Au pair job duties - definitions and guidelines
Job duties will vary from family to family
and country to country. To make it easier for au pairs and
families to find the best match, we have created a list of job
duties that au pairs generally perform. We have included
these job duties in our search criteria so that families can easily
find an au pair that is happy to perform the job duties they
require, and also au pairs can easily find families that require
job duties that they are happy to perform.
TheBestAupair recommends that the au pair's jobs be clearly
stated in the contract/agreement. It is very important that the au
pair knows exactly what jobs they will be required to perform
before they leave their home country and are satisfied with what
they are required to do.
Please find below information on each of the job duties that we
have created in TheBestAupair:
To reduce the amount of confusion for what is considered light
housework versus other duties, please find below a TheBestAupair
definition. We recommend that the employment contract be
clear regarding the duties that the au pair is required to perform
to avoid any misunderstandings.
Light housework (an au pair will typically do
some or all of these duties):
- Doing the laundry i.e. putting the washing on, hanging it out,
folding and putting it away
- Preparing breakfast and lunch for the children
- Cooking the dinner
- Cleaning up after meals
- Keeping the children's rooms and play/living areas tidy.
- Keeping their own room, and the bathroom they use clean and
House cleaning and other duties (au pair will
not typically do these duties as standard):
- House cleaning
- Spring cleaning
- Car Washing
It is not expected that an au pair does house cleaning and the
other duties listed above unless this is discussed and agreed by
both the host family and au pair and extra pocket money is paid to
the au pair for doing such tasks.
Shopping and Errands:
Shopping and errands can include a variety of activities
including grocery shopping, walking the children to school or
activities, dropping off or picking up dry cleaning etc…
Disabled care involves looking after a child who is
disabled. Due to the varying nature of disabilities,
TheBestAupair suggests that families and au pairs talk openly about
the requirements the family has, and the duties the au pair will be
required to perform.
Elderly care involves the au pair either:
- Assisting with the care of an elderly person who also lives
with the family. The au pair will also be required to look
after children, and provide some care for the elderly person
- Provide care to an elderly person who lives at home on their
own. This type of au pair job is not as common as looking
Please refer to Aged Care for further information.
** Please note that an au pair is NOT required to provide
nursing services, and an au pair is only a realistic option for
elderly people who are able to look after themselves, and require
some help with shopping and errands, light housework and would like
Care of infants under 2 years:
Care of infants requires activities such as feeding the child,
changing their nappy, bathing the child, and depending on the
family may include assisting during nights to bottle feed the
Due to the varying nature of pets in the home, TheBestAupair
recommends that if pet care is required, it is clearly explained in
the family profile. Pet care could involve duties such as
taking the dog (or other animal?) for a walk, feeding the pet and
bathing the pet if applicable.
Cooking meals involves cooking some or all of the family meals
for breakfast, lunch and dinner / evening meal. Cooking meals
can include making the children's school lunch in the morning.
Many families require the au pair to drive. TheBestAupair
has provided a rating system that the au pair should complete, and
take seriously. Driving conditions may be very good, or in
some countries / cities driving conditions can be very difficult
and sometimes dangerous (e.g. in ice / snow) particularly if you
are not used to driving on those conditions.
TheBestAupair recommends the family is clear on the requirements
for driving and both the family and au pair should ensure the au
pair is insured.
Please refer to Car Use - Guidelines and Driving
Insurance for further information.
Additional job duties:
Some countries have very strict rules about what an au pair is
allowed to do and how many hours they are allowed to work.
Other countries (like Australia) do not have as strict rules and
hence there is more flexibility for what is allowed.
Finally, please remember that the term au pair is a French word,
meaning "on a par" or "equal to", indicating that the relationship
is intended to be one of equals: the au pair is intended to become
a member of the family, albeit a temporary one, rather than a
traditional domestic worker.
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