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Short to Medium Term Accomodation in Canberra?

By bugalugs - 4 May 2013 12

We are contemplating hiring a nanny/au-pair on a part time basis starting next January.

The feedback we have heard from other people is that hiring a good nanny in Canberra is difficult to say the least.

Hence we may consider an au-pair.

I don’t however want the au-pair living with us rather they would live in separate accommodation in close proximity to us (Ainslie -civic end), so maybe Ainslie,Braddon,Civic.

We would be covering the bond,rent, etc. not the au-pair.

What’s Your opinion?


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12 Responses to
Short to Medium Term Accomodation in Canberra?
yoyo23 10:16 am 05 May 13

bugalugs said :

I should have clarified a few things;

We plan to include her in family activities/short holidays etc. if she wishes with no expectation of work. The idea is that we are deliberately not looking for hired help.

You have clarified that you have a gender bias here. I take it you also wouldn’t be comfortable if “Sven” brought home “Evan from ANU”?

Jethro 7:50 pm 04 May 13

Pork Hunt said :

Now that is a first world problem if I ever saw one…

I suggest using asylum seekers as au-pairs and paying people for housing them – cheaper than using Nauru or Manus Island, people get free childcare and home-help, and they even get paid for the privilege.

On a serious note, OP’s best bet is to look for a granny flat in the inner north. I know of people who have rented granny flats in the area for less than $200/week.

Pork Hunt 4:19 pm 04 May 13

Now that is a first world problem if I ever saw one…

dungfungus 4:08 pm 04 May 13

“Have you considered sharing a nanny with someone else?”

The French have a saying for this; “menage a troit” or something like that.

c_c™ 2:56 pm 04 May 13

bugalugs said :

6) Secondly, having met countless au-pairs over many years, they like to enjoy themselves and often (not always) they may meet locals and “want to spend time” with them. Without sounding prudish, I would rather not having to wake up to “Evan from ANU” at my Sat morning breakfast table.

http://youtu.be/1UdXq_M8oU0?t=6m21s

bugalugs 2:51 pm 04 May 13

I should have clarified a few things;

1) I/We are fully aware of what an au-pair is – many moons ago, I met my now wife whilst she was working as an au-pair in Sydney. She was a live-in with a wonderful family in Sydney that we are still friend with to this day.

2) The au-pair will be only required by us 2 possibly 3 days a week for our youngest child and to pick up the older one from pre-school at 3pm until we are home around 5.There might be the odd night of baby sitting (once a fortnight).

3) We are not looking for a cleaner or house help as we will continue with our existing arrangement.

4) The reason we wish to go down the au-pair path is that we are looking to have a person from the same country (Sweden) as my wife to help with our children’s Swedish language skills. We will specifically advertise in my wife’s home town so we can have an ongoing relationship with the person.

5) We have accommodation available at our house for an au-pair but it is not self contained.

6) Secondly, having met countless au-pairs over many years, they like to enjoy themselves and often (not always) they may meet locals and “want to spend time” with them. Without sounding prudish, I would rather not having to wake up to “Evan from ANU” at my Sat morning breakfast table.

7) We have a few contacts that could offer her legitimate employment on her days not working with us to top up her salary. The money we would pay for her days working with us, would be similar to what she would get paid as a ‘nanny” and well above $200 per week.

8) We plan to include her in family activities/short holidays etc. if she wishes with no expectation of work. The idea is that we are deliberately not looking for hired help.

Masquara 1:59 pm 04 May 13

Be clear about what an au pair is. An au pair is a young person comes to Australia as it enables a cultural experience – they do only child care and LIGHT household duties (picking up after the children, making their beds, making them meals when the parents aren’t home). The idea of an au pair scheme is that it enables young people to travel and experience the world. You are a host rather than an employer. The au pair is not just a nanny. You will be expected to pay around $200 a week for a handful of hours a day, as well as all living costs – transport, meals and accommodation and utility costs and travel insurance – not just a basic roof over their heads. You should be including the au pair in family activities and including them socially. An au pair is always from overseas – you can’t employ a local as an “au pair”. Your post is very concerning – it sounds as though you are just thinking in terms of “hiring help”. There is no such category of employee as “nanny/au pair”. If you hire a nanny pretending it’s an au pair situation, I would think you’ll be in breach of all sorts of fair work/employment/visa/immigration/trade practices law. How about calling it what it is and just paying a qualified childcare worker a fair wage for looking after your children? Any claims that “hiring good nannies is difficult” will be coming from people who aren’t prepared to pay properly.

BimboGeek 1:05 pm 04 May 13

Au pairs don’t have any special training, they are just nice kids working as babysitters. Don’t you just want a babysitter?

Postalgeek 12:47 pm 04 May 13

We’ve gone through four au pairs and are currently in the process of selecting our 5th.

They’re great. They’re not studying. Most of them are on gap. Age isn’t an issue. English is not an issue with most of them. There are Poms, Amercians, Canadians and French Canadians, many Europeans are fluent and the Danes speak English better than some natives, going by some of the crap I read online. There is a glut of them on au pair websites and search engines will help you sift. You can choose what your want and Skype them to check out their English if that’s your concern. Don’t use agencies; you’re just throwing money away.

Sharing a nanny is impractical as both parties are going to need a nanny at particular times, like meals and evenings. Unless you’re prepared to do odd/even days it’s not going to work.

As far as accommodation goes, maybe lodge them with someone old you know and pay the au pair more to help out a bit in the lodging house. They can eat meals at your place. That way two households and an old person gets help and it will be cheaper than renting.

Having them out of the house might complicate things a bit. It’s not something I have experience in so I couldn’t comment past that.

Another option is Helpex, but we use that more for temporary labor in exchange for bed and board.

Madam Cholet 12:00 pm 04 May 13

Have you considered sharing a nanny with someone else? Doesn’t get you out of paying your share of a living wage though.

Nannies are not tax deductible, but au-pairs who do housework as well are I think. What you need to consider is that an au-pair is going to also probably be studying, will have English as a second language and will be young.

And as per the previous posts, accomodation costs a hell of a lot more than you are considering.

Day care is probably a whole load more cost effective and resource intensive than having an employee.

aussieboy 11:15 am 04 May 13

1. The cheapest self-contained student accommodation at ANU starts at $255 a week (the most common self-contained option is $282) – so I sincerely doubt you’d find anything cheaper than this is in the wider rental market.

2. It’s really easy to get a job in Canberra paying 20-25/hr – so unless you’re only expecting the au pair to do 10 hours of work/week, I can’t see you getting many candidates at all

pepmeup 10:21 am 04 May 13

Good luck finding accom at that price, there may be some old apartments somewhere but on short term rental I think you might find it very hard. We moved house this year to a house with a granny flat as we use an au pair. It works brilliantly for us, as we are unable to get suitable child care anywhere.

I know there are a lot of separate double brick garages in old ainslie maybe someone has turned theirs into a granny flat that they would be happy to rent. I know a lot of people do this in O’conner for UNI students.

I trust you have checked allhomes

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