What and Who is an Au Pair?

Baby Sitter child kid

Here is a presentation that was done by Sylvia A. At the Diaspora Day in Berlin which I later requested her to share the the Azubis Day. Hope it gives you enough insight into being an Au Pair in Germany

what (who) is au pair?
french for “young adult”
  • living and working in a host family
  • learning the language and culture of host family
  • extending his/ her own culture to host family
  • playing big sister/brother role to host children
  • in any case Not a domestic worker
becoming an au pair
  • diverse ways of becoming au pair!
  • legally registered agencies
  • church organisations
  • friends, relatives etc “mouth to mouth propaganda”
in Germany:
  • 18-25 years (changed in 2013 to 27, more info here)
  • basic knowledge of German language
procedure through legally registered agencies
  • online registration (au pair)
  • request by host family to the agency
  • placement fee by host family
  • choice of au pair, filling of forms, health check
  • contact between host family and would be au pair
  • health insurance, liability insurance, Visa process begins (min 6 wks.)
  • visa fee, certificate of good conduct, air ticket (au pair)
responsibilities of au pair
  • first and foremost “children”
  • play “big sister/brother-role” – not any kind of employment
  • taking the children to bed and/or waking them up
  • preparing or assisting them prepare for day care and/or school
  • accompanying them or picking them up from school or day care
  • playing with them
  • assisting them with homework
  • accompanying them for events with or without parents and only if necessary
  • assist with light household chores e.g.
  • preparing meals, dusting, sweeping, washing, ironing and arranging of laundry.
responsibilities of host family
To provide;
  • family related status to the Au pair
  • accommodation to the Au pair (separate room of his/her own)
  • appropriate meals
  • medical cover, in case of illness, accidents, pregnancy and delivery
  • liability insurance, in case of any accidents caused by the Au Pair e. g in a supermarket
  • Pocket money (€260,00 which varies from time to time) on either a monthly or weekly basis
  • Time and assistance for German language courses
  • For the overall wellbeing (physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually) of au pair
prerequisite
  • a contract on terms and conditions, read and signed by both parties
  • work a maximum of 6 hours a day and 30 hours a week with 1-3 nights of babysitting a wk (unless otherwise agreed)
  • a minimum of 260 € (save for variations) should be given to the au pair. extra services equal extra pay (unless otherwise agreed)
  • 4 wks of paid leave (pocket money)
  • religious needs, cultural events and excursions should be put into consideration
  • a passport is a personal belonging, therefore not to be confiscated by anyone.
  • unless it is in terms and in agreement with the signed contract, au pairs should Not do heavy garden work, heavy household chores and the likes
strengths/opportunities
  • enhances the understanding of other cultures and mentalities
  • opportunity to meet people of different cultures and nature
  • helps you learn to understand and appreciate your world better and that of others
  • chance to create lasting friendships or networks
  • empowerment of young people and platform to think of personal future development
  • ability to compare and contrast between cultures
  • it can be a door opener to other opportunities
weaknesses / threats
  • away from home/family/friends for a long time
  • possible cultural shock
  • lack of awareness can lead to misuse of power
  • it can be demoralising especially if one has to work under harsh terms and conditions.
  • if not cautiously taken care of, it can lead young people into slavery, forced prostitution, forced labour, forced marriages, drug trafficking.
Options after au pair
  • travel back home
  • studies (minimum c+ kcse)
  • ausbildung
  • language learning visa
  • voluntary service
au pair hotline: 0800/111 0 111 or 0800/111 0 222
http://www.telefonseelsorge.de/
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