Frequently Asked Questions
Here, you will find popular questions from Aupairs and popular questions from Host Families
Q: What are the benefits of being an Aupair
A: There are numerous benefits and reasons to become an Aupair. The reasons and benefits would be applicable based on the individual, however, here are a few common reasons and benefits: by living with a host family, young people avoid paying rent, bills, or even paying for food, this saves them a lot of money when living in a foreign country; Aupairing teaches important life skills; Aupairing is the best and safest way to learn a new language and a new culture.
Q: What are the benefits of hosting an Aupair
A: Families who consider hosting an Aupair benefit from extremely affordable childcare. Aupairs do not have the same level of professionalism as Nannies, and would generally work fewer hours. The host family is also responsible for the Aupair's upkeep (rent, bills, and food) therefore they are paid pocket money which is considerably less than salaries paid to nannies.
Q: Do I need a visa to be an Aupair in the UK
A: If none of the following apply to you, then you need a visa to come to the UK:
are from the UK or Ireland
are from an EU country and have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or are eligible to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme
have a Youth Mobility Scheme visa
You cannot be an au pair if you have a visitor visa or are visiting the UK for 6 months or less.
Please note that we do not give visa advice or deal with visa enquiries. The above was taken from the UK government’s website, if you need to know more https://www.gov.uk/au-pairs-employment-law/au-pairs
Q: What is the difference between being an Aupair and a nanny?
A: An Aupair is a person, usually between ages 18 and 30, who has come from one country to visit (i.e not to live permanently) another country (the host country). The purpose of their visit to the host country is to immerse themselves in the experience of learning a new language and culture. To be able to do this in a safe and secure space, they choose to live with a host family as a big sister or brother, living as part of the family and helping out with babysitting and light housework. An Aupair does not receive a salary. They have to keep to the cultural exchange rules and regulations that guide Aupairs and host families.
A nanny is a professional role involving a qualified and experienced childcare giver who is paid a salary for their services. Unlike an Aupair, a nanny is not involved in any cultural exchange and are guided by employer/employee rules and regulations.
Q: What are my tasks as an Aupair?
A: An Aupair living with a host family lives there as a member of the family and is therefore expected to carry out daily tasks. These tasks are mostly related to childcare and light housework associated with childcare. As an Aupair, you should know your rights. An Aupair is not the maid, or there to take care of the elderly family member.
Q: What is defined as light housework
A: Light housework, in an Aupair context, is housekeeping tasks that are connected to taking care of the children they are responsible for and also cleaning up after themselves. Examples of tasks connected to childcare are helping tidy up the children's room, feeding them, helping them with homework, washing up their dishes and putting them away, bathing them, doing their laundry e.t.c.
An Aupair is also expected to clean up after themselves, this means washing their own dishes and putting them away, cleaning up their rooms and generally just being sensible about general hygiene.
An Aupair is also expected to take part or take turns in cleaning up shared spaces and common areas like the kitchen, bathroom and living room (if these spaces are shared).
It is very important that the Aupair clarifies with the host family what would be expected of them.
Q: How much pocket money should an Aupair receive?
A: The amount recommended by the UK government is a minimum of £90 a week. However, it is not unusual to see some host families offer more to some Aupairs in order to be competitive, to show they value them or because the Aupair would be doing more work. If an Aupair receives more than the usual rates, they would have to check that they don't have to pay income tax on that amount.
Q: Is pocket money taxed:
A: Aupairs in the UK may have to pay Income Tax and National Insurance, depending on how much pocket money they get. To find out if you have to pay income tax and National Insurance, check here: https://www.gov.uk/income-tax
Q: How many hours should Aupairs work
A: The answer depends on the type of visa the Aupair has. An international student visa allows a maximum of 20 working hours a week, for other visa types, for example, the Youth Mobility Scheme, the maximum working hours is 30 hours a week, including a couple of evenings babysitting.
Q: Where can Aupairs make friends
Social media has a lot of Aupair communities, join one to find another Aupair living close to you or even try the college where you currently study.
Q: How can I make my Aupair comfortable
A: An Aupair is a member of the family, treat them like you would treat your children. Feed them, be patient with them when they do not understand your instructions, communicate with them, do not exclude them from family activities except if they want to be excluded.
Q. What is the matching fee
A. Aupairs are charged a one-off matching fee of £100. Host families are charged a one-off matching fee of £200.
Q: What if an Aupair can’t afford the £100 fee
A: If you can’t afford the £100 fee, when you meet your host family, you might be able to negotiate that your host family pay your fees on a loan that comes out of your weekly pocket money.