The Au Pair programme is in essence a cultural exchange programme. In exchange for being given pocket money, a room and board, they can offer some of their time to assist with light housework and predominantly childcare duties within the host family home. Au Pairs tend to be young and inexperienced. They are not professional child carers, and should not be regarded as such. Most Au Pairs come to the UK as part of a “Gap Year” Experience and to improve their English. They are treated and regarded as part of the family and not the hired help.
For the Au Pair, their objectives for participating in the au pair programme are:
While the profile of the Au Pair has changes in recent years in the UK (increasingly Au Pairs come from all parts of Eastern Europe, as well as from France, Spain and Italy), the role of the Au Pair hasn't fundamentally changed. Arguably, more families in the UK make use of the Au Pair programme than a decade ago or longer.
But what should be clear is the Au Pair is not a domestic worker, or domestic servant.
The French term, "au pair" means 'on a par' or 'equal to'. The Au Pair is, therefore, meant to be part of the family, not a domestic servant.
Most people know what an Au Pair is in principle. The typical profile is a young woman (and increasingly) young man, who live with a family in a foreign country for 6-12 months. They live as part of the family, helping in the home for a set number of days and hours a week. Crucially, they are in many senses part of the family rather than a worker or servant. They should receive a reasonable allowance, as well as a private room. Apart from the modest monetary reward, the Au Pair enjoys first hand experience of another culture, and a direct means to improve their English.
Rainbow Au Pairs follow the guidelines set by BAPAA (British Au Pair Agencies Association). The following guidelines are the new standards for the Au Pair Programme and will be fully implemented by 1st January 2018. These changes have come about to streamline the au pair programme and to entice candidates to come to our wonderful country and learn our language. As of 1st January 2018, the au pair plus programme will no longer be offered.
We can tell you a lot more and you will probably have many more questions . Please do contact us.
Nature of the Programme: The Au Pair programme is a cultural exchange programme. Au Pairs must be welcomed as a member of the family. The vast majority of Au Pairs are young people taking a 6-12 month gap in their studies to improve their knowledge of language and culture.
Age: An Au Pair is aged 18 – 30 and BAPAA recommends member Agencies do not place any Au Pair under the minimum age guideline. An Au Pair without visa requirements (from EU) can be older.
Hours on duty: Au Pairs can be on duty up to 30 hours per week to include any evening babysitting that is required.
Keep in mind that an Au Pair is an unqualified child carer. Their hours and duties should reflect this. An Au Pair should not be expected to have sole charge of a child all day unless exceptional circumstances occur.
An Au Pair cannot perform regular night duties – BAPAA does not recommend that an Au Pair regularly babysits or is solely responsible for a child or children overnight. I.E. Parents cannot leave the Au Pair regularly in charge overnight, whilst they are away on business/holiday or working night shifts. Furthermore, the Au Pair cannot be given responsibility for looking after a child or children at night (given baby monitor etc) whilst parents are also in the home. If the Au Pair is ever required to do this, a responsibility payment should be given.
Pocket Money and Additional Incentives: