work as an au pair faq's au pair host family

What does an au pair do? Au Pairs assist a host family between 20 -40 hours per week with looking after the children and light housework. Au Pairs generally work from Monday to Friday with weekends off. The duties of an Au Pair will vary depending on the needs of their host family.

Generally an Au Pair’s duties would include:

  • Getting the children bathed and dressed for kindergarten or school.
  • Nappy changing
  • Potty training
  • Preparing meals for the children
  • Taking children to school/ kindergarten/ sporting clubs and picking them up from there
  • Driving
  • Helping children with homework 
  • Entertaining the children
  • Keeping children room’s neat and tidy
  • Clearing the table and washing up after preparing meals for the children
  • Teaching the children about their culture

An au pair should be treated as an equal, and for many children they will look up to an au pair as a big sister or brother. 

Will I enjoy being an Au Pair?

  • Do you love caring for children?
  • Do you want to live with an Australian family and learn all about their culture?
  • Do you want to improve your English language skills?
  • Do you want to share your own culture with another family?
  • Do you have experience caring for children?

If you have answered yes to all of the above, then yes you will enjoy being an au pair. Being an au pair can be lots of fun. However it does require a great deal of responsibility. You need to be confident in your ability and open to learning new things and dealing with new challenges. 

Will I get paid? Yes, however this is not a salary. You will receive ‘pocket money’ from your host family. This should be paid weekly, directly into your bank account. The amount will depend on your experience and how many hours you work – generally it is between $200 – $350 per week.

What requirements do I need to be an au pair? You will need the following:

  • Working with children check
  • Australian Federal Police check
  • First Aid certificate
  • Complete our online training course
  • Drivers licence (preferably an international drivers licence)

Above all, you will need to love caring for children and be ready for the responsibilities that come with caring for children.

What requirements do the host families have to meet? Each host family will need to provide you with:

  • Your own furnished room
  • Full board – 3 meals a day
  • Provide access to the internet
  • 2 days off per week
  • Clear outline of duties and responsibilities
  • Pocket money to be paid weekly

The only experience I have is looking after my younger siblings; can I still be an au pair?  You can still apply to be an au pair, however there is no guarantee we will be able to place you. It will depend on what the host family requires. The host family may choose to meet you and interview you. If you make it to this stage, you can show off how amazing you will be.

Remember that childcare experience is not limited to babysitting – it also includes; tutoring, sports coaching and camp councillors.

What hours will I work? You will need to work between 20 – 40 hours per week depending on your host family. You will have two days off per week (usually the weekend). 

Do I have to live with the family? Yes, you will need to live with your host family. They will provide you with your own room in their house.

Do I have to drive a car? This will depend on your host family. However, for most host families you will be required to drive. If you are nervous about driving in Australia, you can let your host family know. They can spend some time with you driving to make sure you are able to drive confidently and safely here.

Do I need to provide my own food? All of your meals are included throughout the duration of your stay as an au pair. If you have any specific dietary needs you will need to inform your host family so they can cater for you. If you want your own snacks, you will need to buy them yourself.

My English is not very good; do I have to speak a lot of English? You will need to have a conversational level of English to be an au pair. If you are not confident speaking English you will struggle trying to communicate with your host family. Of course your English does not need to be perfect as you will further your English skills whilst living with your host family. 

How long do I need to stay with my host family? You are expected to stay 6 months with your host family. However there may be some placements that last 3 months.

Do I need a child care qualification to be an au pair? No, you will not need a child care qualification to be an au pair. However you do need experience caring for children. We will check your experience working with children during the screening process. You will need to supply references from previous employers.

If you do have a child care qualification this will give you a greater chance of us placing you with a host family.

What if I do not like my host family? Sometimes things do not work out, and we cannot guarantee that you will get along with your host family. Your contract will state there is a 14 day notice period. However before giving notice, you will need to get in touch with our Job Search representatives to offer advice and counselling. Prior to giving in your notice we recommend you communicate with your family. You need to keep communication lines open and it is best to talk about any issues that may arise. Sometimes just talking about any problems may lead to a resolution.