What is an Au Pair?
Au pairs are people who live with host families in another country and help with the children and housework in exchange for room, board, and a monthly stipend. They provide up to 45 hours of childcare per week.
The au pair program is an excellent opportunity to live abroad while teaching your native language to children. It’s also a great way to learn about new cultures, learn a new language and make lifelong friends.
The au pair experience is very different from other types of international programs because it’s more like living in a family than staying at a hotel.
They are called “au pairs” because they are typically “au pairing” for cultural learning, to learn about the culture of the host country.
What is required to become an Au Pair?
The au pair program is available in more than 30 countries worldwide, including the United States.
Requirements vary by country but usually include:
– Minimum age of 18 (or 21) years old
– Passport from one of the eligible countries
– Proof of sufficient funds for living expenses (usually $1,000-$2,000)
The US Au Pair Program is an international cultural exchange program that brings young people from other countries to live in America for a year or two. The au pair will be living with an American host family and will provide childcare or general assistance around the home, as well as attending school or studying English. The au pair may also be expecting to learn some skills that they can use back home to improve their future job prospects.
Things To Know Before You Become An Au Pair or Host One
If you are an au pair, you will be expected to help out with household chores, babysitting, and perhaps some light cooking.
You may also be asked to take on some of the responsibilities of caring for a child or children. You should make sure that you are aware of any special requirements that your host family has before agreeing to take on this role.
If you are a host family, communicate your expectations clearly with any prospective au pairs and make sure you are on the same page before agreeing to match.
This will prevent any disagreements or misunderstandings once you have already matched with the au pair.
What is expected from an au pair?
As an au pair, you will be living with a host family and looking after their children. You will need to do some housework and help with the children’s homework.
There are many things you can do as an au pair including:
As an au pair you spend time with the children and play games or teach them something new. If you are an au pair find out the age of the kids you will be looking after and try to plan some age-appropriate activities you can do with them.
If you are a host family carefully choose the au pair as this will be the person your children spend their time with. Also treat your au pair well and as a member of the family so that they can enjoy their stay with you and also treat your children with care as they would a member of their family.
It’s also okay to suggest things that would like for them to do with the kids but try not to micro-manage them as this is unpleasant for anyone.
As an au pair, you may be expected to do light housework and chores around the house. The idea is that you are a member of the family and are expected to contribute to the general upkeep of the house.
-Clean the house (this is for cleaning mess made from your time with the kids)
-Wash dishes (used by the kids or as your designated chore as a member of the family)
-Vacuum carpets (if the kids made a mess but not as part of your responsibilities)
-Make the kids’ beds
-Take out garbage/trash (as a designated chore as a member of the family) etc.
It’s important to note that your primary responsibility is the kids and chores should be evenly distributed between the older members of the family instead of putting the entire responsibility on the au pair.
Helping kids with their homework is a great way to keep them engaged in learning. As an au pair, you may be expected to help the kids with their homework.
If you are a host parent, don’t assume that your au pair will be able to help the kids with their homework. Sometimes they may not because of different school curriculums in their country of origin.
An au pair can cook for the kids only but should not be expected to cook for the whole family. However, some au pairs do not mind cooking for the entire family and sometimes you can have an agreement where you pay them extra to make dinner or breakfast for the whole family.
If your kids or family have special dietry requirements or if you only be cooking food for a special diet then you need to communicate this with your au pair before you match.
As an au pair you can also ask this directly to your host family. You may need to learn how to cook new dishes if the kids have special dietry requirements.
Some families may need the au pair to drive the kids to school and after school activities, as well as pick them up.
It’s important for both parties to discuss this before matching to understand if the au pair will be comfortable driving if this will be needed.
Tips for Au Pairs
– Be open minded: The family might have different customs than you are used to, so be sure to embrace them!
– Get involved: There might be clubs, sports teams, or other activities your kids can join in on. This is a great way to learn more about the local culture while getting exercise at the same time.
– Volunteer: You might have time during the day when your kids are at school or asleep, so why not use it for something productive? There are many opportunities for volunteering around town; this is an excellent way to give back and make new friends!
What is the best Au Pair Agency?
7 Tips For Host Families
1. Do not expect to be a perfect host family.
As a host family, do not expect to be perfect. You are not their parents and you may not be their favorite person.
However, the experience can be incredibly rewarding and the satisfaction that comes with knowing you have helped someone is more than worth it.
2. Do not expect your au pair to be perfect either.
We are all human and can’t always be perfect. Expecting your au pair to be perfect is unreasonable and unfair.
3. Do not forget that you are the adult and they are the child.
It is essential to remember that the child is not the one paying attention to what you post. They are most likely not following your social media posts with a high level of scrutiny and they are most likely not reading any articles or blogs you write.
This means that you do not need to worry about offending them, but rather think about the people who will be viewing your content and how it may affect them.
4. Do not forget that your au pair is an adult too, and they can make their own decisions.
Au pairs are often underestimated as young adults. They are adults who can make their own decisions, and the conversation needs to change from “you” to “we”.
5. Do not forget that your au pair is here to learn from you and vice versa, so do not be too hard on them or yourself when something goes wrong or doesn’t go as planned
When you have a family, it is hard to find time for anything else in your life. An au pair can be the solution. In the role of an au pair, they will learn from you and vice versa.
Language skills are often the priority for most families with an au pair, but there are many other benefits such as having childcare or being able to have a job that does not require specific years of experience.
6. Do not feel like you have to entertain them all the time
As a host, you do not want to be too demanding or too passive. You want your guests to feel comfortable and entertained, but not like they are on a leash.
One way to balance this delicate balance is by asking them about their day and listening carefully. You can also ask them what they would like to do while they are there, such as taking a walk outside on a nice day or going to the movies.
7. Do not lose sight of why they’re here in the first place
To help out with the kids and around the house as an au pair. You are not alone. Many parents today are looking for some help around the house and with the kids.
Au pairs can be a great solution, but they come with guidelines and rules to follow. It’s important to remember that they are not maids. Treat them how you would want someone else to treat your children if they were an au pair in another country.