Au Pair's are a great edition to a family unit, offering that extra support with childcare in exchange offering the au-pair a home to study and learn the language while exchanging your cultural backgrounds.
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A MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY, SHARING CULTURES AND A HELPING HAND
Au pairs usually live with the family they work for and are unlikely to be classed as a worker or an employee.
Au Pairs are generally people who travel to foreign countries and live with a host family for a period of time. Often helping out with children and light housework (Not Ironing, due to safety reasons) in return of free accommodation, which is usually a private room and board plus pocket money.
Often Au Pairs do not generally have any qualifications in regards to childcare or may not have childcare experience, however they will have an interest in caring children and wish to exchange language and cultural learning with the family.
Au Pairs are more suited to school age children due to their lack of childcare experience and language barriers. Au Pairs are not suitable for children under 3 years old unless they have suitable previous experience.
An Au Pair is aged 18 – 30, and are often visiting during a gap year to learn the language whole they are studying, we do not place anybody under the age of 18. An Au Pair without visa requirements (from EU) can be older.
Au Pair's should not be left in sole charge of children for the hole day, unless under unforeseen circumstances usually emergencies.
Expectations of the Au Pair:
A host family needs to be realistic in regards to duties and expectations of their Au Pair, Au Pairs are neither a nannies nor cleaners. Giving the Au Pair too much responsibilities may put the Au Pair under unreasonable strain, it's important to discuss your expectations and be reasonable in regards to duties. It's important to keep communication's open and honest and remember that the Au Pair should be respected and treated as part of the family.
An Au Pair should not be left in charge of children over night or regularly on an evening, and should not be left in charge of any baby monitors over night.
The Au Pair's main role should be childcare and only a small amount of light housekeeping tasks such as the following:
Changing the children's beds
Preparing simple meals for the children
Dusting and vacuuming
Washing pots and loading/unloading the dishwasher
Emptying the bins
Walking and feeding pets
Keeping and maintaining the Au Pair's own room/bathroom clean and tidy
Keeping the kitchen clean and tidy
Helping prepare and cook food if the Au Pair is eating with the family
Accommodation and board:
Accommodation for an Au Pair should be welcoming and comfortable. An Au Pair needs to be allocated a private bedroom with a bed, wardrobe and desk and adequate heating, most host families provide internet access and a TV in their room.
The Au Pair is to not share a room with the children, and should be provided somewhere to study.
All meals, food and refreshments are to be provided by the host family.
Additional perks would be to provide use of an en-suite or private bathroom and computer in the Au Pairs room.
House Rules: House rules must be discussed prior to the Au Pair accepting the arrangements an the host family should sit the Au Pair down on arrival and further relay the house rules which should be clear.
Pocket Money for Au Pairs :
Au Pairs are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage or paid holidays as they are not a worker or employee, they are treated as a member of the family they live with and get 'pocket money' instead - usually around £70 - £85 a week.
Au Pairs cannot be paid less than £70 a week pocket money however we recommend paying an Au Pair £80+ per week.
An Au Pair is not classed as a worker or an employee if most of the following apply:
they’re here on a cultural exchange program
they’ve got a signed letter of invitation from the host family that includes details of their stay, for example accommodation, living conditions, approximate working hours, free time, pocket money
they learn about British culture from the host family and share their own culture with them
they have their own private room in the house, provided free of charge
they eat their main meals with the host family, free of charge
they help with light housework and childcare for around 30 hours a week, including a couple of evenings babysitting
they get reasonable pocket money
they can attend English language classes at a local college in their spare time
they’re allowed time to study and can practice their English with the host family
they sometimes go on holiday with the host family and help look after the children
they can travel home to see their family during the year
Working Hours: Au Pairs work up to 30 hours per week including babysitting. Au Pairs are unqualified child carer's and so the hours and duties should reflect this. Au Pair's should not be left in sole charge of children for the hole day, unless under unforeseen circumstances usually emergencies.
Babysitting: Babysitting must not take place on their Au Pair's days off and we recommend to pay them at least an extra £4 per hour.
Insurance: An Au Pair from the EU must travel to the UK with an EHIC card which lets them gain state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes free.
We’re here to provide you with great services, if you have an inquiry about booking or sourcing a nanny or babysitter for your event then please do get in touch and we can discuss your options.