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Au Pair Duties

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The au pair should be given full information about the family and his/her duties before he/she leaves his/her country to avoid any confusion. He or she is expected to help with the housework and the care of the children. Some training may be necessary initially.

Au pair duties revolve around children, include childcare, preparing light meals for the children, washing the dishes, light housework such as dusting, sweeping, tidying, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. Light house work is open to interpretation so aupairs should not be exploited.

Jobs which are not considered light housework include painting, polishing brass, silver etc., cleaning skirting boards, hand washing, washing the carpets, mowing the lawn, gardening, cleaning the families cars interior or exterior, cleaning the outside windows, cleaning business premises or any other home etc. Some male au pairs may be willing to undertake such tasks instead of doing indoor housework by prior agreement.

If families expect their au pair to do more than 1-2 hours cleaning a day, then it is important that families make this clear, to make sure that the aupair is happy to do the amount required.

Normally the au pair's work is child related, so any variation on this needs to be discussed and agreed in advance. If the aupair is the only person doing most of the weekly housework or if the job involves little or no childcare then the aupair should be told this in advance.

Many aupairs leave families if they feel they are being taken advantage of in terms of work, so it is in the interest of the family to work out the aupair's schedule in the form of a written work plan in order to make the best use of her time.

Au pairs with driving licences are at an advantage when applying for jobs, since most families will prefer them to drive their children to school, to the dentist, dance classes etc. Of course not all families are willing to lend their aupair a car but if they do providing the aupair has a full driving licence and enough experience they will usually allow the aupair to use the car to take the children to school, day trips or even allow aupair to borrow the car for private use during his or her free time.

Families should not ask the au pair to drive until it's his or her third week of stay. This allows time for the aupair to settle in and adjust to his or her surroundings beforehand. This process should never be rushed or forced if the aupair is hesitant to drive. Bear in mind that the driving standards vary between countries so plenty of practice and formal driving lessons should be given as required.

Some families in Europe prefer foreign au pairs because they can teach the children another language. Families may ask for scheduled lesson may be once a day or chatting to them reading stories etc.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 11 October 2009 22:03  

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