Considering an au pair as an alternative to a nanny?

August 2, 2013

Smartaupairs recognises that a number of our host families have employed nannies in the past, however as their children get older and the amount of care required decreases, they have found the au pair program to be a more suitable and cost effective option.

Smartaupairs has collaborated with Sara Dawkins, active nanny and freelance writer, in order to discuss the reasons why you may wish to consider hosting an au pair as an alternative to employing a nanny.

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1. Changing Roles and Costs

As your children become older and more independent, you will find that the hours and care required from your nanny will be reduced – you may no longer need a full time carer for your children.  However, if you are employing a nanny, you are still obliged to pay a full time salary. An au pair can provide the same set of eyes to watch your children whilst putting less strain on your budget.  Although you pay for an au pair’s room and board plus pocket money (beginning from £70 per week and in the vast majority of cases, below the tax threshold) this is by no means the hefty hourly wage associated with nannies.

2. Sharing Ideas 

An au pair is more than just a live-in babysitter. A great deal of cultural understanding and enlightenment can be brought into the home due to the nature of the au pair program. Whether you are learning new recipes or about festivals and traditions in your au pair’s home country, the sharing of information can help your family to discover different cultures in a fun and interesting way. As the majority of au pairs are non-native English speakers, there is also the opportunity for your children to learn a new language.

3. Different Attitude

Many families prefer more the more relaxed atmosphere of an au pair as opposed to the rigid professionalism of a nanny.  For au pair candidates, the program offers much more than just the chance to earn money – they have the chance to experience everyday life in the UK, perfect their English and become part of a host family. Many au pairs and families form a bond that lasts a lifetime and often visit each other long after the placement is over.  It is this relationship that makes the program special and for this reason, many families prefer it over having a nanny who may view their role as nothing more than just a “job”.

 

Co-Author Bio

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Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of http://www.nannypro.com/.  Learn more about her: http://www.nannypro.com/blog/sara-dawkins/.


Smartaupairs Team attend ‘Kent 20/20 Vision Live’

April 26, 2013

The Smartaupairs Team attended ‘Kent 20/20 Vision Live’ at Detling Showground yesterday. The event included an exhibition, guest speakers and interesting workshops.

We very much enjoy attending events like these, which help us to evaluate the service that we offer and inspire us to use new and innovative ideas to improve what we do.

At Smartaupairs, we are keen to discover and develop in order to deliver the very best au pair experience to our candidates and host families.

Many thanks to the event organisers – we’re already looking forward to the next one!

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TNT Magazine Australia

March 28, 2013

 

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SO excited about our page in the TNT Magazine about becoming an au pair in Australia,

can you imagine how many young travellers from all over the world will be reading the magazine this weekend whilst exploring Australia and then decide that being an au pair is a great way to ‘live as a local’ and ‘travel for less’

http://www.smartaupairs.com.au/news-read.aspx?news=143

 


NEW – evening consultations Smartaupairs Australia

March 10, 2013

As many of our host families find it difficult to have the family consultation during the day due to work commitments, our au pair agency now offers telephone consultations two evenings each week.

On Tuesday Juliette is available to talk to families at 7, 8, and 9pm and on Wednesday Jan is scheduled to talk to families, also at 7, 8 and 9pm.

Before we can book a family consultation, we do ask for the letter & pictures to be sent to us so that we can discuss your requirements in detail and answer any questions you may have.

Ready to book your consultation? click here to book your call

During your call, we

•           Get to know your family better

•           Answer your questions & give advice

•           Explain our introduction process

•           Start your search with an activation fee

Expect our chat to take approximately 20-25 minutes.

We look forward to helping you find a nice au pair!

 


Claire ‘changed’ as she cycled 800km in 8 days for charity

February 26, 2013

From each au pair placements, we set aside a few $$ for charity. My friend and fellow Business Blueprint member was going to ride the 800km challenge to raise $10000 for Hands Across the Water.

https://handsacrossthewater.org.au/pages/

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This charity started when, in 2004, countless Thai children were left alone and homeless by the Boxing Day tsunami.

When I asked Claire how it went and told her I was inspired by her achievement, the answer below came by email; straight from the heart…..

“Hey Nicole,

 

It was honestly amazing. The whole thing can seem really daunting… but it’s honestly been life changing for me.

 

Susan was inspiring. Her mental toughness and continued positive attitude meant that she was never going to stop. To me, it seemed that some people who were more physically capable than her struggled because they didn’t have as much of those things.

 

I have no doubt in my mind that you would be up for the Ride. And that it would leave a lasting impression on you.

 

I found that meeting the past riders was inspiring as well.  People from all walks of life, who are committed to something bigger than themselves. Who are not afraid to stand up and make a difference, even when they know its going to hurt.

