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Thinking about having an au pair - what should i expect?

(17 Posts)
tiredlady Thu 24-Sep-09 23:10:02

Am thinking about getting an au pair but am totally clueless about what they do exactly.
I need someone to help in the mornings getting 3 dcs ready but Dh or I would take them to school. I would want her then to tidy up daily ,but only to hoover, clean bathroom, dust etc about twice a week. I would want her to wash and iron all the dcs clothes but not ours obviously. Then she would have the rest of the day free till she picked the kids up at half three After school she would just have to feed them a proper tea and stop them watching telly till I got home. She would then give us a hand with bedtime and that's it. every evening and wekend would be free. Am I asking too much?

tiredlady Thu 24-Sep-09 23:11:31

weekend ,obviously

Totallyfloaty35 Fri 25-Sep-09 08:26:30

No sounds fine,although mine iron my clothes as well wink

Millarkie Fri 25-Sep-09 08:33:38

Sounds fine - although I don't ask mine to cook (apart from emergency pasta with pesto if I get stuck on train). From seeing what they cook for themselves sometimes I would say that mine would cope with 'student' type foods (but then we are vegetarians who cook from scratch so I guess more awkward than most). I also don't ask ours to clean bathrooms (apart from her own) some of the agencies say that bathroom cleaning is not a suitable job. But mine wipes down kitchen cupboards, mops kitchen floor, hoovers living areas/stairs and dusts.
You could also ask for babysitting - we ask for up to 2 evenings a week (although we very rarely use any!).
Mine also walks the dawg.

Metrobaby Fri 25-Sep-09 08:46:16

sounds reasonable to me! Mine helps out for an hour in the morning, does school pick up, cooks a very simple hot meal for the children, hoovers once a week, and makes sure the kids rooms and kitchen are clean and tidy. She also does all our laundry and does irons the kids uniforms and dh's shirts.

I would advise though having an au pair manual and writing down the jobs in detail and what you expect. You will need to have an idea of how many hours a week she will be expected to do these jobs as this will also determine her rate of pay. Eg I believe the standard Au Pair hours an Au Pair is expected to work is 25 hrs per week (not including evening babysitting), but you can state more hours for more pay.

If you state your expectations clearly hopefully it will go smoothly. However do be aware this can sometimes not work out!

PixiNanny Fri 25-Sep-09 12:02:29

Sounds fine to me, I personally wouldn't like the ironing part, but then I just hate ironing grin I think it sounds like a fine job and if you want someone who cooks, don't expect miracles! Though I must admit, I do try my best with cooking! But if they based my cooking skills off of what I cook for myself at weekends, well, that'd be disastrous grin I eat smash, whereas the kids get home made (mostly) from scratch food every night, a lot of pasta dishes though (I'm good at those haha)

& good luck with the telly business, I can't keep my older charge away from the screens no matter what I do anymore. Neither can his parents though wink

dreamteamgirl Sat 26-Sep-09 17:51:10

Hi tiredlady
My AP does the following
Up at 7.45 and get breakfast things ready, she then eats breakfast with us and gets DS out the door at 8.25 to walk to school

She then does 1.5 hours cleaning. She basically cleans everywhere except my ensuite and my bedroom, and the inc the bathroom she shares with DS (he is 4.5). She is responsible totally for his room, changing his bed and making sure his clothes are washed and ironed and also for keeping the kitchen clean and tidy

Then she is free till 3.15 when she collects him from school, walks him home and plays with him and gives him his tea.
She is rubbish at cooking- I thought as it was just sausage and chips, fishfingers & potatos, fish and cousocus type things she would be fine, but she really isnt!! She is good at most other stuff tho so I am letting that slide for now- he is so tired with starting school that he is fine with a sandwich anyway and he has a cooked meal at school. If cooking is important to you, stress that, and ask for lists of meals they can make as part of your recruitment process.

