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Whats a reasonable bedroom for an au pair?

(27 Posts)
halia Tue 02-Jun-09 22:08:31

I'm thinking of f/t work or a PGCE and then ft work once DS starts school in september. Because DH works away monday - thursday there is no way it would be possible with CM/ school clubs so it would have to be an au pair.
I dont' mind the live in aspect and tbh it would be far far easier all round to have a 3rd adult in the household.

My biggest worry is - our hosue is pretty small, the only room we have spare for an au pair is the room that is suppoused to become our study (we would live without the study for a couple of years). Its basically a long narrow single box room - you know the ones that are big enough for a single bed and room to walk down beside the bed? because its long there's plnety of room for a wardrobe and its got 12 ft ceilings so I'd probably put in a loft bed/ cabin bed to give room for a desk/ armchair under the bed.

Would outfit it nicely - new furniture, own TV and phone point.

House overall is small - open plan living room / kitchen but we do run to an extra shower room and there's only 3 of us so basically au pair would share family bathroom mainly with DS.

Millarkie Tue 02-Jun-09 22:11:24

Are you in London? (It's a lot easier to recruit au pairs in London so I guess you can get away with less - I am rural and our AP gets a double-sized room with ensuite - but that's partly because we need to entice them somehow!)

Twims Tue 02-Jun-09 22:11:49

I wouldn't mind a small bedroom - have lived in with a tiny bedroom before. However a loft bed/cabin bed would put me off.

halia Tue 02-Jun-09 22:27:39

nope not in london, happy to have normal single bed of course but it would leave less room.

what can I offer an au pair? well its only DS and it would be 15 hrs a week (before and after school) plus one weekday evening babysitting and twice a month saturday afternoon or evening babysitting.

Fridays off completly + saturday mornings. and every other week no duties or expectations at all from 7pm thursday - 7am Monday.

maqrollelgaviero Wed 03-Jun-09 07:20:04

Our AP will be arriving in august (we are not in london or anywhere particularly desirable) and we were upfront from the beginning that we had a 3 bed semi and that her room was the small 3rd bedroom. We have redecorated and put new carpet down, it has a single bed, a mini wardrobe and a chest of drawers, and we've promised a tv, DVD player, wireless Internet. We only have a family bathroom and downstairs loo and 2 boys too ...

Our AP to be has seen pics and seems to be satisfied, we'll have to see when she gets here!

halia Wed 03-Jun-09 10:28:55

thanks - thats reassured me!
I can add in all those things plus a PAYG phone, bike to borrow and membership of local leisure centre (gym, swimming)

catepilarr Wed 03-Jun-09 14:26:08

i would personally much rather have a bunk bed plus a desk then a normal bed and no desk. i have slept on a bunk bed or similar nearly all my life and cant say i like it but dont particularly mind it either.

ChippingIn Wed 03-Jun-09 15:17:42

LOL - I would prefer a 'normal' bed & desk - no wardrobe (if there isn't room for both!), so maybe you should find the AP then buy the furniture grin.

Small rooms are fine, so long as it's 'fresh' (nicely decorated etc) and you make the most of the available space (ie put in shelves if possible) and find storage things to fit the room.

The thing that would put me off your ad would be the Saturday work, especially having Fridays off... I'd feel as though I'd have to 'hang around' to babysit and not go away every second weekend, that would get me. However, there are probably plenty of AP's around that don't like to go away for the weekend that wouldn't mind. It's just something to keep in mind if you aren't getting enough responses to your ad (you can always just get a babysitter once a month too).

halia Wed 03-Jun-09 20:17:44

maybe i iwll hold off bed until I get answers grin re saturday working - would it be better if it was sunday?

That way au pairs 'weekend' would be thursday night - saturday night / sunday morning. (never want them before 9am on sunday) and every second weekend thursday - sunday night

ChippingIn Wed 03-Jun-09 21:42:22

Halia - the Friday off is certainly a good draw card I would put in the ad that xx amount of hours are required every 2nd (or better still 3rd) weekend, which are flexible - then discuss it at the interview.

halia Thu 04-Jun-09 13:39:08

thanks chippingin, Friday off was one of the thing I was hoping would be a draw card. tbh if I found an au pair who didn't want to work weekends because she/he wanted to go away each weekend I'd be happy to negotiate down to one friday night a month babysitting.
ie lack of weekend babysitting offset by having house to ourselves at the weekend for lazy half naked popcorn munching on sofa grin

ChippingIn Thu 04-Jun-09 18:45:00

Halia - sounds like a fair trade to me grin

Once again though, if you want the AP to babysit on a Friday night, you are still asking her to 'waste' a day off on the Friday if she wanted to go away... LOL can you tell I am obsessed by going away!

You might end up with a homebody you would like to pay to go away to give you some time to yourselves!!!

