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How much to pay an au pair?

(38 Posts)
JennyWren Sun 05-Apr-09 00:11:28

We are recruiting our first au pair. We need someone to do before and after school three days a week (4.5 hours max per day), plus a little housework (probably 6 hours per week) and a short shift alternate Saturdays (1.5 hours at breakfast time - she would be free after 9am). Some babysitting - we're saying up to twice a week, but actually it will be much less - we just need to keep our options open on that.

If she likes, she could do her housework during school hours on the days she does before/after school cover, so she could have four full days off every other week, and almost four full days the rest of the time. This means she has full days to go to college and long weekends to travel/see friends. We live in Oxfordshire.

What is the going rate? I was thinking £70/week, but having spoken to a couple of other families it seems as though this is above what they pay. I don't want to cause ructions among other au pairs - that won't win me mummy friends! And I can't afford to pay over the odds. But at the same time, I want to get a good au pair and keep her. Would I be better off to offer, say, £65/week and then give a bonus as and when?

What do other families pay?

Quattrocento Sun 05-Apr-09 00:17:55

We paid £80 per week, plus a travel card plus a contract mobile phone plus whatever she wanted in the shopping basket in terms of toiletries, chocolate etc. It all added up to around £120 a week. Plus two weeks paid holiday.

Beware the extra costs as well. They cost a lot in terms of extra bills, food etc

If you contact an agency they will give you some guidance.

Galava Sun 05-Apr-09 00:25:06

£60 per week.

JennyWren Sun 05-Apr-09 00:30:32

Thanks, Quattrocentro. A travel card isn't really relevant out here, but we plan to do a PAYG phone plus use of Skype and the landline. And food, toiletries etc. Although I'm assuming that she'll largely eat what we do - the odd extra treats and her preferred cereals etc are fine, but mostly a portion of the family meal, rather than seperate meal ingredients on a routine basis. We eat decent meat bulked out with plenty of fresh veg, so healthy and homecooked is the order of the day.

We are used to having the heating/lights on at relevant points every day of the week, so we shouldn't get any nasty suprises there - what else shouldbe be looking out for?

JennyWren Sun 05-Apr-09 00:33:03

Thank you Galava. That is quite a difference between the two of you - may I ask (roughly) where you both live? Does the pay tend to vary with location? I imagine that London families might pay a higher rate...?

Millarkie Sun 05-Apr-09 13:11:44

I think London families pay less because a lot more au pairs want to be in London than in other cities. We pay more than our friends in London do because we live in a village (although I commute to London, but I ask the au pair not to travel to London in the week as my main reason for having an au pair is to make sure the children have someone at home if I am stuck on a delayed train).
We pay £85 a week pocket money - this is for about 5 hours a week of afterschool care, and hoovering/dusting of living spaces (not bedrooms)/wiping kitchen surfaces (no bathroom cleaning or ironing), and daily dog walk, We also provide a UK mobile phone with £10 a month credit. We also provide a car for use during the week (she doesn t need to drive for 'work' reasons) including diesel (which for last au pair was pretty negligible and current au pair is about £20 a week, car insurance alone is £50 a month extra).
Foodwise, last au pair cost about £20-25 per week, this one is more like £40.
Bills-wise last au pair cost no more in heating and £35 a month in electric. This one cost £125 extra in oil for the first 2 weeks!! but has now calmed down and oil usage is probably about 30% higher because she is in during the day (and forgets to switch heating off when she goes out), electricity still £35 extra.

Julesnobrain Sun 05-Apr-09 23:09:07

We're in London and agree with Millarkie that we can pay less as lots of AP's want to live here. We pay £80 a week for a 35 hour week (which is action packed, no chance for skiving), plus broadband, a mobile (but we only pay for our calls ie calls to us which is we estimate at about £10 every other month), we provide a full independent sky package in room, plus her own laptop. We do however have an extra (optional job) cleaning for our neighbours for 6 hours which pays an extra £42 per week which so far all the AP's have wanted. We ask for 2 nights a week babysitting which we rarely use. We don't pay college fees. We really notice it food wise (apart from AP no 1 who ate hardly anything), current AP is skinny but eats vast quantities and we estimate costs us an extra £50 + a week. Also bigger elec bills as she uses lots of hot water and we have to keep the immersion on which costs about a extra £30 a month. For your hours I would try for £60 - £65 and see how many applicants you get.

