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Finding an au pair for a rural area

(21 Posts)
pennyinwales Fri 24-Jul-09 15:47:06

I'm trying to find an au pair for my 2 daughters to start September but I'm finding it difficult because we live in a rural area in NE Wales.
We need a confident driver (it's about 15 minutes to the nearest town and 30 minutes to Chester) and we will provide a car.
Kids get a school bus from our house so au pair does not need to drive them. We have a horse she can ride and lots of animals to entertain her.
Any ideas how I can find someone who might think this would be fun?

PixiNanny Fri 24-Jul-09 16:10:40

Do you have perks to the job? I'd happily go for a job in the countryside if there are things for me to do

pennyinwales Fri 24-Jul-09 16:51:49

OK, hypthotically, what kind of things would appeal?
Near to us we have swimming pool with gym and leisure centre; there's a town with a really good theatre and a cinema; several colleges with all sorts of courses, not just English.
She can also have some time off in the school hols because I am a teacher.
But what we don't have is lots of night life on the door step.
Tell me what you think would attract young girls Pixi...

MarmadukeScarlet Fri 24-Jul-09 17:08:45

I live rurally - not quite as far out as you though!

I'm never sure if it is my location or DS with SN that puts them off...

I pay a little higher, offer a PAYG mobile with top ups, a fast laptop with SKYpe for calls home (unlimited free calls in case you've never heard of it), TV/DVD player in room, fridge and tea/coffee in room, a bike and helmet, *passess to local gym/swim (council not flash), *a young persons railcard (£26), *cinema voucers/vouchers for London attractions and a warm welcome. (those marked with a * are often rewards for trying hard with the DC, being flexible or just an extra thank you)

My DD has ponies and several have contacted me that have wanted to ride, sadly the ponies are too small for anyone above 7 stone. I think the animals, esp riding, may be a good AP attractant.

I would never let an AP drive my DC until they had an assessment lesson from a qualified instructor.

PixiNanny Fri 24-Jul-09 17:12:31

I'm different from a lot of girls I think lol, so what would attract me would be entirely different for others.

Wage would be a starting point, if it's a good wage for the hours and whatnot, also, do you offer to pay petrol costs to a certain amount? I remember someone on here saying something about up to 50 miles or something similar? Maybe a basic gym membership if it isn't too expensive? Colleges are ideal. What sort of areas are nearby? Like what amenities does the town have? Do you stress on the owning of animals? If you make a point of it then animal lovers would be more likely to look. Erm... Are there other APs nearby? (In the likelyhood that she'll be sociable, unlike moi grin) things for her to do with other APs and friends nearby? The nightlife thing may be an issue for some girls but then again for some of us it's not.

I'm not really too sure, I'm personally atrracted to jobs that allow me time to volunteer/study in my own time, do my own thing, have outdoor pursuits nearby, who are okay with me spending all of my evenings at home (I socialise when I volunteer but like to keep to myself a lot too), have good connections to surrounding town if and when I choose to use them, etc. But I won't be APing again so I haven't really thought about it in regards to me alone (rather than me and OH APing together and our needs, rather than just mine).

MarmadukeScarlet Fri 24-Jul-09 17:14:13

<ahem> My DD has ponies and several APs have contacted me

Just to be clear

pennyinwales Fri 24-Jul-09 17:57:20

Thanks to both for the ideas - I really appreciate it.

PixiNanny Fri 24-Jul-09 20:44:04

... :s

DadInsteadofMum Sat 25-Jul-09 11:46:26

Am in a small village 15 mins drive from nearest town.
Offer a car with petrol for all local journies (i.e. to and from town)
Local gym memebership (also local council)
Phone package with free calls home.
Nightlife is in local town which means no drinking if they are drving or stay over with another AP.
Mobile phone on which I will cover all UK calls and all SMS (keep in touch with other APs)
No animals (well three of them but hat is who she is helping look after)

I never have any trouble recruiting (and I have the added disadvantage of being a single dad), I think if you are open and honest about what they are getting there will always be somebody who is a match for what you are offering.

