Au Pair duties

Au Pairs are for the most part young students or graduates looking to improve their English before starting their career. Whilst they can be asked to give a hand with a few household tasks, they are not domestic staff.

Housework is a very small part of an Au Pair’s role and should be limited to light duties largely linked to the children. Please note that asking too much housework is the number one reason an Au Pair hands her notice in earlier than her planned departure date.

Housework : The golden rules

Maximum 5 hours per week, child related light house hold duties
If you need more than 5 we recommend employing a cleaner who will do it better, faster and more willingly than your Au Pair !

Ask us about our “Family Assistants” who are recruited on the basis of helping out with all domestic tasks rather than childcare – great for families with older children

What a family can ask an Au Pair to do :

  • Her own washing and cleaning their bedroom/bathroom
  • Children’s washing/ironing and putting their clothes away + children’s bedding
  • Tidy children’s bedrooms, communal areas, emptying the bins
  • Prepare children’s meals + wash up
  • Clean the bathroom that she and/or the children use
  • Clean the kitchen
  • Clearing up after meals – but this should be a joint task !
  • Preparing the family meal – but this should be taken in turns!

We recommend avoiding or agreeing in advance and paying extra for….

  • Walking pets
  • Ironing parents’ clothes (Au Pairs can be so bad at this it’s often better to outsource to a professional)

What an Au Pair should not be asked to do:

  • Clean the whole house
  • Defrosting freezer / deep cleaning of appliances other than wiping them after use (fridge, hob, oven)
  • Full spring cleaning e.g. emptying cupboards, pulling furniture out to clean behind it, polishing
  • Cleaning walls/doors/skirting boards
  • Washing the carpets / curtains / cushions
  • Running errands for the parents (dry cleaners, post office etc)
  • Window cleaning
  • Weekly shopping
  • Pet training / Clearing up after untrained pets
  • Parents’ bedding
  • Parents’ ensuite bathroom
  • Putting parents’ clothes away
  • Clearing up after the parents’ dinner if the Au Pair and children have eaten at another time