So why pick Ireland? Fascinating history, gorgeous landscapes and it’s in the Euro zone make Ireland very appealing to foreign students to au pair and study abroad. Ireland has an International reputation for higher education and language schools and you will find great cities to live and study in with host families, from Dublin in the East to Galway in the West.
The Irish were rated as the friendliest nation of people in the world by Lonely Planet. Need we say more? Oh, and their accents have been known to entice many an au pair or international student into staying well beyond the end of their visit or course. It’s fair to say that the Irish are well known for their hospitality.
In one of my other articles what are considered childcare jobs I went through in general what an au pair is or does and usually it doesn’t differ much from country to country.
I will just run through being an au pair Ireland:
- What’s expected
- Hours and salary
- Length of stay
- Studying in Ireland – learning English.
What’s expected: You will be expected to have some childcare experience from babysitting to any further childcare qualifications after all you will have sole responsibility for the children and their well being. All kinds of childcare, dressing, bathing, entertaining, simple meals, babysitting and helping with homework. You will or may also be expected to undertake light housework, which may include washing, cleaning, ironing, dusting, hovering, simple cooking or other duties. You will be treated as a contributing adult member of the family.
Hours and salary: You will provide 35-40 hours of child-minding per week and will babysit for no more than 2 nights per week. In return you will get free board with your own room, use of a bathroom, wifi and all your cooked meals daily. You will make lifelong friends, experience a new culture and improve your English. You will get pocket money also €110 per week for a full au pair or a Demi au pair will get €70 per week.
A demi au pair is more or less the same as an au pair but you work less hours, 15-20 per week and hence get less pay. You would still be required for babysitting 1-2 nights per week. A demi au pair may suit a family with older children who only need a small amount of supervision after school perhaps to help with homework or a family in which one of the parents is in the home full time. A demi au pair position may suit an au pair who is studying or wants to do an intensive language course.
I would recommend discussing this option with your nanny services or employment agencies, au pair agency if you are using one to see if they do demi au pairs and what the downsides might be – sometimes demi au pairs opt to live outside of your home and just arrive for work, not dissimilar to a nanny. Searching the internet for ‘au pair Dublin’ or ‘au pair jobs Ireland’ will yield you plenty of results of various au pair agencies based in Dublin, Ireland or just in Ireland in general and you will be able to register yourself with some of these agencies to better your chances of finding your dream host family.
Just be aware that they are not doing this out of the goodness of their heart and there will be a fee associated with registering. Usually €50 to register and then there is a finder’s fee once your get a placement in or around €150-€200. Not all employment agencies deal with or specialise in positioning au pairs or nannies and it is advisable that you have some work lined up prior to travelling. If you are arriving to Ireland on a cultural care programme, then this will all be organised in advance for you.
Length of stay: Au pairs can stay with a host family from a minimum of 3 months, for a summer au pair, also called summer nanny jobs, to a maximum of 2 years. As an au pair programme or exchange is like a cultural exchange programme (I will touch on this further below in benefits) as opposed to a long-term career, usually an au pair placement will last between 6 months and 1 year. Au pair’s from EU states can travel to another EU state country without the need for a visa. Non-EU au pairs who come to an EU state to be an au pair will need to check the length of issue of their visa to determine the length they can stay. In most cases this will and should be ironed out prior to commencing and for the host family in particular this will play a huge part in the decision making when choosing an au pair. You want to try and avoid disruption in the routine of your family, especially if you have very young children.
Benefits: The pros of becoming an au pair Ireland mainly will be travelling to a foreign country you have never been to before; perhaps it’s your first time away for a long period on your own, learning a foreign language – in this case it is English as this is the spoken language in Ireland. When you travel to a foreign country like Ireland as an au pair you will not only get to see the country as if you were a tourist you will also get to see the culture and taste the food, Irish stew, cabbage and bacon, black pudding…yum and become totally immersed in the core of family life and experience Irish sports like Gaelic football and hurling. There are not many experiences that will allow you to get as close and to know the country and its people as an au pair experience will. You will get to broaden your horizons, meet new people, learn a new language and socialise with like-minded people and make lifelong friendships and have some craic along the way!
I will just step away from Ireland on this for a sec and just look an au pairing in general. From a career point of view it is not an option but as a ticket to travel the world to get to see new places, experience new cultures and meet new people it has unrivalled competition. Most of the time you don’t even need employment agencies or nanny services to secure a job, it can come from word of mouth or just free posts on the Internet ( just be careful). In a lot of countries like Ireland where you search general terms like ‘ jobs Ireland’ for the last few years during a recession these have become very slim – but not for au pair or nannies, still in high demand. An au pair can be a stepping stone to a career in childcare where the world is your oyster.
Below is a Youtube clip from an Au Pair Ireland experience
Studying in Ireland – learning English: One of your main purposes when travelling as an au pair to Ireland will be to improve your English be it oral and written or either or. You must try organise with your host family in advance your duties around your language classes. Normally you will attend two classes a week but this is totally up to you as at the end of the day you will be the one paying for the classes yourself. You should never be asked to work at a time you have classes. There are a large number of English language schools in Ireland with a lot catering solely to au pairs. You should consult with your host family in making the decision as they will know the lie of the land and also make sure it is in a safe neighbourhood for you to commute to and from, it can get dark in Ireland at 4pm in wintertime.
I came across this in my research and found if very informative.
Advise for English language students:
The Irish Government is introducing new legislation for English language courses in Ireland – for the better. Basically all courses and schools will have to be fully accredited with ACELS from 1st Oct 2015.
They have also issued a warning concerning some colleges which are advertising at present and are not complainant – ‘If it looks too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.” ICOS strongly warns all students to avoid buying courses that have not been quality assured in Ireland by ACELS.
Although there are no visa issues for EU students, ICOS still suggests that you think about the new policy if you plan to book with a private college. Ask about how many of its students are from the EU and consider the information below.
A WARNING TO ALL STUDENTS
At present, a number of private colleges rely almost exclusively on recruiting non-EEA students on one year visas to English language programmes which are not accredited in Ireland. ICOS believes that most colleges like this cannot expect to have their courses appear on the ILEP on 1st October and will decide to close, either before or soon after this date. Almost all such colleges have no meaningful learner protection. If one of these college closes, the students – both EU and non-EU – will lose their fees. See full link here
Do some research on Ireland as a country, see what au pair agencies or websites, nanny services and jobs Ireland in general that are out there or as I mentioned above start off getting summer nanny jobs and go from there. You won’t look back and it will be an experience of a long time. I know I would if I could have done it.