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Au pair couples

(64 Posts)
PixiNanny Sun 19-Apr-09 20:00:14

Me and my partner are looking at au pair coupling from next March onwards, I was wondering if any of you guys know of some websites where I can find couple work?

Millarkie Sun 19-Apr-09 20:08:21

You could try - I'm pretty sure that when host families search they can tick a box to specifically look for couples.
Are you looking for au pair level positions or for (better paid) nanny/housekeeper/gardener type positions (in which case The Lady magazine might be a better option).

PixiNanny Sun 19-Apr-09 20:14:25

I'm on great aupair but most families are in the UK. I'll be a qualified nanny by that point but I wouldn't mind ap positions if I were in a different country, but I'm also considering the fact that we're young (we'll be 20 & 21 by the time we search for work) that people advertising in Lady Magazine may be put off, which is another reason that I'm looking for normal ap jobs :/

PixiNanny Mon 20-Apr-09 01:33:28

If I were to work in the UK, as a qualified nanny but part of a live-in couple, what would it be fair to charge for me and partner together? Newly qualified mind you.

I've been looking up ap couple jobs in the UK and they usually offer about £80 per person, however live-in nannies get well over £200 (however they are working a lot longer hours than me!) and I worked out that in my current job I could technically earn £180 weekly live-in based on a top end live-in nannies hourly wage in my area (usually between 5 and 6 quid) and no, before you ask, I will not be demanding this off of my host family as they hired me whilst unqualified and they are lovely, generous people!

But yes, based on this, would it be fair to offer working as a couple on a live-in's wage, so around £250-300 weekly for the pair of us? Considering a live-in nanny costs around £250-350 dependant on area and hours?

UniversalAuPairs Tue 21-Apr-09 09:56:29

Message withdrawn

PixiNanny Tue 21-Apr-09 13:07:27

I'm on that site, but there's no way for me to search for families who want/would have couples so it's useless to me at the moment as mainly I'm trying to get a feel for things and see how much the going rate is etc, but obviously if families wanted to contact me they can but as I'm not after anything until next April not many have (which I am not expecting for a while yet! Lol). Otherwise, it's a good site and one I used when looking for a job!

PixiNanny Mon 15-Jun-09 22:23:08

Regurgitating this thread, can anybody give me some tips on how to make me and partner look more attractive? We're looking for work from Jan '10, I've joined most AP sites that come up on google, with an exception to AP-world, having troubles with my profile there because I say that I don't mind where in the world we go which apparently is a cardinal sin of APs who want to travel wink So yes, any tips on how to make us look more attractive? Here's our general profile that's been repeated everywhere:

Obviously Jan is a long time away, but I'd like to get at least a few families on the line by Sep/Oct as I need to tell my host family by then that I'll be leaving!

PixiNanny Mon 15-Jun-09 22:34:48

Dammit, before anyone calls me up on it, I mean attractive as potential APs grin

Millarkie Tue 16-Jun-09 08:20:26

I was going to recommend teeth-whitening and a good hairdresser - but now you've ruined my joke

I like couple profiles where each person has talked about themselves (a paragraph each), you get both 'voices' that way.
Have either/both of you been CRB checked recently - might be worth putting that in, and being a bit clearer about your bf's experience with children (it says working in France for...but not name of company or type of it a children orientated job?)
And although I would love an au pair who paddles and in particular we would love one who climbs (dh is a climber and the kids are just starting out climbing) I would be wary of taking on one who doesn't like cleaning - because at the end of the day there just isn't enough childcare in termtime to make it worthwhile having an au pair..having the dusting/hoovering done makes it worthwhile.
Having said all that, if you are available next summer and would consider rural UK then I'd 'find you attractive'

Millarkie Tue 16-Jun-09 08:39:53

Nosy question - Are you 'marketing' yourselves as au pairs because you need time off to study, since (in my eyes) you will be a qualified nanny by that time. (Or do you need to change your 'expected pay' range?)
(Again, from a personal point of view, I would love to have an inbetween AP and nanny (with an inbetween expense wink ), since our 'job' really is too small to justify a full-time nanny (although I've just asked to go full-time at work with a view to potentially shifting back to a nanny again), but we have had a mixed experience with au pairs (even though I try very hard to find ones with childcare experience when I recruit).

PixiNanny Tue 16-Jun-09 13:34:37

Lol, I knew it would be mentioned the minute I hit post!

We can put things about previous employers on most sites, at least, when I put PGL I get an email from the site that tells me my profile will not be shown until info about previous employers has been removed!

I'll try make his part a bit better though, he had no input in it really as he's not in the country haha. He works with kids for PGL in the Ardeche at the moment He's better with teens though I must admit.

