aupair World and have a look at some profiles of girls to see if you are inspired. If you think this is a good way to find an aupair, then set up a profile and see who is interested in you.

The alternative way is to go through an agency.

sarah293 Mon 25-Aug-08 11:25:22

Message withdrawn

SqueakyPop Mon 25-Aug-08 11:38:58

In aupairworld, there is a checkbox for willingness to work with disabled children.

They usually live-in, and you pay around £70 per week.

Millarkie Mon 25-Aug-08 11:47:21

What SqueakyPop says

I recommend having as clear an idea as you can about the au pairs job description before you put a profile on au pair world.. and be prepared for a high proportion of applications from au pairs who fit none of your criteria (some just contact the first 20 active profiles or something).

Cost - from £60 pocket money for 25 hours max (but you can get european 'au pairs' who will work 30-35 hours for up to £95 per week). Plus food and board obviously plus perks such as UK mobile phone, use of car (sometimes necessary rather than a perk), gym membership, young person's railcard.
They do live-in
What will they do - shared charge supervision of younger children (under 3), short periods of sole charge supervision of older children (ie. school age), light cleaning (hoovering, dusting, not bathroom cleaning), ironing, school runs
Disabled children - some will - some won't - as SP said there is a check box for this on aupair world.

sarah293 Mon 25-Aug-08 11:58:26

Message withdrawn

SqueakyPop Mon 25-Aug-08 13:21:38

We've had loads of aupairs and none of them have used the car. We have amenities within walking distance and good public transport. We also provide a bicycle. We don't give any perks - just pocket money.

I think you would need a very special person for your situation, but I have certainly seen aupairs who have specifically said they are interested in caring for disabled children.

One of the problems with aupairs is that they are very unofficial, so don't seem to trigger any kind of funding - tax breaks on childcare, etc.

HarrietTheSpy Mon 25-Aug-08 16:13:09

A very good friend of ours has an au pair who helps with her disabled son. She is an au pair plus and does 30 hrs pwk, for £120. She is fantastic. From what I've seen on the threads on here, though, I'm convinced our friend is uncommonly lucky in terms of dedication, maturity levels, etc. I don't mean to be unnecesarily pessimistic - but you may have a period of trial and error as she did, getting the right person on board.

bossykate Mon 25-Aug-08 16:14:15

hubby says we need an au pair.

hubby gets off arse and organises au pair? how about that?

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Mon 25-Aug-08 16:18:18


Actually, I have been out shopping for 2 hours today and he has been looking on line for advice.


Millarkie Mon 25-Aug-08 16:21:47

We supply a car because we are in a village with a not-so-frequent bus service to nearest town. If you live in a town with good public transport then there would be no need to supply a car.
The phone we supplied was about £20 from tesco. We pay £10 credit per month and she has to buy any extra top-ups. (It is mainly so we can keep in touch with each other during the day).
Can things like Direct Payments be used to pay for anything? ie. Au pairs.
The 'skills' of au pairs vary tremendously - some are teenagers who have a little babysitting experience. Our current au pair is midway through a teaching degree and has 18months experience of working in a kindergarten so would be fine left with younger children (happy to change nappies etc). She has much the same experience as the 20-something UK citizen who I employ as a nanny!

I think that there is a mumsnetter with a disabled child who has an au pair to help out - but will have to check their name (quite a long name I seem to remember)

Millarkie Mon 25-Aug-08 16:23:10

I'mnotMamaG... tell him to look on mumsnet - everything you need to know about hiring au pairs is here!

SquiffyHock Mon 25-Aug-08 16:31:18

My Hubby thinks we will need one when number 3 arrives but I'm just not sure about sharing my home. It's the evenings that worry me - I just want to be able to ootle about and not worry about someone else being there.

I also know what I'm like (particularly after childbirth) - I'd put pressure on myself to make all mealtimes great (no frozen pie and chips), I know it sounds silly but I worry it would add to my stress rather than alliviate it IYSWIM.

What I would love is a lady (like my Mum) who could come in every day from 1-6 and help with cleaning and childcare, look after the little ones when I get DS from school, look after them while I make tea.... Where do I find this fantasy lady????

Sorry MamaG - this doesn't answer your question at all!! smile

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Mon 25-Aug-08 16:46:44

FWIW He didn't ask me to find one, I came on here as MN is usually a goopd place to find out anything you need to know.

I am the same, SH. What I really need is a Mum. sad

nannynick Mon 25-Aug-08 16:47:02

Housework and childcare are two different things, finding someone who is good at both is next to impossible.

If you need a cleaner, get a cleaner.
If you need childcare, get a nanny.
If you want to help a young foreign person learn English language and English customs, then get an au-pair. In return they may do some washing up, ironing, and may entertain your children for an hour or so if you are lucky.

