Becoming a host family
Opening your home to a new person from the other side of the world can be a little overwhelming at first. Luckily, with Au Pair Link there to support you at every turn, the idea of becoming a host family quickly begins to present a whole range of benefits. We think of ourselves as one big whānau – the Au Pair Link family. Just as your au pair will love and support your children through their highs and lows, we are here to support you.
Au Pair Link is as much about positive experiences for au pairs as we are about bringing world-class childcare into the heart of your home. Using an agency like ours means that au pairs feel comfortable travelling to New Zealand, knowing they will be able to comfortably integrate into your family and feel supported during their placement term. In addition to your general employer responsibilities, we have developed a set of minimum requirements for families to meet in order to qualify for our programmes. As such, the important stuff you’ll need to do is:
- Agree to and follow our host family terms and conditions
- Provide a separate bedroom for your au pair (with suitable bathroom access)
- Provide three meals a day for your au pair
- Sign an individual employment agreement between you and your au pair
- Comply with our health and safety policies (as per Ministry of Education guidelines)
- Comply with all relevant New Zealand tax and employment law
- Undertake a police background check for your first au pair placement (every 3 years afterward)
- Pay your au pair in accordance with our wage guidelines
- Provide your au pair with at least two consecutive days off per week and one weekend off per month
- Provide your au pair access to a vehicle for work and personal use if you live rurally. Please note that any vehicle your au pair drives (whether you are in a city or a rural area) must be roadworthy and have a current warrant of fitness, registration and airbags.
- Sign a Child Enrolment Form for each child under the age of five
- Sign and approve weekly Child Attendance Sheets submitted to Au Pair Link by your au pair
- Ensure your au pair attends monthly meetings, weekly playgroups and activities and on-going childcare training sessions.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding host family requirements, feel free to give our team a call on 0800 AU PAIR (287 247) or email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why choose an au pair?
Not only can our au pairs provide a world-class learning experience, they are also there to help with preparing children’s meals and take care of laundry duties and other tasks related to the children. Au pairs are also great for children who don’t fit into the box of mainstream childcare, for example families in rural communities or children with special educational needs.
Your au pair is there when you need them – as a live-in caregiver and educator; your au pair is there to make life easier. No more waking the kids up at 6am so you can drop them off at daycare or fretting about finding a last minute babysitter. Your au pair is there to help.
You can get full time care and education for your children from only $260 per week. Host families actually find that it is a more cost-effective form of childcare than the pay-per-child-per-hour model. With Au Pair Link you’ll also have access to 20 Hours ECE government subsidy for children aged 3-5 years as well as WINZ childcare subsidies.
Having someone from a different culture caring for your children is a fun and educational experience. Au pairs share their culture, language and values, allowing your children to be exposed to different and valuable experiences from their peers and giving them a head start.
Au Pair Duties
Because your children are too precious to leave with just anyone, all 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. All our au pairs also have at least 200 hours of documented childcare experience. (On average our au pairs have 1300 hours of documented childcare experience!)
Au Pair Duties
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:
- Child care and education – encouraging, guiding and supporting children in your own home
- Ensuring routines such as nappy changing, changing of clothes, bottle feeding and bedtimes are carried out
- Waking the children in the morning and helping them 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 playgroups, child outings, day care and other activities such as sport
- Washing and organising children’s clothes throughout the working week
Our full enrolment process is detailed below:
Please note if you have a child under 5 years old, you’ll have a Ministry of Education licensed programme being implemented in your home; we may need to make some recommendations in order to ensure that we are both compliant with healthy and safety guidelines. Similarly, our family police checks are conducted to ensure we are placing au pairs in a safe environment. We are not concerned with any minor infringements. If you have any concerns regarding the police vetting process, please contact one of our Placement Managers who will be able to discuss this with you further.
When an au pair joins your family you become their employer for the length of their placement term (or fixed term employment). Becoming an employer brings up a range of new responsibilities to think about. At Au Pair Link, we understand that tax and other regulations aren’t everyone’s cup of tea – that’s why we take the time to understand your needs and ensure you’re feeling comfortable (and excited!) about your au pair’s arrival.
Au pairs enjoy the same rights and benefits as any other employee under New Zealand employment law. Luckily for you, you don’t need to become an employment expert to get an au pair – we’re here to make the process easy for you and ensure you feel well-supported.
Your au pair will be entitled to holiday pay, public holidays, sick leave and annual leave while they are employed by you. We provide all our host families with an industry-leading Individual Fixed Term Employment Agreement and can supply you with fact sheets regarding wage calculations, taxation and employment legislation.