If you’re considering getting an au pair, you are not alone. Increasing numbers of families in Australia are turning to au pairs for a flexible solution to their childcare needs. With a lack of affordable childcare solutions, and many extended families living long distances apart, the demand for au pairs is at an all time high. Au pairs are especially useful for those who work non-standard hours, like nurses and shift workers, as most before and after school childcare as well as day-care centres are only operational during the normal working week.
Although the idea of hiring a stranger to live in your home and look after your children can be a bit daunting at first, the vast majority of families who decide to get an au pair are happy with their decision and find it mutually beneficial for everyone.
The process of getting an au pair is simpler than you probably think. When you decide to hire an au pair you can choose to find one yourself, or go through an agency. Going through an agency is usually recommended as it means that any au pair that comes to live with you has already been pre-screened and has passed a range of stringent checks.
Using an agency also allows you an extra level of confidence that all the visa requirements and paperwork are up-to-date, and you have experienced agency staff on hand to help you with any questions or issues that may arise.
At Select Au Pairs, we offer a personal, tailored service for families who are looking to hire an au pair or demi pair. Here’s how our process works from beginning to end.
Pre-screening and matching
Once you decide to use an au pair, you can either choose someone who is already in Sydney or someone who is currently overseas. Applicants who are residing in Australia are interviewed and screened in person before their details are passed on. If you want someone who is currently overseas, they will be pre-screened and reference checked by one of our partner agencies.
If your applicant is in Sydney, once we are satisfied they pass our rigorous screening and they are a suitable match for your family, we will arrange for you to have a face-to-face interview in your family home. If you are confident that they are a good match, we will then arrange a mutually beneficial starting date.
If they are overseas, we will provide you with their information including photos, profile, police clearance certificates and references, and help you arrange contact through email or Skype.
Once you have selected your au pair, they will arrange a working holiday visa and come directly to Australia.
It may take them a month or two to arrange their visa and flights, and they will pay for their own ticket as well as the cost of the visa.
Once they have started
If your au pair is flying directly to Sydney from overseas, it’s recommended that you collect them from the airport. When you use Select Au Pairs, we offer a one-month trial period. If your au pair isn’t suitable, we will find a replacement for you at no additional charge (one replacement per 12 month period).
Au pairs live with you as a member of your family. They are often visiting Australia to improve their English and learn more about the local culture, so it’s important that they are included in family life and get to experience cultural events and celebrations.
Au pairs typically work between 30-50 hours during the week, and can undertake a combination of childcare and light housework duties. They get weekends off to socialise with friends and visit local sights. As part of the payment for their services, au pairs get all their meals and free accommodation in a private room. They also get a small hourly wage.
If there are any problems
We offer ongoing support and advice for families who host an au pair, so you can have someone to turn to if you have any questions or concerns. The vast majority of our families are very happy with their choice of au pair, and before your au pair’s placement is finished, we can help you find another one, so you can avoid any additional disruption to your family and working life.
If you are considering hiring an au pair and want to get started, or you would like some more information first, please contact us today.