PixiNanny Sat 25-Jul-09 14:11:44

Oh! Sorry, was confused by Marmaduke with the several APs thing, just realised what she was clarifying blush

Juat curious, do you find many APs who are interested in the nightlife and whatnot? I see some girls who always seem more interested about that by their profiles but I just assume that families don't bother contacting them? (Though I do remember readingin one girls profile who was extraordinarily pretty and mentioned getting drunk in her profile yet she had around 20 favourite adds, her profile hadn't been up long either! Was really surprised by that!)

catepilarr Sat 25-Jul-09 23:50:21

well i guess i am also different from a lot of other girls plus i have been coming to the uk for nearly ten years now which makes a difference but agree that its good to be upfront about what is expected, about how you live, the area, etc so they can get the right idea what living with you will be like. i personally dont care where i end up (there is always lots to explore), i am looking for people i click with who are happy to pay the money i am looking for. unfortunately lots of aupairs want to go to london, eventhough they have never been there before and dont know wheather they like it or not. living in london is not for everyone, is it. i personally would even go for a nice family without a bus/train nearby providing i have a good bike to use. but again, from other conversations here on mn, i am rather and exception in that respect. i think lots of aps like to hear that they can get in touch with other aupair nearby and where they can go to english classes. also lots of them want to hear that they will be a part of family, ie welcome to sit with you in the evenings (obviously not always) and come on family outings whereas others just want to do they own things in their own time. and i guess everyone wants to have internet access of some sort to keep in touch with family and friends back home.

PixiNanny Sun 26-Jul-09 18:12:48

I think internet access is a big thing that needs to be offered actually, but pretty much all families understand the need of internet access for their AP, and a skype account with a bit of credit each month if they don't want them using the house phone, which is good

cheapskatemum Sun 26-Jul-09 22:40:58

The 50 mile thing was me! I offer most of the above, we're only 10 mins from the nearest town, but that town doesn't have any cinemas/nightclubs/fast food restaurants! I tell them in the job details that the APs room is large and has a beautiful view. I'm also a teacher and I think this appeals to APs, but perhaps this is because I'm an English teacher.

I have mined a really good seam of German APs recently. They haven't minded the rural location and have had a good idea of what being an AP actually entails.

Hope this helps!

catepilarr Mon 27-Jul-09 01:16:27

what? a skype account with money on? [SHOCK] does anyone provide this as a family?

nappyaddict Mon 27-Jul-09 03:34:18

1) Shops/cinema/pubs/restaurants/leisure centre easily accessible by car or public transport. If a car is provided petrol paid for to get to and from these places and friends houses. For anything further afield then it is reasonable for them to pay for their own petrol.

2) Free wi-fi and skype access and use of computer if they don't have their own. Webcam provided so could talk to people back home might be nice too.

3) TV/DVD player with freeview, sky or similar

3) Use of a bike if possible (doesn't need to be anything flashy you can pick second hand ones up for £10) plus child seats or trailer if looking after younger children

cheapskatemum is that 50 miles per week petrol you pay for AP to use? Is that just for personal use or does that include trips she would need to make with DC?

nappyaddict Mon 27-Jul-09 03:37:22

Oh and you can get some really good pay and go deals at the moment if you want to provide top ups. Vodafone do this thing where you pay £15 for a freedom pack which lasts for 30 days. You get 200 minutes to use in the UK and 600 texts. I would think that would be more than enough.

dreamteamgirl Mon 27-Jul-09 13:14:03

Hi all, just a quick one, an anyone explain Skype to me? Have laptops, have a second phone line on the modem, but I dont know what sype is and if I have it? Is it essential? German au pair arrives in September.

DadInsteadofMum Mon 27-Jul-09 13:41:44

SKYPE is a VOIP (voice over internet protcol) service, it means you use your computer as a phone (and a video phone) but because it is interent based it work out a lot cheaper. You can even get USB phone sets to make it feel like a real phone.

I don't use it as the package I am on with Tiscali I get free calls to their top 10 international destinations, this has proven to be invaluable as I can tell them they can phone home as often as they like (provided the call doesn't go over 1 hour). Helps with homesickness in the first few weeks.

dreamteamgirl Mon 27-Jul-09 15:16:24

Thanks DadInsteadofMum
I wonder then if I maybe have it on my BT deal, mind I think I may also have free calls to European countries too? Something to check thank you

PixiNanny Mon 27-Jul-09 18:16:20

catepillar: When looking I've seen it advertised once or twice, however they don't say free use of the house phone to call home, so I assume it's as a replacement iyswim?

Don't get the internet phone from argos, whatever you do! I brought a £12.99 internet phone from argos and a headset from poundland (for a pound, funnily enough ) and the phone doesn't work at all! Buy it from Skype website if you go for it, though normal headsets for PCs work just as well

limonchik Mon 27-Jul-09 18:24:23

I think either au pairs will want to be rural or not. Other than providing a car and internet access there's not much you can do. I grew up in a small market town with no train station and aged 18-22 I'd have rather killed myself than lived anywhere less than a city. Some young girls will love hiking and riding and quiet rural beauty though - I wanted clubs, bars and 24 hour living!

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