Au pair’ literally means ‘on par’ or equal. Au pairs are international visitors who travel to the United Kingdom to live with a family so that they can learn English and acquire a better understanding and appreciation of the British way of life. They become fully-fledged family members, sharing a cultural exchange experience, which often leads to a lasting relationship with the host family.
The au pair should be treated as a member of your family and is male or female usually aged 18 – 27 years
Expected to spend between 6 months to 1 year with a family. Although they have been known to stay 2 – 3 years if very happy with their family! We also have ‘summer’ au pairs coming for 2-3 months over the summer period.
Some are drivers, but we encourage you to give them some lessons to ascertain their ability and to get them used to driving in the UK.
Au pairs should be allowed to attend English classes. This would usually be for about 2 sessions a week for a couple of hours depending on the college in your area and the times in the day that you need him/ her to work.
He/she will assist with childcare and household duties primarily related to the children. It should be noted that the experience an au pair has with looking after children can be limited and that they are not trained in childcare. An au pair should not be put in sole charge of a child under 2 years old.
They are adults and are allowed to spend their free time as they choose unless it has a negative effect on their help around the house or their time with you.
We recommend families contribute to English lessons – most would help or in some cases pay for them outright – obviously this would depend on if they are particularly expensive or if you feel you need to make an extra effort to keep them happy or where you are quite rural.
If a bus or car journey is necessary to attend English classes, a contribution to travel costs is expected.
The au pair will pay for their own travel arrangements to and from the UK. However our Polish applicants expect their initial flight to the UK to be paid by the family..
An au pair should not be left in sole charge of children under 2 years old.