× Family & Parenting

Nanny/AuPair 101

7 years 7 months ago #85663 by haan
Just thought I'd contribute. I have a 2 year old and an infant daughter. We have a full time nanny that originally came to the US as an au pair. She stayed on as their nanny and then became our nanny. She's Chinese and she's amazing. We pay her about $14/hr for our two kids (a steal around here) as our son goes to preschool 3 mornings per week.

We have always used nannies for childcare. It's so nice to just leave the house in the morning without having to prepare this and pack up that. That said, you've got an unsupervised employee in your home. I've had a couple of nannies that didn't last long that were losers. They either didn't care about the job or didn't know anything about child development or both. They just wanted their paychecks. Now I know what to look for.

We don't have the room for an au pair, but our nanny kind of gave us the ins and outs about au pairs from her perspective. She said the Chinese ones have to pay the most money to get to come to the US so they are the most motivated to complete their contract. The European ones have more incentive to come here to party and break their contract as their investment is low. They indeed can only work 45 hrs per week and cannot care for an infant younger than 3 months. Our nanny did not have nice things to say about au pairs based on the ones she met during her "classes."

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7 years 4 months ago #86409 by coallard79
Thanks for the insight. I was considering of hosting an au pair for the coming year and share the same thoughts as most of you. That having an in-house nanny does give you peace of mind for your kids.

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7 years 3 months ago #86730 by DuraMater
We are presently on our 3rd au pair and have had variable experiences. If you really do a good job in the selection process and laying the rules out early on, things seem to go well. Our first au pair was 20 years old when she arrived and was from Germany. She ended up eloping one weekend with one of our cars and not answering our calls to see if she was still alive...and she wanted to stay out until 1 am on weeknights and was disrespectful to us and our home...so that ended quickly. Our 2nd au pair was from Thailand and was 25 when she arrived. She was such an amazing and patient person. She has a Bachelor's degree in French and English, and she is very intelligent and innovative. I could write pages and pages of praise on her. We extended her contract for a 2nd year and she finished her 2 years with us last month. I am still mourning her departure :-( She was so wonderful and our whole family wanted her to stay with us forever! Our third au pair is also from Thailand and things are going very well with her.

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6 years 7 months ago #89875 by AdamAustin
In the US I find this company very usefull

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5 years 9 months ago #92597 by English
I'm not sure if this is the correct thread to post in, but it sounded applicable. I have been searching for a part time nanny for my 2 1/2 yr old son. No luck whatsoever. I am wondering if it is due to the hours that I am looking for. He goes to school 2 days a week and full days. On those days though I need someone to pick him up and bring him home and stay with him for 2 hrs or so. The other couple days are full 9 hrs days. I really felt I could find a PT nanny that didn't want too many hours-- that this was enough, but no such luck. I spoke to a nanny agency and they feel like my couple 2 hr days would be what would not make it work since a nanny can't have another job those days.

I have been brainstorming on how to make this work since I do want my son to go to preschool. My in-laws may move into the area in the next year or so so they may be able to help with pick up and all on the short hour days. The other factor though that I didn't realize is my son has been getting sick a lot so I need some back up care for home, but that doesn't work with a PT nanny.

I think my only options are to pull my son out of preschool for the time being and hire a full time nanny. This will likely cover the AM emergencies if my husband needs to go in to the hospital and is not back before I need to head to work. This is not unreasonable since my son is a late year birthday and has about 3 years of preschool ahead of him. Also we are expecting another child later this year so I could send my toddler back to preschool then and not lose the FT nanny then.

My question is for everyone else that is transitioning a toddler to preschool and maybe already has a FT nanny that they love-- How do you have your cake and eat it too? We at one point were just debating paying a FT nanny and not have her really work the 12 hrs that my son is in preschool just to have the security of back up care for sick days, etc, but I really don't have 12 hrs of other stuff (cleaning, organizing, etc) that I could have her do. And plus that is a lot of money in addition to preschool tuition! Does anyone have a PT nanny? How do they make it work hours wise?

I'm just realizing that this is going to be an ongoing problem. Once my kid(s) are in school then there will be summer issues, etc. I never thought pre-children that a determining factor in how many kids I would have would be child care issues, but now it is a big factor. Would appreciate some feedback on helpful ways people have done this without family support. Thanks!

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5 years 9 months ago #92598 by lolaMD
I am a resident with a 1-year-old without family in the area, so I have spent a lot of time coordinating and revising my childcare situation. My husband and I have used a combination of different methods, with a live-in nanny most recently.

Some additional options to consider:
- One nanny to cover the full days and another for the 2-hour days. If there are college students in the area, the 2-hour days can be very attractive. Someone looking for full day work could then take the 9hr+ days and still have the ability to take a second job
-I don't know if they exist in your area, but in my city there is a nanny service that covers hourly jobs through multiple providers. My husband and I use this right now for date nights primarily, but there are some people who use the service for part-time nanny coverage. The service hires multiple trained and screened nannies on a word-of-mouth basis. I have been very impressed by the nannies who have covered for my son, and have collected a list of the ones I like based on my experiences with each for babysitting. In the future, I plan to use this service to cover part-time nanny needs
- Although full days might not make sense, what about 5-6 hours on the part-time days? Would there be enough of mommy helper duties to cover half days? That might be a more attractive offer to a potential nanny
-Have you tried online websites like care.com and nanny.com in addition to formal agencies? I have had some good luck finding nannies and babysitters that meet my needs through the websites.
- Would a live-in situation for either a nanny or AuPair be a consideration? You could arrange more flexibly a variable hour situation in that case, and that would offset a lower payment.
- Are there any moms who would potentially be in the preschool who would be willing to watch your toddler for the 2 hour days after picking up her child?
- Are there any after-school programs near the preschool? Sometimes there are daycares that offer that option, including pick-up on the short days

Hope that helps! I know it can be frustrating to try to coordinate care without nearby family support

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