Smartaupairs Visits Cambridge!

Another fantastic weekend trip with our lovely au pairs – CHECK!

Last weekend, smartaupairs au pairs visited Cambridge, it was beautifully  sunny weather and really a great setting to get to know one another.

We did a walking tour, followed by a meal and just general chit chat 🙂 After that, some of us enjoyed Cambridge from a different perspective while punting!

Next destination is ….. Canterbury!!

Some more photos our au pairs kindly sent to us from the day 🙂

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Smartaupairs Au Pair Survey Results & Testimonials 2017

We recently asked our au pairs to complete a survey to give us some feedback – here’s an overview of the results and some of the lovely testimonials we received:

So far I am more than happy with smartaupairs. Doesn’t matter what problems or questions there, they always try to find a solution or answer and you really feel the support! It’s good to know that you have someone to talk to.” – Leah B

I am really pleased with smartaupairs as my agency! Some of the aupairs I met have – even if they came with an agency – problems with their families and no one to talk to for help. I think, smartaupairs is doing a really good job here because in the three month since my arrival, I got several mails from you, checking if I am okay or have any questions. That gives a good feeling of having some backup – just in case! 🙂” – Melanie W

This experience will change my life, I mean is already changing!! I have new friends of different parts of the world, I have an other family that love me, I have now 2 little brothers and one little sister, I live in a wonderful house and I am feeling good! I would recommend this experience to anyone!!!!!” – Giulia Z

You have a very lovely and caring team and I always knew that I can contact you with my questions and problems.” – Vanessa D

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97% of au pairs were happy with Smartaupairs as their UK agency.

98% of au pairs felt that they could contact Smartaupairs or their sending agency in their home country if they had a question or problem. We are really pleased to hear this as it’s very important to us that au pairs speak up if they are in need of some extra support during their placement.

94% of au pairs felt that they received sufficient communication from Smartaupairs. After the au pair’s arrival, our communication includes follow up phone calls and emails, invitations to our regular au pair events and interaction via our social media channels.

100% of au pairs felt mostly or full prepared for their au pair placement. We work with top partner agencies overseas who play a huge role in preparing their candidates for life as an au pair. We have also worked hard to develop our Au Pair Guide over the years which is sent to au pairs before their arrival as a source of information to guide them through their placement.

The most popular resources for finding friends were Facebook and our Whatsapp groups, followed by our au pair area lists and BAPAA resources (website & app).

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We also received some lovely feedback on our team:

Gianna, thank you for supporting me! Very kind and I always felt like she really cares 🙂” – Judith B

I talked to a few persons from the agency. Everyone was friendly and I felt like they really want to help me.” – Jonas P

There were several members of the agency, who I was in contact with, be it over email or at meetups, and they were all always very kind and supportive.” – Marie V

I was in contact with Simge quite often and I’m very happy about that, she is a great help!” – Anna S

Simge: she is super helpful, very friendly and no matter how often I called the agency she was always very patient and supporting 🙂” – Nadine P

Thank you to all au pairs who took part in our survey, we have found your feedback extremely helpful. We continue to develop our service to ensure that our au pairs have the best possible experience in the UK!

Smartaupairs in Recent Media

For our normally blissfully quiet office, tucked away in Kent – having TWO media appearances within a week certainly brought a bit of excitement to our life!

Appearance on French TV 

We were approached by our French partner organisation to take part in a documentary which covers the exploitation of au pairs – and how using an agency like Smartaupairs/our French sending agency – can provide a safety net for all parties.

Our Hone host family and their au pair Oceane kindly agreed to take part in the documentary to represent what the program and experience is meant to be like.

You can watch the full documentary here – it is in French. Our family and office appearance is at the end from 16min onwards.

http://www.francetvinfo.fr/societe/video-cherche-jeune-fille-au-pair-et-plus-si-affinites_2456126.html

The Times 

 

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We also made an appearance in the Times newspaper whereby the au pair solution /smartaupairs was recommended as one way to delegate and thereby as a way to making the family life that little bit easier.

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 🙂

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/

Au Pairs Nominate Their Host Dads for our Father’s Day competition

We wish a HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all dads and host dads out there!

