Whether you are an au pair yourself or you are looking for one, no one can deny that the process is a little bit confusing for both parties. After all, different countries have different legislation. This makes it confusing for the au pair as they tend to go to various foreign places as part of a cultural programme. 

Therefore, they have to encounter variables everywhere they go i.e. with regards to pay and work hours expected. Confusion also derives because au pairs are not technically classed as employed in many places. This causes a bit of a grey area for those looking to hire an au pair. 

If you are considering becoming an au pair, then this blog post will uncover all the information you should know so that you can enjoy a happy and healthy employment. As Karan Bajaj will testify, this is so important for your wellbeing and career growth.

First and foremost, it is important to establish the fact that this information is presented as merely a set of guidelines. Nothing is set in stone. Every agency will have its own specific set of ‘rules’ and therefore their ideals may differ slightly. There is no official au pair programme and, therefore, there is no legislative reference.

One of the most important things you need to decipher is what your duties will be. Your primary focus will be childcare. This can encompass a wide scope of activities, including picking up children from school and taking them to any extracurricular activities, helping them with their homework, and cooking their meals. You will also be required to carry out household duties as well. It is highly advisable to have your duties highlighted in the contract/letter the family gives to you. After all, you do not want to be put in the position whereby you feel the demands of the family are unreasonable yet you have no point of reference to compare them to. 

Most agencies tell their au pairs that they will be expected to work 25 hours per week. They will also be entitled to holidays too. However, there is nothing defined with regards to how much time off an au pair should have. Most people tend to operate via the system of four weeks off per calendar year – as this is what is usually given with most full-time jobs. With regards to pocket money, you will be given a sum in addition to your full board lodging. The amount you get is usually dependant on whereabouts you are situated and, therefore, how much the price of living is. You should be given this no matter whether you are on holiday or unable to work because of illness. 

Before concluding, you will also be allowed to attend a language course in order to improve your English. This is something that is highly recommended. It is up to you to fund this course. However, sometimes you will be lucky and find a family who offers to pay for this for you. 

Hopefully, this blog post will have helped to clarify any grey areas regarding becoming an au pair. If you have any other queries then the au pair agency in question will be able to give you a helping hand.


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By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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