INMGBSLM - Work out why you need an au-pair, what tasks you want them to do. Then see if that is something an au-pair would actually do, or if you are better off getting someone else in for a few hours to do one thing - such as having a cleaner come in for 3 hours or so once a week.

bossykate Mon 25-Aug-08 16:55:49

nannynick, most mothers manage both quite easily. isn't it fairer to say that most nannies are unwilling to do housework?

bossykate Mon 25-Aug-08 16:56:45

well perhaps "easily" is not the right word! but combining childcare and some basic housework is far from impossible.

bossykate Mon 25-Aug-08 16:58:01

oh btw, sorry i was sharp earlier. i assumed from the wording of the thread title that he had decided it was your job to find one!

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Mon 25-Aug-08 17:02:25

No, my husband doesn't assume any job is my job.

SqueakyPop Mon 25-Aug-08 17:17:22

You have to have appropriate expectations for an aupair in order to not be disappointed. But it's a lottery, just like employing a nanny or a cleaner is a lottery.

If you have school aged children, then it's crazy to pay top dollar for a nanny. An aupair is absolutely fine. As long as they do some housework, eg daily kitchen cleaning, hoovering and children's clothes, then they are really good value.

Plenty of people can do more than one role - it's insulting to suggest otherwise. I have even asked a cleaner to look after my DD (aroudn 1yo), when I had a 2hr dental appt during her scheduled cleaning slot (I told her not to clean).

HarrietTheSpy Mon 25-Aug-08 17:38:49

Hmmm...I'm wondering about the value component re au pairs. We have been told our spare room and bath could rent for £150 a week in this area. So, if i get say an au pair plus in on £90-100 a week, the real cost to us is arguably nearer £250 (plus food and bills) for a part-time employee, with all the inconveniences of a live-in arrangement. We would definitely expect more than just the odd bit of ironing for this.

SqueakyPop - how many APs have you had and how many times have you had total disasters (like they walked through the door and you just KNEW)and ended up in another time consuming recruitment process?

HarrietTheSpy Mon 25-Aug-08 17:46:40

Sorry I should have said: 'part time help around the house' not 'employee.' Please don't flame me for this.

SqueakyPop Mon 25-Aug-08 18:06:17

Would you, in all honesty, rent your room to a lodger?

Our aupairs - we really have had a lot (13), but I was a SAHM for the first few years so happy to have them for only short periods - they are much keener in the first few months, and really do tail off quickly.

We have had one total disaster - Estonian girl who stayed for two nights and literally run off at dawn with the contents of my purse (fortunately not much).

We have had a Bulgarian girl who appeared to be a visa scammer - stayed one night and left due to my children's alleged headlice (they didn't, and I know because I checked them the day before she arrived).

We had a lovely English girl who managed a week, but broke her leg on a home visit and obviously couldn't come back to us. We thought that was going to be a great arrangement up until then.

We had a German girl who really wasn't cut out for aupairing. She seemed too good for our domestic tasks. We have also had 3 girls who got really homesick and only stayed a few months each. They were really torn, especially the last one like that who seemed to have problems sticking with things.

Our first aupair, we made lots of mistakes. She was nice, we are nice, and we got off to a good start. Her English was poor and we weren't paying enough - the stress took its toll. We have learn't since then.

We've have five other aupairs that have been good. They've stayed the course and enjoyed themselves here.

We've only had on really bad experience - the Estonian - and one pretty bad - the Bulgarian. After the Estonian, I had about 10 days to find a new aupair and managed to get one with two days to spare. After the Bulgarian, I had help from frieds and DH, and then the brief English aupair, then two weeks of an after-school childminder. The long term aupair started 1st October, so it was, in reality, 3-4 weeks of turmoil.

It is not a stress-free route. You really don't want them in your house when you are on holiday, so it's good to get them to arrive just a few days before you need them. But if it goes belly up, you have very little time to sort out alternatives.

Millarkie Mon 25-Aug-08 18:13:56

Harriet - We flirted with the idea of renting out our spare room and using the rental money to buy in the services that we hope to get from the au pair but are sticking with the au pair for now...I am hoping that we will save £26.50 a week in parking fees (dh will drop me at the station and leaves kids in bed with ap in house), £30 per week in dog walker fees and £70 per week on after-school even with no cleaning or babysitting we should break even.

SquiffyHock Mon 25-Aug-08 18:41:48

I think I should start an agency 'Grandmas R' Us'!!

It would be for all the families that don't have any family nearby (or have but they're not much use!) and for all the Grandmas who have grandchildren living away from them.

They could help with cleaning, ironing, doing puzzles and baking with children and we could sit down and have a nice cup of tea with them once a day!

What do you think? Will it make me rich??

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