What does Au Pair mean?
The word “Au- Pair” is a French term, which means “on par” or “equal to”, denoting living on an equal basis in a reciprocal, caring relationship between the host family and the children.
Au Pairs are international visitors who travel to Australia on a Work and Travel Visa to acquire a better understanding of Australian life while living with an Australian family and caring for their young children. They become full-fledged family members, sharing a cultural exchange experience, which often leads to a lasting relationship with the host family.
Hosting an Au Pair has many benefits. Your children are in their own environment and care can be centred on the children’s needs. Care is more flexible, for instance, many families find that around the “rush” hour of getting dressed and breakfast or dinner and bath is when they could most use an extra pair of hands.
Au-Pair’s responsibilities may include
- Awakening the children, dressing infants and toddlers, bathing and playing with the children, preparing meals for the children, looking after their belongings, making the children’s beds, doing their laundry and tidying their rooms, cleaning up the kitchen after the children eat or tidying up the playroom once playtime is over, driving children to and from school, appointments or outings as requested by the host family.
- Flexible, live-in child care
- An enriching cultural exchange experience for the entire family
- Experienced professional agency representatives
- Cost effective
The Au- Pair/companion’s responsibilities do not include housework unrelated to the children such as cleaning the home or doing all the laundry. They are not necessarily professionally trained child care workers or capable of running an entire household when parents are absent for business or personal travel.
Responsibility for the welfare of the children always remains with the parents. Au-Pairs usually work 25 to 35 hours per week, although this is flexible, as it depends on the family needs. The hourly rate is $7.00 an hour and the min weekly salary is $180.00.
It usually takes us 6-8 wks to get an Au Pair organised as they go through the immigration process in their country of origin and other tests before they can come to Australia. In certain cases we might have Au Pairs who are already in the country which would not be long before we can arrange an interview with them. As we are unable to arrange face to face interview with our Au Pairs face to face we recommend Parents to interview or email them and discuss your requirements.
The more comfortable the Au-Pair is in your home, the more successful the host period is likely to be. The majority of families also give their au pairs a monthly travel pass and other benefits such as a contribution to course fees (not necessarily English language) of up to $100 per semester, allow internet access as well as one phone call per week (10-15min) to their family if skype or MSN is not an option.
Travel/Airfares to the host country are the responsibility of the Au-Pair.
Ensure your Au-Pair is one of the family member and is treated with respect. They should have the option of joining the family in most activities, including on weekends, giving the Au-Pair the opportunity to impart elements of their culture into your family.