Does Your Family Need An Au Pair?

A good friend of mine has a job with long hours and a lengthy commute; a hectic social life; an active role in her local community, PTA etc; far-flung family; an abhorrence of convenience foods; and two under tens. Something’s got to give! Well actually no, it doesn’t, because two years ago she decided to employ her first au pair, and she has never looked back.

In fact, the whole family have benefitted enormously. The girls always know who will be picking them up from school or be at home with them; the house is run perfectly; the laundry gets done; proper food gets cooked; and everything runs like clockwork. Not that the au pair does all that all the time, but she is there to help and to ensure that everyone else has the time they need to do their bit too.

Au pairs can work for all sorts of families, and provide a helping hand in all sorts of ways.  The word au pair comes from the French language and means "on a par" or "equal to". The concept originated in Europe to enable young people to study part-time and work part-time and have their main focus on learning the language, culture and customs of the host country.

Today au pairs have the opportunity to be an au pair in many countries throughout the world. The main aim of the program is still for a cultural exchange. An au pair is generally a single girl or boy aged between 17 and 30. The au pair lives with a host family and helps out with childcare and light housework in exchange for pocket money, room and board. In many countries, the au pair also does job duties like laundry, petcare, shopping and errands, driving (school pickup and drop off, and driving to activities) etc...

If you would like to know more about the benefits of having an au pair, read on.You may be thinking that an au pair is only for certain types of families, or people with a high level of income, but here are some facts from, a site which exists to bring au pairs and families together.

An au pair is very cost effective:

• Under 25 hours per week, and au pair in UK should earn approximately £55 per week

• An au pair in UK working approximately 25 hours per week should be paid £70-75 and an au pair plus working up to 35 hours per week should be paid £95-100 per week.

• An au pair in UK working extra hours (for example in the school holidays) should expect to earn approximately £2.50 per hour above the usual working hours.

The family does not have to pay for travel costs to / from the UK, nor do they have to pay for insurance costs for the au pair.

Good value for money versus a Nanny or Childcare centre:

A Nanny can cost between £200 and £400 per week for approximately 60 hours work. Age, experience and location will determine pay

A childcare centre can cost between £150-£200 per child per week, and they don't help you tidy the house, cook meals, do laundry etc...

Au pair duties are flexible, and can include:

• Childcare

• Light housework

• Cooking

• Laundry

• Pet care

• Shopping and Errands

• Driving the children to and from school and activities

Au pairs can be an au pair in the UK from the following countries:

• EU citizens as well as citizens from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and nationals of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Monaco, Taiwan or a British overseas citizen, British overseas territories citizen or British national overseas, have the possibility to work as an au pair in UK.

Finally, TheBestAupair is not an au pair agency, hence there are no large agency fees!

It only costs $50AUD (£34) for a 2 month premium membership - where you can contact as many au pairs as you like for 2 months.

For families who want an au pair, but don't know how to go about getting one, you can find all the information you need in's download centre*:

• We have a Step by Step Guide that covers everything from the idea of having an au pair to when they arrive at your house

• We have an extensive Interview Guide to interview au pairs with

• We have a reference check guide

• We have sample au pair schedules to help families plan what their au pair will do each week

• We have a sample au pair contract

If you have any further questions or concerns about having an au pair, you can almost certainly find an answer in the extensive A to Z index on

Like my friend and her family, hiring your first au pair could well be the best decision you ever made!

*The download centre can be seen by everyone, but only premium members can download the content.

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