Thursday, 11 July 2013

Au Pair Agency | Find a Nanny

Just had to write about what has happened these last few weeks. I got a call from one of my au pairs from  Hungary living in Bolton  to tell me that she is alone with 2 autistic teenage boys and she was not happy.

When calling the father who is a widower he told me that he was away at a conference and would speak to the girl on his return on the Sunday.

I was not very happy about this as the poor girl had just started with the family, didn’t really know the boys and the father shouldn’t have gone away and left them all alone.

A day later the poor girl called me again and told me that one of the boys had gone mad and had gone into the cutlery drawer and thrown a large spoon at her head. Her agent also called me to take her out of the home as she was scared of the boy who had been taken away by the police kicking and screaming. The boy could have reached for a knife and then things could have been worse. She had a very large bump on her head as it was.

I collected Dalma and she came to my home for 8 days before we found her another family, one which I did know well and I knew that the family treated the girls very well. She is mailing me that she is now very happy and I am glad that she has finally settled down.

This reminds me of my own experience in Paris many years ago when I first went out. I was placed in a suburb of Paris with a family who had a 2 year old and a baby of 7 months. I was not to know then that au pairs should not take care of small babies as of course they are not trained.

The mother was a teacher and went out to work leaving me with the 2 young children who were not the best behaved of children. The 2 year old kicked my shins on a daily basis, I was black and blue and when speaking to the mother she didn’t do anything about it.

The family did not want me to go out in the evening time so the only place I could go to was the English church on Avenue Hoch near the Champs Ellysee, this turned out to be a place not too bad at all as, after the service we all had a cup of tea and the priest played the guitar and we had a sing song.

We all later went onto the Winston Churchill pub for more guitar playing and sing songs. That was the thing that kept me sane for those first few months of my au pair stay but I couldn’t go home as the family and friends had given me a leaving party and I couldn’t go home having failed as an au pair !!!!

My father wrote to me often, there were no computers nor mobiles in those days, he often would put a tenner in the envelope and when I spoke to him one week he asked me if I had received the last money which I hadn’t !!! On asking the mother she was quite shifty and I knew then that she had been taking my money, she also did never pay me on time so I felt that it was time to move on.

When going to church that week I spoke to the priest who was a lovely Irishman and he came with me to the home and we got my luggage and l stayed in the church for a few nights until he took me to a Paris agency where I got the position with a famous perfume family but that’s another story.

Many families are nervous at first on taking on an au pair but I do get more bad families than bad girls and if you treat the girl/boy fairly then all should be well.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Find an Au Pair

With the Easter holidays coming to an end we are now concentrating on helping families to find an au pair for the summer school holidays. 

These au pairs are normally College or University  pupils who are looking for a summer placement and so work from June to September, they should be paid more money for the hours worked, 40 hours per week is usually £100 when the children are not in school, this is still the cheapest form of childcare. 

All our summer applicants are vetted also and come with police and medical certificates. They are a good help during the summer months when the holiday period can be quite long. Some families take their au pairs away with them on holiday for help during the holiday. It is nice for the family to be able to relax on holiday with the help of the au pair and the au pair can babysit in the evening whilst the parents have a peaceful meal together. 

Some au pairs have been on fantastic holidays and though they are working they are still in the sunshine or skiing and having a very different time without having to pay for it and getting paid at the same time. 

During the holidays we will also be placing au pairs for the September start of college, this is usually our busiest period and the au pairs come into the UK from September for 6, 9 or 12 months. 

As we are a well established agency we do place au pairs throughout the year and not just for the September start.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Nannies and Au Pairs in the UK

An au pair is a young person from 17 to 27 who wishes to come to the UK to study the English language.

As a nanny and au pair agency, they use our au pairs abroad to be interviewed and have their references checked and our agencies make sure that they come with police checks and medical certificates. We do not take applicants direct nor from the internet.

Several websites promote free services or a low payment but the applicants are not checked out and many applicants ask the family to pay for their fare over, we have known young people who have been sent money from a family then the au pair does not turn up but cashes the cheque. We also know a story of a family who told me that they brought in an au pair from one of these website, they went out one evening and left the girl to babysit, on returning to the house they found that many articles had gone ie TV and jewellery and the au pair had left the children unattended, to use an agency gives you peace of mind that the au pairs are checked out and we know their addresses etc in their country of origin and all this has been checked.

Also, the au pairs who are using free websites must beware as most of the families are families that do not treat the applicants well, this is why they use a free website, they think they can get away with making an au pair work longer hours and at weekends, the applicants who go to these families have no back up from a UK agency and so when some have contacted our agency we were not able to help them as they have not been checked out

We have heard that prostitution rackets are posing as families on the internet and when the female applicants are met at the airport they are put into this..

Our au pairs speak basic English and must go to college. They study for the ESL course and at the end of June take the Cambridge exam in English

Au Pairs come normally to the college Terms from September to June or from June to September. Due to our agency being established since 1989 our nanny and au pair agency do get applicants all year round.

The applicants stay normally 6 or 12 months, some au pairs stay with the family longer when they are happy and want to do more English studies.

We do summer applicants who come during the summer school holidays, they will normally work longer hours and if they are working 40 hours then do make sure that they are paid at least £100 per week. If an au pair is treated well it is always good to be generous with her, some families pay for the college also. Summer au pairs do not go to college.

So, an au pair is a super addition to any family with school age children and as well as the 25 hours for just £70 per week they will do 2 evenings babysitting for you included in the £70. It is always nice to have someone living in to do the babysitting, you don’t have to look at the clock to take the babysitter home and you don’t have to drive them home.

Our nanny and au pair agency place au pairs all over the UK, we give the au pairs a list of other au pairs in the areas so that they are not lonely, many of our families are word of mouth as they pass our details on to their friends once we have given them a good service and the office is full of thank you cards and letters from both the family and the au pair saying what a good agency we are.