The benefits and sacrifices of being an au pair London

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So you are contemplating becoming an au pair and your location of choice is London.  Au pair London is a popular choice as London itself is the capital of England and has strengths in the Arts, Commerce, Education, Fashion, Finance, Tourism and Transport all helping to contribute to the fact ‘it is the world’s most visited city as measured by international arrivals’ (Source: Wikipedia).  It is also a world culture capital.  It has a diverse range of people and cultures and the restaurant scene is wonderful.  It is quite easy to be overwhelmed by London as there is so much to see and do.  The London underground and the excellent bus service means you can get around London quite easily.  The nightlife is also fabulous.  It is easy to appreciate why London therefore is the location of choice for so many au pair’s.

Tower Bridge at night au pair london backdrop
London’s Tower Bridge by night

The good news for aspiring au pairs is that supply is probably not matching demand.  A quick browse on au pair sites for London jobs or jobs London will confirm this.  A large city like London may not however, suit some au pairs who prefer smaller provincial locations or indeed the open spaces of Ireland. Naturally there are au pair positions in other European and non-European countries and sites such as or will prove useful in providing information on what is needed to be an au pair in these countries. If tempted to au pair in Ireland read here . The driver behind demand for positions as an au pair England or au pair Ireland is the high level of unemployment from young people in their own countries so rather than face unemployment or a dismal job market an au pair appears to be a far more interesting alternative for many young people.

Before you rush out and accept any au pair or fille au pair position or indeed before you search the web for London jobs or au pair jobs London take time to reflect on and determine exactly what an au pair is?  What are the duties and responsibilities, what do you believe will be the benefits and sacrifices, how do you go about finding and au pair London job and importantly why do you want to be an au pair in the first place.  Do your homework thoroughly as this can avoid disillusionment and perhaps tears later on.

So what is an au pair?


An au pair is a young person generally aged 18-30 unmarried with no children who moves to a foreign country to look after a host families children part-time and performs some light housework.  Babysitting on agreed evenings is also quite common, however, all these duties should take place within a 30 hour week, babysitting included. In exchange for this an au pair receives a private au pair room, meals and an agreed monetary allowance. This allowance varies according to the host country but in the UK it ranges between £75-85.  This however is negotiable.  Most au pairs attend language classes either whilst the children are at school or in the evenings.  It definitely is a wonderful opportunity to learn a new language, experience a new culture and learn some valuable life experiences whilst abroad.  Effectively it is a mutual cultural exchange which benefits both the host family and the au pair.  Most au pairs are female however some countries do allow male au pairs.  When French families either in France or in other countries post au pair positions on a website they are referred to ‘fille au pair’.

Au pair is a French term meaning ‘at par’ or ‘equal to’ meaning that the relationship between the host family and an au pair is intended to be one of equals.  The au pair becomes a member of the family for a defined period of time generally not exceeding one year.  An au pair therefore is not a nanny or a domestic servant rather, it is a young person looking to learn a new language and experience a new culture.

The benefits of being an au pair in London, Paris, New York  are that you get to experience and learn a new language, are exposed to a new culture and interact with other nationalities at language classes and socially.  One of the main reasons au pair London is so popular is the fact English is the language of business and is a must-have in many countries when applying for a job.  The idea of living in London with a host family, with defined hours and duties, a private au pair room, meals and approx £80 per week is in itself a life experience. 


Au pair london calling
Au pair London calling!

There are however sacrifices in being an au pair At times it may be hard to live and work in the same space as your host family.  Dealing with the tantrums of a 12 year old or feeding toddlers or dealing with toilet emergencies in say a 4 year old can be challenging.  You will spend a lot of time in your au pair room or quarters doing homework from your language course, streaming movies on your laptop, facetiming friends and family or on Skype to the boyfriend you have left behind. Your host families diet and food may be quite different to yours.  Even if your host family treats you as an adult and do not enforce curfews you are still living in somebody else’s home so you inevitably sacrifice some comfort and independence.  Despite this it is a wonderful way to explore another country, its customs and culture and at the same time make some lifelong friends.


So how do you source an au pair London position?

The most convenient way to source a position is through established and reputable websites that allow host families and aspiring au pairs to post and browse profiles for free.  I have covered all this in one of my other posts au pair world .Once however the host family or au pair wish to exchange personal messages either the au pair or host family must pay a small fee (generally the host family as contact information is locked without a subscription).  Once suitable matches are made then the au pair and host families can get to know each other better.

