What to expect

An Equipeople Au Pair has that extra pair of hands you need when you can just not do everything at the same time. She is essentially an extension of a parent or guardian and is there to help you. An Au Pair fits into the family routine and makes a parent or guardian’s life easier.

Duties can include:

  • Childcare in your own home to suit your specific needs
  • Babysitting
  • Supervising children with horses and/or ponies (optional)
  • Taking your children to school and collecting them afterwards
  • Helping children with homework
  • Bath and bedtime duties
  • Light household duties such as mopping floors, vacuuming, keeping children’s rooms tidy, clearing away after meal times, preparing children’s meals, doing children’s laundry and ironing

Equipeople has always worked hard to promote cultural exchange between our families and au pairs and we very much want this ethos to continue. However, it is important to understand that the au pairs will have an employment contract with you, where their hours, rate of pay and employment conditions will be noted.

    A helpful source of employment information can also be found on the following websites:

  • www.citizensinformation.ie/en/employment/
  • www.workplacerelations.ie

Employing a live-in au pair for childcare is flexible and convenient as it means that families can divide up the au pairs weekly hours to suit their families specific childcare needs.

It provides security and stability for your children as they can be looked after in your own home and in the surroundings that they are familiar with. All Equipeople Au Pairs have been vetted by our partner agencies; they must provide childcare references as well as a police check and a medical report.

Do bear in mind that no two Au Pairs will ever be the same. Some Au Pairs will just fit in with your family from day one, will be outgoing and will grasp the family routine immediately. Others won’t. They may be a little bit shy, homesick for the first couple of weeks and take a little longer to settle in. Don’t compare one to the other; it is not fair on an Au Pair who has just arrived in Ireland to be compared with someone who was integrated in your family for the last year. I am sure even the Au Pair that was “dynamite” took some time to settle in.

The way to overcome misunderstandings is to be clear about your expectations. Have several lists ready for your student:

  • House Rules – What behaviour is acceptable and what isn’t. This is for both the children and the Au Pair. This is your home; don’t be afraid to lay down the rules.
  • Daily Chores/Timetable – Describe your family routine. Indicate what tasks need to be done on a daily basis i.e. clear away after mealtimes; prepare a light meal for the children when they get home from school; sweep the kitchen floor; put on a wash etc.
  • Weekly Chores – Divide your home into zones and pick a day of the week when you want a certain zone cleaned, for instance, Mondays: Mop the kitchen floor; Tuesdays: Clean the children’s (Family) bathroom; Wednesday: Iron the children’s clothes; etc.
  • “Rainy Day” Chores – This list will describe chores that you keep meaning to get around to doing, but never have the time to do. The tasks indicated on this list are things your Au Pair can do for you when she is having a “quiet day” or is looking for something to do. This could include: sort out children’s play room/toys; clean the oven; wipe the skirting boards etc.
  • Children’s Favourite Activities – Give your Au Pair some ideas on what your children like to do. What are their favourite games, do they enjoy certain sports, what are their favourite toys…

Equipeople Au pairs do come with some childcare experience and must provide references; however, their level of experience will vary. Some girls might have babysat neighbour’s children and others may have done an internship in a nursery school. Be clear about how you want them to interact with your children. Are your children outdoorsy? Let her know to take them out for walks, to go and see your partner on the farm, go for a cycle … Is TV time limited? Tell her. Explain how (and if) you want your Au Pair to discipline your children. Are your children allowed to eat treats throughout the day? Do they have their own chore list and/or reward system?

Communication is key to make this placement work. Your Au Pair is here to learn. She is here to learn a new language and to improve her childcare skills. In addition to this, Equipeople Au Pairs want to soak up the Irish culture, want to visit Ireland and be part of the family.

An Equipeople Au Pair is just an employee that works 9 AM to 5 PM and is then sent away to her room, she is an additional member of the family. In our experience in the most successful placements, the Au Pair is included in mealtimes and some of your family activities. A lot of the girls choose to meet up with other Au Pairs or students and go to explore the country however some prefer to “hang out” at home.

The more you can introduce your Au Pair to people and places, the more she will be able to get involved in the Irish culture. It will give your family and your Au Pair a little bit of breathing space on her days off and will help your Au Pair get over any feelings of loneliness or homesickness which she may be feeling.

Encourage your Au Pair to join the local Macra na Feirme, camogie or football team, fitness club or any other such organisation. We all need some time out and this is a perfect way for an Au Pair to meet other young people of her own age.

Many of our au Equipeople Au Pairs work in the following scenarios:

  • Mum is a nurse and works three days per week in a local hospital whilst dad is away from the home;
  • One member of the family works from home, this could include a farm or equine yard, and regularly checks in throughout the day;
  • Parents are away, but children are of school-going age and are out of the house from 9 AM to 3 PM every day;
  • Parents in part-time employment or working in shifts;
  • A stay-at-home mum that needs to pop in and out of the house during the day.

We will assess every family on an individual basis, so please contact us should you be interested in getting help from one of our Equipeople Au Pairs.

Don’t just take our word for it, read some of our host family testimonials here.