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- United Kingdom
Why become an Au Pair in the UK?
Our au pair program will give you the chance to live your passion for working with children, to become part of a British family and to get to know the British customs and day-to-day life while making friends from all around the world. This is a budget-friendly and secure way of living abroad!
"An au pair is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, but mostly a BEST FRIEND."
How does it work?
- As a Canadian citizen, you are eligible to apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa, which allows you to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years. Especially if this is your first longer venture outside of Canada, we want to make sure that you feel fully supported and have the security to enjoy your work and travel adventure in the UK!
- We are working with a trusted and accredited au pair agency in the UK, whose staff is passionate about cultural exchange and every au pair that joins their program.
- We will help you apply for your visa and assist you throughout the application process that will lead to finding the perfect host family match for you!
- You will have full support pre-arrival, during the process and while you are in the UK by our experienced staff, who have either done a Working Holiday or au pair year themselves.
- Join the program and you will benefit from our network of carefully screened host families, as well as the contact to international au pairs in your area.
Au Pair Duties
Duties will vary by family, but expect the following to be part of your duties in most families:
- Wake the children in the morning and get them ready
- Help the children to tidy their rooms and make their beds
- Prepare breakfast and lunch for the children + clean up dishes from meals
- Make sure children have books and homework for school
- Take children to/from school
- Tasks while children are at school: shopping, light housework
- Prepare a healthy afternoon snack
- Assist the children with their homework, initiate and supervise play
- Help the children with their bath routine and help get them ready for bed
Hours & Pay
- Up to 30h per week including babysitting (Monday to Friday)
- Free time Saturday and Sunday (minimum 2 full days).
- Approx. £106-£200 per week of pocket money
- Approx. 4 weeks of paid holiday per year (or 1.66 days per month)
- Up to 1h of light household duties per day (no more than 5h/week).
- No sole care for children under 2, limited sole care for pre-school aged children
- Host family may ask for additional hours with extra pay
- End of stay bonus if you fulfill your agreed placement duration (placements 6 months+)
Estelle, Au Pair from Holland
“I also wanted to thank you for everything you do for me and everyone. You’re amazing! I have been an au pair for almost two years now and you definitely played a very important role. Always making sure everyone is okay. That must be a lot of work. Thank you so much for everything you do!”
Luisa, Au Pair from Germany
“I wanted to say a big thank you for being a really great Au pair agency and that you have found such a nice host family for me. I had a really amazing time even when it was during a unique period that the world has never experienced before.”
Annika, Au Pair from Germany
“As sad as it was to leave nearly four month prior to my planned departure date I was super glad to spend an amazing year in London with my host family – making great memories and meeting incredible people! I always felt very well looked after by you and your team – thanks for everything! :)”
Alice, Au Pair from Sweden
“I would recommend this agency because they have been there every step of the way. They have been supportive, been helping out with everything- even the smallest thing and they have just been checking how your doing every now and then. All of this have made my au pair experience feel safe and that almost anything could happen and I would know they would fight with everything to make it right! I couldn’t have been happier.”
Mia, Au Pair from Denmark
“I have been in London for almost a month now, and it has been so amazing! my host family showed me Brixton and took me out for dinner in the Brixton village the day after I came. I have also met my host-mum’s parents, and we went out for dinner too. On my first day alone with my child, we went to the cinema to see planes, it was super fun and i loved it. On my first weekend my host-mum threw me a welcome party where she invited all her neighbours and some of her friends it was really nice, and I got to meet an au pair too. She is living with one of my host-mum’s friends. the day after the party i went to play rounders with a lot of my host-mum’s friends, it was really fun, and it was nice to get out and see the Brockwell park, where I run a lot. I have also been to the theatre to see Siro-A, which was really cool. I also went clubbing with one of my host-mum’s friends’ daughter, she is a year older than me. it was really fun to get out, and see how they do it in England :)”
Sarah, Australian Au Pair
“I have been so lucky to have been blessed with the most amazing host family. The children are wonderful and my host parents are amazing and have made me feel at home, a month in and I feel like I am part of the family, which I felt from day one!”
