- Careful and caring placement process
- Support throughout the period of the placement
- Finding your next au pair in advance to avoid gaps in childcare
- Support and networking opportunities with foreign peers for the au pair
Please read the Frequently Asked Questions in conjunction with the following information for families
- Families need to provide a separate bedroom and access to a bathroom (can be private or shared).
- Meals, board and weekly pocket money are provided as agreed in the letter of offer.
- Providing opportunity for the au pair to spend time with the family during their family time. This may include sharing meals together, inviting the au pair to join in on outings, or holidays, or simply sharing time together as a family.
- Au Pairs must always be treated with respect and dignity.
- Sometimes questions come up about responsibilities and the best way to approach these is to call us or email us and we can assist in working towards a resolution.
STANDARD AU PAIR CONDITIONS
- The most common au pair placement is 6 months.
- There are peak and off peak periods : July – October is the peak period when there are more au pairs available than off peak (February- June).
- Generally 25-35 hours worked per week
- Two consecutive and complete days off per week – preferably the weekend or at least one day of the weekend.
- Au pair hours should be discussed and agreed between the family and the au pair at the outset of the relationship. They may also need to change over time depending on family situations.
- We will provide you with a family guide which includes details, suggestions and guides to setting your au pair’s hours.
The following examples may assist you:
- School aged children: May include split shift of 7-9.30am getting children up, fed and ready/delivered to school, then 3-7.30pm covering collection from school and after school and evening responsibilities.
- Younger children: Work hours will depend on the individual family situation e.g. working part-time or having commitments on set days, or daycare scheduled for set days. The hours required will fit around these.
- Babysitting: Should be negotiated and agreed to suit both the family, and au pair/nanny. Friday or Saturday nights should be on a casual basis not consistently every weekend.
- $170 – $200 for 20-25 hours per week – this is directly related to the number of children and level of responsibility. Au pairs cannot be placed with families who are unable to guarantee the minimum pocket money of $170 per week. The most common placements are $230 + for 30-35 hours work per week
- Rates for a qualified live-in overseas nanny range between $400 – $600/ week, depending on age and experience but this is also negotiable. Qualified nannies are often happy to work 40 hours a week and can look after babies younger than 12 months.
AU PAIR PAYMENT SCHEDULE
- A regular day of the week should be set for the Au-Pair to be paid, a Friday would be ideal but this is negotiable between the two parties.
- Payment should be made by direct or online deposit into the au pair’s or nanny’s bank account on the same day every week.
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
- The Au-Pair must be provided with their own bedroom and should be invited to share all common living areas of the house with the family.
- All utilities and meals are provided for the au pair free of charge.
- Meal times are a good opportunity to share time and build relationships without much effort.
- It is not necessary to cook for your au pair on their days off but provisions
need to be available for them to prepare their own food.
- Celebrations such as birthdays etc are also a good opportunity to share experiences.
- Sweets and special treats are not the responsibility of the host family, and should be purchased by the au pair.
- Ask the au pairs about their likes or dislikes of particular foods, so you can include some of these things in your grocery shopping.
- The cost of airfares and travel insurance are the responsibility of the au-pair or nanny. An exception to this would be if the family requested the flight to be moved for any reason; any associated costs would be the family’s responsibility.
- Medical insurance for the au pair is the au pair’s responsibility and arranged by the au pair(or their agency).
- Driving lessons with an instructor are recommended. It usually only takes one or two lessons for the au pair to gain their road positioning and confidence – they can then practice with the family.
- The au pair arranges their own driving licence, either their own or international.
- Use of the car unless agreed otherwise with you, should be restricted to work related driving e.g. pick up and collect children to and from school, daycare, activities and sport.
- If you do allow the au pair to drive the car in her free time, make sure the boundaries and expectations are clear (who pays extra petrol, what is reasonable etc)
- Au Pairs are expected to pay for traffic fines, please ensure you discuss this and explain about parking restrictions, school zones, local road signs etc.
- Au pairs cannot be expected to pay for damage to the vehicle (it is important to have the correct insurance in place before allowing the au pair to drive)
- Au pairs are free to do as they please during their time off work, so long as they are back to start work at the agreed, designated time.
- It is reasonable to expect however that au pairs are home by a reasonable time the night before they have morning work hours. e.g. On Sunday nights it is reasonable for you to expect them in by 10pm (approx.) to ensure they are not tired for working with your children.
Family holidays occur for most families each year. It is up to you how you manage these with your au pair. Some options are –
- you take the au pair with you and they work in return to the cost of their holiday and have adequate time off to enjoy the location
- You take your au pair along and pay them for the hours they work and they may go and enjoy the location in their time off
- You leave the au pair at home – they must be able to stay in the house and an allowance left for essential food purchases
- They can opt to go travelling during this time
Whichever option is chosen the key thing is that you, and your au pair, are happy with the arrangement and basic board terms and conditions are met.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY!
- As with all effective relationships, the key to success is communication. It is critical to ensure regular open communication channels are set up from the start of the placement..
- Coffee and a chat – this is the most successful and effective tool you can regularly utilise to ensure everyone is happy and working together well. It is reassuring for both the parents and the au pair to know they have a forum to raise things.
QUESTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS
- Both the au pair and the families can call us or email at any time. We speak to our host families often and particularly during the settling in of the first au pair. It does become more routine and easier with subsequent placements.
- We provide all our host families with a Hosting Guide that helps answer many questions.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF THE PLACEMENT?
- We will contact you well in advance of the leave date of your current au pair, to determine whether you wish to have us arrange a new au pair for you. The second placement is of course easier as you now know what does and does not work for you and your family.
- Our agency will always work to accommodate our existing clients’ requirements BEFORE we accept any new families or allocate an au pair to a new family. We pride ourselves on minimising any downtime between your au pairs.
For any other information you would like to discuss please do not hesitate to contact us directly via email or phone.