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Childcare

OK, I need an au pair/nanny/live in expert pleeeeeesee!!

15 replies

chocolatequeen · 24/07/2007 23:44

Right, we are about to employ our first au pair. Bit of background to start you off:

She is 34 years old, and has dual Brazilian/German nationality, currently living in Brazil. She used to work for us in Portugal as a babysitter 2 years ago. She is due to come and start working for us in September when we move to London, on what are essentially au pair terms. I am at home so she will not need to do much during the day with the kids, it is mostly about giving me and DH some flexibility in the evenings, perhaps babysitting overnight if we are away at weddings etc. We have agreed that she will earn 60 pounds per week for babysitting, and is free to get another babysitting job that will fit in around us if she wants to. She also wants to study, which we fully support and are happy to pay towards as well. Now, here come the questions (for all those still awake....):

1 - Does she need a visa? I am assuming that if she is travelling on a German passport, that this is OK
2 - Does she qualify to be an au pair or is there an age limit? (something tells me it´s under 30)
3 - If she is not an au pair, then what is she, and do we need to pay tax, NI etc
4 - Would she qualify as an EU student even though she has come from Brazil (albeit as a german)? Is there an age limit on students?
5 - What healthcare provision is there for au pairs? Can they just rock up and register at the local GP´s surgery and be treated free of charge?
6 - Biggie here - she has very little money (her father abandoned the family and left them bankrupt) and wants us to pay for her air fare to get to the UK, but will pay us back. How should we handle it - dock her salary until it is paid off, or agree to pay a certain amount and get her to pick up the rest? I trust her enough to know she won´t pull a fast one, but equally know that I don´t want to set a hand out precedent.

Think that´s it for now, hope someone can shed some light!

OP posts:
jura · 25/07/2007 00:01

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eleusis · 25/07/2007 08:40

Jura has answered most of the questions so I won't duplicate what she has already said.

I think she can register with any GP. My Canadian nanny was able to just show and register.

For the airfare, what if you bought the ticket and asked her to do additional babysitting at whatever your agreed rate is until it is paid off. She obviously isn't in a position to fork out for the air fare. And since you already know and trust her, I would think that peace of mind is worth an extra £200.

How many hours per week is she working for you? Will she have time to pick up other work if say you offered that she could pick up babysitting jobs from neighbors?

chocolatequeen · 25/07/2007 09:08

Thanks so much - just want to make sure we don´t get any unforseen problems when she arrives! Will call the local college and see what the criteria are for the language courses.

Feel bad about asking her to pay us back from what is a pretty tiny salary, but on the other hand, it is going to be a big wedge of cash to fork out for us..... Good point though Jura - I think it is worth it as we know her, and that is a bonus for an au pair.

Thanks again!

OP posts:
nannyj · 25/07/2007 09:09

I would have thought that you should pay for her air fare. If i went to work abroad then i would expect my air fare to be paid for.

squiffy · 25/07/2007 10:03

I've never paid for air-fares, but have loaned money and taken it back over first three months.

All answers so far I agree with. If she has German passport then as an EU member, college fees are cheaper, but not as cheap as UK. If it's a local art/tech college for a foundation course or vocational course, it won't be too much, but if it is Uni or a private language course it can be really very expensive - possibly into the thousands - you should check up on this locally. We had an au-pair who went to college part time to study art and it worked out brilliantly - she made friends, wasn;t lonely and had spending money to go out with them at weekends. Her course was only about £300 for the year I think, if that. There are no age limits on students, that would be illegal (but anyway, colleges prefer adding mature students into the mix).

Good luck.

eleusis · 25/07/2007 10:05

I don't think you need to pay her air fare. I suppose it would be nice of you if you did. Depends on your own finances.

JennaJ · 26/07/2007 13:12

How about paying half her airfare as a 'welcome' present and then getting her to pay the rest back to you?

Jenna

Mumpbump · 26/07/2007 13:17

We agreed to pay half of our au pair's airfare, but in the end, we paid it all up front and then deducted her half from her allowance. Taking babysitting into account is also a good idea to make sure you get it back asap. You don't want to be left in the position where she decides to move on after 5 months and you have no way to recoup her half (or all) of the airfare.

chocolatequeen · 27/07/2007 21:53

bloody hell, she´s now decided she´s not coming.

pissed off. and cross. AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH!

OP posts:
goldenoldie · 29/07/2007 18:03

oh dear - was she looking for a free �£500 ticket from Brazil?

NAB3 · 29/07/2007 18:18

When I au au paired my transport from the Uk to Belgium was paid for by the wmplyers and the SF came and got me.

blueshoes · 29/07/2007 18:33

sorry to hear that, chocqueen. If it is any consolation, I believe it is easy to get aupairs if you are in London. Good luck.

chocolatequeen · 30/07/2007 11:32

REally hoping to find one when we get to London, although as we have one major criteria of them speaking portuguese, I think we may end up struggling.... at least if they are already in London we can meet them first to size them up!!

OP posts:
blueshoes · 30/07/2007 11:51

ah, I see why you initially went for a brazilian one ...

goldenoldie · 30/07/2007 17:23

what about puting an advert in Portugese equavalent of Gumtree or Loot? Portugese community in London is bound to have community centre, church, delis and so on you could put up cards in all of them.

a lot cheaper to pay flight from Portugal than from Brazil.

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