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Au pair Australia
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Find a hosting family in Australia free of charge wish us
Find a hosting family in Australia free of charge wish us

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Au pair living conditions

The following content is meant as a guide, and the objective is to communicate not just the minimum requirements, but what living conditions are likely to be advantageous for the au pair.

Minimum requirements:

Please note that some countries have specific minimum requirements for living conditions. Where living conditions are not specified, Au pair Australia believes that an au pair must have their own bedroom for the duration of the contract in the family home at a minimum.

The au pair should always feel welcome in the shared areas of the house. It is very important to treat the au pair as a "big sister" / another equal family member.

Please note that the au pair bedroom is considered their own private space and the family (including the children!) need to respect this.

Additional Items that are advantageous

Each family will have unique living conditions, and each au pair will be attracted to different things. The main aim is to have comfortable living conditions and a family should highlight the benefits of living with them

Suitable wardrobe / walk in robe - no one likes living out of a suitcase / backpack for an extended period.
Access to a TV
Access to a computer (many bring their own)
Internet Access (please ensure that you are clear about usage limits, as many au pairs stream TV shows and movies in their spare time)
Access to a car or public transport - au pairs often like to visit friends, travel, and do other activities in the spare time - the easier it is for them to do that, the happier they will be!
House Location - highlight if you are close to the city / cafes / shops / shopping centre, beach, snow, sporting grounds and so on. Again the more activities that an au pair can have access to that they enjoy, the happier they will be!
Access to other au pairs - if you have friends or know other families with au pairs, it is a big advantage as the au pair knows that they will have the opportunity to meet with each other and have some new friends who are going through the same type of experience as they are

If you have any comments regarding this, please Email us - we value your feedback!
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Au pair job duties - definitions and guidelines

Job duties will vary from family to family and country to country. To make it easier for au pairs and families to find the best match, we have created a list of job duties that au pairs generally perform. We have included these job duties in our search criteria so that families can easily find an au pair that is happy to perform the job duties they require, and also au pairs can easily find families that require job duties that they are happy to perform.

We recommend that the au pair's jobs be clearly stated in the contract/agreement. It is very important that the au pair knows exactly what jobs they will be required to perform before they leave their home country and are satisfied with what they are required to do.

Please find below information on each of the job duties that we have created:

Housework Definition:

To reduce the amount of confusion for what is considered light housework versus other duties. We recommend that the employment contract be clear regarding the duties that the au pair is required to perform to avoid any misunderstandings.

Light housework (an au pair will typically do some or all of these duties):

Doing the laundry i.e. putting the washing on, hanging it out, folding and putting it away
Ironing
Vacuuming
Preparing breakfast and lunch for the children
Cooking the dinner
Baking
Cleaning up after meals
Keeping the children's rooms and play/living areas tidy.
Keeping their own room, and the bathroom they use clean and tidy

Shopping and Errands:


Shopping and errands can include a variety of activities including grocery shopping, walking the children to school or activities, dropping off or picking up dry cleaning etc…

Disabled Care:


Disabled care involves looking after a child who is disabled. Due to the varying nature of disabilities, We suggest that families and au pairs talk openly about the requirements the family has, and the duties the au pair will be required to perform.

Elderly Care:


Elderly care involves the au pair either:
Assisting with the care of an elderly person who also lives with the family. The au pair will also be required to look after children, and provide some care for the elderly person
Provide care to an elderly person who lives at home on their own. This type of au pair job is not as common as looking after children.

Please refer to Aged Care for further information.

** Please note that an au pair is NOT required to provide nursing services, and an au pair is only a realistic option for elderly people who are able to look after themselves, and require some help with shopping and errands, light housework and would like some company…

Care of infants under 2 years:


Care of infants requires activities such as feeding the child, changing their nappy, bathing the child, and depending on the family may include assisting during nights to bottle feed the child.

Pet Care:


Due to the varying nature of pets in the home, we recommend that if pet care is required, it is clearly explained in the family profile. Pet care could involve duties such as taking the dog (or other animal?) for a walk, feeding the pet and bathing the pet if applicable.

