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Childcare while I go back to Uni - au pair?

(19 Posts)
Belgrano Sun 04-Jul-10 19:57:23

Can anyone who has experience of childcare help me? Pleeease?!

I have decided to retrain as a midwife. I have 2 little ones. DD who starts preschool in Sept (mornings only) and DS who is going to be 14 months in Sep.

I have got a last minute interview for the Midwifery course for this yr (yay!), having thought I'd need to wait till next year. So I'm thinking about what on earth childcare I could fix up if I get in. Obv I haven't got very long to sort it! DH works late starts so can do breakfasts and drop offs where necessary.

Both kids are in childcare on Mondays already and I have nabbed a Friday slot for DS with the childminder where he goes on a Monday but she has no other spaces. So that leaves the following care requirements:

Tuesday: DS all day (9-5), DD from 12.15-5 including picking her up from preschool
Wednesday: as above
Thursday: as above
Friday: possibly DD 12.15-5, although childminder might be able to take her.

There would be odd days when DH is away with work etc so she needs to work later or cook tea. We are happy with live-in, and that will actually be useful eg. when I am on placement doing nights or leaving for an early shift and DC's are asleep. But we are not rolling in money so don't think a nanny is an option.

-Does an au pair or an au pair + look after a baby this young and this kind of hours?

-Are there any other options I haven't thought of?


Thank you all very much.

scurryfunge Sun 04-Jul-10 20:01:08

Au pairs are not suitable for babies at all as they don't have any qualifications. They can help with limited stuff during the day but should not be used for all day care.I would not consider an au pair for anyone under school age.

Missus84 Sun 04-Jul-10 20:12:28

I don't see any reason why an au pair plus couldn't look after a baby, you just have to be a bit more careful when recruiting. An 18 year old gap year type would be fine if you just wanted before and after school care for older children, but full days with toddlers I think you'd want to look for someone older with childcare experience - either had been an au pair before or a nursery nurse in their own country rather than just babysitting experience.

frakkit Sun 04-Jul-10 20:22:48

An inexperienced but trained or unqualified ex mothers help as a live in nanny in theirfirst position might suit you better.

I personally wouldn't use an au pair for an extended period of sole charge of a preschooler however highly trained/experienced they were in their own country because of the possible impacts on linguistic development with a non-native 'improver' English speaker. If they were speaking their own language I might consider it but au pairs generally want to come for their English. Also a 40 hour week is a bit much and it would be difficult, especially with the flexibility you need, to fit English classes in.

An Aus/NZ/Canadian might suit you but they also tend to ask for more money...

Missus84 Sun 04-Jul-10 20:27:22

29 hour week, surely?

I agree with frakkit about the language though - I'd see it as a brilliant opportunity to introduce a new language to your DC. I was an au pair abroad when I was 21 and only spoke English to the children, and they are bilingual now.

Belgrano Sun 04-Jul-10 20:32:59

Yes it would be a 24 or 29 hr week (depending on the Fri afternoons with DD) but with possibility of doing more if needed. Interesting point about the language - I had not thought of that.
THank you. Any more ideas/thoughts, please keep 'em coming!

frakkit Sun 04-Jul-10 20:34:34

Is it really 9-5 though? I worked on the assumption it was more likely to be a 9 hour day to cover communting times, plus the Friday (inuding mornings to cover holidays/illness) and a working late or babysit once a week. That makes it roughly 40.

IIRC midwifery students don't have long uni holidays....

Belgrano Mon 05-Jul-10 09:45:28

Oh god I hadn't thought of the school holidays/no preschool factor. Bollocks.
Right. I am now thinking a nanny for the first year and then possibly an au pair after that since DS will be 2 then. How much does a family with 2 dc's pay a nanny? Any good sites for finding one?

Missus84 Mon 05-Jul-10 10:58:43

Nanny wages really depend on where you are in the country and how experienced/qualified the nanny is - say £12+ gross an hour in London, £10 gross an hour in the south east, £8 gross an hour elsewhere for example. A live-in nanny would be less. On top of the gross wage you have to consider employers NI, possibly the cost of a payroll company if you use one, nanny's food, activities kitty, mileage if you need the nanny to drive.

