Being an au pair is a great experience – you’ll visit a foreign country, learn a new language, culture and customs, but you’ll have also a big responsibility on your shoulders. The host family will trust you to take good care of their children and expect you to take a share of the housework.
Every host family expects different things from their au pair so ask them to provide a detailed daily and weekly program of what they want you to do.
An au pair’s main responsibilities are:
– Ensure the children are safe at all times.
– Take them to school and other activities.
– Supervise or help the children with their homework.
– Play with them.
– Prepare light meals.
– Wash and iron clothes.
– Take a share of the housework.
– Take care of pets – if the family has one.
Any additional duties must be discussed and agreed by both parties (au pair and host family) preferably before the au pair travels to the host family’s country. The au pair must be paid extra for doing such extra hours/tasks.
Au pairs should not be considered as domestic help or servants, cleaners, language teachers, carers for the elderly, dog-sitters or seasonal workers. Host families cannot expect their au pair to have teacher training, formal childcare qualifications or to be childcare professionals. Au pairs should be treated as temporary family members who, like any other family member, pitch in to make family life better and more enjoyable for all.
What do you think about the au pair job? Is it easy or hard?