Cooking Meals:


Cooking meals involves cooking some or all of the family meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner / evening meal. Cooking meals can include making the children's school lunch in the morning.

Driving:


Many families require the au pair to drive. Driving conditions may be very good, or in some countries / cities driving conditions can be very difficult and sometimes dangerous (e.g. in ice / snow) particularly if you are not used to driving on those conditions.

We recommend the family is clear on the requirements for driving and both the family and au pair should ensure the au pair is insured.

Please refer to Car Use - Guidelines and Driving Insurance for further information.

Additional job duties:


Some countries have very strict rules about what an au pair is allowed to do and how many hours they are allowed to work. Other countries (like Australia) do not have as strict rules and hence there is more flexibility for what is allowed.
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The advantages of being an au pair 

The au pair experience - Are you ready for an adventure?
You're just about to do your A-levels or to finish up with some other phase of your studies, and the questions begin - What shall I do now? Go to college - but where? Find a job - but doing what? Maybe it's simply not so clear to you yet what you'd like to do later. And maybe what you'd like best of all is first to see something of the world, to have some adventures, to discover your independence. We have an idea for you: Go ahead and give it a try! Discover the adventure of au pairing in a foreign country! 

Spending time as an au pair is a terrific way to find out more what you'd like to do with your life. Before you go to university or during a gap year in your studies or vocational training, the au pair experience can offer very special benefits. As an au pair, you gain a unique set of experiences and can discover more about your own wishes and about yourself. What are you waiting for after all? Let your au pair adventure begin: Travel through the world. Discover another culture. Learn another language and about being independent. Seek out new challenges and become part of a new family!

Not convinced yet? 
The special thing about au pairing is not just being able to live cheaply in another country. What stands out even more is the possibility of getting to know the country and the people as they really are. And how could you better become familiar with life in your dream country, with the culture and the language, than by living with a host family that comes from there? As an au pair you're part of a family, a temporary big sister or big bother taking care of littler ones and helping out with household chores. You receive pocket money for what you do and have room and board at no cost with your new family.

Good for your CV, too!

Besides the challenges and the unforgettable adventures and experiences, being an au pair also can do something for your future career. Good foreign language skills, intercultural compentence and international experience look great on any CV!
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I hope that this can help someone.
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Fabulous poem for all child care workers
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The best thing about having an au pair is more time with our children. Do you agree?
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Considering calling it quits with your Au Pair?
Frustrated? 
Had enough?

It could be that your Au Pair is always late, or doesn't pick up after herself or sits around waiting for you to tell her what she needs to do. Many times it is a combination of all these. Before you take drastic action, ensure you do these five things:

1. COMMUNICATE - Talk honestly and openly with your Au Pair - what is it that is making you unhappy with her?
2. CALM DOWN - Give her the benefit of the doubt - she may really not know what to do, or may have blurred the lines between being 'at home' and 'working' - for example make on duty and off duty times clear.
3. GIVE IT TIME - Tell her what needs to change and how long she has to make it work and schedule a date for the next 'family meeting' to discuss your progress.
4. TRAIN HER - Ensure you've spent enough time training her - remind yourself that this is all new to her and that she needs time to understand and work it out. Ask her if anything is unclear.
5. WRITE IT DOWN - Do you have a written schedule that she can follow so that she doesn't need your guidance to get on with the day? Have everything you want done in a day written down and have her tick it all off as she goes until it becomes second nature.

It's easy to just give up. Everybody deserves a second chance - especially when they are so far from home without support.
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Do you have a family handbook? Your handbook gives your Au Pair much needed information that would otherwise be forgotten. It is a resource that can be referred to when needed and often pre-empts potential issues. Some possible topics include: personal contact details, the details of emergency contacts, school/daycare contacts, information about the children (likes, dislikes what tv shows they can watch, for how long), family rules, behaviour management, what to take on outings, which domestic tasks your Au Pair is responsible for, health and safety issues, holiday schedule, public transport information, how to raise issues with the family, what your Au Pair can and can't help herself to, house rules including rules about having guests stay, internet guidelines, food rules, confidentiality....the list goes on - these are topics I have gathered with assistance from many, many host families. Each family is different and you will need to decide what you feel is important to mention.
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