Frequently Asked Questions

We know there's lots of information to take in, but you should find answers to any burning questions you have here!

WHAT'S AN AU PAIR?


An au pair is usually a young adult, who lives with your family and provides childcare and light day to day domestic assistance. In exchange, they receive board and accommodation plus weekly pocket money. The general age for an au pair is between 18 and 22 (but we have worked with older). The term "au pair" comes from France and translates to ‘as equal’, meaning that an au pair is welcomed into a family.




WHAT ARE YOUR FEES FOR AU PAIR PLACEMENTS AND WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF AU PAIRS THAT YOU WORK WITH?


It is free for au pairs to apply and be placed with families (noting that au pairs will have to pay for their own Working With Children Check - see separate FAQ). For families, we believe in transparent pricing from the outset with no hidden costs. It is free for families to register and to apply; we will only charge you once a successful placement has been made (i.e. when your family and an aspiring au pair are a match). Families will have to fund their police checks. Our placement fees depend on the childcare experience of your au pair and apply on contracts of six months or more (the fee will be pro-rata if the contract is less than 6 months) as follows: Essential Au Pair $1,000
Placement fee for our Homegrown au pairs with some babysitting experience. This au pair should be able to care for children aged 3+. Extra Au Pair $1,200
Placement fee for our Homegrown au pairs with a little EXTRA insofar as childcare experience is concerned. This au pair should generally be able to care for children ages 2+. Complete Au Pair $1,400
Placement fee for our Homegrown au pairs with at least 6-12 months childcare work experience or who has studied childcare/teaching. Depending on experience, this au pair may be able to look after children under 24 months.




HOW MUCH DO AU PAIRS GET PAID?


Our reccomendation to families is that your au pair should be paid appropriate to their hours worked and experience, noting that the pay rate takes into account food and board. Au pairs are entitled to at least the national minimum wage which amounts to $19.84 per hour - the average cost of weekly room and board (~$350) is deducted from this total. On this basis, we recommend at least ~$250 for 30 hours a week. Please note that this rate can increase for au pairs with more childcare experience (e.g. for an au pair that has considerable childcare experience, we reccommend payment of at least $10/hour). We also reccommend incentivisng your au pairs with a bonus payable every 6 months.




HOW LONG WILL THE PLACEMENT CONTRACT BE FOR?


This will be up to families and au pairs to agree however we generally reccommend a 6 monthly minimum. We have standard pro forma contracts that can be used to agree terms and by providing a sense of generally accepted principles.




WHAT ABOUT HOLIDAYS AND LEAVE?


This will be up to families and au pairs to agree. Generally though, au pairs should have at least one day off per week, which should be on a weekend and should have a day off on public holidays. We have standard pro forma contracts that can be used to agree terms and we can help you by providing a sense of generally accepted principles.




WHAT ABOUT WORKING WITH CHILDREN CHECKS?


All au pairs will be required to obtain a Working with Children Check prior to commencing their time with a host family




WHAT IF A PLACEMENT DOESN'T WORK OUT?


Despite everyone's best efforts, sometimes things aren't meant to be. That's why we offer a free rematch process for either party, within 30 days of commencing an au pair/host family contract.




WHAT ABOUT TAX?


Tax obligations are for families and au pairs to determine.




I HAVE CHILDREN UNDER 2 - IS AN AU PAIR FOR ME?


Children under 2 have very specific needs as all parents can attest to! We don't reccommend having an au pair have sole care of children of this age group unless they have specific experience with this age group. We are always on the look out for au pairs that have had experience with this age group!




WHAT SETS HOMEGROWNHELP APART?


We are currently the only service focusing on sourcing local au pairs for Australian families. Having lived through hosting several au pairs, we have personal experience of the benefits and challenges of the experience and so we have empathy for both families and au pairs. We strive to operate with integrity and aim to make great matches that will benefit both parties.




SHOULD I HAVE A CONTRACT?


We definitely reccommend that families and au pairs agree a contract with each other so that expectations on both sides are clear up front. This contract should cover aspects of the arrangements including pay, how much holiday time the au pair should expect, what duties they will perform, how many hours of work a week will be expected and insurance arrangements if a car is to be driven by the au pair. We have standard pro forma contracts that can be used to agree terms and we can help you by providing a sense of generally accepted principles.




WHAT ARE THE DUTIES OF AN AU PAIR?


The main responsibility of an au pair is to take care of the children of the host family. In addition, the au pair may perform light housework chores. The au pair and host family should discuss the details of these arrangements in advance and include them in the au pair contract.




WHAT KIND OF ACCOMMODATION AND BOARD ARRANGEMENTS WILL AN AU PAIR NEED?


Au pairs have their own room in the home of their host family. In addition, au pairs receive all their regular meals at home with the host family.




WHAT CHECKS ARE DONE ON HOST FAMILIES?


We require all host family members of 18+ to have provided a police check before hosting an au pair.




HOW MANY HOURS A WEEK CAN AN AU PAIR WORK?


Whilst this will ultimately be for au pairs and families to agree, generally, au pairs should not work more than 38 hours a week. Additional hours can be added to it only if they are reasonable. According to our experience however, we recommend a working time of 25 to 40 hours per week - including babysitting hours.




WHAT ARE YOUR FEES FOR LIVE OUT HELP?


For families, we believe in transparent pricing from the outset with no hidden costs. It is free for families to register and to apply; we will only charge you once a successful placement has been made (i.e. when your family and an aspiring live out helper are a match). Our placement fees depend on the childcare experience of your HomegrownHelper and apply on contracts of six months or more (the fee will be pro-rata if the contract is less than 6 months) as follows: Essential Help $500
Placement fee for our HomegrownHelpers with some babysitting experience. This helper should be able to care for children aged 3+. Extra Help $600
Placement fee for our HomegrownHelpers with a little EXTRA insofar as childcare experience is concerned. This helper should generally be able to care for children ages 2+. Complete Help $700
Placement fee for our HomegrownHelpers with at least 6-12 months childcare work experience or who has studied childcare/teaching. Depending on experience, this helper may be able to look after children under 24 months. It is a requirement for all helpers to complete The Working With Children Check (WWCC), prior to their placement. The WWCC involves a National Police Check (criminal history record check) and a review of any reportable workplace misconduct. We would expect that the amount paid to live out help by families would factor in the fact that neither board nor accomodation is required. We are happy to discuss this further with you.