Video calls, Skype and Facetime are all useful tools in this process.  Flesh out in great detail exactly what your duties will be, working hours, free time, holidays, meals, private au pair room, babysitting and the ability to attend a language course.  Are you expected to drive their car and are you comfortable driving on the left hand side of the road or not.  If so make sure you are included on their insurance.  Propose and discuss a written contract which is for the protection of all involved.  During these discussion bear in mind the host family is also taking a gamble based on video calls or Skype by inviting you into their house and then trusting their children to your care.  It is worth noting that the monetary allowance and weekly hours are defined by the regulations of the respective host country which in the case of au pair London or au pair England is the UK regulations.

au pair london new breakfast!
Hearty English Breakfast…yummy

Some people use agencies also know as nanny services that match candidates with families and provide security in the form of background checks and contracts.  The downside is you personally cannot choose the family.

When taking up an au pair London or an au pair England position be aware that EU and EFTA citizens can enter the UK on a valid passport or identity card. No entry visa required.  You can also benefit from the national health service throughout your stay but must produce your European health insurance card. More information on this European Health Insurance Card.There are charges associated with hospital treatments or dental and some other treatments so it is prudent to bring your own private travel insurance policy as well as your European health insurance card.

If you do not qualify for an entry visa from being an EU citizen then you can apply to be an au pair in the UK under the Tier 5 mobility scheme.


Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme replaces the UK Working Holiday Visa programme.  The Youth Mobility Scheme is for young people who want to live, work and travel in the United Kingdom for a period of up to two years.

The Youth Mobility Scheme is only open to countries which have a special reciprocal agreement with the United Kingdom.  The list of countries participating in the scheme is much smaller than the list of countries participating in the original UK Working Holiday programme.

Currently, only passport holders from the following countries are eligible to apply under the UK Youth Mobility Scheme:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Monaco
  • Taiwan

To apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme you must score 50 on a points based assessment process.

Points are allocated in the following way:

  • Nationality – 30 points
  • Age – 20 points
  • Maintenance – 10 points.

For further information click here for the site info overview or

So having done all your research and chosen a family you believe you will be happy with, remember there are never any guarantees it will work out.  There are many examples of horror stories on both sides.  The key to a successful au pair experience should be to discuss the most important aspects of the au pair role well in advance and come to an agreement that is suitable for everyone. 

au pair London guide
Read up before you travel to London

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Looking at Au Pair in South Africa? Some quick facts – Aupairsa.

South Africa might not as of yet be your number one choice in which to au pair but I will run through some quick facts on South Africa. What is involved in terms of work permits and visas for travelling au pairs, au pairs salaries in South Africa, and what is expected of South African host families, as well as the current job situation in South Africa and how to look for that all important job.

Map of Southern Africa, Undated
Get your bearings to choose where to go.

South Africa Quick Facts:


Key Facts:

  • Official name: Republic of South Africa
  • Form of state: A federal state, comprising a national government and nine provincial governments.
  • Legal system: Based on Roman-Dutch law and the 1996 Constitution.
  • Population (Census 2011): 51.77-million
  • Measures: metric system
  • Currency: One rand (R) = 100 cents
  • Time: Two hours ahead of GMT
  • Internet domain: .za

South Africa by population:

South Africa is a nation of 51.77-million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages and beliefs. Around 79% are black (or African), 8.9% “coloured” – the local label for people of mixed African, Asian and white descent – 8.9% white, and 2.5% Indian or Asian. Data from the 2011 census.

The majority of South Africans are Christian, the largest church being the indigenous Zion Christian Church, followed by the Dutch Reformed and Catholic churches.


There are 11 recognised languages; most are indigenous to South Africa such as Zulu. English is recognised and spoken everywhere. The current president Jacob Zuma makes all his addresses and speeches in English as English is the language of business.

Weather: If coming from the northern hemisphere bear in mind the seasons are reversed e.g their summer is our winter.

Summer: Over much of South Africa, summer, which lasts from mid-October to mid- February, is characterised by hot, sunny weather – often with afternoon thunderstorms that clear quickly, leaving a warm, earthy, uniquely African smell in the air. 33 Degress highest temperature.

Table Mountain from the sea- aupairsa
Table Mountain Cape Town – Au Pair paradise.

Autumn:  or fall – in South Africa is from mid-February to April. It offers the best weather in some respects. Very little rain falls over the whole country, and it is warm but not too hot, getting colder as the season progresses.

Winter:  from May to July – is characterised in the higher-lying areas of the interior plateau by dry, sunny, crisp days and cold nights, sometimes with heavy frosts. It’s a good idea to bring warm clothes. The high mountains of the Cape usually get snow during the winter. The coldest area in winter time can be Bloemfontein -2 Degrees.

