This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
An Au Pair works up to 30 hours a week, 45 hours in the USA. This is a lot because the au pair will also have to study for the language class. Of course the pocket money an au pair gets is just as it says a pocket money. With this money the au pairs can enjoy their free time, buy some clothes and pay for anything that is actually only connected to fun.
Yet the young au pairs often are not as happy with the money they get as they should be and think about working somewhere else, maybe babysitting for another family from time to time. For them it is all about the money in order to be able to afford more things.
An au pair already has a lot to do and as much as its understandable that the au pair would like to make some money they often forget that the family is taking care of everything and that they can use that money for themselves only. Most au pairs just finished school and are not used to work that much, so 30 hours (45 hours in the USA) are definitely enough of work and then they should concentrate on the actual cultural exchange, learn the language, meet some friends and spend quality time with the family.
So as host parents its good to just explain to the au pair why its not a good idea to work in any other job.
Why working for another family is not a good idea
There are other reasons besides the limited amount of time why an au pair should not take care of the children of another family:
- The kids get used to the au pair as a family member and the au pair should concentrate on the children – taking care of other children might lead to a confusion of the au pair and maybe even to comparing the kids to each other.
- Babysitting for a family does not only mean making more money but also means more expenses because the au pair has to get to the other family’s place.
- The au pair stay is not only about making money but mainly about the cultural exchange. Working all the time won’t give the au pair the chance to really explore the area. Making money should never be the main reason to become an au pair.
- Last but not least: It’s illegal for the au pair to make money anywhere else than in the host family if they are in their host country with a student or an au pair visa.