Hard time finding a good daycare or a reliable babysitter? Have you ever considered an au pair? This might be the perfect solution for you! Hosting an au pair comes with a lot of perks. It is for example way cheaper than daycare, you always have someone who is at home for the children and you and your family have a person to connect with. Does this make you excited? Read further on how to become a host family in the UK!
What is an au pair?
So, you want to become a host family in the UK? But what is an au pair actually? An au pair is someone who lives in your house and helps you with babysitting and light household chores. The au pair is between 18-30 years old and comes to the UK for a cultural experience. During this experience the au pair will learn a new language, learn about a new culture and become part of your family!
Great Britain is now officially no longer part of the European Union. This has significant implications for the aupair programme and to become a host family in the UK. According to the website of the British government, there is no current information on an au pair visa. Therefore, candidates from the EU can no longer officially enter the UK as au pairs. Later in this article we will tell you which countries can enter the UK as an au pair and work for your host family in the UK.
Requirements for you as host family in the UK
- – You need to have at least one kid under the age of 18 years old;
- – You have an interest in inviting someone from another country to experience a cultural exchange;
- – You are able to offer meals and a salary of 90 GBP per week;
- – You are able to provide the participant with their own room with a window;
- – Respect the working hours of the au pair (maximum 30 hours per week)
Law and regulations in UK
- Au pairs must comply with these measures:
- They have no children;
- They have a basic knowledge of English language skills;
- They have at least an intermediate school certificate, a university degree is also a plus;
- They are entitled to a visa (if necessary);
- They can pay for visa (if necessary), their travel expenses and other au pair expenses;
- They have a clear criminal record.
Which au pairs can get a visa and work in the UK?
There are different possibilities to get a visa to become an au pair in Great Britain and work for your host family in the UK.
• Temporary Work
Government Authorized Exchange visa: this is a visa that allows you to
work in a country for a certain period after approval from the government. For
this visa you need a sponsor and you must meet the eligibility requirements.
• Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme
A 2 year visa available to au pairs from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Monaco, San Marino and Iceland. This also applies to British citizens living abroad and those from British Overseas Territories.
If you’re a citizen from Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, you must enter (and be approved by) the official government ballot system, prior to your visa application.
• Student Visa or Short-Term Study Visa
Available to au pairs of all nationalities registered for full-time study in the UK or those doing a 6-12 month course. Please note however, that you can only perform limited amount of work and cannot earn money, so we don’t recommend this if you wish to become an au pair in the UK.
• Pre-settled status for EU citizens living in the UK before 12/31/2020
These citizens had the option to apply for Pre-Settled Status until 6/30/2021. This makes it possible to stay for up to 5 years without restrictions on work or study.
• Irish au pairs
As a result of the new Brexit conditions, au pairs from Ireland can enter and work in the UK without any additional restrictions.
• British au pairs
If you are already from the UK and would like to get to know your own country better (or move to another area wihtin England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), you can also consider doing an in-country au pair year, for which of course no visa is necessary.
Au pair contract
To gain insight into the agreements made between you and the host family in the UK, there is an au pair contract. It must be signed before the au pair travel to the host country and must specify all the arrangements for the au pair’s stay (services, holidays, working hours, pocket money, etc.). This ensures a clear and fair settlement between the host family in the UK and the au pair. It is also possible to cancel the contract. The legal notice period is 14 days.
The au pair contract contains important information such as:
• Duties: as an au pair, the focus is on taking care of the children. It is also nice if you can help with the household. This includes light tasks such as running laundry, cooking for the children and unloading the dishwasher.
• Board and lodging: as an au pair you receive free board and lodging. This also applies during holidays and illness.
• Hours: as an au pair in Great Britain you work an average of 30 hours a week. This already includes the hours that you are babysitting (but you can agree with your host family to get paid for additional babysitting hours if you like to do this).
• Free time: you are entitled to at least 2 days off per week. One of these days must fall on a Sunday at least once a month. Nanny Nina also recommends giving the au pair 4 weeks of vacation every 12 months.
• Language course: au pairs must have the opportunity to follow an English language course. This is paid by the au pair themselves however we strongly recommend that the host family in the UK pays a contribution to this, to make it more affordable for the au pair.
• Driver’s license: many host families like it when an au pair has a driver’s license. It is important that you have sufficient driving experience to feel comfortable. Foreign driving licenses are valid for a period of 12 months after arrival. After this period, other arrangements may be necessary. In addition, it is important to clarify beforehand what the agreements are about insurance and liability issues and don’t forget that in the UK you drive on the left-hand side of the road.
Au pairs should have the possibility to attend an English language course. Usually, au pairs pay for the cost of such courses themselves. The host family in the UK should help to find an appropriate course within their area if possible and, as mentioned above, we at Nanny Nina recommend that the host family also offers to pay a monthly contribution to the language course for the au pair.
1. First of all, it is important to check the COVID-19 testing requirements before traveling. Check if you have to self-quarantine and what you need to enter the UK.
2. Visa Application: According to the UK government website, there is no current information about an Au Pair Visa. It is important to find out which visa you need. Check the government website for more details, since this may change without prior notice.
3. Insurance and Income Tax: Au pairs do not have the same employment status as regular workers and employees. Depending on how much pocket money you receive, you may have to pay income tax and national insurance.
4. Health Insurance: Non-EU nationals must get a private health and accident insurance for their whole stay, which must be pre-arranged prior to their departure from their home country. There are some countries (e.g. Australia, New Zealand and others), that have signed a reciprocal health agreement with the UK, so those au pairs can use the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK based on their own home country health insurance however note, that this is often limited to basic hospital treatments or emergency help. In any case you should check this with the health care provider in your home country beforehand.
Additionally we do recommend consider an additional liability insurance. The latter is often included in a special au pair insurance, which you can get for example from the popular insurance provider Dr. Walter.
5. How long you can stay depends on the type of visa you have and the laws and regulations that go with it.
Why Nanny Nina?
So you want to become a host family in the UK? Great! We can help you with that. We have a big database with a lot of potential and qualified candidates. We have all screened them thoroughly and made sure they are good candidates. We also offer personal guidance through the whole process and if the au pair is not a suitable match, we find you a rematch. Your au pair is also able to join our ‘academy’ where the au pair can gain skills about first aid, self-development and a lot of helpful tips for their au pair journey. Are you excited to become a host family in the UK? Sign up here as a host family in the UK and we will do the rest!
The costs of this are 1,000 euros.
Enjoy your time together!
Disclaimer: we are constantly monitoring and updating the current situation around Brexit and its implications on the au pair programme in the UK, however please note that we cannot guarantee that all material provided is complete and up-to-date. To be sure, always check the official UK government websites and if you find any errors in our published information, we’d be glad to hear from you.