Having a Christian girl or boy who sees their mission as coming to help your family for up to a year can be a great blessing. A relationship of this kind can be a lifelong experience. Having an au pair is not like having a cleaner or cook or paid worker, it is offering a sharing of cultural and Christian experience. We specialize in matching Christian Au Pairs from Europe or the Commonwealth to families where they are able to work and serve; and where they can benefit from the hospitality and church life of the British family. We also meet the needs of families in Europe by placing British Au Pairs in their families.
The au pair is expected to work for about 25 hours per week with 2 days per week completely free. The work includes such things as washing, ironing, light housework (vacuuming, dusting), meal preparation, taking children to and from playgroup/school and otherwise helping with the children (feeding, bathing) A girl should only be allowed in sole charge of a pre-school child if you inform us of the arrangements. Under no circumstances should a girl be left in sole charge of a baby under 18 months for more than 15 hours per week without training. Please realise that some girls come with limited training and experience in handling small children. You will need to take full responsibility for the situation. The pocket money is payable one week after arrival.
What is their role in the family?
An au pair should live with, eat with and share in the aspects of social life within the family. It is important that they have the opportunity to communicate in English. They will be able to speak (and understand) English to a good standard. They must be offered the opportunity to go to a local Language school, if they wish, to increase the spoken and written word of English. Families should accommodate their Au pair’s schedule for attending English classes for foreign students suited to their ability. Some Au pairs will not want to attend classes but if they do, this should be at a mutually convenient time for both family and Au Pair, either daytime or evening classes. The family might offer to help an au pair with expenses. If you require the Au pair to drive, then you must take time to ‘train’ the Au pair to drive in Canada before allowing time alone in the vehicle.
An Au Pair Plus is normally a single person, male or female, aged 17 years or more. You are here primarily to learn the language as well as being an extra pair of hands.
An au pair’s duties might include washing, ironing, light house-work (vacuuming, dusting, washing dishes), meal preparation, taking children to and from play-group/school, and otherwise helping with the children (feeding, bathing, creative activities, homework). As an au pair they can work for up to 25 hours per week, usually 5 hours per day, with usually two days per week completely free, including Sunday.
They will usually receive 110CAD per week or more depending on the location, and they will get free lodgings and meals.
AU PAIR PLUS
Sometimes the normal 5 hours a day or 25 hours may not be enough for a busy family with two working parents. An Au Pair Plus will still not take care of a baby under the age of two for regular long hours, without training.
An Au Pair Plus is normally a single person, male or female, aged 18 years or more. They might help with children and light household chores for around 30 hours per week. While an Au Pair Plus can work more than a normal au pair, the hours should be kept to 30 hours per week during term time where possible, to enable them to attend language classes if you wish.
Normal Au Pair Plus duties include childcare, preparing light meals for the children, tidying, washing and ironing, light housework such as dusting, sweeping/mopping and vacuuming, cleaning the kitchen or bathroom. Jobs which are not considered routine light housework include wiping down skirting boards and paintwork, polishing brass or silver etc. You will give the au pair a timetable and the total number of hours they expect you to work. Traditionally the Au Pair’s work is at least 50% child related, so any variation on this needs to be discussed and agreed with you in advance. If you will be the only person doing most of the weekly housework, or if the job involves little or no childcare, you should tell us. Au Pairs should not be asked to mow the lawn, do gardening, clean cars either inside or out or to clean outside windows, except by prior agreement. Some male Au Pairs may be willing to undertake such tasks instead of doing indoor housework. We recommend that an Au Pair Plus should not be asked to clean any place of business or any home other than the host family’s.
The payment they will receive is from 135CAD per week depending on the location, and they will get free lodgings and meals.
A mothers helper is not normally a formally qualified nanny but is an experienced childcarer aged 19 or more with references to show that they can care for children in one or more age groups. There are sometimes trained teachers who wish to come to Canada as Mothers Helpers.
Normal working hours would be a maximum of 40 hours a week with weekends free. A mother’s helper may also care for a baby or young child if they have experience or qualifications. In this case 35 hours is the maximum expected. The timetable and responsibilities for a mother’s helper will be agreed with the agency beforehand.
The payment they will receive is from 160CAD per week depending on the location, and they will get free lodgings and meals.
- You submit the application form.
- When we receive it we will ask you to send us a family photo by email. We will send you a reference form to be completed by a church leader.
