Becoming an au pair for the first time may seem a little nerve-wracking, however, once you are there,you will enjoy every minute of it. If you want to become an au pair then you can do so through an au pair agency. Although they will answer any questions you may have, we have created a little guide to help you understand what would be expected from you from your first placement as an au pair.
Where Will I Live?
When you are allocated a family with whom you will work for, you will either live in their house with them with your own room, or they may have an annexe for you to stay in. The idea of living and working in the same place may seem daunting, however, you must remember that the family want you there, so they will do everything in their power to make you feel comfortable and at ease.
What Will I Have To Do?
As you will be living in the house as a member of their family, you will be helping with daily tasks around the house, in addition to helping to look after any children in the house. Any light housework that you will be asked to do, will probably include: preparing lunches, washing and ironing any of the children’s clothes, helping the children to tidy their rooms, and helping them with any homework or activities. Your role is to help look after the child in any way you can.
Will I Get Paid?
Although you won’t be paid a salary as an au pair, you may still receive pocket money from your host family, which you can accumulate over a few months. However, due to you having free accommodation and food provided to you by the family, you will only need money if you want to do anything in your free time. If you find that you need extra funds, you could have a part-time job on the side. You may find, however, that you spend a lot of your free time with your host family, who may take you on day trips, or even on their holidays with them.
Which Countries Need Au Pairs?
The majority of countries to choose from are in Europe, including Germany, Great Britain, France and Italy; however, there is a high demand for au pairs in Canada, Australia and New Zealand also.
Do I Need To Pay Any Fees?
When you decide that you want to be an au pair, in preparation for your first placement, you will need to cover any expenses for a visa or a medical health card, in addition to your flights and any travel costs. If you wish to take a language course, you will have to fund this yourself, although in some cases, host families pay for your return trip, in addition to contributing to the price of the language course in order to help you care for their child.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
As you are a guest in both the country you are staying in and the house you will be living in, you will need to ensure that you stick to any regulations and laws that are in place, in addition to being respectful to any traditions or cultural events.
Overall, becoming an au pair is a wonderful experience, which will give you many memories, and cherished lessons. We highly recommend that you embark on the experience. Don’t be afraid of your first placement, you will thoroughly enjoy it, and you will create amazing bonds with your host family, and in particular the child/children you will be looking after.