Spring:  lasts from August to mid-October and in the Western and Northern Cape it is a spectacular experience to witness the flowers and plants start to flourish.

Big cities: Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Johannesburg

Money Money Money:      With a favourable exchange rate for many international currencies, you’ll find South Africa a very inexpensive destination. South Africa’s unit of currency is the Rand, which is divided into 100 cents. Coins come in denominations of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5, and notes in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.

Can you drink the water: No it is not recommended to drink tap water but bottled water is available in all stores and is quite cheap.

Driving:                 In South Africa they drive on the left hand side of the road and most cars are stick shift.

Is it safe?              Only if you take all the appropriate precautions which will be explained to you by the host family or agency (if you use one) should you acquire an au pair position.

Just to give you a quick insight into the job crisis in South Africa so you can see what lies ahead in terms of the all-important job search – 1 in 4 are unemployed in South Africa with a youth crisis where 63.1% jobless. The national unemployment rate is currently at 25% the 8th highest in the world.


It is therefore no surprise that you cannot enter South Africa and begin your job search unless you already have one or more job offers. Foreigners need to get a job offer in order to apply for a work permit for South Africa. Because of this, anyone interested in securing a job should I suggest begin their search online. Where do you begin one may ask? With so many options and choices today any hints or tips are helpful which is why I have spoken about websites V’s agencies here – plus the pros and cons of a live in nanny– so all of this should help guide you in your search for a job.

Given the strict visa policy in South Africa and consequently the difficulty in securing a job offer it may be worth while initially at least to search on line under the headings jobs in south Africa, jobs in south Africa for foreigners or au pair jobs south Africa.  Whilst another site I wrote about does not cover South Africa there is a site which does so namely Aupairsa – if interested you can read my article on aupair world – click to read.

Quick look at

Au Pair SA is a South African online au pair agency that has serviced over 20,000 families and 80,000 au pairs around the country since its inception in 2007.

Similar to other site and again referring to aupairworld it can be viewed for free for a limited time but in order to contact au pairs you need to pay for this facility. 30 days is R535 which is €35 / USD$40 / GBP£26 OR 90 days which is €76 / USD$85 /GBP£55 one off payment. AU PAIRS ARE FREE – NO CHARGE.

The benefits of using an online agency is that they will be registered with the South African Department of Home Affairs and will be able to sponsor an aupair visa for you in advance thereby eliminating any headaches and uncertainties.

However in South Africa there are some slight differences so I will just run though what is needed to become an au pair in South Africa to avoid any confusion.


  • Have a valid driver’s license, not essential but will make you more employable. Most families in South Africa lead highly mobile lives with both parents working. The au pair must be able to do the school lifts and take children to extra afternoon activities as well as help out with shopping and other household chores.
  • Have at least two hundred hours(200) childcare experience
  • Enjoy working with children aged between 3 months and 13 years
  • Be able to commit for a year
  • Have a good command of English
  • Be aged between 18 and 24.
  • A non-smoker
  • High school diploma
  • Copy of criminal record check
  • Copy of your references
  • What will make you stand out:
    • Relevant childcare certificates or courses you have obtained i.e first aid, CPR etc.
    • Degrees or diplomas
    • Full clean driving licence
History of South Africa - get familiar to become aupairsa
History of South Africa – a must read for au pair

Au Pair Benefits and salary:


Host Families in South Africa provide their Au Pair with the following:

  • Private room and full board.
  • R2500-R4000 pocket money per month
  • 2 weeks of paid vacation per 12 months

With South Africa being so vast and with a lot of cultural differences I would recommend doing your homework on the different states in the country so that you can search for your jobs by location; jobs kwazulu natal, jobs in Johannesburg, jobs in Capetown. Do you know where these places are? Could you see yourself living there?  Remember that when dealing with agencies their role is to fill vacant positions so unless you stress or emphasis your preferred location you could end up in a location you dislike, have a bad experience which in turn could put you off the idea of ever again becoming an au pair. There are many nanny jobs and au pair jobs available you just need to get busy on the internet. Why go to a big city and au pair New York or au pair London when you can choose South Africa and open your eyes to new cultures and experiences, a once in a lifetime experience.


Tip of the Day :


Many new au pairs are faced with the problem of gaining childcare experience before getting their ideal au pair job. A solution that I would recommend is to volunteer some of your time to a charity which provides care for children in need, such as orphans and abandoned or abused children. Search the internet or ask local charities to help guide your search.

Not only will you experience the joy of seeing the benefits your care and companionship provides to children in need, but you will also be able to build valuable childcare references that will greatly aid you in finding your ideal au pair position.

If you are living at home and consequently have free board and lodging then working for free as an assistant in a crèche, Montessori or day care centre will also provide you with experience and be a valuable addition to your CV.

