The title “Au Pair” originates from the French term meaning “on a par” or “equal to” indicating that the relationship is intended to be one of equals.
Most Au Pairs in the UK are from an EU country and generally are between 18 and 27 years old. Au Pairs come to Britain to learn English as part of an English speaking family. They are not domestic staff, cleaners, nannies or employees but are a part of a cultural exchange – they live as part of a family, join the family for meals and have their own bedroom in exchange for helping with childcare needs and light housework for up to a maximum of 35 hours a week. Au pairs can work more hours for more money where this has been mutually agreed between the host family and the au pair
Generally au pairs are not trained childcare professionals and should not be left in sole charge of youngsters under 3 years old.
Au pairs in the main tend to be female and sometimes male or even couples! Specific daily and weekly duties will be agreed between the family and the au pair in advance, which may last up to 2 years. Placements over 12 months are less common though as young people tend to want to move on.
It is important that the family correctly identifies their requirements in order to find a good match. Factors to consider will include: maturity, childcare experience, driving ability, start date, length of stay, etc.
Pocket money is paid to the Au Pair on a weekly basis and BAPAA’s recommendations are a minimum of £75 for 25 hours and £85 for 30 hours. An Au Pair must have 2 days a week of free time.
If you are keen to spend a little more time on yourself and your children do please get in touch to see what we have that might well make all the difference to your life. Au Pairs are also expecting to spend 2 nights a week babysitting so you might even get to see more of your friends or husband! Might not be quite what you’re after, but hopefully you will get what you need from the relationship, someone who’s on your side to genuinely help.