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What should be in Welcome Pack for new Nanny/au pair?

(13 Posts)
majorstress Wed 23-Feb-05 15:19:08

This idea came from another thread-in addition to the Duties and Responsibilities in a very prominent place , what could you put in a book or binder that would make her (or him) feel they had come to the right place and landed on their feet? ideas please from parents and nannies/au pairs former and current.

Are there any good discussion lists like mumsnet for nannies/au pairs, that you could point them to?

MrsWobble Wed 23-Feb-05 15:51:57

on the practical side we included an A-Z, a tube and bus map and timetable, library/leisure centre opening hours,

we also included "welcome letters" from the children - which were basically drawings of themselves and messages such as "Hello Kate. I hope you're nice. I like cats. My best friend is Eleanor" This turned out to be surprisingly successful as it gave her conversation starters with the children when they were shy initially.

We also split out duties and responsibilities bit into two - the first bit was her job spec ie the things she had to do (eg change the childrens sheets on Monday, do their laundry etc) and the second bit was House Rules. The House Rules was a bit more aspirational - the things that would make the arrangement work for all of us by setting appropriate expectations. This included things like her freedom to use the telephone but our expectation that she would pay and a warning that international calls were expensive; her freedom to use the internet but our expectation that if we needed the computer she would log out; our expectation that she would tell us where she was going at weekends and if she was going to be back late. It was intended to be a two way thing - we tell her where we are going and when we expect to be back when she's babysitting etc.

When she arrived we gave her both documents and asked her to read them and comment if she thought the house rules were unfair or unworkable. She was happy with them and they seem to have worked so far.

beachyhead Wed 23-Feb-05 15:56:04

I would add on the practical side, written details of when you will pay her, whether it will always be in cash or by direct debit, so it avoids all misunderstanding - it is quite embarrassing asking about pay when you first arrive, but it is likely to be the one thing that she really needs to know.

MrsWobble Wed 23-Feb-05 16:04:45

we also helped her to open a UK bank account as the bank she went to first wanted to charge her an exorbitant monthly fee - they said that it was good value for the services provided which if you were a wealthy expat needing complex investment/money transfer it might have been - but not suitable for someone needing a straightforward cash account with ATM card.

When you're dealing with money issues as Binkie suggests you might also include forms to set up a bank account and if it's at your bank you can get same day transfer of funds if you pay her by dd

MrsWobble Wed 23-Feb-05 16:05:28

whoops - beachyhead not binkie - I should check more carefully - apologies to all concerned

majorstress Wed 23-Feb-05 18:00:17

That sounds great, I love the idea for the children's letters-wonder what to do for the 2 year old... maybe use an existing artwork, and list current likes/dislikes. Sorting out the bank is a v good idea too. What else....? DH was suggesting a golden hello of some sort, though this should be modest I think. Any ideas on finding local country-specific contacts? Sign her up for local first aid course?

majorstress Wed 23-Feb-05 18:05:56

Direct debit would reduce my hassle too, I am always scrabbling for cash, which I myself rarely use (since I don't have any left...)

BUT I digress...with last one I specially bought new pretty but adult bedlinen, and this was spurned in favour of garish kid's duvet covers. Are most early 20s nannies/APs babyish like this? I guess they are supposed to like kids...

Any other "room" essentials? I did put in flowers and got thanks for them. new tv/dvd and radio are in too, but no pc...

MrsWobble Wed 23-Feb-05 18:07:18

I would be careful about the golden hello - you risk setting the wrong expectations I think. What you might want to consider would be buying her something - my nanny came from southern hemisphere in winter and found it really cold here as she wasn't used to the weather and hadn't really brought the right clothing - we'd warned her but she hadn't thought it through. She had to buy a warmer coat and fleeces etc - you might want to offer something like that - depending where she comes from. It also helps her with luggage allowance if she doesn't have to bring everything with her.

Other suggestions might be a travelcard or signing her up to a course or club so she can make friends more easily.

majorstress Wed 23-Feb-05 18:07:53

I know! Theatre vouchers; people keep giving us them but we are too tired hassled etc to go...

MrsWobble Wed 23-Feb-05 18:10:10

other room essentials might include a hairdryer - if she brings one it probably has the wrong plug.

also an alarm clock?

MrsWobble Wed 23-Feb-05 18:11:30

theatre vouchers would be great once she'd arrived but unless she already has friends here it might be a bit of an odd present.

Ameriscot2005 Thu 24-Feb-05 09:58:45

I would not encourage giving too much "stuff" or any money up front. We did that for our first au pair, and it really wasn't appreciated.

Yes, I would provide a nice, but basic room. We redorated the bedroom, bought a new double bed, new sheets, duvet etc., and provided a TV/VCR and DVD player. Also basics like coat hangars, laundry basket, wastepaper bin and mirror.

We gave our au pair a mobile phone as we wanted to be able to contact her, or her us (lack of English made this impossible though). I provided a few phone cards - an initial one would have been fine though.

I think if perks don't cost you anything, then fine, let her have use of them. But don't expect anything in return.

I think it is reasonable in the first week to take her out to lunch or into London.

Use of the telephone is something to be clear about. I think it is reasonable to let her call her mother when she first arrives, but after that, she should pay for her calls. If you let her have free use of the telephone, she may well abuse it (the cost of my old au pairs calls were 10X the amount for the rest of the family).

Based on my experience, I'd say it is better to be strict up front, and then to relax once you get to know her better. A lot of families will promise the au pair a sizeable bonus if she stays for the agreed time frame, which I think makes a lot more sense than a golden hello.

Kittermaster Sat 05-Mar-05 12:48:34

The site is great. It is very imformative for both au pairs and families.

I always set out a routine for each day when they start and they chat through what we expect from them.

We have had great au pairs - one who is actually godmother to our youngest and another who my children are going to be bridesmaid and pageboy to in Poland.

I love the Polish and Hungarian girls.

Try - the site it great and the girls look really nice.

Good luck.

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