JennyWren Mon 06-Apr-09 13:40:44

That's interesting - thank you. I have been for coffee today with a mum I know in the village - she pays £250/month for a similar number of hours, but spread over five days, so her au pair has fewer full days off. I think I will offer £65/week and see. Interestingly, I have a three or four keen candidates at the moment that I'm e-mailing with and none of them has yet asked the question, so unless they ask sooner, I will wait until we speak on the phone - I'll get a more 'honest' feel of the response that way, I think.

Also, one of the candidates has asked me today whether she would be allowed to have family/friends visit from home. We have plenty of space in her room to put a ready bed and I'm not totally against an extra in the house for a few days, but within reason. My instinct is to say only one at a time, and only on the days when she isn't looking after DD - so a four-day stretch max - unless au pair takes it as holiday. Plus, not for the first three months - I think she should settle in first. Does that sound fair and reasonable? The three months also gives me a chance to feel confident about her as a person, too, and be more happy that she won't take liberties!

DadInsteadofMum Mon 06-Apr-09 15:50:31

Won't add to the pay issues as agree with everything said so far.

On the subject of visitors, I have exactly the same rules, not until you have settled in (I go with two months), one at a time (this is the stated rule but has been relaxed once I trust the AP), and never men.

Galava Mon 06-Apr-09 16:21:51

I think you need to meet the 4 candidates.

That way you will get a true feel for them and it might be that the extra few pounds is really neither here or there in the grand scheme of things.

Good luck !

cheapskatemum Mon 06-Apr-09 21:35:21

JennyWren - did you write "use of the landline"? Be very careful - we once had a bill of £400 (usual amount £100 - itemised bill told of peak time long distance and foreign calls). We pay £80 a week for 25 hours before & after school childcare and some light housework totalling 25 hours/week. Very occasional babysitting , about twice a month. After 6 months we pay for a week's holiday and we pay £10 for PAYG mobile top up every 4 weeks - that's so that we can contact AP when we need to and to encourage her to keep in contact with us, eg if she's going to be late home. This has worked well.

We are very rural, so it costs APs a fair amount to get out & about in their free time - hence higher than average pocket money. We used to live in London and I'm aware that our APs there could usually make friends with several other APs within walking distance, whereas here 10 miles away is close, IYSWIM!

Good luck! Let us know how you get on! Hi Millarkie - my AP is planning to go to Cambridge on Thursday.

Millarkie Mon 06-Apr-09 21:45:54

We have been ok with au pair having visitors to stay (has a single mattress under her bed that can pull out for guests). Last au pair had her boyfriend accompany her for the flight over - she did ask for BandB recommendations but we told her that he could stay here and it was really nice getting to meet him, and I think it made it easier for them coping with being apart as he had seen her room, the village, local town and met us. She also had her mum come to stay for a long weekend and her boyfriend had another problems with them.
Current au pair has thrown us a little as we are going away for a trip over Easter - she didn't want to come (don't blame her, will be cold and v likely to be whiney kids ) but asked if her mum and sister could stay with her in our house while we are away. Was difficult decision since I was aware that she might feel worried alone in the house (we are even taking the dog!), but feel unsure about having people visit when we are not here. In the end we said Yes but I will be leaving a whole load of house rules for that week and have asked lovely next-door neighbours to keep an eye out for us.
One thing to watch out for with au pair visitors is who is responsible for airport pick ups/drop offs - we only live 15 mins from an airport but have still ended up with dramas over collecting/dropping off au pair's friends at totally inconvenient hours.

Millarkie Mon 06-Apr-09 21:49:59

Hi CSM - Glad she's happy going in to town now Mine is child-free weds and thurs so may go in to town - I'ld guess they are in email contact!

PixiNanny Mon 06-Apr-09 22:42:18

My host family usually have au pairs and technically that is what I am to them, their au pair who happens to not be foreign [but unqualified so not technically a nanny].

I get the same wage their previous ap's got I assume (if not less as I'm younger and cannot drive and haven't got a second language!) and that's over £100 weekly (but still within tax barrier), plus use of an 'ap' car when I can drive, I spend about £10/15 weekly on quorn foods but otherwise eat the same things the kids do (just veggie alternatives) so not much onto their food budget as I rarely eat (no joke, breakfast, snacks that come from my own money and then dinner!)

