Au Pair Duties - How much is too much?
As an Au Pair, you leave your home country most of the time at a very young age; this means that you can be very vulnerable. It is important to know your duties and responsibilities
as well as knowing what you don’t have to be responsible for during your stay abroad.
The Au Pair programme is a cultural exchange. You are not classed as an employee, hence you are not a nanny
or housekeeper. The primary task is to look after the child or children and taking care of household duties related to the kids. The light household tasks can include playing with the children, driving and picking them up from school, cooking easy recipes, helping children with their homework and so on.
You are not a servant
You are not in charge of the whole household. This means you don’t have to cook for the entire family, clean non-shared rooms or take care of other children than your Host Kids. All duties that are in no relation to your child or children are not your responsibility. An Au Pair is not the servant or slave of the family.
Member of the family
The Au Pair is a member of the family. So you are not the waitress or cook for their dinner parties. Instead, you are a part of their dinner parties or events, just like everyone else in the family. Although, you should follow the families house rules. These have to be clear from the beginning of your stay. The Host Family has to explain their expectations when you are on and off duty. In addition, a decent standard of cleanliness has to be maintained by both Au Pair and Host Family.
The duties and responsibilities of an Au Pair can vary in every country. Therefore, you should inform yourself about the duties in the country you’re planning to go to
before your placement. All of your tasks will be written in the Au Pair contract
. You will go through the contract with your Host Family and both parties have to sign it.
Start your cultural exchange the right way and get as much information as possible
before your stay! Don’t be afraid to speak up and say something when you feel like your Host Family is exploiting you. In the end, you should have a great experience abroad in becoming a new member of a family, experiencing a new culture and learning a new language.