au pairs in France. For any 'A' level French students who missed their grades and didn't make it through clearing, it could provide a lucrative opportunity to spend a gap year sensibly.
English au pairs are the most sought after, followed by Irish and then the rest, but a grasp of standard English rather than Estuary is required. Can you imagine a posh family on the Left Bank welcoming a screeching, drinking, Estuary-English speaking girl into their ordered home? It would certainly do their offspring no good to pick up "I ain't got nuffin", "Wot you lookin' at then, eh?", "Ere, gissa a fag darlin'", "I fink I'm gonna puke" in the rarefied world of the elite their parents intend them to frequent when older.
As Estuary is now ubiquitous, with even the posh kids trying their hand at it to give an air of coolness, and irritating the hell out of their parents, no wonder there's a shortage of potential au pairs. That plus the apparent drop of French being taken at 'A' level.
This is a shame because they can pick up €250 per week in the most desperate and affluent homes. All it takes is a measly ability to speak some French, and a nice accent. They are so desperate, these French parents, they don't even care how efficient the au pair is. Language is all. I suppose they would draw the line at neglect however, not least because it would show in the lack of the child's ability to speak English...
Paris is the main city which attracts au pairs, but there are other equally desperate parents elsewhere in some rather lovely parts of France. And now is the time, with la Rentrée looming; you can feel the panic. So, ladies, if you've got a smattering of French, speak properly and have nothing to do for the next year before you reapply to university, why not give au pairing a go. Just contact ABC Families, and Bob's yer uncle.
Just think, you could end up on the Cote d'Azur, or in a château on the Loire. Fed, housed, light childcare, and pocket money. I'd do it!