The Nanny Podcast episode 9 “I want a French live out au pair”



I want a french live out au pair

Sometimes we get requests that are difficult, sometimes we get requests that are confusing and sometimes we get requests that are impossible and illegal. Even though we don’t place au pairs, we still get a lot of questions about them. I think most people think an au pair is a cheap way to get childcare, it is not, and I will explain why in a minute, but most of all I think a lot of people don’t know the difference between an au pair and a nanny so we will talk a little bit about that.

An au pair is not a professional. Having an au pair is a cultural exchange program, and this is where a lot of misunderstandings happen.

An au pair does not have any training or experience (babysitting is not experience) in general.

Generally they do not know about childhood development or education, they are young people who want to experience another culture and learn a new language in a foreign country.

The laws are different in different countries, but normally, an au pair can work up to 30 hours per week, have at least one or two days off per week and should be treated like a family member.

He or she also needs language lessons, both time for them and have them organized and paid for, it is often needed to even get a visa.

Then you have to pay for their insurance and social charges, and of course you have to house and feed them and pay a weekly stipend, usually about 60-90 euros per week depending on where you live, and you have to provide transportation for them (bus card, scooter, car). The cost is about the same as a part time nanny. A lot of families break several of the rules for keeping an au pair, many don’t pay social charges or insurance or probably language courses, but that is not the legal way to work and it is definitely not the ethical way to work.

So, when we get asked, in France, if we can help someone find a french live out au pair, the answer is no, because 1. they can’t have a french au pair in France, and 2. you can never have a live out au pair because an au pair by default lives with you.

When a family wants full time help that is of course possible and in a lot of cases a great idea, when they can and want to pay for it.

When money is an issue, we always suggest instead of going the route of doing half the things necessary to get an au pair, to get a part time nanny.

Figure out what you really want and need help with and get a professional that you don’t have to worry about housing or having someone in your home all the time.

There are so many stories about au pairs ending up not working out at all, I have one personally too and it is not to say that an au pair is never a good solution, but most of the time it is not the cheapest or easiest.

With a nanny you don’t have to worry about them getting drunk and crashing your car.

With a nanny you don’t have to worry about their boyfriend coming to visit, and then he doesn’t leave.

With a nanny you don’t have to worry about them abusing your children, verbally, emotionally or physically.

With a nanny you don’t have to worry about them leaving in the middle of the night and stealing from you.

With a good nanny you don’t have to worry about any of those things, and the more things you have talked about before the start of the contract that we think you should always have, the less things you have to worry about in general.

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