Au Pairs, Babysitters and Mothers Helps
Au pairs are usually from abroad on an exchange scheme and will help out at home while learning the language. An au pair generally only works 25 to 30 hours a week as they attend language courses as well. An au pair is not necessarily trained or experienced and so it is an idea that they can call on another adult for support or advice sometimes. An au pair will live in your house and eat with the family. An au pair is not really a good idea for full time childcare in sole charge of your child and there can be problems with language and communication. An au pair can help though with the school run, looking after the children after school and light housework. An au pair can help your child learn another language and culture. Au pairs can usually provide babysitting at night. Problems can emerge with cultural differences, partying in off hours and emotional outbursts. An au pair can cost around £50 a week plus room and board.
A mothers help or home help as they are more commonly called now lives in as well and helps look after your children. They normally speak English as a first language and can work up to 45 hours a week. Usually they work in families where one parent is around the house. A home help can babysit in the evenings. It is a good idea to have an agreement in place agreeing hours and duties. A home help may not be suitable for sole charge of your children as they will have no qualifications or experience. A home help can cost around £150 to £250 a week plus room and board.
Babysitters are someone that looks after your child in their own home for short periods on an occasional basis. A babysitter should not be under 16 years of age. Babysitting costs vary but can be from £4 to £8 an hour depending on area and age / experience of the babysitter. Some people provide a meal or snacks for their babysitter. Also if the babysitter is in their teens sometimes it may be that you need to drop them home when you get back.