Since I’ve been more actively promoting this blog, a couple of people on Facebook asked me what an au pair is. And it never actually occurred to me that people might not know what this job entails. Now, people with small children, this is where you should start paying attention. Because getting an au pair will make your life so much easier.
Definition of “au pair”
Generally speaking, an au pair is a person from a different country (usually between eighteen and thirty) who lives with a family in exchange for childcare. There’s usually also some light housework involved.
The term “au pair” is French and means “by mutual agreement.” Au pairs receive pocket money and live with their host family for free. They are treated as a member of the family. The allowance and amount of working hours are different in every country and depend on the age of the children. The main objective of an au pair placement is a cultural exchange. Au pairs get the chance to improve their language skills and gain insight into the culture, language and lifestyle of the country. At the same time, they teach the host family about the habits and customs of their own country.
Au pairs are basically like an older brother or sister who takes on the responsibility of looking after your children.
What’s the difference between an au pair and a nanny?
People often think that being an au pair is the same thing as being a nanny. It’s not. In both cases, the person in question looks after children. But that’s also where all similarities end.
- receive pocket money
- live in the same house as the host family
- are often from a foreign country
- more like an older sister/brother
- no regulated working hours
- paid a salary that at least matches the minimum wage of a country
- fully-qualified childminders
- have their own house
- no cultural exchange
- working hours regulated by the labour law
Hope this was helpful! If you have any other questions about what an au pair is, please comment below!