Hosting an au pair is an enriching cultural exchange experience which allows your children to be cared for in your own home.
Au airs participating on an au pair cultural exchange experience will come to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa and generally stay with a family from 6-12 months. Under the cultural exchange umbrella, au pairs expect to live with your family and be invited to participate in family activities. Au pairs will care for your children for a maximum of 35 hours per week and receive weekly pocket money and their own room, with meals provided.
It is important to recognise what elements are NOT a provision in a quality au pair program:
- Live-out. Au pair is a ‘live-in’ arrangement. If this component is removed, the person is a nanny or carer from overseas and hourly rates or wages should be paid.
- Accommodation ‘off site’, in a caravan or with grandparents down the road instead of being part of the family on a daily basis.
- Giving a time that the au pair may no longer be in shared spaces in the home such as the living room/kitchen.
- Not including the au pair in the family meal – although it is fine for an au pair to sometimes eat with the kids and allow the parents to have some well deserved ‘adult time’.
- Hiring an Australian as an au pair. This is a cultural exchange program so if this is removed, it becomes a childcare/nanny job and wages apply.
- The au pair not being given time off. i.e. working 7 days a week and/or always being ‘on call’.
- Excessive cleaning. Cleaning should be related to the care of the children, their own room and helping as any individual would in the home. Cleaning the entire home for example is not part of an au pair’s role.
Why use a CAPAA Agency?
- To ensure au pairs have the correct Visas and are eligible to work in Australia.
- On going support for both you and your au pair.
- Our Agency members are established businesses with appropriate insurances.
- Agencies can ensure you get the right au pair for your family.
- The arrangement is set up correctly with appropriate agreements.
- Our agencies have many years of experience in placing au pairs.
- We adhere to industry standards & guidelines to ensure your placement is a success.
- All background checks are completed.
- Au pair connections and events – essential for your au pair to enjoy their stay.
For families ready to host an au pair please contact a reputable CAPAA member agency to register your interest.
Stories from CAPAA Families
To summarise Larissa, I took references from what those in our family, community and local neighborhood had to say about her and it was unanimous.
It is true, Larissa IS an angel in our family, she acts purely and with true kindness to our children, to our family, and to those who she meets within our social circle. The level of trust we have found that we have put in her is outstanding, from being able to trust Larissa at safely taking our two little boys to school and bringing them home, to being able to have faith in her to carry out everyday tasks without reminding or prompting. But it is also the little things she has done that make the difference, it will warm your heart, and bring a tear to your eye as Larissa is able to draw my family closer by going above and beyond her everyday tasks and planning into the future and completing them before you even need to ask.
Larissa is an articulate and creative person, she engages my children in activities from painting, arts and craft, sports and role-play, which have all been welcomed by my children, the children in our neighborhood and mostly, by myself and my wife as this ensures our boys are not being idle on iPads or the TV and keeping them stimulated, creative and active. When Larissa goes out to pick up the boys from school, or goes out with friends that afternoon or on a weekend, she will not just think about herself, but ask if you need anything while she is out, or even if the bread is low or milk is almost gone, will get some while they are gone. As with everything, it’s the little things that make us proud of having her in our house and is a massive weight lifted from our shoulders. With Larissa, everything ‘just works’, and it is like we have an angel in our midst, there is a type of magic that happens in our household. Even on the bad days, and they do happen, Larissa knows how to work through them and turn them into a positive day, or at least salvage the positive from the negative.
It is heartwarming at night when the children go to bed and without prompting call her name “Good night Larissa”, as it means that she is not just a part of a family, she is one of our family, and the day that she leaves will be a day I will be dreading the most.
- Agile – great for dodging Taekwondo kicks, water pistols and poison balls
- Well read – from Pippi Longstocking to The Gruffalo to Heidi to Jolly Phonics to number plates to bus stop signs to sight words
- Endlessly patient – with a small child who talks and questions and moves from sun up until sun down
- Super-knowledgeable – about Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, Power Rangers and all other things a five year old is into
- Only has one child to look after – this intense relationship has had unique challenges and you are ‘on’ all the time
- Meticulous – the lunch is made, the school bag is packed, the uniform is washed and the child is as school on time
- Eager to share – things about her home and country with us.
Michelle joined our family as an au pair in January this year. Straight away, we knew that Michelle was very special.
Michelle is very warm and caring and so easy to talk with. She fit into our family very quickly and made a huge effort to get to know our two children, Sam and Eve (as well as my husband and I).
Michelle’s role in our family is not always an easy one. Our son, Sam, has autism and engages in some very challenging behaviours. Michelle has invested a lot of time to understand Sam and why he behaves the way he does sometimes. She is very involved in discussions we have about how we can help and support Sam and offers some great insights into how Sam perceives the world. There are very few people who really understand Sam but Michelle is one of them.
I often work long hours and my husband is an international pilot who is frequently overseas. I completely trust Michelle to care for the kids while we are not around and know that they are being cared for by someone who loves them. She is very reliable and I know that my kids are in safe hands when they are with her. Michelle keeps our house running smoothly, which is no easy feat.
Lots of people have commented to us about how lucky we are to have Michelle. We too think we are so lucky to have had Michelle join our family.’ Host mum Erin
Maggie has become part of our family so quickly and shows tremendous love, patience and kindness towards our twin girls whilst keeping our busy household ticking over. She has adapted to life in a new country so well and has embraced the opportunity and in doing so has made some lifelong friends. She will be sadly missed when she embarks on her travels in a few weeks.
I asked our twin girls why she should win and they said:
- “Because she is very good at cooking our dinner”
- “Because she is very good at cuddling”
- “Because she bakes good chicken”
- “Because she is very nice”
- “Because she loves me”
- “Because she does good things for us”
- “Because I love giving cuddles to her”
- “Because she does good playing with us”
Host mum Susan
“Using an agency to seek someone to be part of our family is essential for both us as a family and the Au Pair. We received fantastic support from Beck for our last 3 Au Pairs, and our Au Pairs appreciate the support Beck gives them (even if it is just the occasional phone call).My 2 boys love having a big sister and I love having the extra company as my FIFO husband is not home half the time.
I always recommend this agency to everyone I talk to when I share my amazing au pair experiences.”