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As last year we asked our au pairs to nominate their host dads for our FATHER’S DAY COMPETITION. The au pairs had to tell us why their host dad is special for them and why they are so important in their actual experience as an au pair.  🙂

The winner of our competition is Cornelia, a German au pair 🙂

Hey there, I hope you are well.  Here is my little letter about my host dad Wes. I attached a photo, which I think describes really well what a great dad he is.
“Hey there, well I’d like to introduce my host dad Wes who’s doin‘ a fantastic job in my view.  He’s not only young at heart, but he is also a super reliable and supportive dad. Moreover, he’s always doing his best to make it for watching the boys‘ matches or school events even though he got loads of work to do. Honestly, I really admire this energetic enthusiasm after a long work day when he is still able to spend fun time with the boys, being patient with all of us, cooking fantastic dinners or entertaining us with the corniest jokes (no offense lol).
From the first moment on, when he picked me up from the airport, he did his best to make me feel as comfy as possible and  what shall I say? He succeeded in every way with his humorous warmth!
Well Wes, in case you read this I just want to say thank you! Thanks for these ritual cups of tea and the interesting never- ending and sometimes foolish conversations about everything and anything, thanks for helping me out with so many things I couldn’t manage on my own, thanks for all the trust and confidence you have in me, thanks for all this good advice and encouraging words and thanks for being such a good host dad! Yep u are truly awesome and definitely deserve biggest recognition! Have a happy Father’s Day ! “

What a great way to express her feelings!

However, we had lovely letters from other participants as well. It seems like your host dads are amazing fathers.

Runners up below!

We thank all of you for participating.

From Alexia – German`

There is no better host dad than mine: Jas!

After I had a very bad experience in my old host family I felt lost. It was hard for me to keep open minded but than I met the Manns. Jas promised me to look after me and to make sure that I’ll have the best experience ever. The most important thing for him is that everyone is happy.

He is always kind and cheerful. Jas is the best possible dad even if he had a long day and the children are a bit naughty he stays calm and fair. It doesn’t matter what time it is: if it is night and I am scared to walk home from the train station or if it is day and I need help with anything. Jas is 24/7 supportive.

Although he is very busy he is always thoughtful. That is one of his most impressive characteristics.

Jas is my superhero host dad and I can never thank him enough for what he did for me. He kept his promise and made the au pair experience the best of my life. It makes me very sad to leave them in July but I know that they will always be a part of me.

Thank you Jas (and Lynda of course)

Happy father‘s day!

Alexa xx

From Johanna – German

My host dad is the best, because he kills all the spiders in my rooms at any time. Last week he drove 20 minutes to help me unpark my car, because I got boxed in. He got up, although he had a sore head from drinking the night before.

He shows a lot of dry humour towards his kids, what makes me laugh a lot. He is a loving and kind dad! Thank you Jason!
So many good words for their host dads!
Long or short, all letters show how important a father can be for us!
The Smartaupairs Team wishes all host dads a very HAPPY FATHER’S DAY. ❤
Enjoy your day! 🙂

Sunday 11th June 2017 : The London Colour Run

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Blog entry by Aurelie & Isabelle – the current smartaupairs interns. Photo credits go to our amazing Aussie au pairs who took some fantastic snaps during the day.

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Hi everybody,

We completed the 2017 London Colour run last weekend. It was such a beautiful day. We had the chance to wear our colour run shirt with our Happy tattoos. 😉

We arrived at Wembley park at 1:45 to take our race pack. We received : a head band, a tattoo, and a T-shirt. Nice touch!

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At 2:30 pm we stretched and danced. Moreover, If you were lucky you could catch some fashionable colour run sunglasses and socks.  You could also buy colourful product of all sort. 😉

From 3:00 to 3:45 we walked to the starting line. Everyone was so excited to run and to get coloured. We were advancing by groups and getting to know new people in the line while listening to music.

3:45 the run begun, some people were walking and some other were running, there was no competitive spirit just fun and colours. Every kilometre you could enjoy getting splashed by colours every door making you look like a rainbow. From pink to red. We had to go through: green, pink, an unexpected foam zone , orange and finally red.

 

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We arrived at 4:45 at the finish line (yes, we are really slow). Where you could enjoy the music, and dance under the sun. We also threw all at the same time our last bag of colours in the air.

It must really have been the happiest 5K of the planet, we couldn’t see the time flying by as we were walking those 5 kilometres, it was the shortest 5 kilometres we have ever experienced.

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At the end of the event, you could receive a plastic coat to protect others in the metro from getting coloured. When we finally went back to the centre of London, the experience was still in our mind and people were staring at us not knowing the beautiful experience we had. We went home full of thought of the day, and we all shared the feeling that it was continuing as we went back home all colourful, whether it was on our shirts or in our mind.

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It was a beautiful experience to live and If I could do it again, I would do it again – as it was so much fun. 😊

If you missed the event, it is nothing to be worried about – as you can always participate to the next one!

Thank you again to the Australian Au Pairs for their pictures they are all so nice 😊 ❤

Aurelie (right) & Isabelle (left)

Smartaupairs

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