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 Post subject: Has anyone hired an Au Pair before?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:14 pm 
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I'm not sure what happened, I posted this question earlier today but it disappeared. If I'm not allowed to ask this here please let me know and I'll drop it, otherwise I'm assuming it was a forum glitch.

We've got a 7 month old and have not had any luck with daycare so far. He's not getting any sleep there and because of that his eating is suffering (he has zero problems at home). We've tried a ton of different things with the staff and have just switched rooms to see if that will change anything. Assuming it might not, we are looking into alternative options and the idea of an Au Pair seemed to have potential promise.

I found one thread in the foyer where people that worked as Au Pairs discussed their experience, but haven't seen anything about people that have hired them. Has anyone from the PPK hired, or known someone that hired one? What was the experience like?

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone hired an Au Pair before?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:40 pm 
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The forum is having issues today. Some posts are missing but might come back.

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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone hired an Au Pair before?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:45 am 
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I am not a parent but I know someone who had one in the past and they talked about the experience as a good one. I don't have details other than they said with 2 kids, it was the same price or cheaper to have one than to send them to daycare.

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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone hired an Au Pair before?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:26 am 
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linanil wrote:
I am not a parent but I know someone who had one in the past and they talked about the experience as a good one. I don't have details other than they said with 2 kids, it was the same price or cheaper to have one than to send them to daycare.


Yeah, around here (MD/NOVA/DC) the average daycare price we've found (chains and non-totally sketchy home based ones) is around $1200 a month and even at that price we don't feel our kid is being taken care of properly (I know I know, what parent doesn't think this way lol). From the few sites I looked at it appears there is a variety of up front costs that may range from a few thousand into the five figure range, but the weekly cost once the au pair arrived was relatively comparable or even cheaper than the ~$300 a week we're finding at daycare.

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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone hired an Au Pair before?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:58 am 
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I had au pairs when I was little... this was more than 20 years ago, so I'm sure it's changed, but one was fine and one was great, so... yeah.

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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone hired an Au Pair before?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:44 am 
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I'm not an au pair, but I am a nanny. I don't know if that distinction is important to you, but I love my job and would be happy to talk about it if you had questions.

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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone hired an Au Pair before?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:25 am 
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Having been an au pair, I don't know if I would want to hire one, though I know rules in the US about au pairs are pretty different. I'm not a parent, but I am a full-time nanny now, and I think it's so important for your child care provider, especially when they're live-in, to click with your family. It's hard to accomplish that when hiring someone from another country. With an infant especially, where they can't tell you if anything is wrong, and with a lot of au pairs not necessarily having a ton of child care experience...I don't know, I would be nervous. Obviously a ton of people have really good experiences with au pairs though.

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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone hired an Au Pair before?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:59 pm 
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a good friend of mine is the outbound placement manager for the main au pair company here in New Zealand, so she places au pairs with families overseas. I know she has worked with some super qualified awesome people, and some who are less so, but they really do their best to match up the family's needs with the right person to make it work out best for both parties.
If you'd be interested in a kiwi au pair at all, I can get some more information about the process etc ?


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone hired an Au Pair before?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:16 am 
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Oh more information would be awesome, thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone hired an Au Pair before?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:55 am 
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I don't know if you are set on hiring an au pair, but there may be other options besides a standard daycare facility. When my son was a baby and I went back to work, he was cared for by a wonderful woman who did babysitting in her home.

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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone hired an Au Pair before?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:39 pm 
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My youngest sister also was in a home child care situation that was amazing. I can't figure out how to find that kind of situation here.


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone hired an Au Pair before?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:32 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
My youngest sister also was in a home child care situation that was amazing. I can't figure out how to find that kind of situation here.


yeah I lucked out, the woman who cared for my son was referred by a friend of my mother's. That kind of arrangement can be hard to find on your own.

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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone hired an Au Pair before?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:11 pm 
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ok, so I asked my friend and she said the process in the States is fairly heavily regulated by the US government, so there is not too much difference between agencies you choose at that end.

The company in New Zealand works with 3 different agencies over there and she recommends getting in touch with Go Au Pair above the others and they are a great agency to work with.
InterExchange also has a great online system, and she said she'll have a vegan girl available through them from March next year if you can wait that long!