Maybe I should make cleaning more clear then? I'm okay doing light cleaning, like hoovering and dusting and the kids beds once a week, but I don't want to be shoved into doing every little thing every day, if that makes sense? I'm not a great cleaner myself, my opinion of clean is not really spectacular lol, though I must admit, Andy is the complete opposite, he was in the army & marine's and because of that he even folds his undies, thats how bad he is grin (and I love antagonising him by moving everything around, military lads are so fun to wind up!)

I will also mention our CRBs, as both of them have had them done.

Also, the families willing to have couples have generally been less paddling/climbing orientated, which is a pain in the arse for us lol, I miss paddling like crazy and I know Andy would miss climbing (something I'm getting into myself lol) and sailing (also something I want to do).

On your nosiness (grin), We don't need time off to study though if I stayed in the UK I would like to be able to do a BSL course, and if he could find something, Andy would probably want to do a personal trainer course as we're trying to fit that in around our travelling plans so if he could do some of it whilst working here it would be benefitial. Also, same could be said for outdoor courses. If I were to stay in the UK then I'd love to be able to attend a few courses and get more outdoor qualies. Still torn on my future career, either Nanny or Instructor, so having kiddie and outdoor qualies works well for me haha

I know that I can't expect a great wage as one half of an AP Couple, nanny or not (I will have my NVQ3 by then so therefore 'qualified'), and I'm not too concerned about earning a lot as I don't socialise much and when I do spend it's from my savings, like I save for a month and then spend a couple of hundred on a new peice of hardware or something haha

And lol, available from Jan with no plans so far grin looks like we might end up back at PGL at the moment (sad) with plans to try get into another company or couple job next summer (no way in hell am I doing more than 3/4 months with PGL again!)

My turn to be nosey lol, what paddling do you do?

PixiNanny Tue 16-Jun-09 13:34:59

sorry for the tl;dr!

PixiNanny Tue 16-Jun-09 13:36:48


& thanks for the tips lol, I will be getting on it this evening

frAKKINPannikin Tue 16-Jun-09 13:55:46

I would also try and give a bit more detail about Andy's current job.

There are a lot of exclamation marks in there... (but that might just be a personal stylistic thing I don't like)

You might want to put higher up that you speak basic French (if you do) and he speaks basic German.

Do you both have a 1st Aid - if so then put it down (apologies if you did, I missed it!) and what type you have.

Not having a location would put me off as well if I happened to be looking. How about specifying that you'd like to be in, say, France but you're open to other locations? You would have good reasons for France - you'd like to speak French and Andy's worked out there already.

PixiNanny Tue 16-Jun-09 14:10:57

I know! I've been meaning to get rid of those bloody exclamation marks, it's not normaly my style of writing, I wasn't impressed when I realised how much exclaming I'd been doing! I'm not used to trying to sell myself though wink

Doesn't the 1st aid thing show up on the profile? I swear I answered a Q about that (and we do lol). I'll sort out the basic language info, I speak very basic french though, as in I learnt it at school and want to relearn it :/

He doesn't want to go to France at all really, I only put it as an option, I'll put something down as a main place, though anywhere really is open to us, especially as people speak all kinds of languages everywhere, like I had a spanish/iranian (farsi-speaking) family in spain offer me a job last year and I never would have thought of putting down spain as an option beforehand, if that makes any sense? lol

It's the main reason why I'm open to everywhere, should I state that somewhere do you think? It's the cultural exchange more than anything I'm interested in, though the languages would be amazing too! Especially if it were Farsi

frAKKINPannikin Tue 16-Jun-09 14:26:23

Language IMO is part of cultural exchange. I think it would be good for you to put what you said about going anywhere somewhere. At the moment it comes across as though you don't know where you want to go or what language to learn and aren't really motivated to stick somewhere. Whereas if you say you want to learn Spanish then you have a good reason for staying in Spain!

What about Switzerland - depending on where you go German for him, French for you?

It does show up as au pair has 1st aid - but if you both have it that's a selling point, if it's a 12 hour paeds 1st aid that's another good point.

I don't think anyone expects you to have better than school level language skills and it's very easy to brush up on - IM me on NJ and we can practice your French wink

PixiNanny Tue 16-Jun-09 14:56:27

I need to get the peads first aid, looking for a course after September But otherwise we're both first aid appointed persons (8hr & 4hr) and he has some military ones I beleive too? Though they'll be out of date by now I reckon. I'll try get him to update his in Dec, he has that month off anyways

I never thought of Switzerland, but that'd be good if it has both! I'll look into areas there that commonly have both languages spoken as it'd be good for the both of us!

I don't know where I want to go really though, but I know what languages I want to learn, but I'd rather learn them outside of the countries that hold them (France or Iran, no thanks)! I like the idea of northern Europe in particular, also Eastern but I know I'd be less likely to find work there.

