View Full Version : Advice needed

18-02-2011, 01:01 PM
Ok this is a long one,

I am a single mum of 3, I currently look after one child but have 2 starting in a week which will mena i am full. I struggle to have any type of life at all. my kids dad is good but he lives with his parents so everything is done with me around.

At xmas i had to pay a baby sitter £40 one week just so i could go to get food shopping. I love to run but had to give that up childcare problems again. I do suffer with stress a little so could do with some me time when not working.

I have had a few enqs and really could take them but would mean taking an assistant on now i only charge £3.50 an hour so not sure how that would work but a friend of mine suggested instead of taking on an assistant why dont i get an au pair as they r only £50 a week that way my 3 kids have someone to help see to them school run etc which would give me a little me time too.

Has anyone done this and could i get her to be my assistant aswell so i could raise my numbers in the day.

18-02-2011, 01:05 PM
would the au pair live with you?.......and for £50 a week id love one i just dont have the house space :D

18-02-2011, 01:07 PM
Nest time, use online shopping..... £5 delivery charge is cheaper than £40 babysitting!

You would need to look into the rules and regulations around au pairs as paying one £50 a week and expecting them to work all day with you might not factor into it....... also they can be notoriously unreliable and disappear without notice, leaving you over your ratio with no back up..... and that is another person to live in the house and to feed!!!!

if the kids dad is 'good' could he babysit one night a week so he gets to spend a few hours and put them to bed whilst you run/go out?

Just some ideas..... Jen x

18-02-2011, 01:13 PM
yea they live with you and i do have the space. tried the dad thing and very un reliable in that way if its something for me then not a chance. i would only want to try it short term and dont expect her to work all day just help a little mainly to give me some breathing space. tbh

And the shopping was food, xmas gifts everything u need for xmas that i couldnt take the kids with me and had no other option x

18-02-2011, 01:23 PM
I think if she's going to help with mided children you must register her as an assistant and pay proper wages. You can't use her to help you with your work if you don't register her.
If you just want help with your own children and housework you must remember she can only work up to 25 hours a week. Any more than that and she becomes an au pair plus and you have to pay her more. She'll also need to be CRBed if she's living with you.
I have had au pairs before (well before I became a childminder) and I have to say that at the beginning the idea seemed brilliant and I could not believe I didn't think about it before. However I had a few bad ones one of whom neglected my child. You must be really careful as some just want to come to UK for other reasons rather than to learn English, get to know the culture and get some pocket money as they do this ....
Ps You must also check with home office if you want to register them as assistants as some are not allowed to do any other work than au pairing. It depends where they are from and what sort of visa they have.

18-02-2011, 01:40 PM
I do feel for you it must be hard. However as has been suggested maybe do your main shopping online and then top up as required. You are allowed to take the mindees shopping you know. It is all goos experiences, counting, weighing for the older ones, out on the community, learning where their food comes from etc etc. Mine love it when we go shopping.

With reguard to an assistant. I doubt that Ofsted would allow you to work with an Au Pair. An Assistant has to be Registered with Ofsted and in order to be left alone with minded children they have to do a 12 hour First Aid course. Also you may ask for in increase in numbers when working with an assistant but there is no certainty that you will get it.

Working with an assistant you would need to check all the requirements with the Tax office. However you generally have to Employ them. This means producing a payroll and payslip, paying their tax and NI. They will have to be paid the min wage, sick leave, a min number of paid holiday days and if it came to it Maternity pay. It is a big committment taking on an assistant you need to look into it carefully and consider if it actually is financially viable.

However if you are thinking an au pair for your children, you don't say how old they are, then you would need to inform Ofsted and just get a CRB done for them.

The Juggler
18-02-2011, 01:58 PM
oh hon dad may be good with the kids but a good dad does his share too:(

he needs to give you that me time - wherever he is living. you are entitled to a life too - just to enjoy yourself never mind just to do the essentials like shopping.:( That's £40 worth of food/treats for your little one he cost you if he can't even have them for an hour whilst you shop.

Can you agree on at least a set time each week for you to do your shop in peace and one evening so you can go for your run/do a class.

sorry if I'm sticking my nose in more than you wanted hon but he is NOT pulling his weight.:blush:

18-02-2011, 04:25 PM
yea you are all right what seemed like a good idea of a suggestion now seems like a mind field of problems and tbh he has to do more anyways. thank you all for your advice. x

18-02-2011, 04:37 PM
I would suggest shopping online - sainsbury are free some days if you spend over a set amount!

Have you considered an apprentice? That might be an option rather than an au pair - they need one day a week to study and I think you need to pay them a minimum of £95 a week - but if it does increase your numbers, it mihgt help

But get the dad to step up a bit more - they're his kids too! NAd you need some time off aswell