We aren't in London though they commute to London. I work 25-30 hours a week, varied in half terms/holidays as I can work a full 8-9pm shift one week but will have that time off in lieu as well as even more time off after that. I will sometimes proxy parent for a night if both parents cannot get home but MB is rarely away and spends at least one if not two days working from home a week (hence 25 hours, sometimes I feel more of a mothers help!) and the two kids are in the 8-13 age range which is cool. I can't really complain! Just very lucky!

PixiNanny Mon 06-Apr-09 22:48:17

Oh, on visitors, my bosses are fine with visitors for me, I spoke to MB about it and she said that after she'd met my boyfriend, if she didn't feel comfortable with him around the kids she wouldn't have allowed him to be there, but he came once every two weeks for a while and I visited him often too, my two charges love him and it's great to have an extra pair of hands on board even if it's just for adult company, as I haven't really met many people here (actually, none!) at all!

If it weren't for MB being okay with my bf staying then we wouldn't have stayed together, and thankfully she's giving me a week or two off to visit him abroad where he's working until September, which is nice of her! But then they are ging on holiday without me anyways... wink

JennyWren Mon 06-Apr-09 23:52:04

Hi everyone - thanks for all these messages - I suspect I may be saking a lot of questions over the next few months grin

Meeting the candidates before choosing one is probably a no-go, Galava, but we're e-mailing a fair bit and I'll phone them, too, and hopefully Skype video phone.

Millarkie - land line, I'm thinking mostly incoming calls - her friends and relatives from home won't want to call a mobile number. But also, we phone my sister in Canada on a special 1p/minute number which routes calls via the internet, so I'm going to look for something similar for the home country and if I can do that I may include a ration of minutes per week - although Skype calls are totally free, so I'd rather she used those. She will have her own laptop to take into her room, so she'll have privacy when she calls and also it won't tie up the landline if she wants to chat for hours!

JennyWren Mon 06-Apr-09 23:56:20

Sorry - that was to cheapskatemum (like the name - I'm one too grin )

Millarkie - please let us know how you fare with leaving her and her guests in the house while you are away... I think I'd be nervous, too!

DadInsteadofMum Tue 07-Apr-09 10:12:34

CSM Millarkie - I think there is a Cambridge evening thing for somebody's birthday on Wednesday.

Pixi - if you are earning over £100 a week then your employer should have registered with HMRC, you are in the gry boundary where although not liable to PAYE you have to be declared in order that you can get NIC credit (even though you are not paying it). Not to get this credit could impact you in later years.

aupair101 Tue 07-Apr-09 13:08:12

I once got £40 a week as an au pair, however, everything was paid for. The family would take me to town, pick me up from town (even at 1am if I wanted to stay out) toiletaries, make up, haircuts, clothes, any food I wanted from the weekly shop. They would also pay for alcohol and smoking things if you desired! Half of your mobile phone was payed for, or £20 a month credit on a phone they provided you with. You had use of the laptop as well as the landline. They payed for transport home for weekends and back again and I had the usual stuff (tv, sky ect) in my room. The job was a maximum of 25 hours a week, with most mornings off, and 2 or 3 full days off a week. Literally, all the money you made, you saved because you really didn't have any outgoings.

Agusta Mon 18-May-09 22:25:09

Message deleted

Julesnobrain Mon 18-May-09 22:30:58

Go to the media section of mumsnet. get off our postings. This is for Mums who seek advice and is v annoying you have put this message on all of them. I have reported this posting to Mumsnet

Agusta Mon 18-May-09 22:33:42

Apologies new at this...will read over the rules more thoroughly.
Sorry Jules.

Migsy1 Mon 12-Sep-11 18:23:45

I think £65 per week is the going rate for 25 hours work plus 2 evenings babysitting. Of course, the food bill can add up. My au pair refuses to eat with us as I don't think she likes my food nor the hassle of the kids bickering at the table so she makes her own stuff in the evening. This can work out more expensive than simply sharing the meals and has an added fuel cost. She gets unlimited skype and internet and has a TV in her room.
I think it is worth it though as she enables me to do more working hours.

sharanti99 Tue 20-Sep-11 12:56:49

How do i get a minder in the essex area?

I want to go back to work, and i need a minder that can come in at 8am, do the school run and after school clubs, and probably finish at 5.30. Is there a website i can check for "live out au pair"?

confusedpixie Tue 20-Sep-11 19:19:13

sharanti: there is no such thing as a live-out au pair. You want a childminder (who you take your children too) or a nanny.

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