When you would like to live abroad temporarily, becoming an Au Pair offers a lot of advantages. You get accommodation, food and drinks paid from the Host Family, you are consequently part of a cultural exchange and you are given the chance to improve the language skills in your Host Country. For future Au Pairs who primarily want to focus on the language skills but have some doubts whether the “normal” Au Pair job allows them to sacrifice enough time for their studies, we did some research on an ideal solution for you: The Demi Pair or Part-time Au Pair.
What exactly is a Demi Pair?
In principle, a Demi Pair (also known as Part-time Au Pair), almost does the same tasks and duties like the “normal” Au Pair, only with less hours. Demi Au Pairs get an own room, free meals as well as some pocket money. The biggest difference between “normal” Au Pairs and Demi Pairs or Part-time Au Pairs concern the working hours: In contrast to the usual up to thirty/ thirty-five hours per week, the Demi Pair only helps for about fifteen up to max. twenty hours per week often in order to get the chance to attend the courses in language schools. Even students sometimes live with families as Demi Au Pairs and help at night and the weekends.
Which advantages does the Demi Au Pair arrangement bring along?
The Demi Au Pair arrangement allows those girls and boys looking for quick and intense language acquisition, to attend daily classes outside the time they have to take care of their host children. The childcare is normally required especially in the afternoon, as soon as the children need to be picked up from school. Hence, Demi Pairs have enough time to study for at least five/six hours every day.
Such time intensive language courses ideally allow the Part-time Au Pair to pass some final tests like Cambridge Certificates/ TOEFL/ IELTS test at the end of class, which are always beneficial when applying for a job or university place later on.
As the participation in qualified language courses can be pretty expensive (depending on several factors like duration, reputation, possibility to pass acknowledged tests etc.), working as a Part-time Au Pair is a good option to reduce costs. Because they are working for a Host Family, they are paid pocket money too. Surely, as they are working part time, they receive less money than “usual” Au Pairs but with this money, they may cover some parts of language schools inscription fees. And depending on where the Host Family lives, you always need to think about how much money a Part-time Au Pair saves because she/he lives for free. For instance in London you easily pay 200 GBP per week for a simple room in Zone 2.
Which parameters have to be fulfilled in order to apply for a Demi Au Pair position?
Basically, there are the same parameters who need to be fulfilled before applying for a Demi Au Pair job as if you want to become a “normal” Au Pair. Part time Au Pair candidates should be between seventeen and thirty years old, need to be willed to work with children, be patient and at least have some childcare experiences. As those candidates want to improve their language skills, it is quite favourable to have a certain basic knowledge of the language so they do not have to start from scratch.
Concerning the duties and task of a Part-time Au Pair, they do not have to do special tasks. As “normal” Au Pairs too, they are responsible for the children, have to do light household duties and prepare meals for the Host Children. Even though Demi Au Pairs focus on language training, they should be willed to do regular Au Pair tasks and fulfil the Host Family’s expectations.
We highly recommend to sign a contract because details need to be fixed and clarified in advance in order to avoid diverging expectations.
How to find a Host Family for Demi Pairs?
Finding a Host Family for a part time Au Pair usually follows the same principles like for “normal” Au Pairs. Host Families for Demi Pairs can be found all over the world. Given the fact that Australia does not officially offer such jobs like “au pairing”, the Part-time arrangement is extremely attractive for these candidates and hence, the first place to think about.
Future Demi Pairs can look for a family on their own online on AuPairWorld or even Facebook. Demi Pairs should inform the Host Family in advance that they want to attend several language classes, so timetables can be adapted way easier.
Sometimes, it may be more clever (in order to save money and time) to get in touch with an agency specialised in finding appropriate Host Families for Demi Au Pair candidates as well as organising the whole language school situation. Most language courses follow a certain schedule like school terms, which could cause problems finding a Host Family as the majority is looking for an Au Pair for half a year minimum. Demi Au Pairs have to decide whether they want to start a second course or work as full time Au Pairs after having finished the first language course.
All in all, the Demi/ Part-time Au Pair is a really good option for those who want to improve language skills and work as a “normal” Au Pair at the same time.