Frequently Asked Questions About Aupairing
Updated: Apr 11
This blog answers frequently asked questions about Aupairing:
Who is an Aupair?
In which situation would anyone want to be an Aupair?
What is the difference between being an Aupair and a nanny?
What are the requirements to being an Aupair?
What are my tasks as an Aupair?
Can someone with a baby/children be an Aupair?
How much pocket money does an Aupair receive?
How many hours should Aupairs work?
While working as an Aupair with a student visa can I still work other jobs?
After matching students with host families does Aupair Match UK work as an agent between both parties if there is a disagreement?
As a male, can I be an Aupair?
Question 1: Who is an Aupair?
This question tops our chart of frequently asked questions by prospective Aupairs. An Aupair is a young person, usually between the ages of 18 and 30, who lives with another family as a member of that family. The family is called the host family. Typically, Aupairs take on a share of the family's responsibility for childcare.
Question 2: In which situation would anyone want to be an Aupair?
i) A non-English speaker from the EU coming to the UK to learn English, and or to improve their English.
ii) A student in need of free accommodation.
iii) A young person taking a gap year to travel the world on a shoestring budget
iv) Any young person in the UK who wants to explore their opportunities in childcare
Question 3: What is the difference between being an Aupair and a nanny?
As explained earlier, an Aupair is a person, usually between the ages of 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.
Question 4: What are the requirements to being an Aupair?
A necessary requirement for registration to be an Aupair is a valid passport and a valid UK visa. For students who are yet to arrive in the UK, confirmation of arrival date through a flight ticket is required.
An exception to the aforementioned requirement is if any of the following applies to you:
i) You are from the UK or Ireland.
ii) You 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.
iii) You have a Youth Mobility Scheme visa.
Please Note: You cannot be an au pair if you have a visitor visa or are visiting the UK for 6 months or less. Also, Aupair Match UK does not give visa advice or deal with visa inquiries. If you need to know more, please visit GOV.UK to read about Aupairs employment Law.
Question 5: What are my tasks as an Aupair?
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. It is important that Aupairs and host families have this discussion and agree on what tasks are expected and within what hours.
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 etc.
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. In addition to this, an Aupair is 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 crucial that the Aupair clarifies with the host family what would be expected of them. As an Aupair, you should know your rights. Host families should remember: an Aupair is not a maid, neither is he/she there to take care of the elderly family.
Question 6: Can someone with a baby/children be an Aupair?
This would be up to the host family. The matching process involves negotiation, therefore this condition can be negotiated with the family. Interestingly, there are some couple Aupairs who have successfully negotiated a place with a host family, it’s a lot harder but it is possible.
Question 7: How much pocket money does an Aupair receive?
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 £150 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.
Question 8: How many hours should Aupairs work?
International students who want to be Aupairs are legally allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours a week. However, Aupairs who are on the Youth Mobility Scheme are allowed to work a maximum of 30 hours a week. This includes a couple of evenings babysitting.
If the Host Family requires additional care beyond what an Aupair can legally provide, Aupair Match UK encourages the Host Family to consider getting a nanny or alternatively, arrange for supplemental child care support.
Question 9: While working as an Aupair with a student visa, can I still work other jobs?
Aupair Match UK advises against it because the guidelines surrounding Aupairing can be open to interpretation and it is always better to err on the safe side.
Question 10: After matching students with host families, does Aupair Match UK work as an agent between both parties if there is a disagreement?
In the event of a conflict, Aupair Match UK is always available to counsel or advice either side on how to remedy the situation.
Question 11: As a male, can I be an Aupair?
Aupair is not a gender restricted job, Aupairs can be male or female. In fact, male Aupairs are generally known as bropairs. However, we have not had any requests for male Aupairs in recent times, so males should bear this in mind while they register.
I hope you had a good read-through and if not enjoyed it, you at least found it useful. If you are interested in knowing more about being an Aupair from Nigeria, or Aupair job vacancies in the UK, or you are already an Aupair and have good advice to give other Aupairs, you are warmly invited to join our community. Just as well, if you are a parent who would like to host an Aupair from Nigeria, or find out about Aupairs available in your local community, or just get some moral support from other families, please join our community.
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