What is an Au Pair?
An au pair is an individual, usually foreign, who lives with a family and looks after their children or does housework in exchange for room, board and a small salary – usually just enough for pocket/spending money during the period of employment.
Do I Need Qualifications?
This varies from family to family but most families will want someone who has some experience looking after children, and who comes with solid references from trustworthy individuals. Foreign nationals from outside the EU may also require a specific visa which allows them into the UK in order to work as an au pair.
How Do I Find an Au Pair Job?
Because an au pair lives with his or her employing family, many jobs come through agencies or personal references. If you have no experience as an au pair than going to an agency may be your best way to gain some initial experience. There are alot of those on the Internet.
If a family wishes to invite someone to join their family as an au pair they have to ensure that the working times, pay or allowance and general conditions meet the requirements of the official UK au pair scheme.
- If you are from an EU country Au pairs do not need a visa to work in the UK as an au pair.
- Au pairs from Commonwealth countries can work as au pairs if they have entered the UK on a working holiday visa.
- If you are from any other country then you will have to apply for a visa to come to the UK
Do I Need Previous Experience?
Most families and agencies will want to see at least some experience working with children or families before they will be comfortable hiring an individual as an au pair. For someone who lacks this experience, personal references from trusted friends of possible employers may be the best option for finding work.
What are the Benefits Disadvantages of being an Au Pair?
Becoming an au pair allows an individual to travel without going through many of the same qualifications processes as other job categories, and can be a great way to travel and see other countries after or before the work.
However, because an individual is employed by a family and often lives with that family, it is important to find an employer with whom one has a compatible lifestyle to avoid conflict or tension in the house. Making ones expectations very clear from the outset – on both the familys and au pairs sides – is very important.
Will I Work On My Own or With Others?
Any au pair will work closely with his or her employing family, but contact with others and opportunities for time off from work can be very limited.
Why not read our guide on getting a job in the beauty industry?
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