Dear Au Pair
We are a family living in Northern Ireland who is looking for some temporary help whilst I am recovering from an operation to my back. We have two children, Toby aged 5 (nearly 6) and Tilly aged 3 (and 1 cat who has adopted us as its family).
We live in a very rural but beautiful coastal location and therefore you’d need to be able to drive and ideally enjoy the outdoors life. We live 12 miles away from the Giants Causeway on the North Coast of Northern Ireland and so there are plenty of hiking/walking opportunities as well as seaside/water activities available (surfing is popular but be prepared for the water being very cold!).
I have had to stop work in preparation for the operation as I am in considerable pain despite a considerable amount of medication. I also am unable to drive because of this. My work is based 20 miles away from where we live and it was easier when we had children (and because I wanted to continue working) to arrange childminding facilities and schooling nearer to my work, but obviously now that causes problems with getting the children to and from school/our childminder.
Toby attends Millstrand Integrated Primary School in Portrush (15 miles) and Tilly goes to a childminder full-time in Portstewart (5 miles from Portrush). Tilly will start nursery at the school in September.
You’ll have use of a car while you’re here as we’re very rural – closest small town is 2 miles (Ballycastle) and the main town is 18 miles (Coleraine).
We live in a contemporary style house that we built two years ago on a plot of land 2 miles outside of Ballycastle. We are on an elevated site so there are 360 degree views of valleys, a mountain and the sea in the distance.
The children each have their own rooms so the 4th bedroom would be your room. This has a built in wardrobe space, double bed, bedside tables, drawer unit and a digital radio. It has double aspect windows with views over the local countryside. The house has wireless internet access and you’d have access to the family computer if required. The bathroom is immediately next door which would only be shared with the children. Mine and Francis’ bedroom has its own ensuite.
The living space is made up of a formal sitting room (which is my favourite place to escape to when it’s quiet) and an open plan kitchen/dining/family room where we spend most of our time as a family. The kitchen has all modern facilities and there’s also a separate utility room. There is a galleried landing with sofa bed on the 3rd floor where there is separate TV/internet access if you wanted to be more separate from the family at any stage.
Your daily routine would include getting the children ready for school/childminder including preparing lunchboxes, driving them to school/childminder, doing some light housework, helping to prepare family meals, picking up the children from school/childminder and helping with the bedtime routine. We’d hope that you’d be able to do some light housework while you’re with us, such as dusting, tidying, vacuuming, ironing and laundry.
As a family we enjoy outdoor activities, going to the beach, swimming in the local leisure centre, going to the cinema, the children love the two local parks and socializing with friends. Tilly is still in nappies but we are in the process of potty training her as she starts nursery school in September.
The children can be noisy at times as all children can be but generally they’re easily entertained with stories, DVD’s, going out, playing the Nintendo Wii and playing with numerous toys that they own. Tilly is definitely more the outdoors type and very independent – happy to keep herself entertained. Toby is more sensitive and quite fussy when it comes to food but he’s starting to try new things so we’re slowly introducing new foods to him. They play well together and keep each other company but also love having friends over to play.
If you swim that would be great as both children love going swimming – Toby attends swimming classes every Saturday morning and is doing really well. We have a local health club of which we’re members and there’s also a leisure centre in Coleraine (18 miles).
Francis loves horse-racing and uses the studying and watching of it to unwind from quite a stressful job. I love gardening but given my current health and the fact we haven’t yet had chance to develop the outside space of the house, I don’t get a lot of opportunities to do it currently.
The family is a member of the National Trust so you’d be able to use the membership card for any days out.
There is a nightclub and several pubs in the local town and a more extensive student population and nightlife in Portrush/Portstewart (15 – 20 miles). Belfast is 50 miles away where there is a huge amount for visitors to see and do.
We very much look forward to welcoming you into our family and home.
Louise and Francis
Îf you are interested in this family for the summer time May to September roughly, please register with us by completing the application. You can either print it out of the website (formulaires section) or we can send you the forms via e mail upon request. Do not hesitate to contact us on info_at_theenglishcorner.fr