Why be an Au Pair?
Because it will be the best decision you ever made! You will have the opportunity to live and work overseas as an au pair. Whichever programme or country you choose, you will be so glad you did! You will finish your programme having made new friends from all over the world, and have many new experiences to share with your friends and family back home. Your overseas experience will help you improve your language ability, grow as a person, and learn important skills that will be with you for the rest of your life. Native English speakers are very sought-after as au pairs all over the world, so you have a great advantage and, provided your application is complete and suitable, you should be able to placed with a host family quickly. Many host families have some knowledge of English and are keen for their children to speak some English with you whilst you are improving your language skills. Don't worry if you are not yet fluent or even a little shy to use your language skills; the host families have a good understanding that you are coming to experience the culture and learn the language!
What is an Au Pair?
An au pair is a caring, live-in childcare provider who lives as an extended member of a host family in exchange for room, board and pocket money.
In addition to providing childcare, au pair responsibilities may also include:
- Dropping the children off at school or activities
- Picking them up from school or after-school activities
- Helping with homework
- Helping to keep the children’s rooms clean
- Cooking light meals for the children
While your main priority is to take care of the children, you will have plenty of free time to study, to socialise and get to know the area where you will be living. You can at tend educational classes at local schools and you will also participate in meetings and activities planned with other au pairs in your community.
Most host families are looking for someone who is able to commit for 12 months, although a six-month stay is generally also possible in most countries. You can also apply to the summer au pair programme, which is 2-3 months long, depending on where you wish to go.
Your BAPAA Agency
If you are considering the au pair programme overseas, you should only apply with a BAPAA agency. This is the only way to ensure you are in safe hands. Avoid internet agencies and internet sites when looking for a host family overseas.
Your BAPAA agent co-operates with a number of reputable overseas agencies that are available, on site, to support you throughout your stay. Your BAPAA agent will help you with the application, explain the rules of the programme and offer you pre-arrival support. You may also be asked to attend a personal interview. The BAPAA agent will receive your full application and then forward your details to their partner agency overseas, who will be responsible for helping you select the best host family for your stay abroad. You will have everything explained to you in detail when you apply.
The Au Pair Europe Programme is generally available free of charge or at a low rate, however these charges vary according to the service provided.
For more information on the various outbound au pair programmes, please contact one of the BAPAA agencies listed in the Directory, where you can find information on the services offered by each BAPAA agency.
A number of BAPAA agencies in the UK offer outbound programmes to:
- New Zealand
- United States