Duties of an au pair besides the childcare include among others also execution of a simple housework. A simple housework means as a rule everything what is connected with the children of the host family. It is: An au pair always in accordance with a child´s age helps with tidying the children´s room. Besides the au pair supports the family as an example with the following housework:
- Dish washing/Putting dish into/taking dish out of the dishwasher
- Time to time: cleaning, sweeping, dust/hoover
- Taking care of the children´s underwear (washing, folding up, clearing away)
- Ironing (no heavy dress pieces like shirts and blouses)
- Making the children´s beds
- Tidying the children´s room
- Doing small shopping
- When necessary, taking care of pets
- Rubbish bin emptying
The au pair is of course responsible for the tidiness of her/his own room and - if available – of her/his bathroom. Also the rooms used by the au pair for her/his own purpose (e.g. cooking with friends in the kitchen), are to be left tidy again. When an au pair takes care of a baby or of a small child she/he should not receive too many other tasks. It is important that by all the au pair´s duties the permissible time is not exceeded.
The following housework is not included in the au pair´s duties:
- Working in the garden
- Window cleaning
- Spring cleanup
- Oven clearing
- Car wash
- Carpet cleaning
- Heavy shopping
- Pet washing
- Making up host parents´ beds
- Toilet cleaning
- Ironing of heavy dresses
- Keeping complete house/flat tidy
The extent and the duties of the housework can be also different in accordance with the family and the children´s age. Generally it is always valid: An au pair is no housemaid. She/he is a temporary family member and helps in the household as any other family member.
- Discuss every duty beforehand together and put it down in writing in the au pair´s contract. In this way you can prevent possible misunderstandings.
- Beside that we recommend to put all the au pair´s duties into the time schedule. Speaking helps! Many problems and misunderstandings can be prevented when the host family and the au pair speak about everything – that applies even to the concrete duties.