Yesterday, the Sunday the 27th of September saw our Annual Smartaupairs Au Pair introduction Day take place.
Nearly 150 au pairs attended which was a fantastic turnout! Present from Smartaupairs were Robyn, Chloe, Tuuli and Sandra and we also had two experienced au pair helpers Johanne and Lara who are currently au pairing in Kent.
We had lots of different social games for the day and we hope many au pairs found new contacts from other local au pairs during the event.
Here are some photos from the event 🙂
Thank you for all who joined us!
Paperplanes Activity! 🙂
Here are some of the photos submitted by the au pairs themselves!
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.
It’s that lovely time of year again when we hear from au pairs and families about how their placements have started off. Here are the stories from two au pairs who have recently started their placements in the UK.
Firstly, we wanted to share with you the full PowerPoint presentation created by Dutch au pairMaartje, one of the winners of our recent competition.
The following slides cover the first month of her placement in Kingston upon Thames in Surrey.
Alex from France is currently placed in Penn, Buckinghamshire. Here is what she has to say about her placement so far:
All is perfect!!!!! I am really happy here. I have a lovely hostfamily, I found a news friends, I take english courses and I improve my english: the paradise!!!! Thank you for all.
Alex also shared these lovely photos of her time in the UK to date:
After all of the hard work that goes into the search process and organisation for the au pair’s arrival, by our agency, the host family and the au pair herself, it is great to hear wonderful success stories like these.
Please continue to send us feedback on your placements 🙂
This is a lovely time of year for us, as we hear so many fantastic stories from families and au pairs who are parting ways after spending a year together. Many host families are also confirming their new au pairs in time for the summer or next academic year.
We would like to share with you some of the wonderful feedback we have received over the last few days.
The Clifton family is a long term client of Smartaupairs. They live in Kent and have had Spanish, German and Swiss au pairs through our agency:
“I have been using Smartaupairs for several years now and every year proved successful thanks to the Smartaupairs team’s diligence and kindness.
Thanks to them, the process of finding the “right” au-pair for my family has always been fool-proof: a quick phone-call with a very helpful and supportive person at the end of the line; a few emails exchanged to finalise details and there I was with a list of pre-selected candidates.
I really enjoyed using the Smartaupairs website for its easiness of use as well as finding all the information I needed with just a few very simple clicks.
Once, I have had an emergency where my German au-pair had to go home following a bereavement. It was a stressful time for everyone in the family but thanks to Smartaupairs, some of this stress has been removed within days.
I have recommended Smartaupairs to all my friends with young children and will continue to do so in the future for the quality of service provided is exemplary.
If you looking for reliability as well as outstanding service, you are in the right place!
(by the way, I am not related to anyone in Smartaupairs, I am just a really satisfied customer!)”
We were delighted to place the Cummings family’s first au pair with them. We understand that the search process can sometimes be daunting for first time host families so do our very best to make things simple.
“A huge Thank you for connecting us with three wonderful candidates.
We were impressed by all of them but sadly only one can be successful.
I can’t tell you how much less stressful our trip will be made with an extra pair of hands and how excited we are to give such a lovely young woman an opportunity to improve her level of English and taste a little slice of English life. I may be married to a French Man but I was born in Yorkshire and a ‘Yorkshire’ household I run no matter where that may be 🙂
Thank you again”
It’s great to also hear how excited au pairs are about their upcoming placement when they receive their offer from a host family. When Amelie got her confirmation this week, her German agency passed on the news. They told us:
“She is over the moon. She was actually breathless :-)“