General Information for Families and Au Pair Applicants
45 Strouden Road
Tel/fax: 01202 532600
Mobile: 07949 205771
"AU PAIR" is an arrangement under which an unmarried person aged 17 - 27 inclusive and without dependants comes to the United Kingdom to study English and to live for up to two years as a member of an English-speaking family. Applicants help in the home with general light domestic duties and childcare for a maximum of 5 hours daily. Au pairs are to be regarded as a member of the family, share meals and activities, and join in with family entertainment. They must have their own bedrooms with heating and study facilities.
In return for their help, au pairs receive a pocket money of no less than £55 per week, many families are now offering £60 +. If a family lives more than 5 miles from a suitable language school and social facilities then a petrol allowance or contribution to bus fares would also be appropriate.
Two whole days a week should be completely free. Opportunity to attend language classes and to do homework, to make friends and attend cultural/social activities should be given. While they are a member of the family, the au pairs may still need some quiet time to themselves and their off duty hours should be respected.
There are colleges in most areas which cater for language students and some language schools have classes specifically for au pairs. Some areas have classes of one whole day per week, some have 2 or 3 sessions per week of 2 or 3 hours each, usually scheduled to fit in with collecting children from school, (evening classes may also be available). At the time of considering an au pair, a family should find out about local school facilities and keep up-to-date with fees and traveling costs to inform prospective au pairs.
Candidates are responsible for their own school fees which vary from around £2.50 per hour. State Schools require a term to be paid in advance. Examination fees can be as high as £60 for the Cambridge Examination.
Applicants from Turkey with permission to stay for longer than 6 months must register at the main police station within 7 days of arrival, taking 2 passport-sized photographs and a fee of £30.00. Nationals from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Slovak Republic and Turkey must obtain a visa from their designated British Embassy or Consulate before traveling to the United Kingdom.
Au pairs can obtain treatment under the National Health Service if they fall ill or have an accident. They are accepted onto the doctors list at the doctor’s discretion and must pay the same charges as are paid in this country, i.e. prescription charges, dental charges and so forth.
Au pairs are responsible for their own travel expenses and should have a return ticket or sufficient funds for their return journey, upon arrival. Families should describe the journey from London to the final destination as fully as possible and make definite arrangements for meeting the au pair at an agreed rendezvous and time.
And finally, it is of paramount importance to the success of the placement that candidates are given relevant information about the family and duties expected of them BEFORE they accept the offer of a position. The host family should supply this information in the form of a letter (which the au pair may have to present to the Immigration Officer upon arrival in this country). Where possible, photographs should also be included.