The title ‘Au Pair’ comes from the French term au pair, meaning “on a par” or “equal to”, indicating that the relationship is intended to be one of equals: the au pair is intended to become a member of the family, albeit a temporary one, rather than a domestic servant.
An au pair is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working for, and living as part of, a host family. Typically, au pairs take on a share of the family’s responsibility for childcare as well as some housework, and receive a small monetary allowance for personal use.
Au pair schemes are subject to government restrictions which specify an age range usually from late teens to mid to late twenties.
Thousands of Kenyans and East Africans are currently working as Nannies and Au Pair in Europe, after being taken there by the many Au Pair agencies online.
Among the agencies is one by the name Aupairs Europa gmbh., which is a German Au Pair agency.
The Mombasa411 blog met up with the agency Director Ms Kate Schwarzer who was at the Eden Roc Malindi, last weekend. She had traveled there to launch her agency’s regional office in the town.
‘Jambo!,’ She politely greeted us, before we were led to the hotel’s lounge for our interview.
Ms. Kate is an attractive middle aged woman, who casts an aura of confidence and authority.
Au Pair Europa’s vision, she says is to connect Au Pair families in Europe with Africa, in a cultural exchange that will create long lasting friendships.
“I urge Kenyan Au Pairs to apply, it will be a refreshing stint in Europe with their host families. We currently have about 15o vacancies for Au Pairs and as our past attests, we are good at what we are doing,” Ms. Kate told Mombasa411.
She says her firm currently has openings in Finland, where an au pair’s responsibilities also include light housework, totaling six hours a day, five days a week. The au pair has her/his own room, is provided with food and is paid a weekly allowance amounting to at least €352 per month (minimum set by Finnish law). Additionally, the host family will arrange a Finnish or Swedish language course to help the au pair communicate better with the children and get more out of his or her stay in Finland. Au pairs can stay with their host family for up to one year or negotiate a shorter stay.
The other openings are in Norway, Sweden, Turkey, Holland, UK, Germany, Spain, Greece and France.
Successful Au Pairs have their airfare fully paid for by their host families, and are entitled to 2 return air tickets a year, and a weekly stipend rangine from €110 – €150 per week.
To apply, send an email with your CV, Photo of yourself and 2 referees to firstname.lastname@example.org
Basic application criteria
Potential au pairs must:
- Be 18–30 years old
- Have some child care experience.
- Be a non-smoker and non-drug user. Pls Note, Some families will accept smokers.
- Display basic conversational language ability.
- Be able to make 6 to 12 month commitment. Shorter placements of three months can also be arranged but only for citizens of the European Union (not including new EU members as they need a work permit).
- have completed their secondary school education.
- be proficient in spoken English
- have no criminal record
All the best from Mombasa411!