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How much does an au-pair cost?

(13 Posts)
Gangle Wed 02-Sep-09 12:28:29

Thinking about getting an au-pair for a few months when I am on maternity leave year, probably for 3 or 4 months over the summer, just so I have an extra pair of hands. Does anyone know how much you can expect to pay per week/month if the au-pair is live in? Not sure if it may be better to just pay to for a nanny a few hours a week rather than than have the hassle of someone living in though as DH will be away a lot I had liked the idea of having someone in the house. Thanks.

Millarkie Wed 02-Sep-09 12:37:36

Depending on the au pair (some cost a lot more to feed than others) our au pair costs between 650 and 850 a month, including their £85 a week pocket money, food, car insurance and petrol, gym membership, £10 a month for uk mobile phone, increase in lighting/heating bills, and a few other odds and ends. If you add onto that breakages (we allow for one burst car tyre per au pair as a matter of course) it all adds up.
Having said that we have lovely and economical au pair at the moment and I'll be very sad when she finally leaves.
On the matter of au pair's providing company, all of my au pair's have preferred to spend their evening out with friends or at the gym or in their own rooms surfing net etc, so not much conversation (but hey, maybe that's cos I'm a boring middle-aged housewife wink )

Gangle Wed 02-Sep-09 12:50:01

Crikey, do you have to give them gym membership?? Our nanny doesn't have that, or a mobile phone, nor would I let her have use of a car unless she was an extremely competent driver. We offered our nanny use of a car and she declined as she is not comfortable driving two babies around in London as she has limited experience driving in the UK.

Millarkie Wed 02-Sep-09 13:09:57

In London you could probably get away with a travelcard or bus pass - we live in a village hence giving them use of a car!
Gym membership is partly because then they can come swimming with the kids and me for free and partly so they have something to do during the day and don't go insane with boredom
UK mobile phone is so that we can contact her (au pair's will normally arrive with a phone but would be paying roaming charges if they used it), and credit on phone is so that they have no excuse not to call us in case of queries or minor emergencies.
If you are in London you can probably drop the pocket money to £70 a week, and offer a bus pass and no other extras, simply because most au pairs want to be in London so there is more competition!
Oh, and one of the reasons we try to offer a good 'package' is because I want au pairs with good english and previous childcare experience.

Millarkie Wed 02-Sep-09 13:15:31

Seem to have had an attack of aberrant apostrophes..whoops.

Weegle Wed 02-Sep-09 13:28:09

ok... we're a bit more 'economical' than Millarkie.

We live in a rural town and provide the following:

AP (25 hours per week) gets £60 pocket money and AP+ (40 hours per week) gets £85. On top of this we buy them a young persons railcard but don't pay their train fares, as that is their social life. We don't give them use of the car so don't have insurance and petrol costs. We provide them with a UK PAYG mobile but apart from the initial £10 credit if they use it to contact their mates then they are responsible for topping it up. They get free phonecalls and wi-fi as we have them anyway. Non-English speakers we have always paid for their college course - our next AP is going to be Aussie so instead I am giving her credit towards her flight. All their food I can't really cost as they eat with the family - however beyond favourite fruit, drinks etc I don't pander to crazy food demands. The meals on offer are what we are eating as a family - if they don't suit then I don't see that as my responsibilty! (But then one of my screens at interview is what they like eating etc, and whether they will eat with the family). The real hidden costs are days out - our AP's are always welcome to join us on a day out, even if it's just a shopping trip with lunch out, that can run easily £20-£50 according to whatever we are doing. And that's 5-10 times per month. And breakages - last one cost us a new bike wheel, locks etc. Another one lost house keys so all locks needed replacing.

