An Au Pair is a young adult or student from another country on a working holiday visa, who works with, and as part of, a host family. They will provide some childcare and take on some of the household chores
An au pair brings his/her culture, home language and personal interests with them and this can be enriching for children and everyone in the household.
The benefits of an Au Pair and things to consider
Depending on the au pair’s previous experience, you may have to provide basic training in skills such as nappy changing and how to use your washing machine and explain family routines and values and behaviour expectations.
It pays to think of issues before they arise such as whether the au pair’s name is listed on your car insurance policy if they will use your car.
There may be financial advantages to having a live-in au pair over employing a nanny or paying fees to a childcare centre.
Accommodation usually includes food, washing, heating and local telephone and internet costs. Au pairs are usually paid by the family per hour for the hours they work once the cost of accommodation has been taken into account and this gives the person some spending or pocket money.
Children can form a close and trusting relationship with their au pair in a way that children cannot with someone who does not live with their family. This will be great for children’s emotional development and sense of security, as well as helping children develop a natural interest in other languages and cultures. The relationship your family develops with the au pair may last well after the person has stayed with you.
To get an au pair go through a recognised agency. Ask and make sure that the agency checks references and does a police vet.