What is an au-pair?
a young foreigner who lives with a family in return for doing light housework
Details about au-pair activity
Au Pair definition - What is an AuPair?
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. An aupair will typically be a young woman and sometimes a young man from a foreign country who chooses to help look after the children of a host family and provide light housekeeping. The aupair is given room and board and is typically paid a weekly "pocket-money" salary. Aupairs generally stay with their host family for one year.
An aupair is usually between the ages of 18 and 27 years old, yet some countries allow younger and older aupairs.
Aupairs are typically in search of a new cultural experience while also desiring to serve as an integral part of a parenting team. This experience usually draws aupairs to a new country and often times involves improving on their foreign language skills.
An aupair is not considered a domestic employee and therefore taxes need not be paid as such. An aupair is not a nanny.
Typical AuPair Duties & Responsibilities
While the specific duties and responsibilities of an aupair will vary depending on the age of the children and the family's requirements, below is a good starting point for most families and aupairs.
- Wake children in the morning
- Make sure the children are groomed and dressed
- Make sure children's beds are made and their rooms are clean
- Prepare breakfast for the children
- Prepare lunches for the children
- Clean up breakfast dishes
- Make sure children have books and homework for school
- Drive children to school (if needed)
- Chores while children are at school:
- Grocery shopping
- Emptying trash
- Folding clothes
- Pick up children from school
- Prepare a healthy afternoon snack
- Assist the children with their homework
- Bathe the children
Hiring the right aupair for your family can restore balance and peace to the typically hectic lives we live. Finding the right aupair requires thoughtful evaluation of the type of person that best suits your family. To assist you in forming a successful relationship with your chosen aupair, we have provided some general guidelines to give you an idea of what to expect when hiring an aupair for the first time.
* The aupairís average weekly salary for 40 to 45 hours of childcare is £ 50.
* An aupairís living expenses, which include room and board, are covered by the family, unless the aupair requires unique dietary items for which she/he should be responsible. Also the aupair is responsible for all personal items such as toiletries, health supplements, hair care items, etc.
* A private bedroom should be provided for the aupair. Extra amenities in the room such as TV, stereo, phone, computer, are not required, but it would be nice. However, the more comfortable an aupair feels in your home, the more successful the arrangement is likely to be. If you put a little energy into creating a warm environment for your aupair, it is more likely that your aupair will feel genuinely welcomed and respond positively to your family.
* The family can expect the aupair to pay for her/his long distance phone calls.
* If the aupair is required to drive the kids to and from school and activities, and/or do the grocery shopping, the family pays for gas, oil and maintenance. The family can expect the aupair to pay for gas when she/he uses the car for her/his personal errands. Many car insurance policies cover houseguests driving your vehicle for limited time periods. There is also the option of adding your aupair to your insurance policy for the duration of their stay. Be sure to check with your insurer to make the most informed decision.
* The family is generally responsible for the aupair's medical insurance/expenses.
* Airfare for the aupair is usually negotiable. Families and aupairs often split the cost of a roundtrip ticket. If the aupair doesnít have the money to pay for her/his half of the ticket up front, families can cover the cost and deduct the balance from wages.
Tips for a successful relationship with your aupair
* Keep in mind that there is always an adjustment period when you hire an aupair. Try to be patient and supportive and remember that your aupair is in an unfamiliar environment with all new people. A little bit of love and encouragement goes a long way.
* Be specific about the aupairís responsibilities and schedule. An aupair wants to find a family that can be trusted and who wonít take advantage of her/him.
* Be clear about your expectations and if something is not going as you had hoped, talk to your aupair. Nine times out of ten, most situations can be resolved through open and loving communication.
* Treat your aupair with the same respect and consideration that you would like to receive from her/him.
* Try to remember that your aupair wants to feel like a part of the family. Include them in activities even when theyíre off duty.
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