- You return it with 80CAD non-refundable deposit by Paypal or bank transfer.
- We look for a suitable candidate. The speed at which we can work depends on demand and your own particular needs. We look to match the right person into your family with similar interests or church background to yourselves.
- We email details of relevant girls to you. If you are initially interested you may telephone the au pair or email. This must be done within three days, to be fair to other families who may be waiting. The au pair will not be offered to another family during this period of time. After this she may be offered to another family. It is important at this stage to communicate with the agency to give your impressions and feelings about the Au Pair. If you are not happy another may be offered immediately to you.
- You set a date for the girl to arrive and a finishing date (which can be tentative.)
- You need to explain to the girl exactly what duties you will expect her to perform. You should suggest a timetable and confirm what you will pay her.
- You need to confirm to the agency whether you are needing a standard au pair or au pair plus or mother’s help.
- The Au pair will pay their own travel costs to Canada and back to their own country as well as any Language Courses they may wish to attend ( unless, of course, you choose to make a contribution or give initial financial support). However it is important that you find out the name of the nearest place offering Language tuition and the costs involved hourly. You may decide how many sessions the Au Pair can attend according to your family needs and priorities but this will need to be verbalised before the Au Pair makes any final decision to live with you.
- You must pay the full placement fee before the commencement of employment of an Au pair. No travel arrangements should be made until the full fee is received by the Agency. We cannot offer support without the payment being made on time.
- In case of early termination (by either party) the Agency will offer an alternative Au Pair that is available at that time within the guarantee period of time.
- If either party wishes to terminate the contract, two week’s notice must be given. During this period of time the Au pair should be allowed to continue to live with the family and should carry on normal duties and receive pocket money as usual. The Au pair must not be made to leave immediately unless criminal activity has taken place in which case the Agency and the Police must be informed.
- After the arrangement has been agreed by both parties, Christian Au pairs will immediately invoice you. The invoice may arrive well before the arrival of the Au pair but should still be paid so all details are totally finalised.
- We are on the end of a phone at any time in the arrangement to provide advice or support for you or the girl.
- A family should give the au pair a private room of their own which is clean and comfortable.
- The family should give help to find local classes where the au pair can learn English. The family should enable the Au Pair to visit places of interest and to take part in social activities. The au pair will need to pay for tuition at English classes unless the family choose to support the training. The family will need to make sure that travel arrangements are agreed before the au pair arrives and a letter of invitation is sent to the au pair prior to arrival. It is helpful for the family to meet the au pair on arrival but this is not always possible if the family live at a great distance in which case alternative arrangements should be made on arrival to Canada. The au pair pays for the air fare to Canada. But you should arrange their onward journey.
- Most Au Pairs are prepared to start in August-September and stay for 6-12 months. However there are some applicants throughout the year for different periods of time.
- After 6 months in a family the Au Pair is entitled to a week’s holiday. It is only fair to pay the pocket money but this is not obligatory. It is important that any holidays taken by the family should include the Au Pair. If this is not possible, other mutual arrangements should be made (e.g. some girls like to return home for Christmas).It is suggested that Au pair take off public holidays along with the rest of the country. If it is necessary for the Au pair to work during this time it is a nice gesture to either pay extra time or time off in lieu should be given. Au pairs may remain in the family home during holidays if desirable.
- We can arrange for au pairs to change families provided the new arrangement continues to meet the requirements by law and is authorized by Christian au Pairs. But the agency should be informed of any difficulties early on. No consideration can be given if an au pair leaves a family unless the agency has been given an ample opportunity to find a solution.
- It is good to allow the au pair a pay-as-you-go mobile phone. Also consider adding SKYPE to your computer for free international calls. Girls benefit greatly from the use of the internet to keep in touch with family and friends. However, be aware if the au pair is not getting a social life as she will likely become homesick.
- Most Au Pairs who come to Canada are away from home for the first time and are adjusting to a new language, a new environment, new customs that may be totally different to that they are used to. They may feel homesick at first! Families should be understanding during this period and should try to help the Au pair adjust to their new surroundings. Should problems persist we would appreciate you contacting our Agency and raising your concerns.
- Please be aware that at certain times of the year there are shortages of Au Pairs. This tends to fall between November and February and although we do our very best to help you it is advisable to be aware of the situation should you decide to change Au pairs during that period of time. Even so, we have girls available every month.