Are you looking for flexible and affordable help with your children? Is your family interested in foreign cultures and another way of living, but there is just so much to do that travelling far is not possible? Then hosting an Au Pair might be right for you. You would invite a young woman or man to live with you for up to a year and receive reliable and flexible childcare. Here you will find all the necessary information about how to become a Host Family in the UK.
*** UPDATE ***
Great Britain is now officially no longer part of the European Union. This has significant implications for the Au Pair programme. According to the website of the British government, there is no current information on an Au Pair visa. Therefore, candidates from the EU can no longer officially enter the UK as Au Pairs. Alternatively, the Host Family can employ the candidate as a domestic worker. However, other requirements, taxes and insurances apply. Please check the British government's website on Employing someone to work in your home and contact the British embassy to find out more.
Au Pairs from EU countries can enter the UK without a visa until the end of 2020. However, they must apply for a pre-settlement status before 31.12.2020 to be able to stay in the UK legally. Obtaining this status allows them to stay in the UK for a maximum of 5 years without any further visa applications. When applying for the pre-settlement status the candidate will need a proof of identity and a proof of address. It is best to provide a passport and the confirmation of a British bank account. We advise you to check the government’s website regularly. Please read more about the regulations for entering or returning to the UK.
Have some tea with your Au Pair, share British culture and traditions with them and enjoy flexible and reliable childcare for your family. Here you will find everything you need to know to host an Au Pair in the UK.
Please note that the current situation and the discussion about the Brexit might have an influence on Au Pairs who want to go to the UK. Please read more about the consequences of Brexit for Au Pairs here.
Can you become a Host Family?
A childcare provider that lives with you is an excellent way of experiencing a cultural exchange and getting to know a different part of the world without having to travel. Host Families have to meet some requirements to welcome an applicant of the program into their place. Check if you can answer the following questions with a “Yes”:
Do you have at least one child under the age of 18 living with you?
Is English the spoken language at your place?
Does the fact of being part of a cultural exchange and finding a new family member sound exciting to you?
Can you provide your new family member with accommodation, food and a salary of 70-85 GBP a week?
And? Were you able to answer each question with a clear “Yes”? Then you are ready to look for an affordable childcare option from any part of the world you want. Maybe you will find the right one today.
After registering on AuPair.com, create a profile which needs to contain all the important information about your family. How old are your kids? How many do you have? Why are you looking for an international childcare provider and what would their schedule look like? Answer those and other questions. Write a “welcome letter” to the Au Pair and upload pictures. Profiles with pictures are far more successful and liked than others.
Start contacting the Au Pairs once you have filled out everything. Now you can add other users to your favorites and send standard messages. To get the communication further you will need a Premium Membership. As a Premium Member you will be able to send personalised messages and exchange other contact details like skype names and telephone numbers. We will also provide you with a template of the contract and a handbook for Host Families.
Your candidate also needs to meet the program requirements. So before you start the process, you need to check if your favorites meet all the criteria to be able to come to the UK.
Hosting EU and Non-EU applicants
Here you find a list of requirements. During a skype call you can check these points with the applicants:
EU citizens have to be between 17 and 30 years old, Non-EU applicants between 18 and 30 years.
They need to speak English on a good level.
They cannot be married or have children.
Non-EU applicants should be eligible for a UK visa, EU applicants should be able to travel to the UK in general.
They should be able to cover their travel expenses.
Although it is not an official requirement, participants should have experience in childcare because they will be responsible for watching your children, bring them to nursery and/or school and prepare meals for them. So they should’ve done those tasks like these in the past.
If anything is unclear you can find more information in our Au Pair Wiki or our FAQs. If there is anything special our website won’t answer you can contact us personally anytime.
Hosting an Au Pair from the European Union and EFTA
After you’ve found an Au Pair you should talk on Skype a couple of times to get to know each other. If your family has made a decision about your new member, you need to discuss everything concerning the stay and write it down in the Au Pair contract, which needs the signatures of both parties. If your candidate is from a European Union or EFTA country, she/he will only need a valid passport to enter the UK. There is no restriction for the duration of the stay.
Insurance in the United Kingdom
Citizens of the EU benefit from the services they get with their European Health Insurance Card. But you and your participant have to remember that the services and treatments that the insurance will cover differ from country to country, so it would be clever for the Au Pair to get an additional insurance for the stay in the UK. There are special Au Pair insurances that will also include a liability and accident insurance. We also recommend that the Host Family supports their candidate with the costs for the insurance, but it is not obligatory.
If you have found some favorites and added them to your list, you can set up appointments for Skype calls and get to know them on a more personal level. If you’ve found the perfect candidate, you can fill out the contract. It is one of the most important documents because the participant will need it to apply for the visa to the UK. Now there are only a couple of steps left.
Sign the agreement
Write down everything that matters in the contract. When and how many hours does the Au Pair have to work? When will they have time off? Also include information about the responsibilities and the Au Pair payment. The contract needs the signatures of both parties.
Check if the participant has an insurance
Your new family member will need an insurance for the UK that will cover their whole stay. Not only medical treatments have to be covered, but also accidents and liabilities. The insurance has to be contracted before the stay.
Support during visa application
If the Au Pair needs a visa to the UK you can help them anytime with the process so they won’t forget anything to bring to the appointment. You should definitely provide them with the contract in time.
Welcome your Au Pair
Before the Au Pair arrives, you should prepare a nice room for them. Maybe you want to get some pictures or candles, decoration pillows or a cozy blanket so they feel at home. Also talk to them about the arrival and where to pick them up.