Have a look on, and local nanny agencies or to get an idea of wages in your area.

LizRob Mon 05-Jul-10 14:29:20

Hi Belgrano,
I have similar childcare needs to you, and decided to go for a live-out nanny. I found a lovely one on Gumtree (my ad) and have been really happy with her. When you have funny hours, I think you have to be prepared to have someone who isn't a full-time nanny- my girl is a PhD student wanting to supplement her earnings. She hasn't got quals, but did have references, seemed nice and sensible, and DD warmed to her. TO get exactly what you need hours-wise, I think it's not a bad idea to trust your instincts a bit when meeting people and not get too hung up on quals etc. After all, none of us mums have any!
I pay her £9 ph (London).

LizRob Mon 05-Jul-10 14:33:05

ps- meant to say, she has DD all day (2) then picks up DS (5) from school, cooks tea and stays until bathtime, plus occasional babysitting.
The language thing was actually a big factor for me- I really wanted someone with very good (at least) English, as DD is developing language. All the qual nannies were not native speakers, which isn't a problem in itself, except that they all had bad English. My PhD student is British, which is a bonus for the language.

frakkit Mon 05-Jul-10 18:01:48

It does depend where you are. Nick did a good thread where a 55 hour week live out nanny racked up to around £37k.

I'll just let you get over that.

Here's what it might look like for a FT live in nanny.

A live in, newly qualified or ex-MH nanny might be around £300gross/week full time (£244 net) costing you a total of £16,914 a year (using, so let's call that £17k.

Add a payroll company to that for £115.

Then you need to think about the costs of having an extra adult in the house for electricty etc and providing food. Call that £10 a day, for live in that's 365 days a year so another £3,650.

Transport: possible business insurance on your car AND the cost of petrol OR mileage for the nanny AND/OR a public transport pass, so I expect around £1,620 on transport which is about the price of 12 monthly zone 1-4 oyster passes

£25 a week for the kitty, call it 50 weeks a year adds another £1,250.

I make it £23,635. Call it £24k to cover miscellaneous costs. Not quite £37k but still a sizeable amount.

There are ways to cut the cost - limit the kitty, limit the travel etc but you've still got a fair amount of costs involved. An OFSTED registered nanny could be helpful if you can get childcare vouchers

JustAnother Mon 05-Jul-10 18:58:51

I was an aupair from ages 18 to 21, different families and different countries. To be honest, seeing how I was at that age, I would never trust an aupair with a baby or toddler for the whole day. When you have no experience and your priorities are having fun and learning a new language, spending all day with a child can be very stressful and daunting. I had aupairs for my DS, but only for short hours, Nursery/school drop offs, pick ups, etc.

Veronikaash Tue 06-Jul-10 14:19:55

Au pair is very good help, but not for children under 2 years!
2 year limit which is advised by the Home Office

Belgrano Wed 07-Jul-10 20:43:57

my god, how the flipping heck does anyone afford a nanny? Even the newly qualified one I have found will cost us £20 once we pay tax etc etc. How does anoyone do this? It's mad.

Belgrano Wed 07-Jul-10 20:44:36

errr, £20K obv. Not £20.

frakkit Thu 08-Jul-10 06:27:17

Where in the country are you? £20k for a newly qualified live in (gross) sounds more than I'd expect. That's about £300 net per week?

Are you wanting the 4 or 5 days? What kind of hours?

Boobz Mon 03-Oct-11 09:32:49

Hey Belgrano - sorry for bumping an ooooold thread, but just wondering what you did in the end and how you're getting on with your midwifery course? I am hoping to start midwifery in Sept next year and will have 3 under 4 by then so trying to work out what to do myself with the nanny thing...

Any wise advice now you are in year 2?

maggi Wed 05-Oct-11 16:40:37

Have you thought of finding a second or new childminder? 27 hours x £3.5 x 2 children = £189pw A more cost effective choice surely?

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