An Au Pair is a woman or a man living abroad with a Pioneer family who wants a key role in children's care in exchange for accommodation and money. There are Au Pair programs, which are cultural exchange programs that allow many people to spend time abroad and learn about a different culture and improve language skills in exchange for childcare and small household chores. (article continues below)
The word "Au Pair" comes from the French language. It means "being equal" means that both the host family and the "au pair" will have equal treatment to this person being treated as a member of the family. Au pair programs allow many people to live in another country in an easier economic way and add diversity to the culture. There are several countries in the European Union such as:
- And many other places in the world
To become an Au Pair, you must be at least 17 to 30 years old and take responsibility for the children's care for a few specific hours. Any Au Pair will have their own room and money for nutrition/food covered by the host family.
However, this job or occupation can have different advantages and disadvantages. Still, it is essential to emphasize that being in this occupation does not mean that you need to be a full-time cleaner, nanny, or babysitter.
Any host family willing to receive any person working as an Au Pair in their home must sign a deal reflecting a treat to these temporary family members. Host families must also comply with some requirements, such as having at least one child under 18. There are other procedures to become an Au Pair and work abroad. Since this is a cultural exchange, it is necessary that both the host family and the Au Pair have different nationalities and that they have medical insurance, a bank account, and, if necessary, a VISA with a passport.
Au Pairs can have a stay in a foreign country depending on what the host family and the Au Pair have agreed upon in their contract. Many countries establish a minimum and maximum time specified for an Au Pair stay equivalent to 3, 12, and 24 months. If there are any misunderstandings, some options are related to the cancellation of a service or the cancellation of a contract. An Au Pair contract is signed to avoid possible misunderstandings in the future and present between both parties. The cancellation of a contract by an Au Pair occurs when there is a change of plans, or the relationship between a host family and an Au Pair is damaged, or there is no feeling of a mutual relationship between people.
All Au Pairs have different responsibilities, mainly taking care of their children and helping with all the chores and household chores. In general, many of an Au Pair tasks do not include taking care of the house's cleaning for the adults or cooking for the host parents. The established number of hours of work for an Au Pair varies and depends on the host country. In most countries, an Au Pair can work a maximum of 30 hours per week. Still, in the United States, this number reaches 45 hours per week, so, conveniently, both the host family and the Au Pair establish a schedule corresponding to their own criteria.
For each Au Pair, there must be terms and conditions that ensure the stay in a foreign country without misunderstandings or inconveniences through the process of exchange to a host family. Many families within this exchange program take advantage of many people's situations to exploit them or not comply with the established contract terms.
Usually, the main requirements to be eligible as a host are to have a room for the project Au Pair plan and be willing and able to provide food and afford a payment related to a weekly or monthly salary.
For the beneficiaries "Au Pairs," there are different advantages that allow them to live a cultural exchange with benefits such as:
- Living abroad for one year or more in an affordable and accessible way.
- Be part of another foreign family and improve different aspects in the learning of a language.
- Learn new dialects, forms, and methods of spontaneous communication.
- Meet new friends from various locations.
- Learn new things about another culture.
- Improve your personal resume by adding international experience.
- Acquisition of new experiences, maturity, and emotional stability.
Also, we shall take into account that there are some disadvantages too, including:
- Having to adapt to new ways of living, ways of eating, etc.
- Comply with specific obligations and requirements regarding the child care experience.
- Having to deal with many children who are strong cases that require time and dedication.
- Take this job as a priority over meetings and parties.
- Know how to identify the time off from work hours.