An au pair is simply a young (often foreign) person who cares for your children and helps with household chores in return for room, board and a small stipend. The term 'au pair' is French for 'on par', because the idea is that the au pair becomes like an equal member of your family. Since the au pair lives in your home, they are able to learn your family's language and culture while getting to explore your local area during their days off. Families mutually benefit from this experience by learning about the culture and language of their au pair.
In essence, an au pair is an extra pair of hands to help your family in your everyday tasks.
HOW IT WORKS
The typical duties of an au pair can include:
• Getting your children up, dressing and bathing them
• Preparing meals and feeding them
• Taking children to and from school or other activities
• Looking after and playing with the children as required
• Taking your children on outings such as to the park, museum, movies or beach according to your wishes
• Assisting with household chores including cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, ironing and cooking
• Helping children with their homework
• Preparing craft / developmentally appropriate activities for your kids
The beauty of having an au pair is that you can direct them to care for your children in whatever way you prefer with regards to your values, routines and the needs of your children. Not all families require all of the duties required above. It is important that you make your expectations clear to us at Au Pair Me Up so that we can present the right candidates to you.
The hours that you require your au pair to work are entirely up to you, provided, of course, that it is not excessive or unreasonable (say above 45 hours per week). It is ok to require flexibility from your au pair depending on your requirements, but this must be stipulated to them as an expectation during the interview process. Some families, for instance, advise the au pair that they would occasionally like the au pair to work on a Friday or Saturday night in addition to the normal hours. Other families require only before-and-after school care during the school term, but full-time hours during school hoidays. The flexibility that au pairs can provide means that the needs of virtually any family can be catered for.
There is no standard wage for an au pair as this is up for negotiation between the au pair and the family. The average weekly cost of having an au pair varies according to your needs. If you only need the au pair to work minimal hours, enabling them to either study or work in another job, they are known as a 'demi pair' and may not require any extra pay besides the food and board. If, however, you require full-time hours, you may expect to pay the au pair between $250 to $450 per week. We have found that the average cost for most families is approximately $300 per week, which is very affordable next to other forms of childcare. Of course every family has different needs. We are happy to advise you on the likely cost that you should expect to pay for your given circumstances. Our agency fee is $550.
The majority of live-in candidates tend to be either backpackers travelling around Australia or international students studying English. As a result, we frequently have candidates from all over the world, including Germany, England, Ireland, Korea, Japan, Italy and France. These candidates are usually keen to learn the Australian culture and improve their English. Living as an au pair in Australia gives them one of the best opportunities to do this. Families mutually benefit from this experience by learning about the culture and language of their au pair. We also occassionally get candidates from Australia.
We will present you with the appropriate candidates depending on what you specify as a minimum employment period. The majority of candidates who are looking for full-time, live-in positions tend to be backpackers. As a result, they prefer to only stay in each city for between 2 to 6 months. We require all au pairs that we place to give a minimum notice period of two weeks to assist with the transition. This is usually more than sufficient time for AuPairMeUp to source you the next au pair. Students tend to stay for longer periods of 6 months to 2 years, but then are not normally available to work full time hours due to their study commitments.
We have au pairs currently seeking families for live-in arrangements. We can arrange an au pair for you in as little as one week. If you let us know your requirements we will find you the three best candidates who are suited to your needs and present them to you for an interview. It is then up to you to choose who you like best. We screen all our candidates with a psychometric test and by checking their references and requiring them to obtain a Blue Card and First Aid Certificate. We also test all candidates with an on-line childcare quiz to ensure they are equipped for the essentials of child development and care. We require all au pairs that we place to give a minimum notice period of two weeks to assist with the transition. This is usually more than sufficient time for Au Pair Me Up to source you the next au pair. To get started just call 1300 300 170 or fill in the free registration form.
The Australian government's childcare subsidy does not directly apply to au pairs or nannies at this stage except under very specific circumstances. The government offers the In Home Care (IHC) program to families who met the following criteria:
Parents or carers are working non-standard or variable hours;
Families are geographically isolated from other types of approved child care;
The family is experiencing challenging or complex situations.
There are only 3,200 In Home Care (IHC) places offered across Australia. As such, it is a program that is designed for families who need it most, and doesn't apply to most families. For those families who think they may be eligible, please contact us and click here for more information.