Home Forums Parents Room Ask our expert – Childcare Introducing Childminding expert, Natalie Collier

This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Updog 1 year, 9 months ago.

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  • #2352360


    I am Natalie Collier, a Childcare Recruitment Specialist. I am passionate about what I do and determined to find the best possible solution for each family I work with. I have over ten years’ experience working with children and families in several different childcare settings and have learned through this first-hand experience that no two families are alike when it comes to childcare needs.

    With so many conflicting ideas about childcare solutions in Ireland, I have come to know many parents who feel overwhelmed, uninformed, confused and often don’t know where to begin. There is so much to think of when choosing childcare such as budget, location, full time or part time care, children’s ages, special needs care, parents’ peace of mind and most importantly the well-being of the children. This is exactly where I can help.

    This year I launched my new business, The National Childcare Agency, to provide practical advice on all childcare options available in Ireland and help families find the right solution whether it be a nanny, child-minder, au pair, Crèche or any other available alternatives.

    I firmly believe that when a family finds the best possible solution, they will have happy, healthy, secure and content children.

  • #2354534


    1 Girl 3 years old and 1 boy 21 months – Dublin.
    We are moving away from a childminder (neighbour) to a live out au pair starting in September.
    We feel this will be better as we work for ourselves and need flexibility. It means if I pop home in the afternoon and have to return to work, I can do that whereas, I couldn’t pop into the neighbours house without taking them home!.
    Also I believe I will get control back of their diet and ‘treats’ but they do loose out on the interaction with her older kids (the older they get though the less interest they will for playing with mine I suppose). I am hoping that play school will fill that gap.
    So I was wondering what the au pairs expectation will be of the role, and the cost (4 afternoons 5 1/2 hours per day).

    • #2354603


      Hi Steph,

      A live out Au Pair or nanny can certainly bring flexibility to your family and it sounds like an ideal solution for your familys’ needs. In the true sense of the word there is no such thing as a ‘live out’ au pair as an au pair, traditionally, is a student who lives in your house and babysits for up to 30 hours per week in return for bed, board and pocket money. Increasingly many live in au pairs choose to move out once they become settled in a place and decide to stay longer than their original contract or visa.

      So for someone to come to your house on a daily basis to mind your children, they would technically be considered an employee and are therefore entitled to minimum wage, €8.65 ph. So for four afternoons a week (22 hours) the cost of a live out au pair/minder can range from €190-€220 depending on experience.

      Regarding expectations of the role, most au pairs or minders would be responsible for looking after the children in general, playing with them, collecting them from school if needs be, preparing meals for the children, keeping the play and bedroom areas tidy, helping out with the childrens laundry (if there is time!) and bringing the children to any activities such as playgroup, music classes, the park etc.

      There is more information about different types of minders, their salaries and roles on my website if you would like to look in to this further.

      I wouldn’t worry about your children missing out on the interaction with the older children as they will have plenty of time for that in preschool and primary school. I suggest getting your new minder to bring your little ones to a set play group every week so they are getting some interaction with other children their own age.

      I hope this has been helpful, if you need me to answer any further questions please do not hesitate to ask. Equally if you need help finding the right Au Pair for your family I am more than happy to help.

      Kind regards
      Natalie Collier

  • #2354562


    Hi Natalie. Im on maternity leave for my third child. Up to now the first two kids have been going to a creche or afterschool but with three children we feel we want childcare in our own home wih aomeone who can drop (and collect) dd1 to school bus and mind the oher two.
    How would you recommend I look for someone and what would I expect to pay for either a 4 day week or 5 day (up to 10 hr a day). Thanks.

  • #2354769


    Hi Adrienne,

    I would recommend you start looking for you AuPair 3-4 months before you are due back to work which gives you plenty of time. I would aim to have a commitment from an Au pair 6 weeks before they are due to start which gives them time to prepare to either come over and get settled or change from their current position. It also gives you some time to find a replacement in case it doesn’t work out.It is important to note that AuPairs are technically only allowed to work for up to 30 hours a week and may not have any formal training with children.

    In terms of recruiting an AuPair, the most popular way used by many families is to create an online family profile on one of the reputable dedicated AuPair websites in Ireland. You can then see the AuPair profiles, check their work history and speak with them via email, phone, Skype or arrange to meet them in person if they are already in the country.

    The most important thing is to check the references they supply and if possible meet them before hand as many AuPairs are already living here in Ireland. As you have a small baby it is vital to check where they have had previous baby experience and I would insist on them doing a first aid course if they have not done so already. It is also a good idea to ask any potential candidates, if they are here in Ireland to come out to your house for a few hours and see how they interact with the children. I would also advise you to aim to get someone age 21 plus because the children are so young. It is also important to be clear about working conditions such as days and hours required, pocket money being offered, living conditions and what you would expect them to do as part of their role.

    I would be more than happy to help you find an AuPair if it is something you are interested in. I run my own childcare agency where we advertise, interview, Garda Vet and check the work history and references of all applicants before sending only the most suitable candidates to meet with families. There is plenty of more information on our website

    I hope this has been helpful. Please feel free to ask me any further questions.

    Kind regards
    Natalie Collier

  • #2413972


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  • #2354611


    Hi Natalie,

    we have a 4 year old girl & 3 month girl. I’m looking to get an au pair for when I return to work in January. I want one with experience as my youngest will be 9 months when I go back.

    What I wanted to know was when should I start looking to have an au pair start in time? Also what advice do you have on recruiting an au pair?

    Many thanks

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