What is an Au Pair?

What is an au pair?

An au pair is a young adult whose age is included between 18th and 30th year old, he is not married and without kids, and decides to spend a certain amount of time living abroad with a host family. During his stay, the new member of the family helps taking care of the kids and does some light housework.

The expression “au pair” comes from the French and means “being equal”. For this reason, in exchange of his help, the young adult earn a pocket money and is considered for all intents and purposes, a new member of the family.
The amount of the pocket money and of the weekly working hours are legitimated by every hosting country. The goal of an experience as an au pair is the reciprocal cultural exchange, with the advantage of living in a protected family environment.

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In quality of “big brother or sister”, the au pair has the temporary responsibility to take cared of the kids. Thanks to the help of the family members, he enhances his knowledge of the foreign language, and normally he also takes a language course.
He has the opportunity be part of the host family’s life and gets a proper idea of culture, language, and customs of the foreign country. He learns the daily habits of the family, and as a consequence, other customs and traditions.
An au pair earns new experiences, new ideas and new points of view – all valuable things, useful also for a future professional career.

Duties:

As au pair, you will become completing part of the hosting family, and for that reason, during your stay, you are going to help them with everyday chores. In quality of “acquired son or daughter” you are going to be responsible especially of taking care of the kids.
it is a high responsibility job. Moreover you should perform some light housekeeping work related to kids, for example:

  • Pack their meals
  • Do the laundry, iron and fold their clothes
  • Clean up their rooms
  • Drive them to school or wherever they have afternoon activities
  • Help them with the homework

You should be clear about your duties, but also your rights. An au pair is not a nanny, neither a cleaning lady or a caregiver. An au pair is not an employer, but a family member for all intents and purposes for the all length of the stay.

General requirements:

To be eligible to become and au pair is important to have an age included between 18th and 30th year old, not being married and without kids. Who decides to become an au pair must have the will of taking care of kids and learn their culture. Before leaving is essential knowing the basic of the langue of the country you are going to live in. Moreover it is important to have some savings to pay for the moving expenses, since most of the times it is the au pair responsibility taking care of them.

Requirements for the United States:

  • Are between the ages of 18 and 26 (included)
  • Have experience in taking care of kids (some agencies require a certain amount of certified hours)
  • Are a secondary school graduate, or equivalent
  • Are proficient in spoken English (at least a B1 level)
  • Have successfully passed a background investigation that includes verification of school, three, non-family related personal and employment references, a criminal background check or its recognized equivalent and a personality profile.
  • Have the driving license
  • Want to spend a year abroad

What do you get:

  •  A round trip ticket from your country
  • A 12th month visa (+1)
  • Medical insurance
  • Food and rent paid (included your own bedroom)
  • A weekly pocket money of 195,75$
  • 500$ to complete you educational credits
  • The opportunity to spend your 13th month travelling in the United States
  • Extend your stay for another 6/12 months
  • Constant support from your agency once during your stay. Your local coordinator will be your reference point throughout your stay. She will give you information about classes and will introduce you to the other au pairs in the area.
  • Once arrived an orientation (3 days) it is offered in New York. It is completely paid and you are going to stay in an Hotel. (You only have to pay for the meals and the New York City’s Tour – optional)

The contract:

  •  Work no more then 45 hours per week and no more then 10 hours per day
  • Have 1 and half day off per week and full weekend off per month (at least)
  • Have2 fully paid weeks of vacation per year

What is an host family?

By “host family” you mean a family unit – in which a kid underage is still living – that decides to host an au pair coming from another country. Even a one parent family can host an au pair if the kids are still living with them. The au pair becomes a member of the family and consequently takes part in all their activities.

More info: here

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