The date for the annual Au Pair River Cruise has been announced! Every year, Smartaupairs invites all au pairs who are placed with one of our host families to join us for the event. It’s extremely popular so we recommend booking your place as soon as possible!
Thames River Cruise
Sunday 17th May 2015
All day excursion from just £10 per person
Come and join hundreds of other BAPAA au pairs on a private boat trip to Greenwich. You will travel past famous bridges and historic buildings along the river from Central London, with many exciting views of Westminster including the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, and then head downstream through the city to the Thames Barrier, Greenwich and back again. At Greenwich you will have time to have a look around – there are lively markets, historic buildings, the famous Royal Observatory and Meridian Line, the Maritime Museum and a beautiful park with wonderful views over London. Bring a picnic or buy lunch in Greenwich.
11am – boat leaves Festival Pier
1pm – boat arrives at Greenwich
4pm – boat leaves Greenwich
5pm – boat arrives back at Festival Pier
The trip costs £10 per person or £12 for friends (non-BAPAA)
You must arrive by 10.45am as the boat leaves promptly at 11am from Festival Pier, in front of The Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank. (Opposite side of the river to Embankment tube.)
If you wish to stay in London for the night of Saturday 16th May, hostel accommodation is available through International Students House, 229 Great Portland Street, London W1. (www.ish.org.uk) Telephone 020 7631 8310, quoting BAPAA.
Payment details: You can pay via PayPal (even if you don’t have a PayPal account) – go to www.paypal.co.uk and make the payment to firstname.lastname@example.org. You must include your FULL name, the name of your agency in the UK (Smartaupairs) and your host family, plus the names of any friends going on the trip with you (stating BAPAA or non-BAPAA). You must print off the PayPal receipt or ticket and bring it with you on the day, as you will need to show it when you board the boat (tickets displayed on smartphones will not be accepted)! You must pay in advance for your ticket and refunds are not given.
Smartaupairs will be running a photo competition so REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR CAMERA!
#aupairproject and the official Au Pair Scheme in the UK and Au Pairing after the Au Pair Scheme
On 16th October 2014, BAPAA were invited to attend a breakfast briefing at Birkbeck University where Dr Rosie Cox and Dr Nicole Busch presented their findings of a recently completed research project on Au Pairing, migration and childcare in the UK.
Following this launch of findings, Au Pairing in the UK has come under the public spotlight with negative articles in National Newspapers and radio show discussions.
The #aupairproject research has especially highlighted the dangers for both Au Pairs and host families using ”Internet only platforms” where there is no self-regulation at all. Using an Internet matching site there is no agency to mediate and oversee an Au Pair placement ensuring the rules of the Cultural Exchange are followed. There is no support on offer to the Au Pair or to the host family, no benefits for the Au Pair or for the host family, no emergency helpline or agency number to call if the Au Pair or host family are having problems and in need of assistance.
We are grateful to both Dr Cox & Dr Busch for exposing these findings as it really does reinforce BAPAA’s ongoing concerns relating to the internet recruitment of Au Pairs.
The annual Smartaupairs photo competition was opened earlier on in the month, when many au pairs joined us for the BAPAA Boat Trip.
Since then, we have received a number of lovely photos and have had a tough time deciding on our winners! Finally, we have selected Britt from the Netherlands and Monique from Germany, and both will receive a £20 Amazon voucher.
Thank you to everyone who sent a photo to us – here are the winners and some of our favourites!
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.
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”.
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’