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Become an Au Pair in Australia

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Become an Au Pair in Australia

Would you like to work in Australia, discover a new culture, get advice from locals, be totally immersed and improve your English (if not your mother tongue)? We have the solution: be an au pair in Australia! Being an au pair is an exciting and rewarding experience that gives you the opportunity to live in a fascinating country while looking after children and discovering a new culture. Families will usually ask you to stay for several months, but it is also possible to find families for just a few weeks. We tell you everything you need to know before embarking on your Au Pair adventure.

Becoming an Au Pair in Australia

Conditions to be an Au Pair

You must be at least 18 years old and have a visa that allows you to work in Australia to be an Au Pair. Most au pairs in Australia are on a Working Holiday Visa (WHV) (see below for formalities).

Au Pairs can be either male or female, depending on the preferences of the families. While females are in the majority in this field, males are also highly sought after by families. So, gentlemen, if you love children and participating in the daily life of a family, go for it!

In any case, you must be responsible, serious, dynamic, and capable of integrating into a family. Some families require a good level of English, but it’s up to you to show your unwavering motivation. It’s also possible that the family will ask you to provide a criminal record check.

Finally, you must take out health insurance and civil liability insurance.

Having a driver’s license is a plus, but not mandatory. Some families may need you to have a license to drop off and pick up the children from school, for others, this will not be a necessity.

The Role of an Au Pair

As an au pair, your main role is to take care of the host family’s children. This can include activities such as:

  • Ensuring the safety and well-being of the children.
  • Preparing meals and helping with light household chores related to the children.
  • Assisting with homework and educational activities. Organizing leisure activities and outings for the children.
  • Actively participating in daily family life.

Also Read : Au Pair In Sydney – Claire’s experience

How to Find a Host Family?

Define Your Search Criteria

You need to ask yourself some questions before searching for the family that will host you. Consider which city you want to live in, whether you can take care of young children, teenagers. How many children can you manage? Living with a family that is not your own can be awkward and stressful, so don’t hesitate to interview several families to find the one that suits you best.

Where to Find Advertisements?

Several options are available to you to find your host family.

For example, you can decide to search on your own on the Facebook Pages of the city where you want to live. For example, Au pair in Melbourne, Au pair in Sydney, etc.

There are also specialized agencies, which will provide you with more security. Indeed, the agency will help you find a family, provide you with maximum information regarding your placement (working hours, age of the children, accommodation conditions, amount of pocket money) to avoid any bad surprises upon your arrival. You will thus have a placement contract with the family that assures you more stability and less risk of losing your position overnight. Be aware that the services of placement agencies are not free.

You can also go through the recognized site Aupairworld. Just create your profile, and the site will find families compatible with your profile. You can then read the profiles and select those that interest you. The next step is to exchange messages and/or have Skypes (very important!) to get to know the family and their expectations.

Take Your Time…

A piece of advice, don’t rush into the first family that responds, take the time to choose… This choice is crucial for the rest of your adventure! Take your time to select the family that suits you best. Start your search in advance and not at the last minute. It can be a magical and very rewarding experience.

Pros and Cons of Being an Au Pair

Advantages

Of course, there are many advantages to being an Au Pair in a foreign country. Here are some of them:

  • You won’t have to pay rent (very important given that living in Australia can be expensive)
  • You also won’t pay for food You will be accommodated in a private room (with a personal or shared bathroom depending on the families) Generally, your weekends are free to enjoy Australia
  • You will receive pocket money every week (the amount will depend on the number of work hours, number of children, etc.)
  • You can study at the same time or have another small job
  • If the children are at school, you generally have free time during school hours
  • The family will share their life with you and introduce you to the culture and the country in an authentic way
  • Living with an Australian family offers total immersion in the local culture. You will have the opportunity to learn the language, customs, and Australian traditions authentically.
  • You will surely meet other Au pairs in the neighborhood or through your host family’s acquaintances, making it easy to make friends.

