As a former au pair, i know that it is usual to ask many questions about this kind of job. That’s why i’m going to try to answer it with objectivity and candor.
An au pair has to take care of children in a foreign family. In exchange, this family will nourish and host her/him and will make sure that the au pair feels integrated. This is an unique experience, which is very interesting and rewarding. Indeed, being an au pair means discovering new cultures and new languages. Thanks to the free time that you will have, you will be able to meet new people, visit new places..
In order to find the perfect family for you, there is different ways. I’m going to present all of them to you by listing their benefits and their disadvantages (nobody’s perfect).
This method is the easier and is totally free. It allows you to contact former au pairs of the family in order to have their opinion. Indeed, on Facebook, you can find a lot of pages/groups such as: French au pairs in London or Spanish au pairs in London. On those pages/groups, you can find many people who post ads in order to find a new au pair for their host family. The major disadvantage is that it is hard to find a family because of the large number of young ladies or young gentlemen who postulate like you.
Among these we find the famous au pair world. On it you will find many job offers from families around the world. You only have to create your profile and pick the family that you think suits you the most in order to contact them. You can also go to Find Au Pair. The benefits of this method are that it is easy to do by yourself and it is free. However, specialized websites mean less protections and safety. That is why it is necessary to pay attention to scams that can exist on the website (don’t give money to anyone, organize a first meeting in an open place..).
Those ones are specialized in the au pairs placement abroad. This method has many benefits. Indeed, thanks to it, you can be sure to find a trustful family who will not exploit you. In case of a placement in England for example, your agency will sign a contract with the english agency which will in its part signed a contract with a british family. This brings security and comfort for the au pairs. Moreover, those agencies will follow you throughout your stay and you will be allowed to contact them if you have any issues. Obviously, all of this has a cost. Indeed, the prices are between £90 and £170 of investment expenses by agencies. Moreover, You will have to fill a lot of forms and folders which takes a bit of time. Finally, if you are keen in going with an agency we recommand to go for those linked to IAPA. Other agencies might be not reliable.
You will find here some british agencies that I recommend:
It is now up to you to find which method will suits you the best to find the perfect host family.
Legally, there are no limits to the job of an au pair. However, you need to know how to differentiate 3 types of au pairs:
Regarding the duties that have to do the au pairs, those ones must be exclusively focused on the children. An au pair doesn’t have to take care of the parents’ stuffs normally. Moreover, even if few au pairs have to help in the household, they don’t need to become cleaning men/women.
Those ones depends of the family and of the type of au pair that you will be. The more hours you will be working, the more money you will earn. The average salary is approximately 100€ per week. This by counting the fact that you will be accommodated and fed.
The duration of contracts also varies. It can be of only 1 or 2 months during summer holidays, of 6 months or of more than a year. You will have to define it with you future host family before accepting the job.
With all of these information, you are now aware of almost everything and you will not have any issues for your au pair life.
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As an au pair, you can go on pages/groups like:
Next, if you decide to use an agency, you must know that some of them will give you a password that will allows you to login on a website that register all of the au pairs living in the same area as you.Get informed and ask to your agency if it has set up such a system.
The last but not least advice that I can give you is, don’t be shy. Go and meet other au pairs. They are in the exact same situation as you and they want to meet people too. It is a really rewarding experience and you will remember it for decades. Go for it, you will not be disappointed.
Feel free to comment and share your tips and experiences…