Au Pair, a different definition of BEING RICH
Ever wondered how you could become a modern Mary Poppins and travel the world? Becoming an Au Pair is the closest thing to that and if you are ready to embark on, you’re an experience that changes and improves your life, get your passport ready and keep reading.
Are you good with children and love to be around little kiddos helping them reach their potential?
This is for you.
An Au Pair is a live-in babysitter that enters a family to help with children and alleviate the parents’ burden of time managing parenting. If you think people don’t hire live-in babysitter especially from a different country, think again. There are many military families with a deployed spouse where the other need extra help, families where one or both parents work long hours, travel long time, single parents, twin parents, or just parents that need extra help with homeschooling that want to hire an Au Pair to make their life easier. An Au Pair is a young unmarried person without children that wants to travel, explore the world while taking care of the best humans there are. I was 20 when I left for the US for three months and it was a great experience that I repeated it a couple more times for shorter times closer to home.
What are the tasks of an Au Pair?
As Au Pair your tasks may vary on the needs of the hiring family, on the age of the children, on the number or special needs of children. You may need to take and collect them from school, afternoon activities, help them with homework, take them to the park, play at home, cook food for them and clean after them. It is usually the care of the children plus a light housework. An Au Pair is not a domestic help, but just a temporary family member that is part of the family life helping with the family daily life and making it easier. But also it is not a 24/7 kind of job. The hours are set and agreed by both parties and Au Pairs do have free time, sometimes full days, to explore and enjoy.
How much does it pay?
Au Pair’s salary is not very high in most cases because the housing and food situation is taken care of by the hosting family. This reduces the expenses by a good degree but also the possible salary. As Au Pair, depending on the country and the hiring family you can make 50 to 200 $ per week. It is not a job that make you financially rich, but it is one of the best that gives you amazing skills for life and you get to play with kids all day.
Pros and cons
I loved the possibility to improve and learn new languages. Living in a different country opens your mind and makes you discover cultures, food and people and live experiences that will make you a better person. You have food and housing expenses already paid for and usually also have a transportation available when is not needed by the family, if you drive and they let you use their car, otherwise the transportation expenses to move around are usually paid by the family, especially if you need it to take the children to school or else. You can totally immerse yourself in a different culture and learn not only the language but also traditions, way of life, and experience new food and places. As part of the family you also bring your own culture to the table and learning from each other is a benefit for both parties.
As a con, privacy is not great as you are living inside a family dynamic and the only space where you can fully relaxed is in your room. Oftentimes the travel expenses are on the Au Pair but also this can be talked and agreed. Families can refund or pay for the return flight so that they can be on both sides.
You are part of the family but also a guest.
How long are contracts?
You can do it while on holiday from or done with college, taking time off your regular life, whenever suits your life better and for the time you want. Try to find an agreement with the family to a time that suits you both better. It can be a few months to a full year to even more. It is up to you how long you want to commit and up to the family how much help they need.
Platforms to find work
This job can sometimes be found privately between the two parties or found through third parties general platforms or specialized platforms just for Au Pairs. An easy google search will show many options. Also you can digit Au Pair plus the country you want to travel to and there might be Au Pair platforms that are specific of that country, which might make the search of a family easier
GreatAuPair – scroll all the way down, tons of resources to learn more about childcare, know about contract, look for job by language and country and much more
AuPairWorld – easy to navigate with lots of real testimonials
FindAuPair – limites to a few countries, but great overall
GoOveraseas – abroad programs of all kinds
These are all trusted platforms where you can start your search with.
What makes a good Au Pair
You definitely need to care and love children, that is your job, not the family, not the adults, but the care of the little ones. Au pair means “on equal footing”, it does not mean domestic help, cleaner, language teachers, carer for the elderly, dog sitter or seasonal worker. It might be your first time with children, don’t worry about any pedagogical training or formal experience, it is not requested. Au pairs should be regarded as temporary family members who, like any family member, pitch in to make family life better and more enjoyable for all. Make sure to know exactly what the hiring family need from you and deliver that on a daily basis. Good communication is key, especially with a job that has many tasks. It is important to get clear instructions from the hiring family, and give boundaries on what you are willing and not willing to do. Learning what they need you to and don’t need you to do, is a must, especially with the cares if minors. You can even write it all down clearly in the contract before getting hired. Just make your arrangements beforehand and make communication a number one priority in order not to have any issues or problems that can make the living situation awkward or difficult. Au pair and host family need to discuss all important aspects of the au pair job beforehand and agree on both parties both benefits and duties to guarantee a good stay. Everything should be discussed pocket money, working hours, tasks, recreational activities, holidays, daily duties with the children and in the house. These topics should ideally be clarified in writing prior to the au pair’s arrival to make the experience the best possible on both side. You are entering and becoming part of a real family, your positive attitude and the right communication are your best tools to make it the best experience possible.
Stay tuned for more job opportunities that pay you to travel.