What is an Au Pair?
The word "Au Pair" is a French term, which means "on par" or "equal to," denoting living on an equal basis in a reciprocal, caring relationship between the host family and the children. An Au Pair will typically be a young woman and sometimes a young man from a foreign country on a Working Holiday Visa who chooses to help look after the children of a host family and provide assistance with light household chores. The Au Pair is provided with a furnished room, full board and is paid a weekly allowance. Au Pairs typically undertake childcare and all duties relating to the children with 'our' Au Pairs working anywhere between 30 to 45 hours per week. An Au Pairs working week may include up to 2 nights babysitting.
What can they assist with?
Au Pairs are primarily there to assist with child care and child related duties. Breakfast, clearing up, kids lunch boxes, school/kindy drop off and pick up, bath time, taking to the park, art, craft and playing with the children are typical Au Pair tasks.
Au Pairs shouldn't be expected to undertake heavy household duties. Au Pairs are not to be confused with housekeepers or cleaners. The family’s expectations should be outlined in clear detail to the Au Pair by way of a 'Job Description' before an offer is made to join the family; phrases such as “light housekeeping” are often open to misinterpretation and therefore, misunderstandings.
Hosting an international Au-Pair has many benefits. The children are cared for in their own environment, care can be centered around the children’s needs and there is more flexibility. Many families find that an Au Pair can be of immense benefit, particularly during the end of the day when meals and bath time need to be organised. Another advantage is that parents get to reconnect making good use of evening babysitting. Hosting an overseas Au-Pair will provide a unique opportunity for your children to learn facets of another language and culture which can be immensely rewarding.
While Au Pairs are capable individuals, they should not be confused with Nannies as they do not have any formal training, childcare qualifications or extensive childcare experience.
NB. Please don't be offended. In the best interest of your child, we do not allow our Au Pairs to care for a child aged under 6 months on a sole charge basis. Any child aged under 6 months old must have a parent or guardian present at all times who is actively working alongside the Au Pair.
To peruse our available Au Pair database please visit us here.