What I would say is it is hard to say 'stop them from watching tv' if you dont or cant do this. They havent been a parent or are as old as you so they may find that really hard. Maybe you could work with something like a rule of 30 mins tv only, and see if YOU can enforce it? Its just the dont expect them to do anything that you cant or wouldnt do yourself!!

tiredlady Sat 26-Sep-09 21:43:02

Thanks for all the replies.The food is a bit of a deal breaker so, yes, I should make that expilict. I think you are right dreamteamgirl.Expecting her to exert control over the telly when I clearly can't is probably expecting too much.
Anyone know how much APs get paid for an average 25 hr week? (Iknow I could probably look this up but I'm too lazy )

Millarkie Sun 27-Sep-09 10:02:11

Somewhere between £60 and £90 per week pocket money (London less than rural since more au pairs want to go to London), plus a whole host of other expenses, not least food (this can range between £100 per month to £400 per month in our experience!!), heat/light/water bill increase, travel (either bus pass or use of car), we also give them a cheap UK mobile PAYG phone and £10 a month credit, and gym membership (partly so they can take the kids swimming after school). Host families also pay if au pair accompanies them for trips out etc and we always manage to spend quite a bit on birthday and christmas presents for them too.
The extras can add up to more than the 'pocket money' but if you are in a popular area then you can get away with offering less (we are rural and I only take au pairs with previous childcare experience and good english so have to offer a good package).

dreamteamgirl Sun 27-Sep-09 17:54:26

Hi again tiredlady

We pay £65.00 per week and we are in a small town with reasonable-ish busses and we are 45 mins from London Waterloo, with 2 trains per hour. We don't pay a bus pass or provide use of a car as it isnt needed for work, but if she continues to do as well as she is I will look at doing something to help with travel as a 'gift' at the end of the month- probably a young person's rail card (£26.00 for the year) this month

I dont provide gym either- that is a big extra expense if you chose to.

The food increase is something to consider as is the fuel increase, but currently AP just eats cereal in day, and whatever I cook in evening, so i have given up buying much extra

PixiNanny Sun 27-Sep-09 21:59:28

If it helps, I'm in a little countryside town, but get paid a large amount to supplement this, and did have use of a car but didn't pass my test until after they got rid of it. No extra perks, and I'm in a really expensive area (where travelling to London for the day by 1.5hr train is over £90 single if buying on a whim!) but my wage reflects this. You need to consider your area, how much it may cost your AP to get out and about, how much you provide for them, how much things cost in your town when buying reasonable quality goods, etc. The cheapest non-charity shop here is New Look, and everything in our local tescos (the closest food shop without a car!) is either tescos cheapystuff or organic, no middle ground! It's just a little ridiculous!

PixiNanny Sun 27-Sep-09 22:00:48

Sorry, my point was that your wage has to reflect the area and what your perks are grin Ask other AP employers in your area, they may be able to help

Millarkie Sun 27-Sep-09 22:01:25

<little hijack - Hey Pixi, congratulations on passing your driving test!>

catepilarr Sun 27-Sep-09 23:14:13

pixi, you need to buy advance tickets over the internet. then the journey costs a LOT less.

PixiNanny Mon 28-Sep-09 09:11:28

Thank you Millarkie!

catepilarr - I do 99% of the time, but sometimes I get a random day off and am like "Oh! I know what I'll do!" and then feel like crying when I've realised I've paid £12 to get to the station and then have to spend a good £100 to get to London. I normally admit defeat and go home grin

catepilarr Tue 29-Sep-09 00:11:29

i would just do something cheeper on my unexpected day off ;) like go to the beach on the bike ;DD
ps. hope you have a railcard

PixiNanny Tue 29-Sep-09 09:16:40

I have a railcard too, dw :P And lol, I miss the beach! I can't do anything around here on my days off really, I have big problems with public transport at the moment (I have panic attacks on buses because I start to feel really ill and know that I can't get off before my destination) and they haven't gotten me a car, so I can't get out of my town I spend so much time walking about in the evenings and on my days off now, just going whereever to get out of the house. I can't wait to get out of here, excited to go back to Essex, where I have a beach two minutes walk away and a Mum who is happy to be a chaffeur (sp?) grin

On that thought, going to Birmingham on Saturday, what can I do there? grin

<apologies for the thread hijack!>

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