I think the absolute key with AP's is being upfront about the 'package' right from the advertising stage. If they know what they are applying for then all is fair. All our previous AP's have said they feel they've had a really fair deal and loved being in our family - you can't put a price on that bit!

onemoretimetoday Wed 02-Sep-09 13:44:33

My aupair is paid £70 a week for 25 hours work. It has never occured to me to offer her use of our car and I don't provide any kind of bus pass / travel allowance or gym membership. She eats whatever is in the fridge but I make sure that I never run down the supplies as I would if we didn't have an aupair. I gave her a PAYG when she arrived with £10 credit but have not topped it up since then. If she works any extra hours I tend to pay her £7 an hour and I don't pay towards language school until they have been here for at least 6 months when I will give them £100 a term towards lessons.

She has her own laptop but we do provide a cheapy laptop and they are welcome to use internet and skype as much as they like.

This is the norm where we are but there are lots of aupairs and she has been with me over a year so it's obviously not a problem for her.

Gangle Wed 02-Sep-09 14:30:54

thanks all. Do your au-pairs all have their own bathrooms or can they be expected to share the family bathroom? £60 or even £80 per week plus associated costs is certainly affordable. What can I expect in exchange for that? I would ideally want them to help out with the babies for a few hours per day, do some light housework, run errands and babysit once or twice a week.

Weegle Wed 02-Sep-09 15:00:51

Up until now (4 au pairs) they have all shared the same bathroom as us and DS.

We are having building work done and then they will be sharing a bathroom with DS (3) and two babies.

You can expect them to be an extra pair of hands with your babies (ie feeding, changing etc) but they can't have sole care. Over 2 I get them to do short trips to the park etc. And now DS is 3 they take him swimming, on a train ride etc.

You can factor in light housework - bear in mind it might take them longer to do something than it would take you, and this eats in to their hours. The best way round this is to actually PERFORM how you do it the first time, guide them the second time and then leave them to it the third (I've found). Our housework includes: assistance with meal preps, hoovering, mopping, laundry, ironing, wiping tables... No more than 45min-1 hour out of each days duties - the rest is childcare. Also errands - this really depends on the individual and how good their English and confidence is - we've had some rather odd shopping brought home before now!

onemoretimetoday Wed 02-Sep-09 15:08:58

We only have one bathroom so there's no option but to share the family bathroom. We ask our aupairs not to use the shower or bath in the morning but they are welcome to use it any other time.

I am always explicit with aupairs that the focus is more on cleaning in our house than on childcare. She gets the children breakfast and then she makes the childrens beds and does a good house clean 2 mornings a week. 2 mornings are ironing and the childrens laundry and the final morning is general tidy and a quick hoover. Afternoons are generally helping out after dinner, bathing, tidying up and sole care for an hour or so if I need to do school runs or pick up / drop offs from activities.

I don't tend to use au-pairs for more than basic sole care, mine are both over 2, but that's just me, nothing to do with their abilities.

PuppyMonkey Wed 02-Sep-09 15:12:37

"we allow for one burst car tyre per au pair as a matter of course," arf!! This is brilliant...

purplecurlywurly Wed 02-Sep-09 15:43:10

I think upwards of 65/70 pounds for about 20-25 hours/ week. I would have thought that in London the weekly pay should be a little more, as the cost of living is considerably higher and all other forms of childcare would be more expensive in the capital. I don't think you need to offer use of the car but a travelcard could be v useful.
A few hours of light housework/ childcare a day sounds v reasonable. I'm not sure how old your children are though as you keep referring to them as 'babies'! I don't think an au pair should usually be expected to take sole charge of a baby or small child. I assume what you are wanting is another pair of hands to help out with the older two so that you can spend time feeding the new baby, etc.
Good luck!

DadInsteadofMum Wed 02-Sep-09 21:37:15

I think one burst tyre is standard, all except current one have used this "allowance".

Plus £70 per week - more during school holidays;
Use of car (increased insurance);
Local petrol;
Calls home (unlimited under phone package if they come from one of the "right" countries);
Gym membership;
UK phone with all UK calls and SMS paid for;

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