More generally, she just said the common sense thing of interviewing as many potential candidates as possible to help ensure you get a good fit for your family. She said they have different categories of experience/qualification and would definitely make sure you had an 'infant qualified' au pair, not just someone who thought looking after a baby would be fun.

Don't know if any of that is helpful or not - if you have any specific questions I can pass those on too.


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone hired an Au Pair before?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:15 am 
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oncewerewesties wrote:
ok, so I asked my friend and she said the process in the States is fairly heavily regulated by the US government, so there is not too much difference between agencies you choose at that end.

The company in New Zealand works with 3 different agencies over there and she recommends getting in touch with Go Au Pair above the others and they are a great agency to work with.
InterExchange also has a great online system, and she said she'll have a vegan girl available through them from March next year if you can wait that long!

More generally, she just said the common sense thing of interviewing as many potential candidates as possible to help ensure you get a good fit for your family. She said they have different categories of experience/qualification and would definitely make sure you had an 'infant qualified' au pair, not just someone who thought looking after a baby would be fun.

Don't know if any of that is helpful or not - if you have any specific questions I can pass those on too.


Thanks, that's some great info and a vegan Au Pair would be amazing (or a vegan nanny from the local PG County'ish VA/MD/DC area in case anyone on the PPK is looking for work!). I guess I really need to just call one of these places and find out the details. Some of the questions that are rolling around in my head include:

1. Does the upfront agency cost (which can be several thousand from what I understand and covers airfare, insurance, admin etc) ensure a certain length of time of support in case an individual Au Pair only wants a short contract or leaves early (i.e. if I shell out a ton of money up front am I ensured a replacement person if the original one doesn't work out or do we start from scratch).

2. Is the assumption that we're housing/feeding/providing amenities the Au Pair factored into why the weekly pay is relatively low or is the Au Pair still expected to supply their own food or pay for a cell phone etc?

bunniee wrote:
Ariann wrote:
My youngest sister also was in a home child care situation that was amazing. I can't figure out how to find that kind of situation here.


yeah I lucked out, the woman who cared for my son was referred by a friend of my mother's. That kind of arrangement can be hard to find on your own.


That's the problem we've run into. We're still considering all the options but we know basically no one in the local area (we are total hermits) and of the places we've checked out, all the nearby in-home places have been pretty sketchy - filthy, too many kids already for the adult running it, lack of certification in some cases etc. There is a service that checks out these places (might have mentioned it above) that we're considering going through to find an in-home daycare that will work for us but we're still exploring all our options before we make a final decision.

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Ugh I saw all these cave paintings complaining about vegan cheese options. I don't miss those days. -Isa


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone hired an Au Pair before?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:33 pm 
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Some more answers for you : )

alden wrote:
Thanks, that's some great info and a vegan Au Pair would be amazing (or a vegan nanny from the local PG County'ish VA/MD/DC area in case anyone on the PPK is looking for work!). I guess I really need to just call one of these places and find out the details. Some of the questions that are rolling around in my head include:

1. Does the upfront agency cost (which can be several thousand from what I understand and covers airfare, insurance, admin etc) ensure a certain length of time of support in case an individual Au Pair only wants a short contract or leaves early (i.e. if I shell out a ton of money up front am I ensured a replacement person if the original one doesn't work out or do we start from scratch).

The J1 Visa that is issued to Au Pairs is for a whole year. Au Pairs are expected to commit to this term, there is no short term option. The fees that are paid to the agency would cover you for a free rematch should that have to happen. Though it might be best to check out the rematch policies of the different agencies.

alden wrote:
2. Is the assumption that we're housing/feeding/providing amenities the Au Pair factored into why the weekly pay is relatively low or is the Au Pair still expected to supply their own food or pay for a cell phone etc?

Yes, the wage is low to take into account the Au Pairs room and board. The family is expected to feed them 3 meals a day. As for cell phones that does vary a bit from family to family, but generally the families pay at least something towards it as they want to be able to contact the Au Pair about the children during their work hours etc.


eta: my friend has said she's more than happy for you to contact her directly if you would like to find out any more information etc, send me a message if you'd like the contact details : )


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