General Guidelines

These guidelines are for Au Pairs and Host Families registered after 18th September 2017

The Au Pair Programme is a cultural exchange programme, giving a young person the opportunity to learn about British culture and improve language skills through interaction with children. An Au Pair must be welcomed as a member of the family.

Childcare & Housework

An Au Pair helps with childcare and does light housework.
Please keep in mind that an Au Pair is an unqualified child carer. Their hours and duties should reflect this.

An Au Pair’s primary role is childcare:

• Helping children to get ready in the morning
• Taking the children to school/collecting the children from school
• Taking the children to after school clubs
• Helping children with homework
• Playing with children
• Helping with children’s bedtimes
• Babysitting

An Au Pair should not be expected to have a sole charge of a child all day unless exceptional circumstances occur. An Au Pair should not have any sole charge of children under the age of two.
An Au Pair cannot perform regular night duties.

BAPAA recommends that up to 20% of the Au Pair’s hours is spent on household duties (6 hours per week).
A list of suggested light housework tasks can be found at the bottom of the page.

Hours on Duty & Pocket Money

• An Au Pair can be on duty up to 30 hours per week to include any evening babysitting that is required.
• Pocket money must be a minimum £80 per week for 30 hours to include any evening babysitting requirements, regardless of whether the minimum hours are worked.
• All expenses relating to the Au Pair’s role must be paid in full by the family.
• BAPAA recommends that the Host Family contributes at least £20 per month towards language school cost or equivalent benefits.
• BAPAA recommend that the Au Pair is paid a completion bonus equivalent to at least 1 week’s pocket money on completion of their agreed length of stay with the family (for placement of 6 months or more).


Additional pocket money should be paid for any additional evenings. The Au Pair should not be asked to babysit on either of their two free days. Babysitting hours are evening time only when the parents are out.

Leisure time, Language School & Holidays

• An Au Pair must be given enough time to attend language school.
• An Au Pair shall receive two days off each week and should be offered one full weekend off per month.
• BAPAA recognises that the Au Pair is not a worker or employee and recommends best practice 4 weeks paid holiday per 12 month period, plus Public Holidays. Pocket money will be paid during this time.

House Rules

House rules have to be clear at the beginning of the placement. Host Family must take time when the Au Pair arrives, to explain and set out the family expectations when on and off duty.

Room and Board

An Au Pair receives full room and board form the family throughout the stay. The Au Pair must have her own private room with a window with facilities to study.

Travelling Costs & Insurance

• The Au Pair pays for their travel to the UK.
• The family should, wherever possible, collect the Au Pair from the airport. If this is not possible, they must pay for collection by taxi or organise reasonable onward travel.
• An Au Pair from the EU must travel to the UK with an EHIC card. Au Pairs from the EU are entitled to use the National Health Service in the UK, but it is strongly recommended that the Au Pair take out additional travel insurance (to cover loss of belongings, repatriation in case of accident etc.)

Written Offer & Notice Period

• The Au Pair receives a written offer from the family covering pocket money, hours, holidays, description of Au Pair’s bedroom and what help would be expected etc.
• Notice period is 2 weeks. If the Host Family wish the Au Pair to leave before the end of the notice period they must pay for their B&B accommodation or flight home and two weeks pocket money.


• If you need your Au Pair to drive, you will be responsible for insuring the Au Pair to drive your car.
• The Host Family should ensure that they are satisfied with the Au Pair’s driving skills
• Petrol used by the Au Pair in connection with work is paid for by the family but most Au Pairs will have to pay for petrol for their personal use.

List of housework duties accepted as light housework

• Washing dishes, loading and unloading dishwasher
• Keeping kitchen tidy and clean, including sweeping and mopping floors
• Vacuuming
• Dusting
• Making and changing children’s beds
• Cleaning children’s bathroom
• Loading and unloading children’s laundry into washing machine/tumble dryer
• Ironing for children
• Putting washed clothes away
• Preparing simple meals for children
• Light shopping
• Emptying bins
• Walking and feeding pets
• Everything to do with keeping their own room and bathroom clean and tidy

List of duties unsuitable for an au pair

• Gardening
• Window cleaning
• Spring cleaning
• Washing carpets
• Washing the car
• Weekly shopping
• Cooking the family meals, unless the Au Pair enjoys cooking and has chosen to do this for the family
• Making parent’s bed
• Ironing for parents
• Cleaning parents’ bathroom
• Pet training
• Polishing silver and brassware


Au pairs should not be required to do ironing, when looking after children of primary school age or toddlers, due to safety reasons.

General Guidelines was last modified: September 16, 2017 by Twinkle Au Pairs