“An au pair is not a just a babysitter. An au pair becomes an extremely important part of a child’s life. You can be relied upon to take care of the children when the parents are not able to be with them, and provide nurturance and stimulation.”

What duties can you expect from your Au Pair?

What duties can I expect as an au pair?

Each family will have different expectations of an au pair. Below are common duties of an au pair, although other requirements can be discussed with the family:

  • providing nurturance, care and companionship for the children
  • fetching the children from school
  • transporting the children to extra murals, therapies, doctor’s appointments etc.
  • supervising and assisting with homework
  • liaising with teachers, coaches and therapists on the parents’ behalf
  • arranging and supervising play dates
  • purchasing necessities for, and assisting with, projects and assignments
  • running errands for the family
  • grocery shopping on the family’s behalf
  • engaging in intellectually stimulating play and activities with the children
  • preparation of meals for the children
  • babysitting and weekend work by prior arrangement
What can I expect to pay my au pair?

How much can I expect to be paid as an au pair?

Your salary / hourly rate will depend on many factors, including your age, previous childcare experience and childcare courses completed, as well as the number of hours worked each week.

The below table serves as a rough guide for monthly au pair salaries in the Sandton area.

Aupair Rates
Aupair Guidelines

Guidelines when going for an interview with a family

There is no denying that going for a job interview is nerve wrecking! The key to a successful interview for an au pair position is to be prepared, be confident in your skills with children, and relax. Have a look at the guidelines we provide to parents when interviewing candidates to get an idea of what to expect in your interview.

Also, take note of the following:

  • Arrive for your interview well groomed and appropriately dressed. Because you are applying for a position to look after children, there is no need for a suit, but mini skirts and revealing tops are not a good idea either.
  • Be punctual. In fact, arrive early. If you need directions to where you will be meeting the family, get these the day before your interview.
  • Be prepared with some information about the family you are going for an interview with e.g. the ages, genders and number of children you will be expected to care for as well as any special needs they might have for which you will require special training.
  • Speak clearly during your interview.
  • Be aware of your non-verbal body language, and ensure that this is congruent with your verbal communication. Don’t sit with your arms folded. Make eye contact.
  • Be friendly, warm, and compassionate during the interview, and use many opportunities to demonstrate your understanding of and love for children.
  • Decide on the minimum salary you would like to earn so you can give the family an idea of what you would like to earn, should they decide to offer you the position.
  • Do you need to be paid a salary if the family goes on holiday and you are not required to work? What about public holidays? This must be discussed in the interview.
  • Your views on discipline, moral and religious beliefs must be flexible enough to accommodate the family you work for.
What Au Pair Extraordinaire Expects

What Au Pair Extraordinaire Expects from our Au Pairs

  1. Once an interview has been arranged for you with a family and you have committed to being at the interview, we expect you to fulfil this obligation. If you cannot and need to reschedule, we require 18 hours notice. If an emergency prevents you from getting to your interview on time or attending at all, you are responsible for contacting the family and informing them of your emergency if it is outside of our working hours. This is to be done with a PHONE CALL, not SMS! Please note that we are not contactable before 9am on weekdays, after 5pm on weekdays, or over the weekend.
  2. You are expected to be at interviews with families on time and dressed appropriately (e.g. revealing gym wear is not considered appropriate).
  3. If a family has made an offer directly to you it is your responsibility to inform us.
  4. If you have accepted a position and are no longer available, we expect you to let us know.

What Au Pair Extraordinaire expects from our placed Au Pairs

  1. Au Pair Extraordinaire Au Pairs are to be professional, punctual and reliable.
  2. If it is your responsibility to make sure that all the children’s homework is done and, if you run short of time or it was not completed during your working hours, it is your responsibility to inform the parents of this.
  3. If you are a smoker, you are not to smoke near or around the children or the family’s home. Please ensure that your car is not stuffy when the children are being transported.
  4. All Au Pair Extraordinaire Au pairs are to drive responsibly, abide by traffic laws and adhere to speed limits.
  5. Unless otherwise specified by the family, all children under the age of 12 are to sit in the backseat of the car with seatbelts properly fixed.
  6. All children are to have their seatbelts fastened in the car at all times.
  7. When dropping children off at friends, parties or events please ensure that you hand the child over to another adult or make very sure that the child is safely handed over. Do not expect the child to walk in on their own.
  8. If you run into any emergencies while at work, you are to inform the parents telephonically straight away.
  9. READ your employment contract with your employer. Before you start your first day of work, ensure that you are comfortable with all aspects of your contract and the expectations of the family (e.g. working hours, salary, compensation for travel, expectation to run errands etc, permitted discipline with the children.)
  10. Be punctual. When looking after children, punctuality is essential. If you are late, it makes the child feels insecure. Be punctual for interviews with families. Be punctual to fetch the children. If you cannot be there on time, communicate with the family so alternate arrangements can be made. Doctor’s (or any other) appointments should be made outside of your agreed upon working hours.
  11. Communicate with the family. If you are not happy with something to do with your position, communicate with the family so that a solution can be found before it becomes a real problem. We encourage you to have a monthly meeting where you can give feedback to the family regarding their children. It is also a good idea to have a communication book where you can inform the parents of daily activities and important information.
  12. Remember that once you are employed by a family, YOU are the only one permitted to be with the family’s children. No boyfriends or friends are allowed to accompany you to work. Because you are being paid to look after the children, social calls on your cellphone are not allowed.
  13. Remember that during your working hours you are required to fulfil your role as an au pair. You need to understand that you will be busy during your working hours and that no personal work, unless otherwise specified, is permitted. You can expect to be asked to run errands for the family, including grocery shopping and collecting dry cleaning.
  14. Do not let personal difficulties in your life affect your interaction with the children. The family has employed you because they need assistance with their children.
  15. Children require some creativity! Use your initiative when doing homework, and never get into a power struggle with a child.
  16. It is important that you do not enforce your cultural or religious beliefs upon the child without the parents consent.
  17. No use of alcohol or drugs is permitted.
What to include in your CV

What to include in your CV when applying to become an au pair

Each family will have different expectations of an au pair. Below are common duties, although your personal requirements can be discussed with your au pair:

  • providing nurturance, care, stimulation and companionship for your children
  • fetching your children from school
  • transporting your children to extra murals, therapies, doctor’s appointments etc.
  • supervising and assisting with homework
  • liaising with teachers, coaches and therapists on your behalf
  • arranging and supervising play dates
  • purchasing necessities for, and assisting with, projects and assignments
  • running errands for you
  • grocery shopping on your behalf
  • engaging in intellectually stimulating play and activities with your children
  • preparation of meals for your children
  • babysitting and weekend work by prior arrangement