A live in au pair is the perfect solution for many busy households. An individual over the age of 18 resides with your family, assists with light household tasks and provides childcare & evening babysitting. These individuals come to the UK as part of language and cultural exchange programme. As a result, families can benefit from approximately 25 hours a week of their help plus up to two weeknights of babysitting. If evening babysitting is not included in the 25 hours it must be treated as overtime and paid at £4 an hour. In school holidays an au pair can do extra hours for extra pay if needed.
In exchange for their help you must provide your au pair with their own room and full board as well as the agreed pay. This is set at a minimum of £80 per week but the competition for good au pairs is tough and the going rate is increasingly £90-100 per week.
It’s important to make the person feel welcome, particularly given that au pairs are in high demand at present. As the host you are required to help them find a suitable English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course and to contribute towards the cost of language classes (minimum £5 a week but as much as you can reasonably afford). For au pairs with very good or fluent English who do not wish to attend English lessons it's advisable to contribute instead to a gym or other type of class she may want to go to.You also need to give the au pair two days off a week, when he or she will be completely free from any duties. If you require any evening babysitting at the weekend on one of the au pair’s days off, it’s advisable to give plenty of notice and you must pay overtime for this.
An au pair is not a live in cleaner so housework duties must not exceed 20 % of the au pair's total hours (eg 5 hours a week in a 25 hour week). If you need more cleaning support & the emphasis is more on housework than childcare you will need a Home Assistant. If so please select this option on your application form.
Finally, please note that an au pair cannot provide sole care for children aged less than two years if both parents work outside the home. If you are seeking this then you should consider a live in nanny or mothers help instead.