au pair colouring in with child

Au Pair Duties: What You Can and Cannot Expect Your Au Pair to Do


Families of au pairs are not always completely clear on what the au pair duties entail. As a result, they may require certain duties that are not within the remit of the au pair, or they may not make full use of the skills and assistance that the au pair can provide. It is essential that the families know exactly what the au pair duties are, how much they should get paid, and what the hours of work are. They should also know what they can reasonably expect the au pair to do and what falls outside the bounds of au pair duties.


Of course, different families have different needs, and the hours and responsibilities may differ from family to family, but your au pair agency can usually help you gain more insight into how your specific needs may be met by your au pair, how many hours they should work, and how much they should be paid. Some families may need live-in au pairs, while others may only require au pair duties to be performed during work hours. All of these things need to be discussed and agreed upon by both parties before the au pair is employed.


The main au pair duties you can expect consist of the following:


  • Providing simple yet nutritious meals for the children.
  • Driving them to and from school and activities in their own vehicle or a vehicle provided by the family.
  • Keeping the children’s rooms and play areas well organised and tidy.
  • Entertaining children.
  • Providing assistance with homework.
  • Light shopping for the children (groceries, clothing, toys, educational items, etc.).
  • If living-in, putting children to sleep at night and waking them up in the morning.


Au pair duties do not include the following (unless previously agreed upon with the au pair and/or the au pair agency):


  • Housekeeping duties, such as cleaning and washing – your au pair is strictly there for the children and not to keep house.
  • Cooking for the whole family.
  • Cleaning family rooms and bathrooms.
  • Caring for elderly or frail family members.
  • Washing vehicles.
  • Laundry and ironing for the whole family.
  • Window washing.
  • Taking care of other people’s children in addition to the family’s children.
  • Pet minding.


It is essential that both parties have a clear understanding of what the au pair duties in the particular household consist of. A contract should be drawn up that sets out the duties, terms of employment, working hours, benefits (such as sick leave and annual leave), and payment.


To find out more about au pair duties that would suit your needs, speak to our team at AuPair Extraordinaire and we will assist you with any questions you may have.