Tel +44 (0)1235 851090 What is an Au Pair  |  How do we find the right Au Pair  |  My suggestions for making it work  |  Other Considerations
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What is an Au Pair

An au pair is a flexible and cost-effective form of childcare. Usually aged between 18-27 years au pairs come from the EU. They come to the UK to live with a family and to study English language and experience English culture. The au pair receives weekly “pocket money” (£60 - £85) in exchange for helping to look after the children and deal with some of the household chores.

An au pair works for a maximum of 25 hours per week plus two evenings of babysitting (only one evening on the weekend) with the weekends free. An au pair is predominantly for childcare of children over two.

An au pair plus works for a maximum of 45 hours per week plus two evenings of babysitting.Weekly pocket money is £85 - £110
How does Cherish Childcare find you the right Au Pair?

Contact us and we can either talk through your initial requirements on the telephone or come and see you (if you live within a reasonable distance). Then you need to fill in the application form, which we can discuss.

Download application form

Finding the right au pair is often down to silly little things: for instance my daughter preferred to have an au pair with long hair! By understanding what’s important to you we will only send you relevant au pair details. If you’ve got a dog there is no point us sending you an au pair who is asthmatic and allergic to dog hair! We match your requirements to the available au pairs from our partner agencies. Things that we look out for on their application are: do they have siblings and what do they want to do after being an au pair? (Someone who wants to go and work with children / be a teacher is ideal!). We give relevant au pairs a call to establish some basics such as: whether their English really is as good as they have stated and tell them a little bit about your family. We then provide you with the au pair application forms with our summary. Most applications include a letter telling you about the au pair and her family with some photographs; school certificate; medical certificate; police check and references.

Once you’ve found a suitable au pair, we send them your details and you then ring them up and make sure you’re happy with them.

Download ideas for telephone interview questions

After that we agree their start date and they book their flights!

"I remember when I recruited my first au pair I was shocked that it was all done through forms and on the telephone. It is therefore important you have an agency with reliable partners you can trust!"

Download checklist of things to do when helping your au pair settle in.

Download first month appraisal form.
My suggestions for making it work once you’ve found your Au Pair:
  1. Thorough induction. Make sure expectations are set
  2. Ensure you involve your au pair in family life (e.g. take them on one family tourist day out) whilst at the same time maintaining time for yourselves as a couple / family (e.g. ask au pair to eat with children on Tuesdays and Thursdays, get Sky for their bedroom TV)
  3. Help your au pair to establish a social life outside the family (encourage them to contact au pairs in your area). Maybe they want to earn some additional money to sightsee England after their au pair placement has finished? Help them to find an additional job (babysitting, serving in local pub – obviously your schedule takes priority).
  4. Help them to join a language course so they feel they are learning and improving their English. They can take the Cambridge exams.
  5. Explain to your children why you’ve got an au pair and how it works. Encourage them to get on with your au pair and that way they’ll involve them rather than coming to you all the time.
An amusing, light read about being a mum and au pairs is
And God Created the Au Pair
by Benedicte Newland and Pascale Smets
Other considerations

If you need an au pair to drive you either need to have a separate car for them or you need to share yours. Bear in mind your insurance will increase. Many insurance companies will not insure au pairs as they are young and not resident in the UK. Others inflate the costs by a ridiculous amount. Through personal experience we have found that Direct Line is the best company.

If someone has been driving on the right, and you will be asking them to drive your children to school / nursery then I think it’s a good idea to book one “Driving in the UK” lesson. Depending upon the confidence and driving experience of your au pair, one lesson is probably enough.

Download Terms and Conditions
Au-Pair Certificate and
Au-Pair of the Year Award


Many au pairs come to the UK prior to university or starting their career. Something new to the industry that Cherish Childcare has introduced is a certificate. This is useful for your au pair as part of their CV when applying to uni/ for a job. We will send you the certificate for you to sign one week prior to the end of the placement.

Au Pair of the Year Award

The role of an au pair is such an important one and we all know that looking after children isn’t easy! So we think that it’s a good idea annually, to recognise an au pair who you feel has been amazing. Nominations need to be made by February.

Download nomination form
Pendelm House, The Croft, Aston Tirrold OX11 9DL   Tel +44 (0)1235 851090   Email KatLPowell@aol.com   www.cherishchildcare.com