Understanding Your Role as a Host Family
Au pair Australia is dedicated to providing positive experiences for both our au pairs and host families, offering flexible and culturally-rich childcare in your home. For most au pairs, this is a highly anticipated experience they have been preparing for over a significant period of time.
By using our Au Pair agency, au pairs feel comfortable, well-prepared, and excited about traveling to Australia, knowing they will be able to seamlessly integrate into our host families and receive support throughout their placement term.
Part of ensuring this successful integration is ensuring that our host families create the right environment. We primarily place au pairs in major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and the Gold Coast. While we do facilitate placements in country/rural regions, these areas tend to have fewer applicants.
Hosting an au pair can be a wonderful cultural exchange experience for both the host family and the au pair. In Australia, there are specific requirements that host families must meet in order to participate in the au pair program. This article outlines the essential criteria and responsibilities for Australian host families interested in hosting an au pair.
The main criteria to qualify as a host family:
1. Accommodation. One of the fundamental prerequisites is having a suitable home for hosting an au pair. It doesn’t need to be an enormous house, but it must provide the au pair with a private, adequately furnished room. This requirement is not just about respect for their privacy, but it is also essential for the au pair to have a space where they can relax and retreat in their time off.
You are also required to provide meals for the au pair throughout their stay.
2. Family Structure. As au pairs primarily provide childcare, families with at least one child under the age of 18 living at home are eligible to participate in the program.
3. Working Hours and Time Off. The host family must be clear about their expectations regarding the au pair’s working hours. In accordance with the guidelines, the au pair can work for up to 35-40 hours per week, This can include a combination of childcare duties and light housework related to the children.
In addition, they should be provided with at least two free days each week, and all the au pairs placed by the agency are entitled to a minimum of one week paid holiday for a six-month stay.
4. Support and Guidance. Families must be ready to offer guidance, especially in the early days. This includes helping the au pair get acquainted with the local area, understand family routines, and get used to the Australian lifestyle. Offering emotional and practical support is crucial to ensure a smooth transition and to foster a good relationship with the au pair. Foster open communication and cooperation with the au pair. Dedicate time to train the au pair in their duties and family routines.
5. Financial Obligations. As per the guidelines, host families are required to provide their au pair with weekly pocket money. The exact amount varies depending on the hours worked and the au pair’s experience, but it usually ranges between AUD 200-350 per week equivalent to a min of $8 per hour.
If she is expected to drive your kids to school, the host family needs to provide automobile insurance coverage if the au pair will be driving your vehicle(s), and list her as an operator on your insurance policy for full protection.
6. Openness to Cultural Exchange. One of the main reasons au pairs choose to work in this program is the opportunity for cultural exchange. You should be willing to introduce your au pair to Australian life, culture, and traditions, and be open to learning about their culture as well. Include the au pair in family meals, outings, holidays, and other events whenever possible.
Being part of an au pair program is not just about childcare; it’s about cultural exchange. Families should be open to embracing the au pair’s culture and be willing to share their own. This can be an enriching experience for both the host family and the au pair.
7. English Proficiency. While the au pair is not required to be fluent in English, families should speak English at home to ensure clear communication and to help the au pair improve their English skills.
Since the au pair will be living in Australia, your family must be able to communicate effectively in English to ensure the comfort of the au pair and to facilitate their language learning experience.
Fulfilling these requirements ensures a rewarding experience for both the au pair and the host family. By providing a safe, supportive environment and open communication, families can form a lasting bond with their au pair, enrich their family life, and experience a unique cultural exchange. Remember, the primary goal is to ensure the au pair feels like part of the family, contributing to a harmonious living arrangement beneficial for all parties involved.
As of my knowledge cutoff in July 2023, Australia does not have an official au pair program, meaning there are no specific visas for au pairs. However, many au pairs enter the country on a Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) or a Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462). Make sure to check the latest regulations from the Department of Home Affairs.
Remember, the au pair cannot work more than the maximum hours allowed by the visa, and they must meet all the visa conditions. In addition, it’s crucial that your potential au pair is eligible for one of these visas.
Preparation for Arrival
Once you’ve chosen your au pair, it’s important to prepare for their arrival:
1. Contract: We will provide you with a contract outlining the au pair’s responsibilities, working hours, pocket money, and any rules they need to adhere to. This clarifies expectations and helps prevent misunderstandings.
2. Orientation: Plan an orientation to introduce your au pair to your family, your home, and your neighborhood. Go over safety procedures, emergency contact information, and any house rules.
3. Support: Provide support in the initial days to help your au pair adjust to their new environment. This can include helping them set up a local bank account, getting a local SIM card, and showing them around the local area.
Becoming a host family for an au pair can be a rewarding experience, offering cultural exchange, extra help around the house, and a potentially lifelong connection. By understanding and meeting the necessary requirements, you can ensure a successful and enriching au pair experience for everyone involved.
By meeting these requirements and embracing the role of a host family, you can create a memorable and rewarding experience for both your family and the au pair.
Becoming a host family for an au pair in Australia is an enriching experience that offers cultural exchange, assistance with childcare, and the opportunity to create lifelong connections. More about the benefits of hosting an au pair. By meeting the requirements outlined here, host families can provide a safe and supportive environment for their au pairs, ensuring a successful and rewarding experience for all parties involved.