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So I could search the archives, but could someone kind tell me some basics about au pairs?

(9 Posts)
IdontMN2makecopyforlazyjournos Sat 05-Sep-09 22:51:03

We don't have one at the mo but we are thinking of getting one in about 18 months time. By then we expect to have relocated to nearest city for work/schools/convenience reasons and DS will be at school, which would make having an au pair bbeneficial.

How much do you pay them (not London) and what is it reasonable to expect? My ideal would be to be able to expect an AP to pick DS up from school and bring him home, give him tea (would envisage he would have had cooked meal at lunchtime at school) and generally look after him until I get home at about 6pm, and maybe one evening's babysitting a week.

Does that sound too much or way under what most AP expect to do? And pay - how much o/s London?

nannynick Sat 05-Sep-09 23:36:21

Pay - whatever is just below the National Insurance threshold. Currently around £90 a week.
Au-pairs are no longer a visa category, so no limitations on hours of work. Picking up from school, giving tea, supervising all sound fine.
If the au-pair is wanting to study whilst in the UK, then you will need to see how your requirements fit with local college hours.

Millarkie Sun 06-Sep-09 00:05:47

'Pocket money' for a city outside London would be about £70 a week for up to 25 hours. Depending on how tempting a city it is for au pairs (most of them want to live in London), you may want to add other perks on (we do use of car, gym membership, £10 credit each month on a UK mobile phone, and a young persons railcard). I've found cost of other things adds up to at least as much as, if not more than, the pocket money (car insurance, petrol, increased food bill, increased heating/power bill, breakages, treats, entry fees for trips out with family etc) so end up paying somewhere between £650 and £850 a month depending on the au pair.
School pick up, supervision and simple tea all sound fine - could add some light cleaning onto that (ie. dusting/hoovering but not scrubbing bath/loo), maybe ironing (we don't iron and don't expect au pair to) and I think most people say 2 babysits a week (we do, but we never use them).

Millarkie Sun 06-Sep-09 00:07:38

Re college - I've had 2 au pairs do evening courses and the other did an english course aimed at au pairs which ran 11.30-1.30 so left time for school drop off and pick ups, but worth looking around to see what courses are offered locally.

tulpe Sun 06-Sep-09 00:42:44

We pay have paid our au pair around £65 per week for 25-30 hours, plus 1 night a week babysitting (which rarely happened, tbh because we didn't go out so much!).

We are not in London but are in a village close to a large-ish city (40 mins from London by train though). We didn't have any probs finding someone because whilst many au pairs do want to work in London, there are also many who request rural or smaller towns.

In addition, our au pairs have had gym membership (which works well for taking children swimming etc too), £10 worth of phone calls on our home phone and a PAYG cell phone provided for UK use only. Usually, we have offered a percentage refund of top-up costs depending on how much they have contacted us with it.

Our au pairs have not driven our cars whilst with us (not necessary for school run etc). We haven't found ourselves eaten out of house and home . The one thing we found with one of au pairs was a massive increase in our water bill. She would shower for approximately 30 minutes every evening shock and she really wasn't a high maintenance girl, iykwim, but had some serious body image issues.

We usually offered to take her with us on family days out (which we would pay for) but sometimes we wanted time for just us and they have always been cool with that.

Your expectations of an au pair seem totally inline with ours and we have always had plenty of interest in our ads. Agree with Millarkie re: light cleaning. Ours have done the ironing but ime have always taken so long to do just a few things that I would rather they were whipping around with the hoover and let me do the ironing!

FWIW, we have had 4 au pairs. 2 were brilliant, 1 was awful (sent home after 2 weeks) and 1 was so-so: more a personality issue rather than not being a great au pair per se.

Our au pairs have always attended local language courses run by a private college. We offer to refund cost of course upon successful completion as an incentive

dreamteamgirl Sun 06-Sep-09 00:56:03

My first AP arrived 6 hours ago so I cant claim to be an expert but ...

I pay £65 for a 25 hour week

Plan is:
AP gets up and helps with brekkie/ getting dressed, takes DS to school(30-60 mins), comes home and does 1 hours house work then has day to go to language school, then picks DS up at 3.00, brings him home gives him tea/ plays with him till I get home at 5.30 then tidies round before knocking off at 6pm

What you are suggesting sounds totally reasonable and doable

IdontMN2makecopyforlazyjournos Sun 06-Sep-09 07:48:44

Thank you so much for all the responses. Hadn't considered it might be difficult to tempt someone outside of London - to be more specific we're probably relocating to central Bristol so there is plenty there in terms of studying opportunities.

So, how do you find these treasures? Any agencies that are particularly good or dreadful? And what agency charges are reasonable?

Sorry for all these questions!

Millarkie Sun 06-Sep-09 10:23:12

Bristol sounds good - nice lively uni city
I recruit mine using rather than use an agency (aupairworld is about £30 for 3 months membership, agencies are significantly more and I would still want to do a lot of the checking myself).
For aupairworld you need to think about exactly what you are offering and what you want the au pair to do, then fill in a profile about your family, local area, job and pay/perks. Log-in a few times a day to keep your profile high. Expect a lot of unsuitable au pairs to contact you mixed in with a few good'uns. Email the good'uns with more info about your family and ask if they are still interested. If so ask them some questions (if you search MN there will be threads on this) their referees, ask if they have been police checked (some have, some haven't) - make your favorite an offer (expect a lot to go silent at any point along this journey ) and if you get an offer accepted ask them for a flight number...I generally relax once I have a flight number.
Other websites are and gumtree (which is good if you want to find an au pair in the UK and interview face-to-face).
If you search MN there are agency recommendations though.

IdontMN2makecopyforlazyjournos Sun 06-Sep-09 10:58:04

Thank you Millarkie. I will have a lurk on the site you suggested and see what kind of people are on there, obviously we are not looking yet but will be interesting to see what kinds of people want to be APs and what their expectations are.

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