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Cannot find an AP!

(24 Posts)
Bettyboobird Sat 30-Aug-08 15:46:28

Hi guys,
I've just stumbled across this site, but you seem to be the experts.
I cannot find an AP for love nor money.
We've had 3 which I'd found through gumtree, but they all pulled out at the last minute for one reason or another.
I've registered with several agencies, and they send me profiles, so I send emails to the AP and never hear anything back.
I've put profiles on a few internet sites, and AP contact me, I reply...then nothing.
How, oh, how did you find your APs?!
I'm tearing my hair out as I start uni again on Monday and really need that extra pair of hands.

Simplyme Sat 30-Aug-08 16:12:27

Where are you based? There is I believe an au pair available who wants to work in the Kent area

Bettyboobird Sat 30-Aug-08 16:16:49

I'm in Northamptonshire. We live in a small town a 20min drive from Milton Keynes (30 mins from London). So basically not near Kent! But a lovely area nonetheless!

jura Sat 30-Aug-08 16:22:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bettyboobird Sat 30-Aug-08 16:27:23

Hi Jura,
Yes I've just registered with APW-think I'll go looking at other families' profiles and jazz ours up a little!
We've added lots of photos which should show use as a genuine, happy family.
Out of interest, do you phone APs, or just email them initially?

Issy Sat 30-Aug-08 16:29:39

Hi Jura: That sounds promising! 24 hours to go here......

jura Sat 30-Aug-08 16:39:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jura Sat 30-Aug-08 16:41:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bettyboobird Sat 30-Aug-08 17:28:50

Thanks Jura-you have mail!

Millarkie Sat 30-Aug-08 17:43:08

Bettyboobird - If you are 20 mins from MK does that mean you are quite rural? I live in a village although it has got good transport links to cities but it still made it harder to find an ap. I've made our job as 'small' as possible ie. we only need before school care for 20 mins each morning, dog walk and after school care for 1.5 hours 3 days a week, no cleaning, no ironing, no cooking. And made it very clear in profile and first email that we are looking for someone who chooses to see the beautiful english countryside rather than someone who wants to go out clubbing every night.
Have you restricted the nationalitys that you are looking for on your profile? That can make it harder too.

Millarkie Sat 30-Aug-08 17:44:23

Jut thought of another thing, someone on here mentioned putting 3 months as your minimum requirement even if you are looking for longer as then you get the people looking for 3-6 months rather than the few looking for 6 months and more.

Bettyboobird Sat 30-Aug-08 18:26:05

Millarke-that's a good idea to lower our minimum stay requirement.
We live in a small town, so it has a nightlife-but it's not the sacred London everyone wants lol!

jura Sat 30-Aug-08 20:46:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Millarkie Sat 30-Aug-08 20:50:29

Congratulations Jura!
My AP has gone for a 'sleepover' at another AP's house (hope she's not trying to run away from us)

jura Sat 30-Aug-08 21:00:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jura Sat 30-Aug-08 21:01:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HarrietTheSpy Sat 30-Aug-08 23:48:23

Is anyone willing to send ME a copy of their Au Pair World profile? DH and I working on ours and it's reading more like our usual Gumtree ad. I'm having trouble.

Also, some questions.

Are we really expected to bring the Au Pair on weekends away? I don't think this is going to be feasible, especially if it's to visit with friends (which is what we mostly do at this stage, given the DCs) who generally won't have room and/or won't want this. (And those who wouldn't mind could poss be a nightmare for other reasons, i.e. they'd expect babysitting for themselves!!)

How much time would you say they spend with you in practice at the weekends? We do need some family time. Obviously the plan is to give her these days off and I'm hoping that she will look forward to having some space herself...Do you just give them the opp to come to stuff and if they say no, that's their look out? Or occsionally say, we're going to be out for a couple of hours, see you at dinner, etc????

On immigration issues, I know there have been some changes, but I'm okay if I limit it to EU applicants right?

Cheers ladies...

Julesnobrain Sun 31-Aug-08 00:07:14

We offer our ap the option to come out with us on some days but not all. If your visiting friends and think they would be bored then there is no point asking them. In general unless we are doing a special sightseeing day which is for the ap's benefit we find they prefer to have their own time. I generally let them know if we have special plans at the weekend and ask if they have any. Our current ap goes out Sat am and comes back Sun pm unless we ask her to babysit on Sat eve, we're more than happy for her to do this provided she tells me when shes coming back so I don't worry.

Millarkie Sun 31-Aug-08 09:52:28

We've only had our AP for a couple of weeks but she's gone out for most of the time at weekends - shopping with friends, cinema, into London, to the beach etc. She came home for 5 mins last night and packed a bag then ran out - I saw her long enough for her to say that she was going to stay over at a friends and she'd be back today, but that was it.
No sign of her yet and we are off to the cinema soon so won't be able to ask her if she wants to come along.
We did invite her to a stately home visit on Bank Holiday Monday but she prefered to go out with her friends.

I think a lot must depend on your AP's personality. I have had some contacts from AP World who made it clear that they would want to come along if we went to visit family for a weekend etc.

Harriet - I would send you a link to our profile but I don't consider it that great - I think the main key is to keep it 'bumped' - the AP's see the profiles in the order of 'who logged on most recently' so I find if I log on every half hour in the late evening I get loads of applications. My profile mainly tells them where we are in the country, number of kids and age etc but I've only filled in one part of the 'bumpf' ...I give them all the details in our first email.

Weegle Sun 31-Aug-08 11:26:48

If we are going to friends we just say "we are going to x, will be back at whatever time". If we are doing something like a day out we will invite them along. If we are doing something dull like shopping we might offer a lift to the town/shopping centre we go to. But once they've been here a while they tend to find some friends and go out more by themselves which automatically gives you more time as a family. We take our AP with us when we go to stay with our families (Devon and Cambridgeshire) as they are nice areas to visit - they don't have to come but both of our families have welcomed them. I wouldn't do the same with visiting friends though.

HarrietTheSpy Sun 31-Aug-08 11:49:38

Thanks for your responses. It's not realistic to bring an au pair to our families due to distance (mine are in the US for one thing) and space.

Thinking about it, it's possible it would be too stressful for the au pair to come on any of the trips we go on that are likely to be overnight. How much of an issue is going to be? I guess the main thing I need to consider is how many trips we are likely to make, i.e. how many weekends she'd be on her own.

Do you think the au pairs who said they wanted to come see family were just trying to sound obliging or they would be really put out?

If it means we HAVE to take her to many things, and hire additional accommodation/car, do you reflect this in the rate you pay them? THis doesn't seem feasible.

HarrietTheSpy Sun 31-Aug-08 12:14:58

Sorry for the hijack by the way. My manners are appalling!!!

goldenoldie Mon 01-Sep-08 08:16:09

must be an urban/rural thing. we have thr opposite problem, being swamped with applicants using the same methods and sites as you. we are in zone 2, london.

might be due to more work/study opportunities as well as nightlife?

jura Mon 01-Sep-08 11:44:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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