For aupairs

Aupairfect blog

Some advice for host families – What to do int he first few days II.

Local College/Language School
It is usual for an au pair to attend a local language course in order to improve the standard and proficiency in English. The au pair normally meets the cost of travelling to and from the school, and of any course fees, unless you previously agreed to meet these. Attendance of a course may require some flexibility in the timetable, particularly if the au pair is helping you for a number of hours in addition to the five hours per day. It makes sense to investigate the course location, cost, and timetable, prior to the au pair placement arrangements being finalised.


First Aid Training
We all know that accidents can happen at any time and there will always be that unguarded moment when attention is diverted elsewhere. Statistics show that a child dies everyday in an accident and that accidents are the single greatest cause of death among children and young people in the UK – they put more children in hospital than any other cause; and yet the vast majority of parents and au pairs would not know what to do if a child or baby stopped breathing or started choking. Anyone left alone with young children should be equipped with basic first aid skills and information which can help stop a minor injury becoming a major accident and in the worst case scenario make the difference between life and death.

Contact with other au pairs
If possible introduce your au pair to others in the local area. You will be able to find other local au pairs via the local language schools. This will help kick-start a social framework for your au pair, and will be appreciated.

House rules
You should give careful consideration to the following areas and write clear guidelines as to exactly your requirements. This will set clear ground rules and minimise potential areas of misunderstanding that may lead to conflict at a later stage.

Care of children
It is very worthwhile taking the time to explain in detail the way you prefer your children to be cared for, and detailing any special requirements you or they may have. In particular you must assess the proficiency and experience the au pair has in childcare and not leave the au pair in a situation where he or she is out of their depth, as this could put the well being of the child in jeopardy. Please remember that an au pair is usually not a professionally qualified child carer such as a nanny, and should not be treated as such.

Driving and car use
If you require the au pair to drive at any time you will need to ensure that the au pair has a licence valid for the UK, that the minimum legal insurance requirements are met, and that you and the au pair are both confident in the au pair's driving skills. It makes sense to ensure that all parties are clear as to whether any private use of a vehicle is allowed, and whether any reimbursement by the au pair for running costs is expected in this event. It is also worth considering what might happen in the event of an accident and subsequent insurance claim. As au pairs are young people the insurance excess is often an appreciable amount, and if an accident happens whilst the au pair uses the vehicle privately, it will be beneficial to have agreed responsibility for the excess payment upfront, so all parties are aware of the ground rules.