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Is it totally unacceptable to have an au pair care for under 2s?

(10 Posts)
ohIdoliketobebesidethe Thu 30-Oct-08 11:29:47

We have 3 kids who will be 4 (just), 21months and 6 months when I go back to work. I need help with getting them to and from nursery (30mins away by bus). We have had a young home help in the evenings but I could do with an extra pair of hands to get them out of the door in the morning too. I would always be around with the kids except for the journey from nursery home and occasionally to nursery. Do you think it would be OK to ask an au pair to do that? Would any au pair want to take that on?

dannyb Thu 30-Oct-08 11:35:17

If all you are asking the aupair to do is to get them to nursery and back then I don't think that's a problem. I know that they are not meant to have sole care for under 2's but personally, so long as you trust her, I think that is fine for the amount of time you are discussing. It's more about leaving them with her all day as your sole form of childcare which isn't acceptable.

i know lots of aupairs who do what you describe and it is, in my opinion, absolutely fine. My only concern would be that you're asking her to collect and look after 3 children which might be too much for her unless she has a lot of experience.

dannyb Thu 30-Oct-08 11:36:10


I just realised that you're asking her to get them to nursery on the bus, I'd assumed walking. I don't know how i would feel about that, I'm not keen on my aupair taking my 2 year old on a bus but I don't really know why she shouldn't

BirdyArms Thu 30-Oct-08 11:53:51

I wouldn't have a problem with letting an au pair take young children to nursery but I do think that getting 3 such little ones on and off a bus safely is quite hard work and you need to be very sure she's up to it. I have dss 3.7 and 20 mths and occasionally have to rely on the kindness of strangers to grab ds1 if he's not holding on when the bus sets off. We're not getting the bus every day though so I'm guessing yours are probably better trained. As a minimum I would do the trip with her a few times to make sure that she's doing it very safely.

Kathyis6incheshigh Thu 30-Oct-08 12:27:28

I don't see a problem but you would have to recruit quite carefully to make sure she's up for it.
My AP has experience with little ones and there do actually seem to be quite a few out there who have. Taking 3 kids on the bus sounds like a nightmare (I struggle with my 2 aged 3 and 20 months) but I'm sure you have your strategies which she could learn.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 30-Oct-08 12:31:15

tech ap shouldnt have sole care of under 3's and obv 2 of your dc are under 3

taking 3 children on a bus would be an experience for most people, but to ask a young ap to do this - imo is not suitable

MarmadukeScarletbloodstains Thu 30-Oct-08 12:35:29

I wouldn't want the responsibility of getting 3 young Dc onto/off a bus - I'm a parent of 2 DC, inc one with SN so can cope with most things!

I have had a few APs, probably 2 out of the 5 coulds have coped with this situation on a good day, if the children were well behaved angels and there was no buggy to fold (of you live somewhere they have proper pram spaces) etc

On the whole I would say this was a challenge too far for the majority of APs (and people) I know!

JenniPenni Thu 30-Oct-08 13:05:20

I am a childminder and take 3 little ones on the bus sometimes... and it is not easy, requires forethought and keeping your wits about you.

I choose times when weather is good and it is not rush hour, we get a seat, chat about all we are seeing etc., then it's fine and the kids love it - it becomes an outing, before we've even reached our actual destination!

Nursery times are rush hour... she will be lucky to get a seat on the bus for herself, never mind for 3 little ones too. And people do not get up for little ones...

I have twice helped out with a school run with 3 lil ones on a bus, and it was very difficult for me (and a buggy and 2 lil walkers) and 20 school kids getting on the same bus. It unnerved me and even though the kids seemed fine, I did not want to do it again. And if it were raining and dark and cold - not fun and a safety issue in my opinion.

I really hope you manage to find another solution. I am early thirties, have lots of experience with kids and found it hard going at those times, I would not recommend it for a young girl on her own.

ohIdoliketobebesidethe Thu 30-Oct-08 13:16:19

At the moment the home help collects the older 2 on the bus - so they are used to it. We have a compact double buggy for the younger two so it's just the eldest who will be a liability. We will need help from someone to do the trip but I may be able to help out with the car on some days. hmmm I'll have to keep thinking.

BoffinMum Sun 02-Nov-08 11:50:42

I would think this would be a bit stressful for most people.

How about a more experienced au pair or mother's help who's worked with littlies before?

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