Reasons to become a host family

March 18, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Host Families

First of all, what is an au pair?

An au pair is a young adult who lives with a host family and takes care of their kids and easy household chores connected to the children for a set period of time, normally 6 to 12 months. In exchange to the help in child care and depending on the agreement before the au pair and the host family, the au pair will be provided with free accommodation, full board and a monthly pocket money. As a new family member this person will also be part of the family’s everyday life. During the time spent in Ireland, the au pairs will get to know a new culture and improve their knowledge of the English language and Irish culture.


Benefits of having an au pair in Ireland

That afternoon your daughter suddenly remembers that she is due to write a test the following day and needs some last-minute help. Your son has to be picked up from his music lesson and you have another appointment. The parents’ evening in school coincides with the dinner you scheduled with your business partners, and your babysitter already has other plans.

Does this sound familiar? For many of us it’s everyday family life – lots to do and not so much time to get it all done. Of course, you are always looking for ways to manage things better, to have more fun and less stress with all the different demands that come up in a modern family. Au pair Ireland’s tip: why not host an au pair?

Whether it is playing with children, reading bedtime stories or taking your child to the dentist, an au pair provides support with your children on a daily basis and at the same time introduces a new culture and language into your family.

An au pair helps you through your daily routine by providing childcare support that is integrated into your family structure. While you clear your mind for work, your au pair takes the children to school and/or crèche, picks them up from day-care, prepares their lunches and snacks or helps them with their homework. The au pair tidies up the children’s rooms together with your kids and can take care of the laundry. As a live-in part of the family, your au pair can spontaneously fill in for your babysitter when the need is there (even if they shouldn’t do it on a regular basis unless previously agreed).


Cultural exchange

An au pair introduces a new culture into your home, speaking a foreign language, naturally sharing aspects of their home culture and experience, now and then perhaps preparing delicious culinary creations from home. And your guest from another country does not only help to ease the daily routine or to give your children broader cultural horizons. The children also get a temporary older sister or brother and everything that comes with such a relationship – someone whom they can play with and someone whom they can trust.

Hosting an au pair means having another son or daughter in the house on a temporary basis, who helps you care for the children. In return, you offer your au pair free access to meals and integrate him or her into your family and your culture. It’s a two-way street of mutual benefit.


Formal recognition of au pairing in Ireland

In Ireland there is no formal recognition of au pairing as a distinct form of cultural exchange, unlike in most other European countries. In the absence of such recognition, the only relevant official regulations governing the status of young persons in Ireland who have joined Irish families as au pairs are administered by the Workplace Relations Commission. The Workplace Relations Commission views au pairs as workers and the families that host them as employers. On this basis, the WRC maintains that the Minimum Wage regulations detailed here should be applied to au pairs. Despite these requirements, we at Au pair Ireland continue to view au pairing as a form of cultural exchange that works through integration of a young person into family life. The information provided on these pages and throughout our website is based on this idea.


Does the au pair approach seem like it might be right for your family? If you are ready to become a host family and enjoy the modern solution for better family management and cultural exchange at home, check our article on how to find the ideal au pair.