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Au pairs - how does it all work

(7 Posts)
jimmihendricks Tue 05-Jul-11 21:22:37

Please help...in the last 24hrs I have just accepted a job (after a 5 year career break) obviously the job will be the easy bit - but what do I do with the kids.
I have 3 children aged 7, 5 and 4. When I start in September they will all be back at school full time - and I will be working 9 - 5 three days a week.

My initial thought is that we should find an Au pair...... Please could people take the time to answer any of the questions below.

. What are the best Au pair Agencies to use?
. Can an Au pair plus be expected to look after 3 children during the summer holidays?
. Do you need to enrol the Au pair in a language school?
. What are suitable light duties for an Au Pair?
. Is it acceptable to get an Au pair to look after the before/after school duties 3 days a week and then Light duties for 2 days?

Any advice about contracts and Handbook are really welcomed.

I can't believe this is my first time visiting Mums net..... I've discovered a whole new world!!!!

HarrietJones Tue 05-Jul-11 21:25:37

Bad timing finding MN now, you won't have time to work!
Sorry no idea on the au pair but good luck!

jimmihendricks Tue 05-Jul-11 21:27:26

Thank you - I know!!!! i feel like i've missed a whole new world of parenting!! Hopefully my kids haven't turned out to bad in its absence!!

jimmihendricks Tue 05-Jul-11 21:27:27

Thank you - I know!!!! i feel like i've missed a whole new world of parenting!! Hopefully my kids haven't turned out to bad in its absence!!

HarrietJones Tue 05-Jul-11 21:47:29

You'll find all the things you didn't worry aboutwink

Jimmi - you'll be better off posting in the childminders_nannies_aupairs section of MN as you'll get more replies there. Your questions are quite common so if you put a search of 'finding aupairs- in the MN search box, you'll find loads of similar posts. Loads of useful stuff including handbooks, managing au pairs (questions ranging from how much food to provide them, phone bills, boyfriends staying over etc!)

To briefly answer your questions:
What are the best Au pair Agencies to use?
This varies, a lot of people use aupair world or greataupair.com but if you need someone quickly by Sept, you might need to use an agency (use search function as mentioned earlier to see some agencies used by other MNers). Gumtree is a good option to find an aupair already in the UK, but be prepared to weed out the timewasters.
. Can an Au pair plus be expected to look after 3 children during the summer holidays?
Yes, as long as not exceed 35 hours per week I think.

. Do you need to enrol the Au pair in a language school?
Au pairs generally come to the Uk not just to work, but to experience life and culture locally, meet and make friends and learn English. To make your family as appealing as possible to an aupair, would recommend enrolling in language schools especially if you have one nearby.

. What are suitable light duties for an Au Pair?
depends really. most household chores like laundry, bit of cooking and dusting are fine. Cleaning the bathroom isn't something most aupairs like to do but again, all boils down to the individual.
. Is it acceptable to get an Au pair to look after the before/after school duties 3 days a week and then Light duties for 2 days? Yes, you can specify the different types of workloads each day as long as the childcare part doesn't exceed 35 hours per week.

jimmihendricks Wed 06-Jul-11 00:25:05

Thank you for your advice.

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