Au Pair Care

10 Types of Care that a Typical Au Pair Provides

To say an au pair watches the children would be an understatement. There’s a lot more to an au pair’s job description and the diverse amount of care provided keeps the au pair busy throughout the day. While one au pair’s day can be completely different than the day of the au pair next door, there are 10 things for which the typical au pair provides care.

  1. Activities. The au pair is heavily involved in scheduling and overseeing the children’s activities. This can include play dates, school-related functions, sports practice and lessons of any sort, such as music lessons.
  2. Transportation. Whether the children’s school and activities are within walking distance or require driving, the au pair will be responsible for getting them where they need to be, and then must be there to pick them up as well. When driving is involved, families often provide a vehicle or provide compensation for the use of the au pair’s car.
  3. Structured activities. Children need a balance of free play and structured activities. The au pair may be asked to prepare age-appropriate activities to help the children learn and grow from one developmental stage to another. For example, she or he may prepare activities that strengthen fine motor skills when caring for preschool-age children.
  4. Household chores. While the children are at school or napping, the au pair is expected to clean up after the children and may also be asked to pick up some of the household chores, such as laundry, ironing, dishes and general housecleaning.
  5. Shopping and errands. Shopping and errands are often included in the au pair’s workload because she or he may have the best idea of what is needed in the household. Taking care of errands such as dry cleaning help save the family time.
  6. Mealtimes. The au pair will prepare meals during the time she’s caring for the children. She or he may also be asked to eat with the family during the evenings and on weekends.
  7. After-hours babysitting. Occasionally, the parents may need to attend work-related functions or wish to go out alone. In such cases, it often makes sense to have the au pair watch the children.
  8. Lessons and homework. An au pair with special knowledge or skills may be asked to give lessons. Foreign language or music skills are two examples.
  9. Participate in family outings. Special outings or vacations may require the au pair’s attendance to provide parents with extra help in caring for the children.
  10. Phone calls and messages. A busy household includes ringing phones and buzzing doorbells. The au pair will record messages and relaying them to the right person.

A smoothly-run household requires effective communication between the au pair and the family. This is vital to ensure a positive experience. Once mutual support and good communication is established, the au pair has the opportunity to make a positive impact on the family by caring for the children and helping the household run smoothly.