The Au Pair Scheme is a cultural exchange for young people. This exciting scheme offers you a memorable stay in the UK, filled with fun, great experiences and new friends.
Many Au Pairs form strong friendships with their Host Families which last for many years.
County Nannies acts as a confidante and advisor to you. We help to establish friendly working relationships between you and the family and can provide advice to you during your stay. Our service to the Au Pair coming to the UK is free.
If you're a parent looking for an Au Pair, please tell us about your childcare requirements. Taking on an Au Pair to care for your child is a big step, so we will want to speak to you in order to better understand the kind of person that will best suit you and your family.
Au Pairs live as part of a family and are provided with their meals and have their own bedroom. In return the family will expect help with the children and light housework. The Au Pair is paid weekly pocket money.
You will be allowed time off to go to English classes and you can also take advantage of your leisure time to visit interesting places and see more of the UK.
County Nannies has a reputation for offering a personal and professional service to both our Au Pairs and Host Families.
We have placed many Au Pairs over the years and understand that communication and consideration on both sides are very important for a successful placement.
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Most of our Au Pairs are based in their home country and register with our partner agencies. If you are in the UK, you can register yourself directly with us.
You can contact us by telephone or email. Once you are fully registered with us we will contact you with details of any Host Families we feel may be of interest to you.
When a Host Family is interested in you we will send you a copy of their completed Family Application Form and arrange for them to telephone or skype you for a short interview.
We will tell you about the family, where they live, how many children they have etc. We also explain to the Host Family that your English may not be very good, and ask them to speak slowly and clearly.
This is a good opportunity for you to make contact with your Host Family. You can prepare questions to ask them.
For example - "Have you had an Au Pair before?" Is there a local college where I can go to English classes?" "What do you like to do on weekends?"
You can also tell them why you want to be an Au Pair. Tell them also about any babysitting experience you have had - for example the ages of the children, and how often you do babysitting.
You can also agree to exchange emails with more information about yourselves and photos of the Host Family.
After the interview we will contact you and the Host Family, to find out if you are both interested in a placement.
If the answer is yes, we will send you a Confirmation of Placement with all the family details on it.
We also ask our Host Families to write an Invitation Letter to you direct. (Family Letter of Introduction – Au Pairs)
The situation regarding Au Pairs from countries in the EU is currently unclear as a result of Brexit. Please see the article in "Latest News" for the most up-to-date information that we have.
Au Pairs coming from non-EU countries may need a Letter of Introduction/Visa in order to gain entry into the UK, and may also be subject to Immigration rules such as age and other requirements. County Nannies will advise you if this is necessary but you can also visit www.ukvisas.gov.uk for up to date information.
We will also advise you about the date of arrival required and the location of the airport, train/bus station or ferry port closest to the family.
We will ask the Host Family to meet you on arrival and will give them all the necessary details.
When you first arrive in the UK, you may be a bit tired from traveling and feel a little unsure of your surroundings. This is perfectly normal. At first, things will feel strange - the food, the climate, the language!
You need to give yourself the chance to settle in and get to know your Host Family.
It is only natural to feel a little homesick at first. County Nannies will provide you with a contact list of Au Pairs with their names and telephone numbers and you will soon be able to make friends.
It is also important to go to English classes as this will speed up your progress in the language, and also provide another opportunity to make friends. (County Nannies can help your Host Family to find you local English classes.)
Most Au Pairs work 25 - 30 hours a week and receive £90 pocket money (per week). Au Pairs may be asked to babysit a couple of evenings a week as part of the agreement.
You will be given two days off a week (usually the weekend.)
The Au Pair's typical childcare duties may include getting children up and dressed in the mornings; making breakfast; taking them to school and clearing up after breakfast.
Preparing the childrens' meals; supervising their homework; helping with their bathtime and bedtime routine.
As well as childcare, your Host Family may ask you to do light housework - this could include washing the dishes, vacuuming, laundry, ironing, cleaning or dusting.
Many Host Families also have pets which live in the house. You may be asked to take a dog for a walk.
You may be asked to babysit a couple of evenings a week as part of the agreement. Your other evenings and weekends are usually free so you can meet up with your friends.
If you want to make regular telephone calls it is a good idea to buy a phone card which you can use in public telephone boxes, or a cheap mobile phone 'Pay As You Go' for which you can buy 'top up' cards.
This way you will know exactly how much you are spending and can call your home or friends as often as you like until the credit on the card is used up. You will then need to buy another card. These can usually be bought from newsagents or supermarkets in various units costing £5, £10 and upwards.
Telephone calls are expensive and the bills show all the numbers dialed and how much each call costs. Some families allow a telephone call home once a week, others will ask the Au Pair to pay for their own calls.
During the winter the UK can be cold and wet. It is often wet in the summer too! You should bring a warm coat or waterproof jacket, gloves, warm shoes or boots and jumper during the winter and a jacket, anorak sweatshirt or cardigan for summer - an umbrella is also useful.
Don't forget your shorts as we do have warm sunshine sometimes! Many towns have leisure centres with gyms and swimming pools which are open all year so bring your swimming things.
If you are unwell during your stay, please ask your Host Family to arrange an appointment with their family doctor. Most EU countries have reciprocal medical agreements with the UK which means you should be treated free of charge. However there is usually a charge for dental treatment.
You are welcome to ring County Nannies for advice on a strictly confidential basis. Sometimes there may be a simple language problem which has resulted in miscommunication. If it is appropriate and you would like us to do so, we can also speak to your Host Family about a problem that needs resolving. We are here to help.