What is an Au Pair?

Host -private -support

An au pair is a young person from abroad employed by a "host family" to care for their children. Au pairs provide a live-in form of childcare and provide a unique cultural and learning experience.

The word "au pair" comes from the French word which means "on par" or "equal to". Living with a host family for up to one year, it's not surprising an au pair often becomes an integral and much loved member of their host family. It is not uncommon for au pairs and host families alike to stay in touch for years afterward!

Our au pairs are between the ages of 18-30 and mostly female. They are competent in conversational English and have at least 100-200 hours of documented childcare experience (on average our au pairs have 1300 hours of documented childcare experience)! Our au pairs go through a rigorous screening process - including police and medical record checks, childcare and character references and a personal interview to assess their English speaking ability and suitability caring for young children.

Our au pairs  can be split into three categories:

  • Au Pair 123 - Our core Early Childhood Education (ECE) programme, approved by the New Zealand Ministry of Education, for families with at least 1 child under 5.
  • Au Pair Whiz - Our professional, qualified Early Childhood Education programme. An Au Pair Whiz has an Early Childhood Education degree or diploma with a minimum of 6 months practical experience or has 1 year of full time experience caring for children under 5 years of age.
  • Au Pair Assist - Our short term, maximum of 3 months, mother's help programme for families with at least 1 child under 5 and immediate childcare needs.

An au pair provides in-home, dedicated childcare. Au pair education and care is focussed on providing a stable and secure environment for children in their own home, and ensuring each child gets the full attention and support they need in their early years of life. Au pair responsibilities can include:

  • Childcare and education. Encouraging, guiding and supporting children in your own home
  • Ensuring routines such as nappy changing, changing of clothes, bottle feeding, bedtimes are carried out
  • Waking the children in the morning and helping them to get dressed
  • Preparing meals for your children
  • Helping your child/children take care of their belongings and tidy areas of play
  • Taking your child to Au Pair Link playgroups, child outings, school and other activities such as sport
  • Washing and organising your child's clothes throughout the working week.

Being an pair or host family is a fantastic way to promote understanding of other cultures. Learning about other cultures (language, food, and customs) is educational and fun! In an increasingly global society, what better gift can you give to a child?