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How to apply to be Au pair Canada- Visa requirements and more

Canada stretching from the U.S. in the south to the Arctic Circle in the north, is filled with vibrant cities including massive, multicultural Toronto; predominantly French-speaking Montréal and Québec City; Vancouver and Halifax on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, respectively; and Ottawa, the capital. It’s also crossed by the Rocky Mountains and home to vast swaths of protected wilderness. English is predominately the spoken language and it is close to the USA. It has a population of 35 million people has very contrasting weather, gets a lot of snow and it has a Queen. A land of opportunities and a great choice on paper to visit as an au pair.

It is not until you look into Canada and its current job crisis and the requirements to become an au pair Canada that might make you rethink your options. I would not rule things out until you read all below for some great advice and quick tips.


In recent articles in the Huffington Post read here it refers to the unemployment rate sticking at 6.6% and also a concern among Youth Unemployment between 15-29 years olds – bottom line there are not enough jobs. Huffington so with au pairs falling into this age bracket what are the possibilities of getting work in Canada as an au pair? Will employment agencies even respond or deal with you? Would it be easier to look for nanny jobs?

Yes is the answer to the above questions; bar the last as in my opinion an au pair is the way to go if you wish to explore new cultures and see new countries. You can work as an au pair in Canada but it will come down to what country you are from at the end of the day. Canada does not offer an official au pair program, however, youths between 18 and 35 may qualify for a Working Holiday Visa, now called International Experience Canada or student work visa programs OR a Live in Care giver programme. So there are 2 programmes you can apply to for becoming an au pair in Canada. Things are looking good already.

 Live in Caregiver Visa


This open to caregivers who are aged 19 and above. There is no age limit on this visa program, but if you are looking to use this option to become an au pair generally this is a young person’s game.  This visa allows foreign employees to enter Canada as a caregiver. Successful applicants receive an employment authorisation allowing them to work in Canada as live-in caregivers. After two years of employment, program participants can apply in Canada to become permanent residents; they may be granted permanent resident status provided they meet certain requirements. Note: the two years of employment must be completed within four years of the caregiver’s arrival in Canada.

The Working Holiday Program or International Experience Canada (IEC)

Allows young citizens from countries with a reciprocal agreement with Canada, to live and work in Canada for 12-24 months. To work in the “childcare” field on this visa, you will need to lodge additional forms to have an unrestricted visa issued.

Countries eligible for IEC: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

About the Live-in Caregiver Program:

The Live-in Caregiver Program allows workers to go to Canada for live-in work as caregivers when there are not enough Canadians to fill the available positions. A “live-in caregiver” is someone who provides unsupervised care of children, the elderly, or the disabled in a private household.

Normal processing times 6-24 months but check your local embassy to verify.


  • Applicants must have successfully completed the equivalent of a Canadian high school education.
  • Applicants must have six months of full-time training in a classroom setting or twelve months of full-time paid employment, including at least six months of continuous employment with one employer in a field or occupation related to the job you are seeking as a live-in caregiver.
  • Applicants must be able to speak, read and understand either English or French at a level that allows you to function independently.
  • Applicants must have an employment contract and work permit.
  • An application to hire a live-in carer must be submitted by the prospective employer (host family) to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada/Service Canada (HRSDC/SC).The family must apply for the Labour Market Opinion (LMO).

Once granted, the work permit is normally valid for 4 years, in some circumstances 4 years and 3 months, and then you can start working as an au pair in Canada.

Caregivers are paid minimum wage, between $235- $350 per week, depending on the minimum wage set in each province. Maximum of 44 hours per week.

Live in care givers visa

Au pair canada paperwork
The all important work permit


About the International Experience Canada (IEC):

To work as an au pair in Canada, working holiday makers must be between 18-30 years of age, provide proof of sufficient funds (usually $2,500 CAD), have a return air ticket or funds to purchase one, have a valid passport, possess neither a criminal record nor serious medical conditions, not be accompanied by dependents, have comprehensive private health insurance, which includes medical, hospitalisation, repatriation and liability cover for the duration of their stay and not have already participated in the working holiday program.

Check the Government of Canada website to check your eligibility click here to check eligibility

You have 2 options to becoming an au pair in Canada going on the Working Holiday visa and which one you go for depends on how urgent it is.