Benedicte, Au Pair from Sweden
“The agency was absolutely amazing! They checked in on me every few weeks via email and phone calls. Whenever I emailed them they were very quick to respond and they were really helpful. They arranged meet ups with other au pairs and also had a Facebook group where you could get in contact with au pairs all over London/England. My year in London was fantastic many thanks to my agency!!”
Support from GO staff throughout the whole duration of the program
Visa support and application guide
Au pair placement with a carefully screened host family before arrival in the UK
Accommodation and full board at your host family
Minimum weekly pay from £100/week for 25h and pro-ratio paid holidays
Free online Au pair course with tons of resources about life in the UK as an au pair
Lots of support material including a detailed Au Pair Handbook
Airport collection at the start of the placement & drop off at the end of your au pair time by your host family
Regular au pair meetings and monthly Au pair get-togethers
Follow up calls and full-time availability from experienced and friendly team in the UK
24h emergency line & emergency support
Exclusive access to a monitored au pair network
Our UK partner is a member of the British au pair agencies association BAPAA & International Au Pair Agencies Association IAPA.
What’s not included:
Health Surcharge and Travel Insurance (mandatory)
TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE WORKING HOLIDAY VISA:
- You are a Canadian citizen residing in Canada
- You have a valid Canadian passport
- You must be between the ages of 18 and 30 (and must not turn 31 before the UK issues your working holiday visa)
- A clean police record
- Be eligible to apply for a working holiday visa (we’ll help you apply) and the funds to apply
- A bank statement that certifies you have access to at least $2,530 GBP (ca. $4,300 CAD) in available funds
- You must pay for the National Health Insurance (NHS) for 2 years
- You must attend a “Biometrics Enrollment Appointment” in Canada (available in Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa, Halifax or St. Johns)
- You must have never previously held a UK Working holiday visa
- Medical insurance for the duration of your entire trip
- Meet health and personal character requirements
- You must not have any dependent children
With the Working Holiday visa, you are eligible to stay in the UK for up to 24 months.
TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE PROGRAM:
- You must be eligible for the UK Working Holiday Visa for Canadian Citizens
- Age 18 – 28* at the time of arrival (you have to be 18 to apply for the Working Holiday Visa)
- Be unmarried and have no children
- Be flexible, friendly and open-minded
- Good/conversational level of English (it is very important that you can converse in English, enough to conduct an interview with our team/families)
- Be happy to help with childcare and light housework, usually 25-30 hours per week
- Have verifiable childcare experience
- Available to be an au pair for a minimum period of 6 months (we can occasionally also accept shorter stays especially in spring time)
- Be fit and healthy
- Have no criminal record
- Be a non-smoker (or given up for at least 3 months prior to application)
* The age limit for the UK Working Holiday Visa is 30, but you are only able to participate in the program from the ages 18-28.
6 Famous sights you should visit during your Working Holiday in the UK:
THE PREHISTORIC MONUMENT OF STONEHENGE IN WILTSHIRE
One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is an architectural wonder of Britain and covers 2600 hectares and 400 scheduled monuments. This is a must see for anyone interested in history or archaeology.
TOWER OF LONDON
One of London’s most famous landmarks, the historic Tower houses the Crown Jewels, the prison cell of Sir Walter Raleigh, known as the Bloody Tower, and the Chapel of St. John and the Royal Armories.
SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE THEATRE IN LONDON
Shakespeare’s Globe is a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare’s works and the playhouse for which he wrote, through the connected means of performance and education. For literary buffs, this is an excellent opportunity to view Shakespeare plays at a very reasonable price.
BUCKINGHAM PALACE IN LONDON
This famous building is the London home and primary residence of the Queen. Be sure to check out the changing of the guard which takes place daily at 11:30 AM and lasts approximately 45 minutes.
A fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. With over a million visitors a year, people flock to this attraction wanting to learn about the history of Scotland and look in awe at the beautiful scenery.
JURASSIC COAST IN DORSET
Feel dwarfed by nature and history on this beautiful 95-mile (153km) stretch of coast known as the Jurassic Coast. The layers of sedimentary rock tell the history of Earth over 185 million years with the cliffs and beaches peppered with fossils. The incredible coastline, which is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also features some of Britain’s most famous natural rock formations such as Durdle Door and Old Harry Rocks.
