August 22, 2016
An Au Pair is a young foreign person aged 18+ who lives as part of the family and is given pocket money (typically £70-£125 per week). In return for pocket money, board and lodging your Au Pair will help you with the children and housework for around 25-35 hours per week.
Au Pairs are seen as being low cost compared to having a professional nanny. They are given a certain amount of pocket money depending on how many hours they help plus full board and lodging.
Au pairs can babysit a couple times a week. You leave the house knowing your children are being looked after by someone you have gained a trusting relationship with.
Having an extra pair of hands around the house is very beneficial when living a busy life. Au pairs can do light house work and other duties around the house. Unlike nannies, Au pairs help you out with simpler tasks around the house. Whereas a nannies sole job is to look after children and nursery duties.
A final pro of having an Au pair is that your children are being introduced to a new culture and language. Living in a world full of diversity it is a good experience for your child to spend time learning about other cultures.
An extra person is staying in your home. This means buying more food, and paying for another person to use your water, electric etc. Therefore expect your bills to be higher than they were before. As well as this, if you are going on holiday and they are coming, you will have to pay for their share etc.
Unlike nannies, Au pairs do not necessarily have the same qualifications. As a result of this, Au pairs should not be left in sole charge of babies and children aged under 3 years. However, they can pick up older children from school / pre-school and babysit. Therefore if you have young children perhaps look at hiring a nanny.
Its worth noting that Au pairs typically like staying with families in London, or in large Towns – preferably a city. If you live in the country side the Au pair will find it isolating and may well become home sick unless you can provide good links to transport, a language course and opportunities to meet with other Au pairs.
Finally, it takes a while to get used to having a stranger in your house with a potential language barrier. Bear this in mind when thinking about an Au pair as the initial few weeks/months may not be easy.
However, like all childcare, different types of childcare work well in different families. With Harmony at Home you will be able to find the perfect childcare for you.
REMEMBER: an Au Pair is not your employee. You can expect most Au Pairs to babysit for 2 nights a week, attend a language course during the week, and generally spend the weekend meeting friends and exploring the UK.
Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2016