What does Au Pair mean?
The word Au Pair is a french term meaning “on par” or “equal to”.
What is the difference between an Au Pair and a Nanny?
Whist both an Au Pair and a Nanny’s main focus is the same – caring for children in a home environment, there are a few clear differences between the two.
An au pair is a male or female between the ages of 18-30 from a country outside of Australia and may or may not have childcare experience. They will come to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa for a cultural experience. Au pairs generally don't make a career out of childcare.
As part of their cultural exchange experience, an Au Pair becomes a member of your family, in exchange for room, board, and weekly wage, they help with childcare and light housework and have the opportunity to travel and experience life in Australia. They generally stay with a family for up to 6 months and travel after their placement. Many families choose an au pair as they want their children to also experience another culture or learn a second language. An Au Pair is also an affordable child care option, as the cost stays the same regardless of how many children there are in the family. Au Pairs generally care for the children for a maximum of 30 hours per week.
Nannies generally are found within your own country. Most Nannies will have experience in childcare and some childcare related qualifications. They are generally wanting to make childcare their career.
Can I be an Au Pair if I am male?
Absolutely! Male Au Pairs are just as welcome to apply as females are. Some families really enjoy having a male Au Pair join their family.
I’ve submitted my application form, how long do I have to wait?
Whilst we will work our hardest to place you as soon as we can, it can take a couple of months to successfully screen and match you with a Host Family / Au Pair that will compliment your needs.
Do I need a Visa to Au Pair in Australia?
Yes – To be an Au Pair in Australia, you will need to apply for a Visa. Please find the relevant website here.
The Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) or the Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462) is a temporary visa for young people who want to holiday and work in Australia for up to a year. It is a temporary visa that encourages cultural exchange and closer ties between Australia and eligible countries.
First Working Holiday visa: You must be outside Australia when you apply for your first Working Holiday visa and when the visa is decided.
Second Working Holiday visa: If you apply in Australia, you must be in Australia when the visa is granted. If you apply outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the visa is granted.
Working in Australia – six months with one employer: You can generally only work six months with one employer, unless you've been given permission by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to work longer.
An Au Pair can be given an employment extension, detailed below. If you wish to work for longer than six months you must apply to the Department for an employment extension (see link below) – if you work beyond six months without permission you are in breach of your visa conditions.
From 21 July 2015, permission to work longer than six months with an employer may be given where a Working Holiday (subclass 417) or Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa holder has been employed as an au pair with a family and is seeking to continue that employment for a further period.
To be considered an au pair, your primary responsibility must be the care of a family's children, rather than any domestic work. The youngest child being cared for should not be older than 12 years of age (that is, primary school age or younger).
A working holiday visa allows you to work while having the holiday of a lifetime. You will have the opportunity to share your culture, knowledge and skills whilst discovering our unique landscape.
I have young children, can I have an Au Pair?
There is no age requirement for children, however if you have a child under the age of 2, we would recommend an au pair with baby experience.
I have a child with a disability. Can I have an Au Pair?
Au Pairs can definitely care for a child with a disability, however the Au Pair will need to have been trained in disability and the care needs to be discussed and agreed upon.
Can I drive a car when I’m in Australia?
In Australia, laws and driving regulations differ from state to state. Some states require you to carry an International Licence with your current foreign licence. Other states request you carry your current foreign driver's licence together with a formal translation of your licence into English.
In most Australian states and territories (the exception is the Northern Territory), you are able to drive on a overseas licence as long as it is current. You can only drive vehicles which your overseas licence authorises you to drive and you must drive according to any conditions on your overseas licence. Please refer to http://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/transport-and-regional/driving-with-an-overseas-licence for more information.
Some host families may require you to drive the children around as part of your duties and may allow you to use a car during your free time. The host family will need appropriate insurance to cover the au pair when driving. It is recommended that a discussion takes place in regards to what happens if a car accident occurs – who pays the excess, is there an extra fee for younger drivers and is there an extra fee for not being a nominated driver. We recommend you document what agreement you have arranged with the Host Family / Au Pair.
Please familiarise yourself with our laws and road rules before driving a car in Australia. Different states in Australia, have different laws.
Remember in Australia, we drive on the left hand side of the road.
Do I need to provide the Au Pair with their own bedroom?
Yes – The Au Pair will need to have their own private bedroom.
It will be the Au Pair’s responsibility to keep their bedroom tidy, as well as common areas they may share with the rest of the family. It is not essential to provide the Au Pair with their own bathroom.
What does Light duties mean?
This will vary between families depending on their needs and requirements. The duties that the host family will require the au pair to perform should be written on the schedule which is agreed to by both parties.
Light Duties may include: laundry, vacuuming, cleaning up after the children and cooking for the children.
The Au Pair isn’t expected to clean the house, clean a pool, do gardening or wash the cars.
An Au Pair may be asked to do some grocery shopping or other activities involving the children.
I’m not happy with my Au Pair / Host Family, can I get a different one?
We understand that sometimes even though both the Au Pair and the Host families were appropriately screened, matched and chosen by you, upsets may happen that can’t be resolved.
It is very important that you try and have a discussion together about any issues that are concerning you and try and reach a solution. Sometimes it may just be the Au Pair feeling homesick or unsure on something they have been asked to do. Remember constant communication is the key to a happy and successful cultural experience placement.