Frequently Asked Questions
A summer Au Pair typically lives with a host family for a short period of time during the summer holidays. The duration of the stay is usually between one and three months. Summer Au Pairs perform the same tasks as long-term Au Pairs: they support their host families with childcare and light housework. Both long- and short-term Au Pairs receive the same pocket money and have the same number of working hours. Just like long-term Au Pairs, summer Au Pairs strive to improve their language skills and get to know a new culture whilst living abroad. Sometimes, they can also accompany their host families on holiday, taking care of the children during this time.
Employing a summer Au Pair is a great idea for families who struggle with childcare during summer breaks and therefore need a child care solution during this time. The summer placement for Au Pairs also suits young students, who wish to go abroad to work as Au Pairs during their term break. Furthermore, it is an ideal introduction for both Au Pairs and host families who have not experienced au pairing before and are unsure as whether a long-term placement would suit them.
Accommodation for an Au Pair should be welcoming and pleasant and part of the home, yet private. It is imperative to allocate a comfortable bedroom to the Au Pair, with a bed, a wardrobe and of course a window, a door that can be closed and adequate heating. Most families provide internet access in their home. Optional extras would be to provide sole use of a bathroom and TV in the Au Pair bedroom.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to set aside some time to ensure your Au Pair is settled once she arrives. Please take time to explain all the duties and routines, help to enrol into language classes and find friends locally.
Some of the Au Pairs are away from their home for the first time and can find the first few days a bit daunting – please remember they are getting to know your family and new surroundings and it might take few days for your Au Pair to feel at home. We will share plenty of advice and support material both with you and your Au Pair to ensure the first few days go smoothly. We will be in touch with you throughout the whole journey – we pride ourselves in being proactive, rather than reactive!
A happy and settled Au Pair will be a joy to have around!
Check your Au Pair has a current driving licence with no convictions and find out how long she has been driving.
If your Au Pair is from an EU* or EEA* country then she can use her licence to drive in the UK.
Au Pair from most other countries outside the EU or EEA can drive for up to 12 months provided they have a full licence which remains valid. To carry on driving after 12 months they must have obtained a provisional British licence and passed a British driving test before the 12 months elapses. For more information visit www.gov.uk/driving-nongb-licence
It is essential to ensure you are satisfied with your Au Pair’s driving skills before allowing her to drive your children. The Au Pair will probably be used to driving on the opposite side of the road and may be used to quieter roads. We advise that host families arrange driving lessons for their Au Pair to make sure she is safe and understands our highway code. Ensure that the driving instructor reports back to you when he/she feels the Au Pair has reached the correct degree of confidence required.
Petrol used by the Au Pair in connection with work is paid for by the family but most Au Pairs will have to pay for petrol for their personal use. This needs to be discussed at the beginning of the Au Pairs stay.
The family is responsible for insuring the Au Pair to drive the family car. Your Au Pair should only agree to drive if she is satisfied that they are insured. Please show your Au Pair evidence that she is included on your motor insurance policy before they drive in the UK for the first time.
Au Pairs under 25 will be more expensive to insure than those aged between 25-27. Au Pairs from within the European Union are cheaper to insure with some insurance companies than those from other countries. If your Au Pair has an accident in your car you will lose your no claims bonus so it may be worth protecting your no claims bonus. Some families put their Au Pair on their company car policy to save the cost of insurance.
Everyone who leaves one home and moves to another experiences a bit of homesickness. Staying in touch friends and family from home is important. Tools like Facebook and Skype are great (and free) ways to keep up with what is going on at home.
Encourage your Au Pair to socialize with the other Au Pairs in your area. We will help your Au Pair to find new friends and invite them to join our group of local Au Pairs. Try and encourage her to attend! It will be great for her to meet other girls going through the same experiences as she is. Just like you, Au Pairs need to maintain their work life balance! Talk to your Au Pair as much as possible, even if there are some language difficulties.
Our Au Pairs are mainly from Europe (EEA) and there are no visa or work permits requirements and no restrictions. *
Au Pairs from Australia, New Zealand and Canada travel on a Youth Mobility Visa, which allows them to work for up to 2 years in the UK and there are no restrictions on their working hours.
Through working closely with partner agencies outside Europe we check all of our Au Pairs of countries outside Europe have the required visa or entry clearance before coming to the UK to work as an Au Pair.
* The EEA includes EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK) and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Switzerland is not in the EEA but an international treaty means that from 1 June 2002 Swiss nationals have a similar right to live in the UK as EEA nationals.