Digital Tools for Scheduling Au Pairs: Share your faves

by cv harquail on September 12, 2017

It’s rather pitiful, but I’m still (and perhaps always) a fan of the paper calendar.  calendar old

While I *do* use the Tiny Calendar app on my iPhone, I always was printing out — and adding up by hand — on duty hours.

Surely, someone else has a better way? Because Calendaring Host Mom has asked for your suggestions:

Dear AuPairMoms — 

 I’m wondering if anyone has any scheduling app recommendations that also track hours worked.

I see that a lot of people use google calendar, which is lovely for sharing purposes, but I don’t think that tracks hours.

thanks in advance –  Calendaring Host Mom

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

5kids=aupair September 13, 2017 at 9:04 am

Sadly, I’m a fan of paper as well. We have a weekly grid that we use and we total the hours on that. The AP takes a pic of it with her phone and that’s about as digital as we get. She has full access to my calendar so she can look weeks ahead to plan things for herself, etc. It works for us.

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TexasHM September 13, 2017 at 9:43 am

We do the same. We use Cozi for all family activities. If it isn’t in Cozi, it doesn’t happen and Cozi trumps any surprises or last minute plans. We all have a login and keep it updated, our AP has the app on her phone, it sends the upcoming week calendar in advance on Sundays via email to all of us and then she checks it daily for any last minute tweaks.

We use the CCAP schedule book for the AP hours. For us it helps to have a single source of truth for working hours only especially with 3 kids, multiple sports/activities for each and split shifts, family events etc. Yes, it takes me a little more time to draw it out on there but its worth it to save headaches/misunderstandings/drama. I also make notes when I let her off early or if we run over etc so there is a record of it and what happened. I try to keep it updated about a month in advance and try to mark monthly free weekend for the next 2 or 3 months so she can make travel plans.

Prior to being with CCAP I had a spreadsheet of the working hours that was very similar to the CCAP schedule book so I was glad to get the hard copy when we started hosting with them. I haven’t heard of anyone tracking hours via an app but that certainly doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist! :)

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DMMom September 14, 2017 at 4:01 pm

Cozi – we have tried numerous things, but Cozi seems to work the best. Everyone has access to it on their phone. Everyone can get alerts from it, etc. We have 3 kids and have used it for the last 3 Au Pairs.

I also have a white board command station at the back door. We write the weekly schedule on it and indicate any changes or last minute additions. We review the whiteboard every morning with the Au Pair and the children.

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txmom September 14, 2017 at 5:47 pm

We also use Cozi and LOVE it.

The calendar allows us to say who is attending which event, and we can program reminders. So if I’m worried one of us is going to forget about an event, I just set a reminder and it goes to their phone. It doesn’t add up hours, but we only use our AP about 25-30 hours a week so it’s not an issue for us.

The best feature is the shared shopping list. We have grocery lists shared for the regular grocery store and for Costco. All three of us (me, DH, and AP) update it whenever anything is needed. Then, whoever is at the store has the most current list. It’s awesome. There’s a recipe’s tab and a place where you can list the menu for the week too.

There is also a To Do List function where you can assign tasks to people. So if AP sees a form in a backpack that needs my signature, she can add it to my list. If I notice that a kid seems to be outgrowing his clothes, I can add a clothing purge to APs list. And best of all, I can add things to DH’s list!

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CAmom22 September 13, 2017 at 11:10 am

I’ve been using a file for about 8 years that I originally got from the Au Pair Care website and it has been great. It has weekly tabs and adds up the daily and weekly hours. It allows for 2 different periods of time each day (e.g. morning session and afternoon session) which has worked perfectly with my schedule.
Contact CV for my email and I’ll share it if you’d like a copy.

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CAmom22 September 13, 2017 at 11:11 am

by “file” I meant an excel file.

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Should be working September 13, 2017 at 2:38 pm

I spent about 20 min per week first filling out Google calendar with next week’s work hours, simultaneously keeping a paper tally to know I was within limits. Then I would write the AP an email with day-by-day narration of her/his work hours and tasks, highlighting or bolding things that were different than usual. APs knew they were supposed to look at Google calendar and enter their own commitments in there too so we could see what scheduling conflicts might arise (e.g. long-planned Saturday night concert for AP when a late-breaking evening invitation for HPs comes up).

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DCBurbTwinMomma+1more September 16, 2017 at 7:27 am

We use cozi for the au pair schedule, kids activities, events and doctor’s appointments for everyone. If hubby says he has a hearing or happy hour–it’s in Cozi or no accommodations are made. We also use it for grocery shopping lists. I go to Costco / CVS / Giant grocery on X day. If you need it, it’s on the grocery list. There is also a way to make a checklist. Each day the au pair has some set tasks and she checks them off.

For recording kid medical and food intake with a new baby, we use the BabyConnect app. I can see when (and what) the baby last ate, if the girls got medicine and chart their height since birth.

I wish I could do it all in one app but these two serve or organization and archiving needs.

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WestMom September 17, 2017 at 5:28 pm

I am a big fan of Google and since I already use Google tools in every other part of my personal and work life, I prefer to stick to it as opposed to adding another tool to my already busy arsenal as an internet consultant.

For counting hours, I do something pretty simple. First I create a separate calendar for for APs hours, which I share with AP and DH. Then I add all hours on a recurring basis for all days of the week. These only change occasionally. Then I add an ‘all day meeting’ for the day which basically lists the number of hours for the day. So if I entered 3-7PM Mon-Fri, I create a recurring daily meeting for each day that says ‘4hrs’. It’s not perfect, but it allows me to quickly tabulate the hours for the week to make sure I don’t go over (and quite frankly, we only even came close during the summer and vacation during the last years we were with the program).

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