An au pair is a single person aged 17 to 27 years old, without dependents, who comes to the United Kingdom to learn English and live as part of an English speaking family for a maximum of two years, provided she/he is a national of a country in the EU.
Au pair means "on Par" or equal and therefore is to by treated as a family member and not hired help.
You are expected to pay the cost of your journey to and from your home country. The host family will meet you at the airport on your arrival and take you to the airport on your return journey. It is your responsibility to inform the family of your travel details. At the airport look out for the family holding a notice with your name written on it. In case of an emergency, please ensure that you have enough money to pay for your return ticket to your home country.
- pocket money (£75+ / The amount can
vary from family to family)
- accommodation with own bedroom
- light household duties: Making beds, washing up, dusting, hovering, ironing, keeping the house tidy, preparing meals, cleaning the bathroom etc.
- caring for the children: Taking and collecting from school, looking after them at home, preparing meals, taking them for walks and playing with them etc.
In accordance with the Home Office guidelines, au pairs may baby-sit 2 evenings per week. If you agree to baby-sit more often or to work extra hours, a fee of at least £4.00 per hour can be expected.
All applicants are entitled to two full free days each week. You can expect this to be in two twenty-four hour periods, which should not be cancelled by the family, except in an emergency and with your agreement.
English lessons are available at colleges or with private tutors. Your host will help you to find classes (fees to be paid by the Au-pair).
Opening a bank account
If you desire to open a bank account to bank your wages, then you need to take the following to the bank to open the account:
- Proof of identity.
- Driving license from your country if it has an address.
- A letter from the UK au pair agency confirming that they placed you with the UK host family and how long you will be staying with them.
- A letter from the host family stating that they invited you for the Au-pair stay and how long you will be staying with them.
If you are refused by a bank, try another and you will be successful. The bank refusal doesn’t mean there is a problem. It is just because you will not be staying long in the UK and some banks may not cater for short time accounts.
NB! All meals may be taken with your host family, even on your free days. Please be on time for meals, help to clear away the dishes if you have eaten with the family and always ask before helping yourself to extra food. When working around the house, ask, if you are not sure what to do or what is expected of you.
Do not forget to say "please" and "thank you". British people consider it impolite not to do so. Remember that a smile helps to make good relationships. If for any reason you are unable to resolve difficulties with your host family please telephone the AuPair agency and they will make every effort to mediate on your behalf. Please do not pack your bags and leave without first speaking with them. Your host family will be worried if you leave without a forwarding address. Should a problem arise concerning homelessness, the agency will be pleased to offer advice, but are unable to offer accommodation.