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Best AuPair

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:


Housework Definition:

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
  • Ironing
  • Vacuuming
  • Preparing breakfast and lunch for the children
  • Cooking the dinner
  • Baking
  • 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 tidy


House cleaning and other duties (au pair will not typically do these duties as standard):

  • House cleaning
  • Spring cleaning
  • Gardening
  • 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:


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:


Elderly care involves the au pair either:

  1. 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
  2. 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 after children.   


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 some company…


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 child.


Pet Care:


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:


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. 


If you have any comments regarding this page, please Email us - we value your feedback!

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