Cultural Care Au Pair organises work placements for young Australians so that they can live with a family in the USA and care for their children. In essence, they will be full time nannies. Participants are paid weekly pocket money which is approximately US$195 a week. This is great money considering that all living expenses are already covered. Many young people choose this as a wonderful GAP Year option.
The website for Cultural Care Au Pair (www.culturalcare.com.au) is full of great information on the program as well as testimonials from Australian students who have worked overseas as Au Pairs. Many students have never heard of the term ‘Au Pair’ and are excited when they hear about the opportunities gained through the program.
In order to be selected, students need to be aged between 18 and 26 and have worked in caring for children for 200 hours. While this seems to be a big ask, students can count all of the following as experience – babysitting, voluntary work in a child care center, coaching children’s sport, work in a church group and tutoring children. Students in secondary school can start keeping a record of all of the hours they spend caring for children so that they are qualified to become an Au Pair after completing secondary school or as a break during university studies.
Other selection requirements include having a driver’s licence, being fit, health and positive as well as being happy to commit to at least a year working as an Au Pair. Naturally, participants cannot have a criminal record.
Working as an Au Pair has many benefits for young people. They enjoy…
- an opportunity to live in the USA and really soak in the culture as well as seeing the country on weekends off and during holiday breaks
- invaluable work experience which demonstrates the ability to accept responsibility, communicate well with children and be trustworthy and ethical
- an opportunity to grow as a person, develop greater maturity and self-confidence
- an opportunity to meet other Au Pairs from around the world and make lifelong friends
- a taste of the world of work. Some students gain insights into careers they want to pursue. These may be childcare, teaching, psychology, youth work, nursing, event management and many more.
Australians have worked as Au Pairs for many decades and return home with a great network of overseas friends as well as priceless memories. This is an option well worth investigating with your teenager.