I started Au Pairing in Australia, Perth for a wonderful family in 2015. (The details are disclosed for the family’s privacy) At first I didn’t really understand what an Au Pair was until I met 3 girls on the east coast. They started telling me all about their lives and then the golden ball dropped, they told me that they all worked as Au Pairs and that’s when my journey began…….
They told me all about their life, free accommodation, free food and spending money too. I thought, this was too good to be true. You can also do it for as long as YOU want. I chose 4 months first because I wanted to test the water but you can literally do it for as long as you want. 1 month – 24 it’s completely down to you. Also the best part is that all over the world need Au Pairs so you could be spending 6 months in New Zealand hiking everyday or 2 months in Italy, stuffing your face with gelato, like me.
There is a difference between a nanny and an Au Pair. A nanny has: set rules, regulations of free time, pay etc. However an Au Pair is more of a family member than a worker. We are not really or very rarely scheduled to a contract, we just establish the group rules from host to Au Pair. Most people hire us from the internet because it’s the easiest way of finding someone from around the globe.
At first I thought I’m going to have loads of free time to explore and see the culture from their view however I was wrong, not in a bad way though. The sole purpose of being an Au Pair is being able to help the mother with the needs of her children, you practically have to take the role of an older brother or sister and slowly create an atmosphere that the children respect you and see you as a motherly figure whilst also their teacher.
My daily roles vary from day-to-day, it all depends on what the family has planned. If they have school, you have free time of course to explore, after school you have the responsibility to entertain or teach the kids, if they are from somewhere where english isn’t their mother tongue you have to learn how to adapt to their needs by signals or gestures. I cook, clean sometimes and most importantly I help them develop into a pretty awesome human being.
Being an Au Pair creates so many incredible opportunities which as a traveller I wouldn’t have experienced if on my own. They make you feel like part of the family, they take you to meals with their friends and most importantly they show you the true side of their culture. I’ve learnt so much from working in this position and it’s so easy to get involved with.
- AU PAIR WORLD
- TWIN UK
- AU PAIR.COM
These are many different sites to find a family if you’re looking for this kind of experience.
I must be honest as not every family isn’t as great as what my two have been, there is always minor problems so make sure you Skype and just generally feel good about who you’re talking too. You can get some parents who will try to take you for your time and pay you inadequately but that’s where your common sense should kick in.
Finally I’ve found that being an Au pair is great for a lot of different reasons, one which I found was quite interesting. With some countries Au Pairing lets you do things that normal travellers can’t, for example if you Au Pair for 3 months in a rural part of Australia, if they sign the forms and pay you right it can be classed as your work for the land which equals in your second year! A clean room, wifi, food and no apple picking for you…….