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Childcare

Au Pair Agencies...recommendations please...

36 replies

ingles2 · 30/09/2007 20:40

Especially ones that are registered with aupair2aupair site and cover Kent. TIA

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granarybeck · 30/09/2007 20:48

We have just registered with milleniumaupairs and have already had a lot of potentially suitable applicants.

ingles2 · 30/09/2007 22:14

Thanks granary...Have you used them before? I'm just asking because I've been really surprised at the lack of after support from my current agency. I've got a nice au pair, been here 3 weeks and they've phoned her a couple of times and asked if she was being treated properly but have not heard anything from them myself, enquiring whether I'm happy.. . Wondering whether this is normal seeing as I'm the one who's paying!!

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Squiffy · 01/10/2007 13:46

There's one that specifically covers Kent - here. I've used them before and they are good although normally they only have French and Eastern European nannies on their books which can cause issues if you need one that drives.

ingles2 · 01/10/2007 16:29

Thanks Squiffy...Got to be one who drives, we live in a rural house! The girl I've got at the mo is czech and a really good driver, however earlier this year I got a girl from Romania who said she could drive bla bla bla, checked license...was a provisional! as you can imagine she left quite quickly!

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granarybeck · 01/10/2007 17:15

No, ingles we haven't used them before - we're new to au pairs. However, the HR director at my husband's firm recommended them and has used them successfully several times as has a number of dh's colleagues. I don't know if they've got good 'after-placement' support though. I keep asking dh to go and have a proper chat with some of the women that have hired through them but he just comes back with the most basic details!! At the moment we have only registered with them. Do you usually try a few agencies at the same time?

ingles2 · 01/10/2007 20:30

No I don't granary..I've tried 2 agencies, the 1st was utter rubbish and then this one...who have been great...until now. Mind you I had a look at millenium who look great and are offering the same facilities as my agency (aupair2aupair is really important I've discovered!)but at £100 less per placement!! definitely a better deal!

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granarybeck · 02/10/2007 21:12

Gosh! I thought they were expensive enough!!

foofi · 02/10/2007 21:21

I had 3 au pairs through an agency, and eventually decided that they don't do much for their money, and the references don't mean a lot anyway, so with the 4th I registered with AuPairWorld. It costs peanuts, comparatively, and is just as likely to find you someone you like (or don't).

cloudberry · 03/10/2007 07:23

We've had 6 au pairs through Aupair World and only 2 were any good! Just food for thought. As a result we are abandoning au pairs as more hassle than they're worth and I'm going to ring Millenium Au Pairs on Ingles' suggestion to see if they can find me a mother's help.

granarybeck · 03/10/2007 15:55

Have any of you used great au pair?

ingles2 · 03/10/2007 20:08

No...you?

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granarybeck · 04/10/2007 10:34

Not really, have registered on their site but can't figure out whether its worth paying for membership and quite how it works.

ingles2 · 04/10/2007 10:51

I had a look and couldn't work it out either!!!!..
I'm going to try Millenium next time I think...if you choose them will you let me know what they're like?

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majorstress · 04/10/2007 11:33

I used great au pair a few years ago, it didn't go well, but maybe it's better now.

I got way too many people contacting me, many with no right to be in this country, some lying about it, and the employer is very liable for that.

I wanted one who would take dds swimming and selected out all swimmers, and specified it over and over, contract and all, but in the end the girl refused after moving in (and she was useless in other ways too).

It's not an easy option, more of a hobby I'd say: you get a bigger pool of people, but more of them are utterly impractical or dreamers, or internet addicts who won't do any work, and it's not easy to screen those out.

cloudberry · 04/10/2007 14:38

Peter Pan Au Pairs. I was recommended it this morning by a friend of a friend who has the most amazing ap. Having rung them first thing, I have already been sent details of 2 people who I am seriously considering. I did ring Millennium but for a Mother's Help and was gobsmacked by their fees! I had a very helpful conversation with Peter Pan and rather wish I'd known about them when we first started using aps as I might have had more success. Will let you know how we get on.

granarybeck · 04/10/2007 20:48

Ingles, I've registered with millenium. We've had lots of potentials but then not heard anything back.

Majorstress, no great aupair is still same, since I registered I have been inundated with emails, loads of which are completely unsuitable aupairs, or not even au pairs. Definitley far too time consuming to sift through them.

Am thinking of giving up on the au pair plan and trying with the after school club. May try Peterpan though cloudberry, they sound good. I got an email from Aupair-agency.com who sounded good and were cheaper than millenium but don't know if any good. The whole thing is meaning I'm getting no work done at all!

majorstress · 05/10/2007 13:35

I've had more success with afterschool club myself, have been using it for nearly 3 years and dd2 has just started there. They have never let me down on the day, unlike every other arrangement, staff are nice and thoroughly checked and trained NOT AT MY EXPENSE, dds have a snack, lots of fun activities or chilling if they'd rather, and other kids to play with, and dd1 has started getting some of her homework done there now too. I especially like that they get to meet kids from other schools, it's nice to see them around the town or at playgrounds. It's also very reasonable cost-wise, especially compared to the expense and aggro of the AP or nanny.

ingles2 · 05/10/2007 15:10

That sounds great MS...I want one of those!
Unfortunately we haven't got one. We live in a tiny rural village, only 65 kids in school..I might suggest it at the next governors meeting though!

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majorstress · 05/10/2007 15:18

Well schools are supposed to do "wrap around" school care over the next few years, maybe they could cover several villages if they aren't too far apart.

But not much use in the short term for you.

granarybeck · 05/10/2007 18:02

My two are currently at the after school club majorstress and it is very good. It sjust that its started shutting half an hour earlier so it is just so stressy if train out of london is delayed or any other probs as have got no family nearby.

But just as we'd given up on au pairs and decided to stick with asc, the agency phoned to say got two applicants that want to do interviews tonight, so don't know what to do now!! Will see how they sound. Never simple is it?!

majorstress · 05/10/2007 18:55

may as well see them.

ingles2 · 05/10/2007 20:22

I agree with MS...nothing to lose everything to gain!...let us know

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granarybeck · 05/10/2007 20:31

First one had found another family, second was hopeless, really hopeless .

She didn't want to do housework. I asked about why wanted to be an au pair, said as her friend said you could earn lots money in london and there are more jobs. I asked if she had enjoyed her last job with children and she said erm it was okay. It is hard to gage what is a language/cultural thing though.

ingles2 · 05/10/2007 21:13

do you know what granary I'm starting to think the agency I use is pretty good even though she hasn't phoned me since the placement and it costs £450. She only sends profiles of one au pair at a time who you can talk to exclusively until you decide...so no other familys involved,..she's also organised NVQ2's in childcare for the Ap's this year, which means they're taking it more seriously as they are being marked..I think I spoke too soon..

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granarybeck · 05/10/2007 22:14

I think maight be right Ingles! I don't think I'd anticipated how tough the whole agency/finding the right au aupair, plus the thought we might have to do it all again in a few months. I thinkmaybe it is better the devil you know!

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