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Is my aupair being cheeky? Says it is hard for her to walk 25 min each way for school run.

294 replies

blueshoes · 28/06/2007 14:13

My first aupair (French) is starting in Aug. But I am already having doubts.

An important part of the aupair's duties is to do my dd's school run. The school is a 25 min walk away, with dd age 4 in a buggy. Now the aupair emails to says that a 25x4 walk every day is hard for her to do.

She was asking about taking a bus and having a bus pass.

I emailed her to explain that a bus would take longer (35 min+), she would still have to walk 20 mins each way (because the school is not near the bus stop), and the roads are congested in the mornings. Plus it will cost us £20 a week in bus fare. She does not seem to have taken that in (language problem?).

Is she angling for us to provide her with a bus pass or contribute to her travel costs? Or does she have a point about such a long walk? I personally have done it (old-ish and weak as I am, lol) and don't see why a young strapping 20 year old cannot.

We are paying her £65 a week allowance - which I feel is slightly above market for what is IMO quite an easy job(London).

Do any of you who are aupair employers pay/subsidise transport costs on top of allowance? Should I ditch her before she starts, as being lame?

OP posts:

RnBee · 28/06/2007 14:15

Some do pay for travel, I personally do not. To be honest I think that she is being cheeky. That is not that far and will be done during her working hours.


bozza · 28/06/2007 14:17

I think you should pay necessary travel, but in this case it is not necessary.


themoon66 · 28/06/2007 14:17

That's about 2 hours of walking a day. In dry weather it's okay. Shitty hail and snow etc might be a toil.

It is a bit far I suppose.... but if she is fit it shouldn't pose a problem. Does she have any disabilities or anything?


Chelseamum · 28/06/2007 14:17

It is a long walk in my eyes especially 4 times a day.... in the rain, in the cold....

£65 in London does not sound like a lot to me tbh


WigWamBam · 28/06/2007 14:18

My initial thought is that she's angling for a car, but doesn't want to ask you outright for one.


cylonbabe · 28/06/2007 14:18

it depends on her own upbringing. i know plenty of people who will balk at a ten minute walk. and i know sooeone who walks three times a day with a four year old who also walks. hehas been doing this since he was threee.
its a ll a culture thing.
a 25 minute walk is not an excessive walk at all. and tbh, the four year old should be able to do it at least once dureing the day.


pollyanna · 28/06/2007 14:18

I pay for bus fare for mine when she does the school run - it takes about 40 minutes to walk probably.

I have found with all of my au pairs that they hate walking and have very little stamina really

I think she is being cheeky - that is an easy way to spend her working hours, but alot of people just are not used to walking.


cylonbabe · 28/06/2007 14:19

it's easier to walk in the rain and cold than it is on a hot sunny day.
its easier to walk in ther ain and cold than getting in and out of a car, whilst making the car wet etc.
get her and the kids a raincoat and wellies. they will be fine


meandmyflyingmachine · 28/06/2007 14:21

Is there a reason why your dd is in a buggy? Does she have mobility issues?


binkleandflip · 28/06/2007 14:21

I think you maybe being a bit cheeky asking her to walk that distance four times a day tbh, whatever the weather. Fine, if walking is her thing, but it's not the same as requesting she has a daily stroll for some fresh air with the children. If this is part of the job as stated then fair enough and if she doesn't want to then that's her choice no to take up the position.


MrsRecycle · 28/06/2007 14:22

I provide an Oyster card and top it up every now and then (cheaper than a monthly pass). My APs have to walk to school (admitedly 5 minutes away), take the tube to other activies (tube station is 10 minutes away) and the whole journey is around 25 minutes. One AP had to walk about 20 minutes to take dd2 to ballet but never complained. Actually, from my experience, £65 is quite low for London - most APs were expecting £90-£110 a week - but I wasn't prepared to pay that. My new AP is going to be getting £60 a week. I personally would ditch her. I don't think she's looking for a bus pass, just being quite lazy.


MrsRecycle · 28/06/2007 14:24

Oh and my 5 year old had a buggy - it was a lot quicker to push her in this than walk with her to ballet!


RedLorryYellowLorry · 28/06/2007 14:26

I think the safety of my child/ren would be paramount. If she's questioning it now she's not going to be happy in the wind and rain in February is she? If she tries to carry an umbrella she won't be able to push the buggy and large hoods obstruct road vision. I think you need to find a solution or find a new AP.


meandmyflyingmachine · 28/06/2007 14:27

I was just thinking that my ds would rather have died then turned up at school in a pushchair, that's all. Sorry. I agree that they are extraordinarily handy though...


southeastastra · 28/06/2007 14:28

get her a car? twice a day maybe ok but four times really is asking alot of someone

(you're paying her £65 a week for full time?)


ThomCat · 28/06/2007 14:30

Bloody hell, I don't blame her at all. 25 mins there and 25 mins back, every day.
Bugger that! I wouldn't want to do that every day, in all weathers, no way.
Also time wasted walking there she could be doing other things at home.


ViciousSquirrelSpotter · 28/06/2007 14:31

Is she particularly lardy?

25 mins walk is not taxing for a young, healthy person. And when did we get to a point where rain or cold was a good reason for not walking? You wrap up properly, and wear a hat.

I'd ditch her. A young person who finds an hour's walk there and back in the morning, sounds very very lazy to me tbh.


ThomCat · 28/06/2007 14:32

8 hours worth of walking to and from school a week! Ohhhh I feel exhausted just thinking about it.


meandmyflyingmachine · 28/06/2007 14:32

And I do worry that your dd will not want to go in a pushchair, and then she will have to do the 25 minutes. And while there's nothing wrong with that per se, it might cause a bit of a struggle, which God knows I find hard enough to deal with, let alone an au pair.


ViciousSquirrelSpotter · 28/06/2007 14:33

LOL. But it's not as if she's going to have anything else to do TC.

I'd just look on it as exercise and use it as an excuse to have a slice of lemon drizzle cake when I got in.


ThomCat · 28/06/2007 14:33

PMSl at 'is she particularly lardy?'
I'm not, but I am particularly lazy! Bollocks to that much walking every day!


donnie · 28/06/2007 14:34

Good God - £65 per week full time???


RedLorryYellowLorry · 28/06/2007 14:34

Rain and cold is a good enough reason to me not to walk 25 mins each way


RnBee · 28/06/2007 14:35

I would say that as this is such a vital part of her job you should consider getting someone who will not complain about it. Whatever way she does the journey she will still need to walk for at least 20 mins.


ThomCat · 28/06/2007 14:35

Is her sole job walking DC to school?
How about bikes?
I'd rtaher have the option of a bike and walk on the sunny days.

Actually I'd rather drive but that's just me!

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