(This is a guest post by Miryam Aubert from Au Pair Australia)
Have you ever thought about moving to the land “down under” to work as an au pair? If so, below is what you can expect from working as an au pair in Australia, as well as what you need to get started. Enjoy!
As an au pair, your primary responsibility is to look after the host family’s children. Alongside childcare, you may be asked to help out with household chores as part of your duties, but these should only be light household chores, as your primary responsibility is to look after the children, not to clean house. Normal working hours are a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 45 hrs per week.
Your host family will give you pocket money in exchange for your help. Au pairs in Australia are paid a weekly pocket money of at least $6 – $8 per hour, depending on experience and skills.
Board and accommodation
Au pairs are entitled to have their own room at their host family’s home. The family should also provide them with meals. Naturally, this also applies in case of illness or during your holidays. You of course will still be taken care of, even if you happen to get sick.
There are no specific regulations when it comes to the au pair’s number of working hours in Australia. However, from our experience we recommend that you work 30 to 40 hours per week. Your host family can ask you to do some babysitting up to 2 evenings per week, which should be included in your working time.
As an au pair, you are entitled to have at least one day off per week. This day should be on a Sunday at least once every month. We suggest families to give weekends free as much as possible, and most host families are fine with this, as they like to enjoy time with their children on weekends.
The Working Holiday Programme doesn’t regulate how much holiday you are entitled to during your stay in Australia. However, we recommend families to give one week of holiday for a stay of six months, or at least two weeks’ holiday per year.
During your stay as an au pair in Australia, you can participate in a language course if you would like to improve your English skills. Usually it is the au pair who pays for his or her own language course, as this is not an official part of the au pair program.
Normally, it is expected that you pay for your flight to and from Australia. If your host family is happy with the help you provide, they may possibly pay your return trip or part of the cost. However, family is not obliged to do so, but we do recommend that host families help with flights if they can.
End of stay bonus – We also encourage families to pay an “end of stay” bonus at the end of the placement, based on good performance. This is normally around $500 AUD, and is a nice way to thank au pairs for a job well done.
What you need to apply to be an Au Pair in Australia
1) A copy of your passport or any Identification and a copy of your first aid certificate if you have this.
2) A copy of your driving license, if you have one.
3) Two written references in English (not from family or friends). References completed by the staff at schools, nurseries, hospitals, children’s homes, or from the parents of children you have looked after are the best kind to have.
4) A “Dear Family” letter, written in English, giving details about your family, yourself, work experience and your reason to become an Au pair
5) A Medical certificate – provide a certificate confirming that you are fit & healthy. This can be obtained from your doctor or nearby medical center.
6) Recent photographs of yourself, showing to your host family your hobbies, your family, and friends.
7) A Police clearance certificate (or background check). Ask your local police department or other legal authority in your country to provide you with a certificate or other document stating that you do not have a criminal record.
Once you have this, you can apply to work as an au pair in Australia. And if you need help getting started and finding a host family in Australia, we can help! We are the only Australian au pair agency offering au pairs free registration (a fee normally costing 500€ in Europe), so if you would like to help us connect you with a host family in Australia, contact me, Miryam, at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!