Hosting an Au Pair is an enriching cultural exchange experience which allows your children to be cared for in your own home.
Au Pairs participating on an Au Pair cultural exchange experience will come to Australia on a Working Holiday or Work & Holiday visa and generally stay with a family from 6-12 months. Under the cultural exchange umbrella, au pairs expect to live with your family and be invited to participate in family activities. Au Pairs will care for your children for a maximum of 40 hours per week and receive a weekly pocket money and their own room, with meals provided.
It is important to recognise what elements are NOT a provision in a quality Au Pair program:
- Live-out. Au pair is a ‘live-in’ arrangement. If this component is removed, the person is a nanny or carer from overseas and hourly rates or wages should be paid.
- Accommodation ‘off site’, in a caravan or with grandparents down the road instead of being part of the family on a daily basis
- Giving a time that the au pair may no longer be in shared spaces in the home such as the living room/kitchen
- Not including the au pair in the family meal – although it is fine for an au pair to sometimes eat with the kids and allow the parents to have some well deserved ‘adult time’
- Hiring an Australian as an Au Pair. This is a cultural exchange program so if this is removed, it becomes a childcare/nanny job and wages apply
- The Au Pair not being given time off. ie working 7 days a week and/or always being ‘on call’
- Excessive cleaning. Cleaning should be related to the care of the children, their own room and helping as any individual would in the home. Cleaning the entire home for example is not part of an au pair’s role.