Au Pair in Australia
Each year around 10,000 young men and women travel to Australia to work as au pairs. In return, they are given a room and board and an allowance.
Hiring au pairs from abroad is considered to be one of the better solutions to the child care crisis in the country. Australian Nannies Association vice-president Annemarie Sansom said hiring au pairs from abroad meant that there were more flexible options available to families as many couldn’t afford a traditional nanny.
As a matter of fact, a live-in au-pair is quite possibly the cheapest form of childcare in Australia. This is a great option to have for working parents who need someone to take care of their children while they are away at work.
Most au pairs working in Australia are young people from Europe, who are here on holiday visas. Most take up the job during a gap year. Hiring the perfect au pair isn’t as easy as it sounds for families as they often have to go through the ones who are clearly not suitable for the job, till they find someone who is just perfect.
So, what’s an Au Pair?
An au pair is simply a childcare provider, or one who takes care of children and lives with the host family. In return for taking care of their child, parents pay the au pair a pocket money, a room and food.
Essentially, an au pair is treated as a member of the family, not as hired help. After all, the term “au pair” means “on a par with” or “equal to” in French. An au pair may also be required to help out with the household duties, such as cooking or cleaning.
An au pair should adjust his or her schedule to fit in with that of the parents. Generally, an au pair is a young unmarried man or woman who is over the age of 18 who is comfortable with children and has basic childcare abilities.
What’s the duration of an Au Pair program?
In Australia, an au pair program lasts 6 months. But generally, this depends on the needs of the family and the au pair’s plans. Visa restrictions are also important here.
Is the Au Pair program just what you’re looking for?
If you’re looking to be an au pair in Australia, it would help tremendously if you love children and taking care of them. You should have a lot of child care experience – so any babysitting experience done in the past will come in handy.
Yes, caring for younger siblings or nephews and nieces counts while you apply for the job, but what parents are really looking for is if you have done any babysitting for children of non-family members as well. Such experiences are important and references would count for a lot. In fact, 200 hours of childcare experience is expected in most au pair programs.
As an au pair, you will be required to make yourself available at various times of the day – such as in the early morning, evenings and middle of the day as well, especially when the parents need you to be with the child the most. So you have to be perfectly adjustable with the parents’ schedule.
Host families are screened by the organizers of the au pair program and go through a systematic interview and vetting process. For the most part, Australian parents are wonderful, progressive people and you shouldn’t have any serious issues living with them and taking care of their children.
How much can you make as an Au Pair in Australia?
As an au pair in Australia, you will be required to provide 25 to 35 hours of childcare each week, and for this you will be paid $170 to $340 AUD per week, depending on your experience, children’s ages and the family’s needs. Your duties will include taking children to school, preparing meals for the children, doing light housework as long as it relates to the children, tutoring them and playing with them. You will be expected to show genuine love and affection for the children – this is a must.
So, is the au pair job the one you are looking for in Australia? Do tell us if this is something you think is worth considering.