Introduction

This page will explain many of the common need-to-know things about au pairs and the procedures involved in becoming a host family.

If this page doesn’t answer your question, please use our contact page , or give us a call on 00(44)2071935208 and we'll be glad to help.

An au pair will cost you a minimum of £65 a week for a maximum of 20 hours a week, full board, 2 consecutive days off, own room. These are basic guidelines and pay will vary a great deal depending level of skills (fluent english speaker, driver, experience, number and age of the children to be looked after, unsociable hours etc...)

Treat your au pair the way you would like you or your children to be treated and you will not have any problems with the program.

Procedures

As a family, this is the line of procedures we use to provide you with your ideal au pair for the job.

  1. Choose a Membership Scheme that suits your family
  2. Pay for membership online.
  3. Once you selected your Membership:
    1. Browse the list of available au pairs on our website using the search filters, to narrow down the list to au pairs you would be most interested in.
    2. Click the "Contact This Au Pair" link on the au pair's Profile page to get their contact details. You can then e-mail or phone the au pair to enquire about their suitability.
  4. Once an applicant has been singled out you must then send a Letter of Invitation and decide of the date your au pair will be coming over. We will guide you through writing this.
  5. Because your family's Profile is also on the website we will introduce those applicants who specifically have applied for the position in your family
  6. We will give you support throughout the placement with advice and help
  7. The applicant is asked to provide a file zipped as an email to send you when you make contact. This file should include :
  8. A Dear Family Letter (see next section)
    1. 2 References
      • A Childcare Reference
      • A Character Reference
    2. A photocopy of their passeport with photo or id card
    3. A Letter from their GP saying that they are fit and well
    4. A criminal record check (it is compulsory in the UK to have one when you look after children)

Studying

The primary purpose of an au pair placement in the UK is to allow single people to learn English, by living with an English speaking family.

Normally au pairs want to study at a local college for a qualification. Your au pair will need to enrol in person as soon as they can after arriving. They will have to pay the fees in advance and will normally be tested to decide which class is best suited to their level of English. Some families provide assistance with these fees as it is difficult for an au pair to pay in advance upon their arrival.

Before your au pair arrives...
  1. Find out about English courses held in your area
  2. Find out the approximate costs involved
  3. Help plan their arrival so that they do not miss the enrolment date for courses

Cars and Driving

If you require a driver, make sure your au pair is allowed to drive in the UK with her driving licence (ask for a copy before she arrives)

You should assess the driving ability of your au pair before letting him/her drive on their own. Some families pay for some driving lessons in their car as practice for their au pair and as a means of assessing their ability.

Be clear about any restrictions on the use of the car:
  • Can they use it in their free time?
  • Is it only for use when working for the family?
  • Do they provide receipts or get a weekly allowance for petrol?
  • Are they allowed to give lifts to friends?
  • Are they responsible for cleaning it?

What is an Au Pair?

The main purpose of the au pair program is to allow foreign nationals to learn English whilst living with an English family for up to two years.

Pocket money is given in exchange for childcare and light housework duties. (See Working Hours below)

An au pair must be...
  • Single with no dependants
  • Aged between 17 and 27 (no age restriction for EEC members)
  • Prepared to stay for the length of their contract with you
  • A national of the EU, New Zealand, Australia and Canada
  • Can be a UK resident and of course a British National
  • Coming to England to an arranged placement
  • In possession of a valid passport
  • Length of stay has no limit for a EU National

EU nationals may work as an "au pair plus" and may work extra hours but must give their host family first-refusal on their time. (See Working Hours below)

We also ask that they are...
  • Trustworthy and dependable
  • Someone who likes being with children
  • But au pairs can also be carers for old people, look after your animals, be drivers, be your housekeeper
  • Capable of doing light housework
  • Keen to learn English and the local culture

Working Hours

An au pair works 25hours per week plus 2 evenings babysitting for pocket money of around £ 65 per week.

An au pair plus works up to 40 hours per week plus 2 evenings babysitting for pocket money of up to around £100 per week.

Duties include ....
  • Light housework (washing, ironing, cleaning/tidying the house)
  • Childcare and babysitting, carer, mothers help, au pair + etc...

Visas

An au pair is responsible for his/her own fare to and from the UK, to the nearest airport or London Railway Station or Coach Terminal, where the family is expected to meet him/her.

All au pairs must have a valid passport, and, if from a non EEC country, must have a letter of invitation from the host family to be allowed an au pair visa. This must be given to the au pair before arriving in theUK as this type of visa cannot be granted after an au pair is already in the UK (i.e. as a visitor)