 

Meeting those kids, hearing their stories and experiencing their openness and love for each other has changed me in ways I can’t really articulate yet. All I know is that I can’t walk away from this now…

 

When I signed up that day in Sydney in April last year, I couldn’t fathom how I would be changed. I just knew two things. If I signed up I’d be changed, and if I didn’t, nothing would change. “

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WOW….. is all I could manage after reading that;

Here are a selection of images from the 2013 Hands Across the Water Ride, 800km from Bangkok – Khao Lak.

The temple pictured (with bike riders in the foreground) is the place where the story began for Peter Baines. 
Peter arrived at Wat Yan Yao in the days following the tsunami to find 3,500 bodies lying, mostly unidentified.

This is the end point for the final leg of the southern ride.

It’s a pretty emotional arrival as you come over the bridge and recognise the building from photos. 
The kids are out the front waving, and suddenly the ride is over.

And just to remind you, registrations for the 2014 ride open on Friday :)

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Smartaupairs Australia team

February 14, 2013

Smartaupairs Australia team

We have decided to share this blog between Smartaupairs UK and Australia as we feel so much information here is beneficial to au pairs, mums and agencies connected to both of our destinations.
In the next few months we will share more news and stories from Australia!


Welcome Karoliina – Our New Intern at Smartaupairs UK!

January 9, 2013

ImageStarting from this week, Karoliina Hakala will support our team as an intern for the following seven months. She is currently in the second year of her Tourism and Leisure Management degree in Austria and is looking forward to an exciting yet challenging time at our company. By joining Smartaupairs, Karoliina seeks to put the theory acquired at university into practice and furthermore contribute to the running of a fast growing business.

Having actually worked as an Au pair herself three years ago in the United Kingdom, she is happy to advise and share her experiences with current Au Pair candidates.

With a bilingual background, Karoliina speaks both German and Finnish as native languages and additionally is eager to constantly improve her French and Russian skills.

In her leisure time, Karoliina enjoys spending time with her loved ones, visiting cultural events and concerts and exploring foreign cultures.

After finishing her Bachelor’s degree and before starting her Master’s degree, Karoliina would like to spend some time in her dream destination, Australia.


Au Pair Destination of the Month September: France

August 31, 2012

Viva la France!
France is said to be the most visited country in the world and it’s a country with many different regions. Everyone wants to see of course the major sights of Paris—with the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, etc. But there is much more… You could explore the history and culture in the North East or check out the amazing sandy beaches. France has more monuments than any other country, but also has a lovely nature and incredible mountains with the Pyrenees in the South and the Alps in the East. Whatever your interests are, there’s a region of France just for you!

Next to the amazing nature, France also has a great culture! The French are proud and sophisticated people. Their elegance is worldwide known in fashion and perfume. Their sophisticated taste also reflects into the French cuisine. Good food, great wines and people who enjoy their lives. The French are stars in enjoying the good things of life. If you are going to be an au pair in France you will see all of this yourself!

France has so much to offer and it’s only a short journey away! Wherever you want to go in France you’re sure to experience a complete different culture.

Learn the language
One of the most important reasons our au pairs go to France is to learn the language. You can learn French by using it in daily life but can also join a language course. If you have always dreamed of learning the most romantic language in the world… This is your chance! We have families all over the country; in the large cities, the rural country side or close to the lovely beaches. France has got it all!

Host families
We still have lots of families looking for an au pair to start in September and October. During your stay you will work approximately 30 hours per week and receive at least 80 euros pocket money per week. Please find below 2 examples of family overviews. These families are currently available but there are lots more families all over the country looking for a native speaker.

1. A family in the South of France – Antibes – is looking for their next au pair. The family lives in a 7 bedroom house with large garden. You will take care of two children, aged 5 & 7 and also some light housework. There will be a bike and car available for you to use. The family is looking for someone mature, creative and smiley. You would be on short distance from the beach and there is also a swimming pool and tennis court at home. The family knows other families with au pairs and also a language school is not far away.

2. A family in Paris – is looking for a new au pair. The family has 3 children, aged 2, 7 & 10. The youngest is going to day care 2 days per week and you will have time to visit the language school during these days. The family also has 2 small dogs called Rock and Roll. The family lives in the suburbs of Paris with frequent trains taking only 30 minutes into the city. You will have your own room/bathroom and all weekends will be free!

Want to get your experience started?
You can register here: http://smartaupairs.com/aupair/register.aspx and if you do this before the 30th of September you get a 50% discount on you au pair placement in France.

Please contact us on admin@smartaupairs.com if you have any questions regarding the au pair program in France.


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