British Families : A GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL AU-PAIR ARRANGEMENTS

Premier Au-Pair Agency assures you a first class service both during the selection of your nanny, aupair, mother’s help, housekeeper, carer/companion or groom and throughout their stay with your family.
The Au-Pair arrangement offers a good opportunity for the applicants both from Western and Eastern Europe to learn the English language, whilst living as a member of a resident English-speaking family. Au-Pair applicants usually are available for a minimum of six months throughout the year and also there are a number of girls who want to come for approximately two months during the summer holiday period.

AGE

All applicants accepted by this agency are aged between 17-27 years old.
Mothers helps, housekeepers, carers/companions and grooms can be older upto 60 yrs of age, however please remember Tax & NI will need to be arranged

DUTIES

An Au-Pair must be prepared to help her host with general light housework and help with young children for up to 5 hours per day, or a maximum of 25 hours per week would be reasonable for £70-£75 per week pocket money, an aupair plus can be expected to work up to a maximum of 7 hours a day 35 hours a week for £95-£100 pocket money
Mothers helps, housekeepers, carers/companions and grooms can work longer hours, however again please remember Tax & NI will need to be arranged

It cannot be too strongly stressed though, that these applicants are not qualified nannies or domestic servants, they should not be expected to take sole responsibility for the children or household duties.

During the school holidays an Au-Pair may be asked to look after the children for more hours when the mother is working. However extra pocket money should be paid to compensate the extra hours worked. Families are not expected to work excessive hours and families must be considerate. Treat your Au-Pair as you would like to be treated yourself.

FREE TIME AND CONDITIONS

The Au-Pair must be given free time daily to study or to pursue other interests. Two days a week must be free and any evening when baby-sitting is not required.

They must be provided with their own bedroom where they can study in comfort. However, the Au-Pair must also be made to feel that they are welcome to share in the social life of the host family, as if they were a member of it. Not to do this may lead to the applicants becoming very homesick and lonely and eventually lead to them wishing to leave the family.

LANGUAGE TUITION

Some applicants wish to follow a language course, usually for a few hours once a week. This may take the form of private lessons or group classes at a language school or technical college.
Au-Pair’s are responsible for their own fees, but it is extremely helpful if the family can assist them in finding the most suitable and convenient classes.

Remember that Au-Pair’s attendance at classes legally takes precedence over their work for you, but obviously it is sensible to arrange that the applicant’s classes are at a time that is convenient to the family, both from the point of view of them getting there and back, and the cost of the classes to the applicant.

It would be expected if families are not located close to the college and the applicants incur travel costs, that the family help with these in addition to pocket money.

POCKET MONEY

The Home Office recommends a minimum of £70-£75 per week for 25 hrs and aupair plus and £95-£100. However, many families offer a little more pocket money, particularly if there are 3 or more children in the family. This must be paid on a weekly basis to the Au-Pair. We have also been advised by the Home Office that it would be reasonable of the family to give the Au-Pair one week’s notice, when wishing to end the Au-Pair placement prematurely.

INVITATION AND TRAVEL

Once your family has decided to have an Au-Pair and you have selected an applicant, we shall need a letter of Invitation to them from you giving them details of your family, their duties, free time and their pocket money. We contact them informally to get a quick yes/no whilst forwarding this letter, together with your application form, to the applicant (their agent) with instructions from us.

They are asked to reply immediately to this office. You will need to make contact with them to make travel arrangements.

We will advise you immediately on receipt of an answer from the applicant. Applicants are responsible for their own travel expenses to the UK, however it is understood if the host family cannot collect the Au-Pair from the arrival point of their entry into the UK that the host will pre book and pay for their travel ticket to the town where they will be Au-Pairing.

It is understood that the family will meet the applicant at the airport/ferry port/main line railway or coach station.

NATIONAL INSURANCE

This is not paid for an Au-Pair. Most Au-Pairs can be treated under the National Health Service, although applicants from countries who do not have a reciprocal agreement with Great Britain should arrange for private cover before arriving to the UK.

DRIVING

If your Au-Pair is to drive your car, it is important that you provide adequate insurance cover for them to do so. You should check that they have a suitable driving licence or permit to drive in the UK. It might be a good idea to provide one or two driving lessons for the Au-Pair if they are apprehensive about driving on the left.

CREATING THE RIGHT ATMOSPHERE

Horror stories about being an Au-Pair or engaging an Au-Pair abound! The vast majority of Au-Pair placements are successful and happy. The following are likely to help.

When the Au-Pair arrives, give them a little time to settle in, and become used to you and your family. If they want, let them make a brief call home to let their family know they have arrived safely.

Homesickness can be a problem.
Be patient! Don’t forget that the Au-Pair is a long way from home possibly for the first time in their life. We hold a list of families and you are welcome to call us for thelephone numbers, by helping your aupair to make friends quickly will help prevent homesickness.

Talk to the Au-Pair. Remember that they have come to the UK to learn English, so it is important that they have the chance to communicate.

You may need to speak slowly and particularly distinctly but your Au-Pair’s understanding will soon increase.

Explain Clearly any house rules (e.g. use of the telephone, visits form friends etc)
their work schedule, clearly outlining their work hours and free time and what their duties will be.

Respect his/her free time.

Try to plan baby-sitting requirements in advance so everyone knows what is expected.

Pay the aupairs pocket money on time at the agreed interval.