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Horsey au pair?

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  • Horsey au pair?

    Where would I find this? We are contemplating a move to North Carolina. A friend of ours has an au pair from Germany and absolutely loves it. I was thinking that we could offer a fantastic opportunity to an au pair that wanted to spend a year in a lovely location, in a really nice house, with their own private "suite", caring for one 4 year old child who will be in pre-school a lot of the time. I understand that the average hours are 45 hours a week and the pay isn't exceptional because they get board, lodging and a car.

    I have a nice horse that is seriously under-used and I was thinking that if I could find an au pair that was into riding, then they could have a really nice horse to ride in their off time - heck, I would even let someone bring their own horse for free board if they were from the US. How on earth would I even go about finding that person?

    Does anyone have a person like this? How did you find them?

  • #2
    I would post on Yardandgroom.com -- several people have had luck finding jobs and/or employees on that site.

    However, if I weren't in school full time, I'd be sending you my references, resume, and background check authorization....it's right up my alley!

    Good luck!!
    To be loved by a horse should fill us with awe, for we hath not deserved it.


    • #3
      Too bad you didn't post this a couple of months ago! I had a friend who just got out of college and teaches wee ones to ride. She was a nanny all through college and of course rides too. She would have loved this opportunity. Unfortunately she took a job at a boarding school. They are out there. I bet one of the NC COTHers know of someone. Good Luck! What a cool opportunity.


      • #4
        Go through an au pair agency.
        You want someone already screened.

        And yes, there are quite a few equine au pairs. Last place I boarded there was an au pair who exercised one of the boarder's horses for her. The horse was a bit of a handful for the young owner and this au pair was living with an in-town family for school and child care and came to the barn looking for riding time. She was able to ride often and did wonders with that horse...she was a pleasure to watch ride.

        She was from Germany, she said she knew of quite a few au pairs who were equestrians back in Germany and just weren't able to find enough horsie homes to work out of here so were looking into lessons or exercise rides.

        I'd bet there's a handful of au pairs from various places that would love to find a job in an equine home.
        You jump in the saddle,
        Hold onto the bridle!
        Jump in the line!


        • #5
          Most people I know who have had au-pairs find them through agencies. Might be worth a try?

          A relative of mine worked as an au-pair in Germany to learn/practice German. She is also a horse person and found a placement with a family that owned and managed an equestrian center and was able to bring her mare along so that was perfect for her.


          • Original Poster

            I think you are right - an agency would be best - any ideas?

            My friend sent me a link to the agency he uses but I was blown away by the cost - $75 app fee, $275 screening fee, then $8,000 program fee PLUS pay the person $200/week, all their accomodation, provide a car etc. OUCH. With that on top of paying for pre-school, I would just use a babysitter every now and again instead and the horse could continue to be a pasture puff.


            • #7
              Yikes! That is a lot! LOL Guess thats why only rich people have them, huh?

              I bet you can find someone on your own.... Just make sure you do really good background checks.
              Concordia means "Harmony" in Latin.
              Full Time Dressage Addict


              • #8
                I've seen ads in COTH for just such positions.


                • Original Poster

                  Seriously! That would work out at $18,400 per year, plus pre-school at about $500/month, I would be paying $24,600 for child care PLUS feeding and having someone in my house 24x7! I thought an au pair would be fun to have someone in the house so I could mow the pastures, go to the grocery store without dragging my daughter along, maybe even get to ride my horse sometimes - almost have a teenager big sister for my daughter - but heck, it's not as if I am paying someone to take over the care and guidance of my child, so for that sort of money, I may just pass unless someone has some good ideas. Maybe I should offer accomodation for a student from the local university town in return for maybe 20 hours a week care/help?


                  • #10
                    This sounds like an awesome job... I'm sure you'll find someone easily!
                    My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!


                    • #11
                      I am currently looking for the same thing and was surprised at the agency fees. I posted on yardandgroom- to no avail. It's really hard to find someone you trust to raise your kid(s) and live in your house.

                      I'd be tickled with an older couple where the husband caretakes the (small) farm and the wife can nanny. They are even harder to come by!

                      I've recently posted a nanny ad at our church and dismissed the horsey part of the job- put will revisit if I get any interest.


                      • #12
                        What part of NC? My guess is that you might be able to find someone through COTH connections...


                        • #13
                          You actually can't legally hire an au pair in the US without going through an agency. I live in an area with a lot of first generation immigrants who hire au pairs and I asked, "Why go through an agency? Don't you know people from (insert home country) that would like this gig?"

                          Turns out the federal agencies that grant "nanny visas" won't deal with individuals, just agencies. So if you want a legal au pair, you have to cough up the 8k fee. They generally aren't from Britian and Western Europe any more. Most of the men and women that do it are from Latin America and Eastern Europe (not such horsey areas as compared to Western Europe and the UK).
                          Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!



                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by Chaila View Post
                            You actually can't legally hire an au pair in the US without going through an agency. I live in an area with a lot of first generation immigrants who hire au pairs and I asked, "Why go through an agency? Don't you know people from (insert home country) that would like this gig?"

                            Turns out the federal agencies that grant "nanny visas" won't deal with individuals, just agencies. So if you want a legal au pair, you have to cough up the 8k fee. They generally aren't from Britian and Western Europe any more. Most of the men and women that do it are from Latin America and Eastern Europe (not such horsey areas as compared to Western Europe and the UK).
                            I am guessing I could hire an au pair domestically, legally, without going through an agency, but I can understand what you are saying about bringing one in from abroad. I have a nanny here which wasn't a hassle, but I am getting into a whole new game when looking at someone to live in our house. Looking at the website, most of them seem to be from Germany and Sweden, but there are 100s of them, and no search where I can look for "horses".


                            • #15
                              Dang, if you just needed it for next summer or in 2 years when I graduate, I would be there in a heartbeat! Sounds like a sweet deal!!


                              • #16
                                Oh man, if this was a few years ago I would have jumped all over this. I was a nanny during summers in college and it was great. Sadly, I don't think my husband would appreciate me disappearing off to NC for the foreseeable future.

                                I think you should be able to find a recent HS or college grad with horse experience who would be happy to have a roof over their head, a horse to ride, and some spending money on the side.


                                • #17
                                  while in college I lived in a garage apt. in exchange for babysitting - the family was great and I loved it
                                  Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                                  The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


                                  • #18
                                    maybe this will help?

                                    i am currently a professional nanny while i am in nursing school and i have found some great jobs at 4nannies.com and nannyjobs.com. on those two sites the fees are not exhorbitant and the nannies are pre-screened and have LONG profiles listing interests etc so you could find a horse person.

                                    i have worked for three families in the atlanta area and just for some general nanny info that might aid you in your search:
                                    - with a college degree and own car nannies generally make @ 12-15$/hour (plus meals are covered) for one child and families cover gas/mileage when nanny drives child in own car.
                                    - with lots of previous nanny experience and references or perhaps speaking a foreign language that you can teach the child, being paid 20$ an hour is not uncommon
                                    - starting salary for a first time nanny or someone still in school is about 8-10$/hr in general

                                    if you were to provide room/board and board for a horse or the chance to ride i would imagine the salary would be considerably more negotiable although i know one nanny that gets PAID additionally to ride the family ponies and keep them in shape and safe for the kids- although this is not the norm and generally riding would be considered a perk!

                                    if i were you i would contact local colleges that have equestrian teams/clubs and education departments and ask to post a note on bulletin boards or get an email sent out to their listserv. when i rode at uga- that is how i found my first regular nanny job for a horsey mom that needed tons of childcare while she taught lessons. education majors tend to already be interested in children and need experience so i always tell people looking for great nannies to look there first!

                                    good luck!
                                    Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
                                    Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy


                                    • #19
                                      That sounds like an incredible deal! I'll do it! I even cook and make some seriously great cinnamon rolls.....

                                      Sounds like you've gotten some good advice. If you don't go through an agency just make sure you get a good feel for the people you're interviewing. In case reading COTH hasn't tipped you off already, there's a whole lot of crazy in the horse world and I imagine the nanny world has their fair share But that is going to be one lucky girl you're hiring-what an experience!


                                      • #20
                                        I was an au pair in the early 90s outside Boston (from Germany) and found a stable nearby to exercise-ride a horse. I didn't have much time during the week since I had 12-hour work days (for $100 a week...) but would go on the weekends. It was a great way to relax and I would have loved to work for the OP

                                        I just wanted to reiterate that an au pair is NOT a nanny. An au pair is a very young woman (sometimes man) just finished with the equivalent of high school and usually not much more childcare experience than occasional babysitting. The visa includes the "requirement" to have some sort of "cultural exchange" and have your au pair take a class of some sort and truly participate in family life and not just be your nanny...

                                        A real nanny is most likely already in the US and has childcare training and experience and you pay her a lot more per week accordingly but she probably won't live with you and you don't have that "cultural exchange" with her and her family, etc.

                                        I believe that financially a full-time nanny and an au pair will work out to roughly the same amount, the only difference being you pay the nanny for real, but the au pair only gets an allowance" and the agency gets the rest... In the end it's all about what you would like for your child.