Disadvantages

But being an Au Pair in a family can also have disadvantages, among them:

  • Patience is required, as children can be exhausting and the pace is sustained.
  • You are not really at home, and the beginnings can be complicated to find your marks.
  • Australians do not have school canteens, so it’s up to you to make the children’s lunchboxes in the morning.
  • You will likely be tasked with ironing the children’s school uniforms.
  • You never really know who you are arriving with. There can sometimes be a difference between reality and what the families announced. Whether it’s in the behavior of the children, the tasks expected, the working hours, that’s why it’s important to have as much information as possible beforehand.

Salary and Working Hours as an Au Pair

What salary to expect?

In Australia, the usual remuneration for an Au Pair varies depending on experience, responsibilities, working hours, and the region. Generally, the remuneration for an Au Pair in Australia ranges between 300 and 500 dollars per week. However, it’s important to note that the remuneration is not only a salary but also a form of compensation for the services rendered. In addition to the remuneration, the host family provides you with free accommodation and meals. Some additional benefits may include access to a car, an allowance for transport expenses, or trips, outings with the family.

It is essential to openly discuss the details of the remuneration and benefits with the family before accepting an Au Pair position.

What are the working hours?

The working hours will depend on the family and their schedule. Generally, you work between 20h and 40h per week.

The days start around 7 am in the morning. Your missions will be: waking up the children, preparing lunchboxes and breakfasts, and accompanying them to school. In Australia, school canteens do not exist. It is therefore necessary to prepare lunch boxes for the children every day. Generally, this consists of sandwiches, fresh fruits, and chips (finger food).

You will then generally have to do some household chores. Then it resumes from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the evening: picking up the children from school, doing homework with them, cooking dinner, and waiting for the parents to return. That’s a total of about 5 hours per day. The rest of the day and evenings, you are often free to do what you want (sports, outings, etc.).

You will generally be free on weekends unless specifically agreed with the family. Sometimes they will ask you to babysit in the evenings or weekends, but this will be in addition to your pocket money.

Formalities to be an Au Pair

Before flying to your adoptive family, you will have to complete some formalities. Here is a brief summary:

Visa requirement

The appropriate visa for Au Pair status is the Working Holiday Visa (subclasses 417 or 462 depending on your nationality). This will allow you to stay with your host family for at least 6 months. This WHV will also allow you to stay in Australia for at least 1 year and is renewable twice (under conditions).

As an au pair, you can also opt for the student visa (subclass 500). For this, you must enroll in an Australian institution for a duration of more than 3 months, and you will not be able to work more than 24h/week for your host family.

Health Insurance

If you decide to become an au pair, it is necessary to have Au pair insurance. Be careful, in Australia healthcare services are expensive.

A private insurance will cover you in case of health problems or in the case where you injure one of the family members or damage one of their belongings.

Flight Ticket

To book your flight ticket, you can go through a travel agency for more security and if you are not yet sure of your departure/return dates. Otherwise, do not hesitate to use internet comparators. If you have quite flexible dates, you will be able to find cheaper tickets depending on the days.

Also read: Cheap flight ticket to Australia

What is the typical duration of a stay as an Au Pair?

The typical duration of a stay as an Au Pair in Australia can vary, but generally, commitments last from 6 months to 12 months. Some Au Pairs may opt for shorter stays, of about 3 months, while others may choose to extend their stay up to a maximum of 24 months. The exact duration depends on your preferences and the agreement reached with the host family. It is important to note that in Australia, the total duration of an Au Pair stay is limited to 12 months with the same host family. However, it is possible to change host families and continue to be an Au Pair in Australia after this period, respecting the visa conditions.

Practical Advice

  • Choose a family close to the city center and/or a train/tram line.
  • Post ads to meet other au pairs and gather together.
  • Start in big cities like Sydney, Melbourne, or Perth; this will allow you to meet more people.
  • Remember to bring a power adapter for Australia.
  • Arm yourself with patience and persevere, even if it’s difficult at the beginning the children will quickly adore you!
  • Take advantage of your free time to discover the city and its surroundings! Whether near Melbourne, Sydney, or Perth, beautiful landscapes await you! Don’t hesitate to ask your host family for must-see spots.
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