Au Pair Work – Is It For Me?

You will notice that there are plenty of Au Pair/Live In Nanny opportunities all around New Zealand. It could be tempting to talk yourself in to applying for these jobs without considering if it is really something that you would want to do.

Here are some points to consider:

– Do you like children? Have you experienced a toddler, baby, pre teenager? Do you know what life would be like looking after them on a day to day basis

– A live in situation can be all consuming, working and living in the same place. Would you have access to a vehicle to be able to leave the property and have some time away from work.

– If you go through an agency such as Au Pair Link, you will have the support of the agency if the position is not working out. A good agency will work hard to match the right applicant with the right family. If you get a job independently you would not have this in place.

– If you do find work independently then it is possible that a contract may not be offered as some parents may see this as a less formal arrangement than if you were working a more conventional job. However a contract is there to protect both you and your employees and to try and reduce as many grey areas as possible in the work place. If you request one and it is not provided than perhaps it is not the best place to work.

– A contract should outline as precisely as possible what your expected duties are in your position. For example are you required to do cleaning? Is yes, how much cleaning and what? What meals do you provide?

Questions that may be useful to ask in an interview include:

  • Ask for information about the children including their age, character, likes/dislikes and the parents style of discipline.
  • What the daily/weekly schedule is like (here you should get an indication of how well structured the parents like the children’s day to be).
  • What pay you will receive and any other extras like internet, days off, extra pay for babysitting outside of your normal hours, use of vehicle etc
  • If you speak another language ask if there is any expectation that you teach the children some of your native language
  • Have the family had an au pair before? How long did he or she stay? What issues/difficulties were experienced and how could they be avoided if you were to take the role?
  • Ask if there are other au pairs near by that you might be able to interact with. Or local play groups or other activities you could attend.
  • How long would you be expected to stay in the role?
  • Are you expected to eat with the family? When would they like time as a family without you there?

An au pair job can be a lot of fun and a lot of hard work. There are many experiences you can read about online. Google, research and you will soon know if the idea of being an au pair appeals to you. Read more in our Au pair section here.