Some qualities you should have to become a successful and happy au pair:
Genuine love for children/interest in looking after children. This is a childcare based program, so this is absolutely vital! It won’t be much fun for you nor the kids if you don’t enjoy spending time with them.
Setting yourself REALISTIC expectations – you are absolutely going to have the most unforgettable time as an au pair in the UK with new experiences, new friends and a new culture and country to explore, but you might also miss your friends and family at home, and you are likely to have days with your host children when they do not listen to you and drive you crazy – you know, the realities of life and working with kids!
Adaptability – Your host family life is likely to be quite different to what you are used to – so it’s important to come in with the mindset that you will probably need to adapt to a different way of living (e.g. they might eat at different times, different foods or perhaps raise their children differently to what you are used to). Keep an open mind!
Character wise, it is important to have an honest, positive and outgoing mentality. Do you really feel comfortable in a new environment, taking yourself out of your comfort zone, getting to know a completely new group of people (your host family, other au pairs, local friends)? Living and working with a host family also requires very good communication skills. It is important to ask if you are unsure of anything, and speak up if you have any worries.
Our partner in the UK will listen to your preferences and they will do their very best to find the best match for you, however, those who are most flexible will receive the greater choice of families and be placed more quickly.
Most au pair families would like to see that you are keen on children and have looked after children before. We require at least two references, even if your childcare reference is just from babysitting. The second reference can be a character reference.
Au pairs will be provided with their own private bedroom within the family’s home. They will also receive full board throughout their placement (i.e. meals will be included). We ask host families to provide a photo of the au pair’s bedroom as part of their family profile. Most likely you will have to share the bathroom.
Keep in mind that homes in other countries might look different to your own. For example, houses in the UK are on average half as big as in North America. Only about 0.5% homes in Great Britain are air-conditioned and a lot of rooms will have carpet.
The best times to apply for August-October starting dates: February to August The best time to apply for January – February starting dates: September to December The best time to apply for March – May starting dates: anytime between September to March, for spring start dates shorter search times are often also possible!
There are LOTS of different ways you can connect with other young people and au pairs: List of au pairs in the area, private Facebook and whatsapp groups Au pair events organized by UK partner Local clubs (gym, running, team sports, music…) or University activities Social Media, meet up apps or groups for expats Volunteering Contacts through your host family.
If you have a full, clean driving license, you should be permitted to drive abroad for the first year of your stay.
An International Driving license is always better and you can simply exchange your license. Check the DVLA information if you want to know more about driving in the UK.
If the family needs you to drive their vehicle, they will arrange appropriate insurance for the car you will be driving. We also ask them to provide you with a couple of lessons and time to practice before you drive on your own or with the children. If you are lucky enough to be able to use the car for personal trips, you will usually cover the petrol costs for this yourself.
Even with the best planning and support, occasionally things do not work out and someone is unhappy.
Our UK partner will always first try to assist in finding a solution between the two parties. We can mediate and often an open and frank discussion results in a positive outcome.
However, there are situations where this is not the case. Each placement is different and we will do what we can to support both parties. If appropriate, our UK partner will find a replacement.
There is a two week notice period for placements ending earlier than planned. If you give/are given notice, this period allows both you and your host family time to make alternative arrangements.
You get up in the morning to wake up your host kids, make them breakfast and get them ready for school. When the kids are at school, you spend about an hour with light household duties, such as loading the dish washer, doing laundry or making your kids’ beds.
Normally, you will have lots of time during the day for yourself: You can meet up with friends for a coffee, go shopping, explore the city, work out at the gym or just enjoy your free time at home.
You will start working again around 3pm when the kids come back from school. Prepare them lunch, help them with their home work or join fun activities or games. Your work day usually ends around 7pm when you meet friends for an evening out, spend time with your host family or relax while watching Netflix.
You are expected to do light housework and to cook basic meals (fresh, not microwaved). If you don’t have any experience with this yet, make sure to ask your family at home for some practice runs.