Hi, we are a family of 4 - Angela 35, Chris 45, Annika 6 and Mitchell 5.
Angela, Annika and Mitchell are bilingual French /English. We are searching for an au pair to live with us and help continue the kids' language education through play and fun. I am not working outside the house but I am writing a book and I need some time to get that finished so I would like someone to help with the kids and the house and hopefully some cooking!
The role is somewhat negotiable and will be different during the school term (October 2017 - December 2017) and the holidays (December 2017 - January 2018). Then once school resumes at the end of January, 2018, it will be back to the school routine. Happy to talk to you about it and negotiate something mutually beneficial but the key reasons for us having an au pair are:
1) Kids being exposed to French language, improving their language skills
2) Flexibility with child care - Chris works 2 weeks in Brisbane and 1 week away so the weeks that he is away, I like someone to be in the house so I can get to the gym and my yoga classes in the evenings.
3) An extra pair of hands to help with the non-stop cooking, cleaning, washing etc that comes with a family.
Some main responsibilities will be:
In the mornings -
- make the kids breakfast
- clean up the kitchen
- help them get ready for school / kindly
- on occasion, help walk them to school/ kindy
In the afternoons -
- help collect the children from school
- help prepare le gouter
- prepare fun games / activities for them to do
- entertain them and keep them active until dinner
- help with bath and dinner/ cook dinner
- clean up the kitchen after dinner
I ask that you only speak 100% French with the children - they understand perfectly and will eventually start responding in French if you persevere. It's very, very important to me that they understand the language and are comfortable speaking it. We spent 3 months in Annecy in 2015 with Annika in school and the kids started speaking very well during this time. It is a challenge to continue their bilingualism here in Australia with 2 Australian parents but i'm determined to make it happen.
Please only get in touch if you have the following attributes:
- Accepting and non-judgmental
- Hardworking and willing to help make my life easier
- Determined to persevere and tolerant of kids who are not 100% 'easy' (Annika can be incredibly challenging)
- Genuinely interested in becoming part of an Australian family - knowing that there will be good times as well as bad)
- willing to commit to at least 6 months (it's simply too disruptive to the kids to keep changing au pairs too frequently).
We have had au pairs now since the children were babies and overall, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The kids understand the French language 99% and I want this to continue. Their comprehension and ability to speak has dropped a lot this last year but I'm desperate for it to improve again. I honestly believe the best way to make this happen is by having someone live with us so they hear the language informally and absorb it that way. For sure you can 'teach' them by making them repeat words, speak sentences etc but it's best for their development if this can be incorporated as part of their playtime, rather than a separate 'lesson'. Annika in particular does not like structure or routine so will really just want someone to play with and be like a big sister.
You will have your own room in our house, with your own bathroom, unlimited wifi, all meals provided and $200/week pay.
This is an incredibly rewarding and satisfying role for the right person. But you must be the right person. Please don't bother applying if you don't enjoy children, or cannot stand the ups and downs of family life.
Annika is a very challenging personality with a lot of sensory issues and underlying anxiety but we are doing our best to manage her and help her develop into a confident and capable young woman. We ask for your tolerance and assistance in this process, and we genuinely look forward to meeting a new person to live with us and become part of our family and our children's lives. I think an au pair has the ability to really change a family's life and for that, I am very optimistic that we will find the right person.
Thank you for reading. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you think you could be right for our position. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Regards, Angela xxxxx