Questions

I currently use daycare – will my child still get social interaction with other children with an au pair?

As part of our early learning programme, we provide playgroups and child outings in all of our areas.  Because we have the largest au pair network in New Zealand, our au pairs and children often meet during the week for play dates etc.

In addition, recent research has indicated that social interaction with other children (for children under two years) is not critical for infant brain development - in fact, over-stimulation through social interaction can have an adverse impact. Instead, developing a strong and consistent bond with a dedicated caregiver or parent is seen as paramount to infant brain development.

Is having an au pair more expensive than having a nanny? What about other forms of childcare?

Actually, having an au pair is cheaper than having a nanny!  Although au pairs are paid at minimum wage, because board and lodgings are deducted from the gross wage, the actual cost to you per hour is far less than a nanny, which can cost between New Zealand minimum wage - $25.00 per hour, usually dependent on the location where they're working. 

Also because daycare and some in-home care is charged "per child per hour/day" - hosting an au pair is a cost effective option for families with multiple children.  With Au Pair Link you also have access to the 20 Hours ECE government subsidy for 3 & 4 year old children as well as WINZ childcare subsidies.  We can also offer the OSCAR subsidy to families on the Au Pair Mate programme (with no children under 5 years).

I currently have a privately sourced au pair (or have got my au pair through another agency); can I still access your ECE support services and subsidies?

Yes!  As long as your family qualifies for our Au Pair Private Support programme and your au pair has a clean police record.  If you have recruited your own au pair you can qualify for our support services free of charge!

Can I get the 20 Hours ECE or WINZ subsidies?

The 20 Hours ECE subsidy is available to 3, 4 and 5 year old children enrolled in our Early Childhood Education programmes (Au Pair 123, Au Pair Whiz, Au Pair Assist and Private Support).  Your child becomes eligible for the subsidy when they turn 3.  The subsidy finishes when they turn 6.  However, your child cannot receive the 20 Hours ECE subsidy if they are attending school. The 20 Hours ECE subsidy is not means tested or based on how much you earn.  For more information contact us or visit the 20 Hours ECE or WINZ pages of our website.

Having an au pair sounds great, but how will the kids feel when they leave to go back home?

In most daycare centres the staff turn-over is quite high and relief teachers are used on a daily basis.  We think that having an au pair is a much more stable form of childcare than many of the alternatives out there.  Having an au pair in your home and part your daily routine will allow your children to quickly form a bond with them. When your current au pair has completed their placement term (up to 12 months) with your family - most host families organise an overlap period between their current au pair and the new one (to assist with the transition).  Usually the children are so excited by the arrival of your new au pair, they quickly adapt to the departure!

Will we still get family time with someone living in our home?

Because your au pair will have their own private and separate bedroom, there's always a place they can go and spend some time alone. Our au pair network is also spread throughout the country, which means au pairs can get out and make friends to spend time with while they're here. Coupled with this, we also organise outings and events to ensure that your au pair (and you) can have private time.  

Can my au pair drive a car?

Absolutely! If you do require your au pair to drive as part of their job, we'll ensure they have a full, clean and valid driver's licence.  As part of our terms and conditions, we require that any car the au pair is required to drive as part of their role must be safe and roadworthy and be fitted with airbags.

I work shift hours, can we still get an au pair?

Yes, although this depends on the hours you work and if the au pair is to work the same hours.   We currently have quite a few host families that are in the healthcare, airline or television industry where it is necessary for their au pair to work different hours. It's always a good idea to contact us and discuss your specific requirements!

Why is a completion bonus paid to the au pair?

Our au pairs are paid a completion bonus in recognition of a successful placement term and as a contribution toward their flight home. The completion bonus is a great way to ensure that your au pair completes their full placement term and does not go home early.

Can my au pair care for a newborn baby?

Yes - we always have au pairs available who have had specific experience with babies. Generally we ask that mothers are home for at least six weeks with their newborn to ensure that there are not health issues and that everyone is settling in well.  Simply, you tell us your requirements and we find the perfect au pair to suit you. Our Au Pair Whiz programme even gives you the opportunity to speak with qualified or highly experienced candidates.

I’m a single dad, can I still get an au pair for the kids?

Yes. Sometimes it takes a little longer to match an au pair in a single parent household but we have many au pairs that are happy to match with your family, and indeed some who come from a single parent household themselves.

How long does it take to get an au pair?

From the time you apply to get an au pair to their arrival in New Zealand, the process can take about 6 - 8 weeks. Many external factors can influence this timeframe, such as your requirements, the time of year, the earliest departure date of your selected au pair. We suggest families apply around three months prior to the date they need their au pair to arrive. Our Au Pair Assist placements can be made a lot quicker - generally within one week, as our candidates are often already in New Zealand on a working holiday visa. This is your best option if you're looking for quality education and care in hurry!

What happens if I feel as though things aren’t working out with my au pair?

The best way to ensure a successful year with your au pair is to foster open communication. You can also speak with your Family & Programme Manager if you are having any problems during your placement term. We are able to facilitate a mediation session to help resolve any serious problems, we find most issues can be resolved through open communication directly with your au pair. If all else fails, we offer a re-match service free of charge for up to 3 months (guaranteeing your au pair placement).  This includes providing the au pair with free accommodation whilst in re-match for up to 5 days (conditions apply).

What are my tax obligations as an employer?

Because an au pair is your employee, they're entitled to holiday pay, public holidays, sick leave and annual leave.  Your au pair's weekly wages are net cash payments exclusive of PAYE tax and board or lodging.  As a result, board or lodging must be included as part of the total gross package provided to your au pair - on which PAYE is calculated.  For more information on your tax and employer responsibilities, please visit the Employer Responsibilities page on our site.

Why is the fee the same for 6, 9 and 12 month placement terms?

Because our au pairs all undertake the same screening process regardless of their placement term, the level and input required for our recruitment and matching service is not influenced by the length of term.