As an au pair you take part in a cultural exchange program. You get the opportunity to be a ‘big sister’ (or brother) to the children in your Australian family and ‘live as a local’. Australian families are open, generous, friendly to ‘newcomers’ and passionate to show you around and take you along. Children are encouraged to be active and outdoors and weekends are often dominated by sporting events where lots of families get-together for the day. As families’ homes are generally spacious, most kids will have friends over for play-dates, sleepovers and pool parties. Australia is very sociable, people like getting together for informal barbecues and community events, there is always something going on! Australia is all about the beaches, wildlife, shops & cafes, city parks and simply relaxing with friends in the glorious sunshine!
Duties will vary by family, but expect the following to be part of your duties in most families. The family should prepare a detailed handbook outlining expectations.
- Wake the children in the morning and get them ready
- Help the children to tidy their rooms and make their beds
- Prepare breakfast and lunch for the children + clean up dishes from meals
- Make sure children have books and homework for school
- Take children to/from school
- Tasks while children are at school: shopping, light housework
- Prepare a healthy afternoon snack/simple meals/lunch boxes
- Assist the children with their homework, initiate and supervise play
- Help the children with their bath routine and help get them ready for bed
- Baby sitting
Applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Aged 18 – 30
- Be flexible, friendly and open minded
- Be happy to help with childcare and light housework, usually 30-35 hours per week
- Able to be au pair for a period of 6 months
- No criminal record
- Have a driver’s license (preferred but not essential)
- Be a non-smoker
- Completed application form
- Photocopy of your passport.
- Dear Host Family letter (should include your hobbies, activities, family background, childcare experience, any special sports, musical, or arts & crafts talents, etc.)
- At least two references – preferably childcare
- Photo(s) of yourself. (Professional pictures or those with children, family members etc. are best.)
- Criminal record check (contact your local police station).
- Medical check (just a note from your doctor, stating you are in good health).
- Photocopy of any school or training certificates
- Photocopy of any First Aid certificate
- It is also beneficial if you have a driver’s license, or an international driver’s license (but not required).
Position details vary depending on the needs of individual families; the norm for work hours is a range of 30-35 hours per week, usually with two days off per week. Usual salary range is approximately Aus $170 to $255 per week. Stays of 6 to 12 months are available; shorter stays are occasionally available as well. (Before accepting a position you would have the opportunity to communicate with interested host families directly, and read any written material regarding their position. You would have the choice to accept or decline any position you wish. )
What’s the Next Step?
First of all, complete your application form, and return to Scotia Personnel with the other documents as listed above. It is also very beneficial you can also provide a separate sheet with a list of all your experiences with children.
The next step would be to obtain your Working Holiday Visa – Canadians between the ages of 18 and 30 can apply. Contact your local Australian Embassy for the procedures; our agency will of course be available to assist wherever possible. You have the choice of accepting or declining any position, and you can have your au pair position pre-arranged before your arrival in Australia.