Being A Kiwi Host Family
Opening your home to a strange person from another country can be a little overpowering at first. As soon you have got to know each other and your day to day life has started again it is easy to involve your Au Pair into your family life.
Choosing an au pair means so much more than having a nanny looking after your kids. An Au Pair will become part of your family like an older sister or brother is looking after there siblings. You won’t have any more stress to take the kids early before work into kindergarten, school etc. Their new brother/sister can take care of them at home or start the morning relaxed with them, and drop of your kids at school, kindy or other activities. An Au Pair offers you in home childcare and will make your life around your children much more flexible and when you come home from work your Au Pair can tell you all she has experienced with the chldren.
So in the end there are four big things which make an Au Pair so valuable:
- You just found out you have an important meeting at work, with your Au Pair you don’t need to call a last minute babysitter.
- One of your kids is sick, no worries your Au Pair will ensure that your child will get enough care in his/her own bed.
- No more waking the kids up at 6 am in the morning so you can manage to get them all to childcare before work. With your Au Pair the kids can sleep in and wake up after a good sleep.
- An Au Pair will also help with housework to a reasonable extent, and work around your kids. You won’t need to come home after work and start cleaning up the mess behind.
- Culture Experiences
- You have the chance to get to know another culture and show your culture to a foreign young girl/boy
- You and your family have the chance to learn a second language
- An Au Pair doesn’t cost the world and is in most cases cheaper then the kindergarten and the after school care.
- You will have to provide board and a room for your Au Pair and pay her around 150$ – 250$ per week pocket money. ( wage per hour (min. $ 15.25) * worked hours – board – tax – rent = Au Pair Pocket money)
Responsibilities of the Host Family
As a Host Family you are expected to provide your Au Pair with a private furnished bedroom (bed, wardrobe and linen), full board and lodgings includes all their daily meals and snacks (also when the Au Pair is sick or on holiday).
You should welcome your Au Pair as a part of the family. In most of the Families the Au Pair is dining with the family and will take part in family activities and outings. However, Host Families can expect to have some private time to themselves and also the Au Pair needs some private time now and again too.
A lot of Au Pairs are school leavers ( 18 – 20 years old) who are leaving their family home long term for the first time. However there are also Au Pairs who already live on their own and have first finished their apprenticeship or study. They will need your support settling into New Zealand, getting orientated and building some interests of their own. Kiwi Au Pairs will also help the Au Pairs to settle in, help them with day to day problems and help to get them in contact with others in the area.
Au Pair Duties
An Au Pair’s duties are typically related only to the children, providing care, supervision and learning opportunities, either as a helper to the parent, or on their own while the parents are working or busy with other engagements. Your Au Pair will play with and entertain the children while assisting with their learning and development. They are able to attend the children’s activities and classes with them, transport them to school and kindergarten, prepare snacks and meals for the children, bathe, dress, change and comfort the children and assist with homework.
An Au Pair can also be responsible for household chores relating to the children and their care, such as, tidying away toys at the end of the day, cleaning children’s bedrooms, playrooms and bathroom, changing their linen, attend to kids laundry, tidy the kitchen and washing dishes from meal and snack time. Any household task should be related to the children and their well being during care.