BAPAA Welcome Event Photos

Wow, 500 au pairs! That is how many au pairs attended the Sunday gone in the London BAPAA Au Pair Welcome Event. The event brought together au pairs from many different BAPAA agencies for some fun activities, socialising and above all finding new friends.

Tuuli, Smartaupairs Director was the host for the day, joined by Simge and Gianna from Smartaupairs team and other helpers from seven other BAPAA agencies.

Here are some of our snaps from the day 🙂

Bapaa welcome event vol 1 #bapaa #bapaauk #aupairinuk #aupairagency #aupairinlondon #aupairinbritain #smartaupair #smartaupairsuk

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Au Pair in Britain Program Changes

***There are very important changes to the au pair in Britain program*** 

BAPAA, the British Au Pair Agencies Association, has confirmed new program guidelines in September 2017.

Smartaupairs is a BAPAA member agency and thereby, these changes are also applicable to our host families and au pairs who register with us for a new search. 

These changes are aimed to clarify & improve the au pair in Britain program to ensure we continue attracting the very best of the au pair applicants.

At smartaupairs, certain guidance points have been adapted to simplify the placement and weekly pocket money payment process for both families & au pairs.

A Summary of the Guidelines – Many of these points are long standing to Smartaupairs, however some guidelines have been further defined. 

– Minimum Pocket Money Guidelines: £85 for 25h, £100 for 30h (£115 for 35h). Higher pay applies for more experienced/native English speaking au pairs.
The above pocket money rates include a compulsory contribution towards local travel/language classes.
 
– Two Evenings of Babysitting (Monday-Friday) are included in this pocket money and in the au pair weekly hours.
Example: If you therefore require 30h/week – this will include the daytime on duty hours & babysitting hours. 

– Au pairs are entitled for 2 full free days a week – typically, Saturday & Sunday.  Any extra/weekend babysitting, is to be paid extra at £5/h for European au pairs and at £7/h for native English speaking au pairs. 
 
Light household duties continue to be limited to up to 1h/day.
 
– An End of Stay Bonus of one week’s pocket money is payable for au pairs who are staying for 6 months or longer – subject to completion of the full mutually agreed stay.
– The title au pair to be only recognised by BAPAA for roles which require up to 30h/help per week – higher hours roles are no longer being recognised as part of the traditional au pair programme. The term au pair plus is therefore no longer recognised by BAPAA.
If you have any queries regarding the above guidelines, just let us know and we are happy to help!
E-mail: info@smartaupairs.com
Call: 03301119266
Please visit the BAPAA website for further information – http://bapaa.org.uk/host-families/what-is-an-au-pair/

Smartaupairs Coffee Meetup Photos

With sooo many au pairs arriving in autumn, we have been busy organising events pretty much every weekend!!

Here are some photos from our last two coffee meetups in London 🙂

Are you a smartaupairs au pair and missed one of these meetups? Don’t worry, we continue organising events on a monthly basis so keep an eye on our Facebook group & mailouts! We’ve got theatre, theme park, and a trip to Cambridge  in plans!

Smartaupairs Au Pairs Go to Theatre and Museum!

Saturday 29th July

We met up with some au pairs for a wonderfully educational visit to the Natural History Museum! We met in Hyde Park in the morning and then took a walk over to the museum.

It was great to explore the different zones of the museum together – we all particularly enjoyed the earthquake zone (which has an earthquake simulator!), the human evolution area and we took lots of selfies with the dinosaurs.

The day finished with a meal together and a walk in central London to see the London Eye and Houses of Parliament.

Saturday 19th August

What a fun (albeit a bit cold) evening it was watching the Ancient Greece’s greatest epic story The Odyssey! 

We met up with some of our au pairs in London for open-air theatre the weekend gone.

Here are some photos from the day 🙂

The event was hosted by Gianna & Simge from our team.

 

SO Much News & New People!

So much has happened and changed in our little team in the past weeks!

At Smartaupairs we are used to hosting interns and in the last weeks, we have said sad goodbyes to both Aurelie and Isabelle. We do hope they had a great time with us – both are now going to do a bit more travelling, with Isabelle heading to Martinique, and Aurelie to South Korea!

We also said a goodbye to Robyn who was our administrator for the past two years and is moving on with her career. Luckily, she lives locally so we hope to bump into her again soon!

Who are new???

Gianna & Simge have now taken over the au pair support and Sophie is new admin 🙂

So our new in-office team is now: Chloe, Tuuli, Sophie, Gianna & Simge. We look forward to welcoming the newly arriving au pairs this summer/autumn.

Aside of all of course being incredibly nice and friendly.. here is a little additional info to each of them.

Sophie

Sophie is local to us, being from Kent. She joined us in July and has quickly learnt the ropes of managing our very busy day to day admin.

Sophie has just graduated from the University of Kent with a degree in Psychology.

Interesting fact: She loves horse riding and baking cakes. She has decided her next challenge is to try and make a Unicorn cake!

the weekend

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Simge

Simge is from Germany and is studying English and Sports to become a teacher in a German High School.

Interesting fact: She loves dancing! She used to dance (since she was 6 and used to dance ballet semi-professionally!)

