Heard of an Au pair but don’t know what they do? Read this post to learn more about Au pair tasks that answer the question what does an Au pair do?
As someone who is craving to be an Au pair, there were a lot of things about the role that surprised me in regard to tasks. For one thing, my misconception was that the only thing an Au pair did was childcare.
Well, if you also have that misconception, I’m here to tell you that it’s far from the truth. Although an Au pair provides childcare, there are so much more responsibilities attached to the role.
So, if you’re looking to be an Au pair but don’t know what they do, you’ve come to the right place. This post alone highlights the responsibilities of an Au pair as well as the inappropriate ones.
Au Pair in Germany Series
P.S. This is a post in my Au Pair in Germany series. Here is the complete series:
Au Pair Origin and History: What is an Au Pair: The Origin and History
Au Pair Tasks: What Does an Au Pair Do: Au Pair Tasks
Au Pair Agencies: The 7 Best Au Pair Agencies for Americans
German Language Learning Apps: The 10 Best Apps for German Learning as an Au Pair
Au Pair Guide: How to Become an Au Pair in Germany
Au Pair Visa: Au Pair Visa Germany: Requirements for Americans
Au Pair vs. Nanny: Au Pair vs. Nanny: What is the Difference?
Au pair Responsibilities (what does an Au pair do)
Here are some typical responsibilities that may be expected of you as an Au pair:
- Infant Care
As an Au pair, you may be expected to provide infant care for your host family if there is an infant in the family. In fact, for the most part, Au pairs can assist with newborns or babies who are 3 months or older.
So, as an Au pair, expect to feed, bathe, and put down the infant for a nap. You can also spend time with the baby outside during your work hours or read to them.
However, on a side note, an Au pair should only take care of infants if they have the experience. In fact, a minimum of 200 hours with infants or children aged 2 or younger is recommended.
As an Au pair, you may also be expected to cook simple meals for your host kids. These meals for example could be as simple as cooking eggs for breakfast or making a sandwich for an after school snack.
In fact, in some families, you are also welcome to cook something from your culture to share with the kids.
This responsibility however, would also include knowing what the family’s dietary restrictions are as well as if they have any food-related allergies.
- Morning Routine
As an Au pair, you may also be expected to help the kids with their morning routine. So, in other words, this may include waking the children up, helping them brush their teeth, and getting them dressed for school.
An Au pair may also be expected to read to the children in the home as an after-school activity. This task is meant to help keep the children occupied for a while as they wait for their parents to come home.
Driving is another task an Au pair may be expected to do. They may be responsible for driving the children to and from school or daycare or the family might request for them to drive the children to appointments or extra-curricular activities.
Doing laundry is also another task an Au pair may be expected to do. So, in other words, this may include washing the children’s laundry as well as drying and folding it.
An Au pair may also be expected to play with the children when they are not in school. So, in other words, playing with them could include doing an activity with them or watching them play with their toys.
In fact, if the children have a playroom, you may also be expected to clean up after them once they’re finished or done playing.
Bathing is another Au pair task you may be expected to do. If for some reason the parents are not home to do their bedtime routine with their child, they may ask you to do it. This task, in addition, is closely related to getting the child to bed so you’ll be expected to help them brush their teeth in the bathroom too.
Cleaning is another task an Au pair may be expected to do. While the children are at school, the Au pair may be expected to clean up the children’s room while also making their bed.
Helping the kids with their homework is another task an Au pair may be expected to do. This task usually happens once you bring them back home from school and the homework could be in any subject.
Being emotionally available to your host children is something all Au pairs should be expected to do. Your host children may need you from time to time for emotional support so it’s important to be an Au pair they can rely on as a friend.
Inappropriate Au pair Responsibilities (what does an Au pair do)
Here are some inappropriate tasks an Au Pair should not do:
- Cooking meals for the entire family every day
As an Au Pair, although you may cook some simple meals for your host children from time to time. You are not a chef. Therefore, if your host family is expecting you to cook elaborate meals for the entire family everyday, please decline.
- Doing your host parent’s laundry
Doing your host parent’s laundry is another inappropriate task for an Au pair. Au pairs should only be doing the host children’s laundry if it is required of them. If your host parents are expecting you to do their laundry too, please tell them no.
- Cleaning messes your host children left during your off hours
As an Au pair, cleaning messes during your off hours is not something you should be expected to do. Your off hours are your free time and your host parents should respect that. Therefore, if your host parents ask you to clean up a mess your host child made during your off hours, please decline.
- Caring for your host children alone while your host parents are on vacation
Although your job as an Au pair is to care for the host children, you shouldn’t be doing it alone for an extended period of time. So, if your host parents ask you to watch their host children alone while they go on vacation for a week, please decline.
- Cleaning your host parents’ room and bathroom
Cleaning your host parents’ room and bathroom is another big no-no for Au pairs. The light housework an Au pair does should only be related to the host children only. So, if your host parents ask you to clean their room or bathroom, please say no.
- Washing the car
Washing the car is another task Au pairs shouldn’t be expected to do. Although Au pairs use the car to drive the host children from Point A to Point B that doesn’t mean they should be responsible for the overall maintenance of it. Therefore, if your host parents are asking you to wash the car, please decline.
What does an Au Pair do? FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions you might have about what does an Au pair do.
Do Au pairs do dishes?
Au pairs can be expected to wash their host kid’s dishes after preparing a meal for them. They can also be expected to load and unload the dishwasher during work hours.
Should Au pairs pay for gas?
The host family should pay for the Au pair’s gas if the Au pair is using the car for work-related tasks such as picking the children up from school. However, the Au pair should pay for their own gas if they are using the car on their own personal time.
What I should I do if my host parents ask me to do something I’m not comfortable with?
If your host parents ask you to do something you are not comfortable with, please tell them no. Especially if it’s something that wasn’t agreed upon earlier in the contract. In fact, if they feel some type of way about you setting boundaries then it is better for you to adjust your life to their absence, than your boundaries to their disrespect.
Overall, I really hope you enjoyed reading about the different tasks and responsibilities for an Au pair. Please let me know in the comments down below which task surprised you the most. I would love to hear from you!
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