This information is for the UK. All of our girls are Christian girls, mainly from Europe. They come to us because they want to be in a genuine Christian family. Most agencies do not have un understanding of the evangelical definition of Christian. And so we ask that you provide a reference from your church. Similarly all of the girls who come to us have references from the leader of the church which they attend. We ask them how they became a christian and how often they go to church. We sometimes have Catholic girls apply. We accept girls of any denomination who have a genuine faith in Jesus and live to follow him. But most of our girls are from a protestant background. Therefore most come from countries where protestantism is strong, espcially Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
In the UK 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 not be allowed in sole charge of a pre-school child unless you inform us of the arrangements. Please realise that most 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. A non-EEC au pair in Britain will have a visa to show that they have been given leave to enter or remain in Britain. EEC nationals are free to take other employment in Britain including taking up ‘au pair’ placements if they wish.
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 an acceptable 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. Many Au pairs will want to attend classes but 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 England before allowing time alone in the vehicle. An International Diving Licence can be used for one year in the UK. All vehicle costs e.g. petrol and insurance must be paid for by the family.
An Au Pair Plus is normally a single person, male or female, aged 17 years or more. They 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 she 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 £75 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.
An Au Pair Plus is normally a single person, male or female, aged 17 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 her to attend language classes if they 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. The family will give a timetable and the total number of hours they expect her 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 in advance. If she 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. 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 £85 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 prepared to work for longer hours or do a wider range of duties.
Normal working hours would be between 35 and 40 hours per week with weekends free. A mother’s helper may also care for a baby or young child if they have experience or qualifications. However,there are not many au pairs with this experience. Check with us first. The timetable and responsibilities for a mother’s helper will be agreed with the agency beforehand.
The payment they will receive is from £100 per week depending on the location.
- 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 £50 non-refundable registration fee.
- 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 text or email. This should be done within three days, to be fair to other families who may be waiting. 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 satisfied 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. We give you a template for a written agreement.
- You need to confirm to us 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 the UK 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). You might 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.
- You must pay the full placement fee before at the time of making the agreement. 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 Britain. The au pair pays for the air fare to Britain. But you should arrange their onward journey.
- Au pairs usually stay in Britain 6-12 months; in summertime 3 months. 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 paid holiday. It is important that any holidays taken by the family should include the Au Pair or provision made for her to remain in the home. . If this is not possible, other mutual arrangements should be made (e.g. some girls like to return home for Christmas).It is recommended that the Au pair takes Bank holidays along with the rest of the country. If it is necessary for the Au pair to work during this time it is important to either pay extra time or time off in lieu should be given. If the au pair remains for ten months or more and you have been satisfied we ask you to pay her a leaving bonus of £30.
- 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.
- Allow the au pair a pay-as-you-go mobile phone. 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 the UK 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. Families should be aware that Au pairs come to the UK to improve their English and should be willing to help correcting mistakes in speech. If families speak a second language they must always speak in English whilst the Au pair is there. It is not uncommon for an Au Pair to leave a family if they are not involved in an English speaking environment.
- Please be aware that at certain times of the year there are fewer Au pairs. This tends to fall in December and May 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.