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Is Being an Au Pair Worth It: Discover the Pros and Cons of Becoming an Au Pair Today!

Is Being an Au Pair Worth It: Discover the Pros and Cons of Becoming an Au Pair Today!

Is Being an Au Pair Worth It? 

Being an au pair can be a rewarding and enriching experience for those who enjoy working with children and immersing themselves in a new culture. However, it also comes with challenges such as homesickness and adjusting to a new environment. It ultimately depends on individual preferences and goals.

Read on below to discover the pros and cons of being an au pair with our expert guide!

If you like taking care of the school-aged kids, want to go to another country to learn a new culture and improve your English, being an au pair is totally worth it. However, you have to do light housekeeping and work for 30 hours per week for 'pocket money'.

In this blog post, we will explain what an au pair is, what duties are included and the pros and cons of au pairing. You will also get an idea of how much you can earn and how this experience can boost your future career.

Alright, let's jump right into it!


What is an Au Pair?

An Au Pair is a foreign young 18 to 30 years old person without kids (can be male or female) working for and living with a host family. Most of the time, an Au Pair does not have any previous childcare experience or qualifications.


Au pairs are from foreign countries traveling to the UK to live with a host family to improve English language skills and experience a new culture. The main difference between a nanny and an au pair is that a nanny is a credentialed and experienced professional. 

If you are thinking of becoming an Au Pair, the years of living abroad can be the best time of your adult life! However, coming from a different background and having a little level of experience in the role can make you question whether being an au pair is a good idea. 


So, what is the good, the bad and the ugly about being an au pair?


Pros and Cons of being an au pair

Travel, language, cultural exchange, education, and independence are very appealing for anyone considering becoming an au pair, but what is the other side of the coin? A'Tavia, an au pair living in Paris, shares the good and bad aspects of au pairing in this video.


Now, let's talk about the advantages and disadvantages of being an au pair in more detail!


What are the benefits of being an au pair?


If you are a caring, well organised, and friendly individual looking to fly to another country to care for someone else's kids, then you should definitely give it a go. Here are the benefits of being an au pair:

  • A salary from 100£ to £200 weekly - you are getting paid in the form of pocket money, so you don't need to worry about paying taxes!
  • Board and lodging provided free of charge - you live with the host family and will be provided with a separate bedroom. Moreover, you eat main meals with the host family free of charge.
  • Working only 30 hours per week - once you are done with the daily chores (usually 5 hours per day), you can enjoy your free time.
  • Time off for studying and personal use - you can attend English language classes at a local college in your spare time.
  • The opportunity to learn about a new culture - you will try traditional cuisine, learn about local life and traditions. 
  • And, in return, share your own culture with the host family - you will enjoy talking about your country, your culture, and people.
  • Traveling with the host family on holidays - a perfect opportunity to travel around the world for free!
  • Learning to become independent - a perfect chance to start living on your own, manage your own money, and learn how to budget.
  • Holiday leave and bank holidays off - you will have a chance to go back home to see your family during the year.
  • Ease of the job - your daily chores include playing with kids, helping with homework, picking kids up from school. 
  • Meeting new people and making friends - expand your horizons by meeting new people and stay connected with people who are in the same boat as you.
  • Support of the host family - you can always reach out to the host family members to help you out!

Being an au pair allows you to understand what a nanny job is all about. The world of childcare jobs is full of different positions, so it is important to understand the difference between them.


What are the drawbacks of being an au pair?

  • You can only travel during the kids' holidays - it makes it harder to plan a holiday with your friends.
  • You are on a temporary contract - contact length varies from 1 to 24 months.
  • You are expected to do some light housekeeping - maintaining a clean and tidy environment for the children.
  • You need to babysit a couple of times per week - babysitting is included in 30 hours work week.
  • You may feel homesick - especially if it is your first time being away from home.


How much do au pairs get paid in the UK?


The amount of pocket money varies according to the country where you are au pairing. In the UK, au pairs are not classed as workers or employees. They are treated as family members and are paid £70 to £85 a week following UK guidelines. However, the weekly pay averages from 100£ to 200£. 


What can you do after being an au pair?


Working as an au pair provides an opportunity to enhance your CV with international experience. Also, you will learn a second language, which increases your career perspectives. Here is a list of jobs that former au pairs tend to do:

  • Social Worker
  • Nanny
  • Primary School Teacher
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Private Tutor
  • Nurse
  • Interpreter
  • Translator
  • Tourism Manager

You want to become an au pair because you love children! Therefore, being an au pair is the first step in pursuing a rewarding career in childcare.