What is an
Au Pair?

What is an au pair?

An au pair is somebody who joins a family to take on childcare and light housework in return for accommodation, food and pocket money.

This mutually beneficial cultural exchange scheme allows the au pair to become part of a family, experience a new country and learn another language. Families hosting an au pair enjoy expanding their horizons by bringing a new culture and language into their home.

The Au Pair Programme has been operating for decades and assists au pairs from overseas with finding host families who are looking for help with childcare.

Au pairs are usually aged between 18 and 30, although sometimes an au pair can be older if they don’t require a visa.

At Square AuPair, the vast majority of our au pairs are young people aged between 18 and 21 years old taking a 6 to 12-month gap year who want to work overseas, improve their knowledge of a foreign language and experience another culture.

As well as taking care of the children, au pairs can also undertake light housework. However, an au pair is not intended to be a housekeeper. Instead, an au pair should be considered as a member of the family – like a big sister or brother – who is there to help with the children while learning about British culture and improving their language skills.

Tasks that can be undertaken by an au pair:

  • Washing dishes, including loading and unloading the dishwasher
  • Preparing simple meals for the children
  • Keeping the kitchen clean and tidy, including sweeping and mopping floors
  • Loading and unloading the children’s laundry into the washing machine
  • Ironing for children
  • Putting washed clothes away
  • Vacuuming

  • Dusting
  • Making and changing the children’s beds
  • Cleaning the children’s bathroom
  • Keeping their own bedroom and bathroom areas clean and tidy
  • Light shopping, such as picking up extra milk and bread. This should not be the entire household grocery shop
  • Walking and feeding pets
  • Emptying bins

Au pairs should not undertake heavy housework and are not housekeepers.

The following tasks are unsuitable for an au pair:

  • Gardening
  • Window cleaning
  • Spring or deep cleaning of a property
  • Cleaning the oven, other than simple wiping out
  • Washing carpets
  • Washing the car
  • Weekly shopping

  • Pet training
  • Clearing up after untrained pets
  • Making beds for parents
  • Ironing for parents
  • Cleaning an en-suite or bathroom for parents
  • Cooking the family’s meals, unless the au pair enjoys cooking and has chosen to do this occasionally for the family
  • Due to safety reasons, au pairs should not undertake any ironing while taking care of toddlers or children of primary school age

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit our FAQs page.

Our au pairs have a variety of experience. If you are looking for an au pair with a particular skill we can assist you with finding the perfect individual.

Fees for providing an au pair will vary depending upon the length of the placement. Please visit our fees page to find out more about the costs involved for our search and selection service.

What our happy families and au pairs have to say

Throughout, Square AuPair remained in regular contact, were very professional but friendly and always happy to answer any questions and to have follow-up calls if necessary.

It has been a great pleasure working with Square AuPair and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

We couldn’t be happier. We have a wonderful person living with us, who is very responsible and caring of our children.

A special thanks goes to Square AuPair for helping me find my dream 'second family'.

I will definitely contact you again when it is time to find a new au pair for our family.

I'm very happy. I'm in the best family. The first days have been very nice!

Square AuPair have been amazing at walking us through the entire au pair process.

I'm settling in very well, my host family is lovely! They are so kind with me and always ask me if I need something or if I'm ok. And I'm having a lot of fun with them, we always do something different every day! The house and my room are really lovely too.

I particularly appreciated Kristyna’s approach ... I felt that she understood key points about our needs and our family culture to be able to assess the best personality fit for our girls.

The first couple of days were wonderful. I really like it here. I couldn't complain about anything.

I was impressed with the quality of profiles provided. All candidates were a great fit for our family.

I'm very happy with the family. Tomorrow I start English school and this weekend I met another au pair. I'm very happy.

I highly recommend Square AuPair for their tailored approach and proactive support and intend to use them going forward for as long as I intend to keep having au pairs.

Thank you very much for your support. I'm very, very excited and happy with the family. They're incredible people.

From the first contact to post completion of contract with our new au pair, Square AuPair has acted with a great sense of professionalism and care.

All is great, thank you! I love my routine, the family, where I live - everything!

Thank you for your emails and care you expressed about our new au pair. It looks like you have provided us with the best au pairs so far!

Being together for almost seven months with my host family, I realised how much I grew up. I've done so well with my host family, I have decided to stay longer than a year. Special thanks to Square AuPair for allowing me to have this experience and helping me to find my 'second family'.

Our au pair is wonderful. She is sweet, calm and loving. I couldn't ask for a better au pair. We have had a wonderful experience with our last au pair and we were afraid she had set the bar too high for others, but our new au pair has risen to the occasion. I just hope she is having a great time too and will stay with us for as long as she wants.