And depending on study opportunities, I wouldn't mind staying in the UK again too as I did this time round. I just can't decide what to do and where to go first. I'd like to spend a 9-18 months APing from Jan, if 9 months then an additional 9 elsewhere before travelling a bit or instructing a bit.

I will take all of that into account though and have a word with the Mr. Thank you

PixiNanny Tue 16-Jun-09 14:58:48

Didn't see the last bit but, if it were the reading I needed to brush up on I'd be fine, I just can't speak french at all! I can read and write it relatively well, but I can't think fast enough in conversation to actually be able to speak the language. I can listen and get brief ideas of what's being said though grin

Millarkie Tue 16-Jun-09 16:30:33

In answer to your question - we don't paddle (I think kids are too young 7 and 5) but my nephew (early 20s) is some sort of kayak champion (travels all over the place at weekends to competitions) so it's something I'm sure the kids will get into sooner or later. We do climb (at least dh does but is desperate for a climbing partner - I won't belay him!), and the kids started climbing this summer (we have a kid harness which dd has only just got big enough for), but we do sail Dh, I and ds (not dd yet) sail dingys and yachts (although yachts only when on hols). Dingy sailing is something that we want to do a lot more of but with someone needed to be minding dd and ds only has his level 1/2 it's a bit awkward still.
You should market yourselves as nanny for kids and playmates for sailing/climbing husbands lol
(We have au pair until next March (if she's any good and she stays the full time) but would be very tempted if you wanted to stay in UK (we are near an airport which does cheap flights to europe though)

Summersoon Tue 16-Jun-09 17:27:30

I would not emphasize the fact that you don't really know where you want to go - given your age and circumstances that is completely acceptable and even normal, in my view - but if you draw attention to this, it might send the wrong message. I would try to say "open-minded" wherever possible or specify a region if you have to.
I do think that you should emphasize what you have to offer - that goes particularly for your partner who might be a less obvious choice to look after children than you will be as a qualified nanny - but I can see how the two of you might well appeal to a sporty family with several children of both sexes and a wide age range.
By the way, I don't see why you shoudn't respond to ads in The Lady if you see something that appeals - you may be young but you are (almost) qualified and your partner has a military background which could well be seen as a signficant plus by some families.
Good luck!

PixiNanny Tue 16-Jun-09 17:38:38

Haha, you sound like an awesome host family, very jealous of your AP! grin I hope she joins in the activities too?!

I'm happy to stay in the UK as long as there's something in it for me (and the outdoor pursuits is a big something for me!), and Andy's doing what I want next year, as he got to go frolick in France this year grin

If you are interested actually, gimme a shout, I'm open to anything that starts between Jan-April next year (I can stay in this job until April, but I want to get something elsewhere by summer, too long a stay here otherwise!). I'm nixinox on a hotmail dot com

PixiNanny Tue 16-Jun-09 17:41:50

I thought his military bacground would be seen as a negative which is why I didn't mention it, he's not too fond on his time there and he didn't even go out on tour, but I suppose readers of the Lady would like that aspect grin

I will add that to my list of improvements for my profile though And do something about Andy's section, rereading it I can see wher eyou're coming from on his behalf!

frAKKINPannikin Tue 16-Jun-09 19:38:18

You know you could rake it in as an HP nanny and him as a bodyguard grin

I tried to persuade my DP to do it but he's wedded to the bloody Navy (not entirely sure why he's marrying me hmm) and wouldn't even entertain the idea. Lots and lots of travel to exciting places but also very hard work. I had an agency sound me out about the possibility when I interviewed and mentioned DP was military but unfortunately he's a career officer so can't just up and out...

And as for speaking French - in a word: SKYPE!

limonchik Tue 16-Jun-09 20:01:06

I noticed a nice ad for an au pair couple on gumtree the other day, in the UK though. Not sure if this might interest you?

PixiNanny Tue 16-Jun-09 20:37:22

HP Nanny? Bodyguard? That's a scary thought, I don't think I have the right attitude for a HP nanny, too free spirited grin

If I attempt to speak French then you'll just laugh at my attempts grin I beleive I know who you are on NJ though so I'll revise my French reading skills before I attempt to speak the language, though remind me to take you up on the Skype when I get a bit better! smile

And if I could drive and were looking for August that job would sound cushty Limonchik, though I don't know about the 4 nights a week babysitting. I know they say it's rarely used but why would they put four down if they rarely use it anyways? hmm

That's another thing I've noticed, food allowance. Is that to cater for all of your meals? Or only lunch/evening meals? I remember living alone for a short period and spending over £50 for myself for all of my meals, let alone another person :/

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