That - or advertise for an AP who is happy in a nudist based environment grin

catepilarr Thu 04-Jun-09 20:03:13

lol, chippingin, you are;) i wuold imagine not that many aupair want/can go away everyweekend.
and agree that babysitting on a day off is not fair. /might suit an early bird who comes home early anyway but would suit me, i often come back at nine or ten at night/

halia Thu 04-Jun-09 21:27:58

well tbh on the fridays we wanted her to babysit I wouldn't consider the friday to be a day off - more a late start wink. So I guess what I'm saying is 2-3 weekends a month you will get a long 3 day weekend. The other weekends you will need to work 3-4 hrs to be arranged by agreement sometime from 6pm friday eve - sunday.

So in more detail hours would be:
monday & tuesday 7am - 8.30am care and school drop off, and 3.15pm - 6pm after school pick up and care

Wednesday and Thursday 7am - 8.30am and 5pm - 7pm.

tuesday or wednesday evening 7pm - 10pm babysitting

+ 3-4 hrs babysitting at weekend 1-2x a month basically to allow me and DH to go out together - could be friday evening at the pub, saturday night cinema or sunday afternoon walk and pub lunch.

cheapskatemum Thu 04-Jun-09 22:42:09

I agree that the amount of weekend babysitting is more likely to be a stumbling block than the size of the bedroom - which sounds nice to me, BTW - lovely high ceilings!

halia Fri 05-Jun-09 18:43:02

orry I'm a bit bamboozled here - is asking for 3-4 weekend hrs once or twice a month relaly such a huge thing?

catepilarr Fri 05-Jun-09 23:45:04

the thing is that it may be just a few hours but it ruins the whole day.
but as i said earlier in a post that disappeared, with the other weekend beeing longer i think its a fair offer and i am sure there are people out there who are fine with it.

catepilarr Fri 05-Jun-09 23:52:17

also other aupairs tend to have sat and sundays off which could make the ap feel left out while the others get together to do something. depends on maturity or personality of the ap whether they can use your schedule to their advantage. just make it clear what you expect and let them decide whether they like it or not.

catepilarr Sat 06-Jun-09 00:02:09

looking at your hours again, you would have two weekly schedules
a/ 16hrs + 2nights babysitting mon-thursday
b/16hrs + 2 nghts babysitting mon-th + 4hours friday/sat/sunday

i think this would suit someone who wants to study a lot or fit other job around yours as you dont need that many hours /usually they do 25-35 hours/

catepilarr Sat 06-Jun-09 12:05:48

depending where you are, this might be an option
http://www.bapaa.org.uk/displaypage.asp?page=33

PixiNanny Sat 06-Jun-09 15:51:00

I don't mind doing a cuple of hours at the weekend, but then I was told upfront that they may ask me to babysit and though it's in our 'verbal contract', they rarely use it. And I'm not the type to socialise often so it doesn't affect me if they do.

halia Sun 07-Jun-09 23:32:48

I guess maturity is my key issue then, frankly if someone says - oh I don't want the job because despite it being fewer hours overall once or twice a month I have to give up some of my partying weekend - I don't think they are a good fit for us grin

If a few hours ruins the whole day I have to wonder what on earth they were doing on that day? I mean teenagers/students the world over have a saturday afternoon/ sunday lunchtime til/pub/bar job and it doesn't seem to ruin their social lives.

thanks all - looks like the hours will be a VERY good weeding out process for us. I woudl prefer an older au pair and one who is studying or looking for another p/t job anyway. I dont' really want a hormonal 17 yr old locking themselves in the bathroom.

cheapskatemum Mon 08-Jun-09 18:16:59

Not so much partying at the weekend, more visiting other cities, shopping trips and, as catepilarr says, meeting up with other APs. But to answer your question, no, I don't think that amount of weekend babysitting is too much to ask. Also, you are being upfront about it from the start. I have heard of other families who spring that sort of things on APs once they have arrived.

Good luck!

ChippingIn Mon 08-Jun-09 18:43:45

Hi Halia - I've been off line a few days / ??

It's not so much because Au Pairs party a lot, but a lot of them do like to get away at the weekend. Often they get asked to do this or that when they are 'home', or like to sleep in and can't when there are noisy children ( ) so it's easier to go away at the weekend. Some of them have quite a nice set up with other Au Pairs in regard to sharing 'live-out' accommodation or hostel rooms at weekends. Quite a few I've met lately are 'Au Pairing' to see the UK not to study, so weekends off are vital.

However, as I said earlier, I think so long as you can be flexible but up front about what you need, you'll find someone who is just what you need It's usually only a problem if you down play the weekend duties to get an Au Pair then kind of 'load them up' later on! Which I know you wont do, so it will all be good

halia Mon 08-Jun-09 19:33:17

thanks, I'd certainly never spring it on an au pair after arrival and I'd love to get someone who wanted to go off and see things rather than needing to stick with us all the time.

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