  • You can go the ‘normal’ route and submit your application get all your medicals done (all through approved doctors or centres from the CIC) and await approval, this can take 6-8 weeks. During the application process, you’ll be asked if you would like to work in childcare, answer ‘yes’ to that question. If you are successful, a Letter of Introduction (LOI) will be emailed to you and you can enter Canada and be issued an unrestricted work permit so you may start working in childcare and hence as an au pair in Canada. You do not have to have a job offer in advance but with so many website out there like you can read my article on this here IMDEB LINK and the nature of the au pair business it would be better off to look for a host family in advance and more for peace of mind – especially after reading the jobs situation in Canada above.
  • Try the faster route -apply for the working holiday, don’t tick ‘no’ to working in childcare. Your application will be processed as a routine case. When you enter Canada with your LOI, you will be issued a RESTRICTED work permit so you may work in any field except childcare, healthcare or teaching.  Contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Centre where you will get medical examination forms and further instructions, then CIC will modify your Work Permit and remove the occupational restrictions and then you can work as an au pair in Canada. Voila.


Au pair in Canada General Requirements


Topic Au pair in Canada – Working Holiday Visa Au pair in Canada – Live-in Care Giver Program
Age 18-30 or 35 depending on nationality No age limit
Pocket Money An Au Pair MUST be paid at LEAST the minimum wage as prescribed by each province. $10.45-$13 per hour. To be negotiated
Working hours, free time and holidays To be negotiated. As a guide around 35 hours per week and holidays to be calculated at 2 weeks for every 6 months worked. To be negotiated
Accommodation and meals An au pair in Canada is provided with a private, lockable room in the family home with all meals provided for on a daily basis. Families may deduct a minimal portion of the hourly wage for room and board. An au pair in Canada is provided with a private, lockable room in the family home. The host family may deduct a fee for board and lodging from your wages
Travel costs A working holiday maker must pay for their own travel costs. The host family is responsible for one way travel costs from the au pair’s country of residence to the host families’ home in Canada. If the au pair is already in Canada, the host family is responsible for the au pair’s transportation costs to their house.
Language skills and courses An au pair in Canada must be able to speak, read and understand English or French. Attending a language course is not required An au pair in Canada must be able to speak, read and understand English or French. Attending a language course is not required
Length of stay Varies depending on country of origin (ranging from 12-24 months) Up to 4 years and 3 months
Insurances An au pair in Canada is required to have their own comprehensive private insurance, including medical, hospitalisation and repatriation cover as well as liability insurance for the duration of their stay. The host family must provide health care insurance until the au pair is eligible for provincial / territorial health care insurance. The host family must also register the au pair for Workplace Safety Insurance at no cost to the au pair.
Au pair in Canada Job duties Childcare including babysitting up to 2 nights per week and light housework, Childcare and light housework – babysitting optional. Bringing children to and from day care.
Your new au pair Canada flag!
The Canadian Flag

So as you can take from what you have read so far Canada is not like other countries to travel to work in and no matter what country you are from, even the USA, you will require a work visa. If you are an EU citizen and looking to au pair London or looking for something more romantic like au pair Paris you would not require any visa so count your blessings. Canada has always been and will always be tough to get into and just to bear in mind that the Working Holiday Visa or IEC program has a quota of visas issued per year per country, usually in 2 rounds. Ireland gets 3,800 per year and the UK gets about 5,500. Australia gets unlimited quota. These are all on a first come first served basis.


Make sure you plan ahead and keep an eye on the CIC website to see when the visas will be available and be prepared and act fast. Once you do this and follow the steps above you will be on your way to Canada. When you have your visa secured then you should to start your search for host families and the adventure will become a reality. Remember Canada is a vast country with very extreme weather conditions so choose your location wisely.


A quick look at the temperatures in a few cities



Temperature (°C) J F M A M J J A S O N D
Maximum -5 -4 2 11 19 24 26 25 20 13 5 -3
Minimum -14 -13 -6 1 7 13 15 14 10 4 -1 -10
Mean -10 -8 -2 6 13 18 21 19 15 8 2 -6




Temperature (°C) J F M A M J J A S O N D
Maximum -5 -3 2 11 19 23 26 25 20 13 5 -2
Minimum -14 -13 -6 1 7 13 15 14 9 4 -1 -10
Mean -9 -8 -1 6 13 18 21 19 15 8 2 -6




Temperature (°C) J F M A M J J A S O N D
Maximum -2 -1 4 12 19 24 27 26 21 15 7 0
Minimum -10 -9 -3 1 8 13 16 15 11 5 0 -6
Mean -6 -5 0 7 13 19 22 20 16 10 4 -2


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Au pair Ireland. Why Ireland?

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.

a must read for any au pair ireland
A must have for anyone considering Au pair Ireland

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
  • Benefits
  • 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.

au pair Ireland daily diet
Calling all au pairs …your new drink.

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.


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.


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