An au pair is your personal home-help and child carer and will also bring a different feel and skills to your family.
The au pair travels from another country to learn about New Zealand and Kiwi culture by living with you and participating in family activities.
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.
If you are hiring an au pair, go through a legitimate overseas employment agency or university-based student job seeker organisation.
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 the au pair is going to use your car.
There may be financial advantages to having an au pair over employing a nanny or using 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 au pair 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 au pair has stayed with you.