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Sole charge Au Pairs

(5 Posts)
mishmash Tue 21-Jun-05 15:46:26

Just a very quick follow on from previous threads. Are Au Pairs not allowed to have sole charge under any circumstance?

Where I am coming from we are looking at getting a childminder for the kids when they return to school in September and then when they get summer holidays next year (2006 - wishing their lives away )we would get an Au Pair.

They will then be aged 5, 7 and 9.

Assuming that the Au Pair would have done it before and was a bit more mature than others - could she have sole charge in this circumstance?

Ameriscot2005 Tue 21-Jun-05 15:58:48

I don't think there is a legal requirement, especially for EU citizens. The convention is that au pairs are not left for long hours with children under 2. You have to interpret for yourself what this means, but I would say that you would not want to leave a little one for more than, say, 2 hours, and then only on an occasional basis.

For over 2s, it is your discretion - whatever you feel comfortable with.

Au pairs work 5 hours per day, and it is fine if this is all childcare (mine does 2 hours housework and 3 hours childcare). For the holidays, you are probably looking at an au pair plus (average 7 hours per day). You also have to be mindful of their language classes.

As for age and experience, there are no guarantees, I'm afraid. I had an older au pair who turned out to be quite negligent with the children, but the younger ones I have had have been great.

beachyhead Tue 21-Jun-05 16:01:13

It is really up to you, but for your age children, I think it is fine. I think most of the comments on here and in the press relate to working parents who leave pre-school children with untrained au-pairs for a 10/12 hour day and then are surprised when they are not getting top notch childcare.

I agree that school age children are unlikely to be under sole charge for longer than 3 or 4 hours at most, which I think is fine.

Completely depends on the person you get, your expectations and what you are comfortable with, (for this age child) IMO.

I think there are guidelines on sole charge, but I am not sure how they are 'policed', so they are virtually unenforceable.

Ameriscot2005 Tue 21-Jun-05 16:01:15

If you look at some agency websites, they will give you a list of the typical au pair duties and family responsibilities.

None of this is legally binding.

mishmash Tue 21-Jun-05 16:06:09

Thank you ladies - it is a long way off yet

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