Gianna 

Gianna is from Switzerland – and speaks 3 languages (German, French & Spanish) great when supporting our au pairs!!).

Interesting fact: She is currently undergoing tests to become a police woman in Switzerland!  How amazing is this!

And here are photos from last week’s leaving do for Aurelie:

 

Activities to Keep Host Kids Busy During the Holidays

Many new au pairs arrive during the summer holidays and sometimes it can be very difficult to keep kids busy!

That is why we asked our current au pairs for their best ideas on what to do – here are their activity suggestions 😊

Genevieve from Canada:

“This summer I’m planning on doing lots of trips to the playground with my boys, although during half term all they wanted to do was play Minecraft, so it was difficult to convince them to do anything else. I did find success with baking with them, and I want to attempt to make slime, and see what kind of kid friendly community activities are going on over the summer.

Pinterest is also full of great ideas!”

Anna from Germany:

“We sometimes make pizza ourselves. It keeps them busy all afternoon and they have fun decorating afterwards as well. It’s also nice to try and do a face on the pizza, instead of just putting everything on top  and who doesn’t like pizza, right ?!”

 

Milena from Germany:

 “I looked after two girls (6 and 7) and they loved all sorts of arts & crafts and also played by themselves a lot but especially in the holidays I had to entertain them sometimes. They loved baking and gardening and I did a scavenger hunt for them once. They also loved “land art”. Inside we often played games that are more for bigger groups but with their soft toys. For example, hide and seek with the toys or “isn’t it funny how a bear likes honey”. I also always “forced them” to leave the house at least once a day in the holidays. So, we went to the playground a lot.”

Luisa from Germany:

“Mine loved doing wraps as well. To the pizza: how about letting the kids decide what to put on the pizza? My little boy chose carrot and cucumber pieces (with all the regular stuff as well). Building a tent was always fun, playing and reading stories inside. Fruit salad (and chopping it together). Trips with different means of public transportation: bus, train and if the kids are older maybe bike. Egg hunt or in summer hunting sweets. Water fights. And my kids loved to do potions e.g. a flying potion, afterwards flying from the sofa ”

Linda from Germany:

“We made milkshakes, pillow fights, picnic and guess the food with closed eyes.”

Kristina from Finland:

“The kids I looked after (a boy of 7 and a girl of 5) had a lot of energy which is why we visited the park nearby regularly, usually with a football and scooters. It was also a great place to play “I spy” or let the little girl (5 years old at the time) paint my nails (one of her favourite things to do). There would also always be other kids in the park as well, which was great!
If the weather was not that great or we didn’t have time to go to the park, we’d play inside the house. The kids absolutely loved dancing to music, and sometimes they’d put on silly costumes to make it even more fun. Another one of their favourite games was animal races. Basically, I sat on the sofa coming up with animals and the kids would make impressions of those animals while racing across the room, they loved it and it was great fun for me too as the kids were so creative I also awarded them with points (according to the impression or being funny etc.) and when one of them reached 3 points, they’d get to choose the next animal. Sometimes we’d play that for ages and be tired afterwards because of laughing so hard. Another thing that the boy absolutely loved and that was great for wearing off some extra energy was what we called throw football. We had a very soft tiny football (would probably work with a teddy as well) that I’d throw towards the sofa which was the goal and the boy would play the goal keeper trying to catch the ball before it hit the sofa.
The kids also loved swimming and we had a pool near our house, which was convenient and really affordable. Bowling was another hit among the kids especially since we had to take the bus to get there.”

Thanks for sharing your ideas with us and all our au pairs who have trouble to keep their host children entertained!!

xx

Isabelle

Saturday 24th June 2017- Urban Food Fest

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Thank you to all the au pairs who got together at Urban food fest in Shoreditch! !  One of the many events organized by smartaupairs ❤ They were all so nice!

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We all gathered at Allen Gardens at 3.30 pm. We had different activities in the park to get to know one another. After spending an hour in the park we decided to go to the Urban food fest which is located in Shoreditch. The au pair had different nationalities: Dutch, German, Spanish and French. We even met someone that travelled to 5 different continents. 🙂

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When we arrived at the Food Fest, we had so many choices that we didn’t know what to eat: pizza, falafel wrap, fried chicken wrap, bubble waffle, burritos, organic food… Some cocktails were even served in jars.

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We talked all afternoon seated around a wood table,  talking about the different problems au pairs can go through during their stay, what they like about their placement, but also about cultural differences… So many different topics. Some au pairs are going back home soon – in less then one month and they were quite sad to finish their placement as becoming an au pair is such a beautiful experience.

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The good part is, all the au pairs made new friends. They discovered some common points and shared their life with each other.

We did not leave the Urban food fest until 8.00 pm showing how much fun we had just talking together.

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It was a beautiful experience to meet new people but also a beautiful culinary experience. If you have the time you should definitely go with your au pair friends, it is open every Saturday! – Or you can just join us for our next event. 🙂

Smartaupairs is always trying to get it right for families and au pairs!

Hope to see you at our next event so we can all have fun together 😀

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Blog article by Isabelle (Left) and Aurelie (Right)

Smartaupairs