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Au Pair in the UK

Au Pair in the UK

Who / What is an Au Pair?

An au pair is a young person between the ages of 18-30 who lives with a family in a country other than his or her own for a maximum of 12 months, helps with general housework and childcare in exchange for room & board and pocket money (stipend). The au pair program is one of cultural exchange and the au pair is given the opportunity to study and to experience the culture of the country that he/she is in. In return, the au pair will be asked to perform general household duties (washing and tidying up, laundry, ironing, cooking etc.) and to take care of children during a limited number of hours a day and/or baby-sit at night. The au pair is not an employee but a member of the family and will be treated as such.  London is our most popular destination for au pairs however placements are available throughout the UK.  Want to Au Pair in London? Be sure to indicated it on your application form!

About the United Kingdom

“Britain” is made up of the United Kingdom of Great Britain (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) together with the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The UK is home to approximately 63 million people. Britain is a diverse nation full of contrasts; whichever direction you travel you will find a wide variety of landscapes and diverse cultures to explore. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are all unique countries with their own customs, cultures and traditions. There’s something for everyone in Britain – from the wealth of natural and historical heritage to the vibrant and cosmopolitan towns and cities.

Climate

The climate in the UK is moderate and temperate; more than one half of the days are overcast.  Terrain consists of mostly rugged hills and low mountains; level to rolling plains in east and southeast; there is approximately 12,000 km of coastline.

Culture, Heritage & Attractions in Britain

Britain has a rich and fascinating history dating back to around 6500BC, and all over Britain you’ll find monuments marking its history – from Stonehenge to Buckingham Palace. Britain is also home to over 25 cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 7 Heritage Cities: Bath, Canterbury, Chester, Durham, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and York.

In every corner of Britain you’ll find hundreds of great attractions, ranging from small local museums to world-famous attractions like Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Britain’s great attractions cover everything from museums & galleries to food & drink, there’s something for everyone – from families, to students to budget travellers.

What Does the Au Pair Program Include?

The host family provides the au pair with a private room including bed and desk. It will, be properly furnished, clean and pleasant. The hosting au pair agency always views the available rooms and facilities before an au pair placement is made. Many families will provide their au pair with phone & computer facilities, as well as a TV (minimum requirement) and radio/CD player. If such facilities are not provided, the au pair will have access to these facilities in the living room or common areas, like any other member of the family would. As mentioned, the host family also provides the au pair with full board, however that does not mean that the au pair is entitled to her own private weekly shopping list of organic foods, exotic fruits and prime cuts of beef… It means that the au pair is to join in with family meals and eat the foods that are bought by the family. Eating meals with the host family is an important part of cultural exchange for both parties. It enables both the au pair and the host parents to review the daily activities and to get to know one another a lot better.

There are 2 types of au pair programs available to Canadians in the UK – Au Pair & Au Pair Plus. Below please find details; you must indicate upon application which program you will take part in.

Au Pair

An Au Pair lives as part of the family and is expected to be welcomed as a family member. He/She is an extra pair of hands for a busy household and should be treated as part of the family, not an employee.

Duties include childcare and light housework such as cleaning, ironing, and washing-up at mealtimes and helping with the children.

Au Pairs should not be asked to undertake heavy-duty chores. An Au Pair may be asked to take children to and from school, assist with after school activities and supervise them in a responsible manner in the absence of the parents according to the instructions given.

In return for those duties an Au Pair will receive the following benefits:

  • own bedroom and full board
  • an opportunity to take part in family life
  • part-time attendance at a language school (if desired)
  • pocket money of £70 – £90 per week (up to 30 hours / week worked)

Au Pair Plus

The duties and guidelines for an Au Pair Plus are the same as those for an au pair, however he/she will be prepared to work for up to 35 hours per week plus two evenings babysitting.

As with au pair, the au pair plus is an extra pair of hands for a busy household and should be treated as part of the family, not an employee.

Duties include childcare and light housework such as cleaning, ironing, washing-up at mealtimes and helping with the children. Au Pairs should not be asked to undertake heavy-duty chores.

An Au Pair Plus may be asked to take children to and from school, assist with after school activities and supervise them in a responsible manner in the absence of the parents according to the instructions given.

In return for childcare and household duties an Au Pair Plus will receive the following benefits:

  • own bedroom and full board
  • an opportunity to practise languages in a family setting
  • part-time attendance at a language school (if desired)
  • pocket money of £90 – £120 per week proportionate to the number of hours worked (between 31 – 35 hours per week as au pair plus) 

Overview of Benefits for Au Pair & Au Pair Plus Programs

  • Screened and high quality host family
  • Free welcome pack
  • Free use of au pair ‘find a friend’ website, a safe introduction facility to meet other au pairs
  • Free ‘pay-as-you-go’ simcard for use with your own phone
  • 24 hour emergency helpline
  • Discount on medical / travel insurance
  • Discounts on entry tickets to UK attractions and theme parks
  • Discount on day trips and weekend tours
  • Discounts on Paediatric First Aid courses
  • Support throughout your stay from a professional au pair agency

Holidays

Generally au pairs will receive 4 weeks holiday per year plus 8 Bank / Public Holidays.  The matter of paid holidays will be discussed and agreed between you and the host family. The family must specify the Au Pair’s entitlement to paid holidays and must state when they can be taken or if there are any times which are inconvenient to them.  Holiday times are to be mutually agreed between the host family and Au Pair at all times. If a host family wishes to take an Au Pair on holiday with them, it must be decided in advance if it is a holiday for the Au Pair as well, or if he/she will be working i.e babysitting.

Requirements to Au Pair in England

The requirements of the program are as follows:

  • Aged between 18 and 30
  • Canadian citizen
  • Having some child care or baby-sitting experience
  • Having a genuine love and interest for children
  • Being able to ride a bike, a driver’s license is not essential but definitely preferred
  • Fluent in English
  • Good health
  • Not married
  • No criminal record
  • Willingness to explore and experience a different country and culture

Drivers
Please note that we have a very strong requirement for drivers.  It becomes easier for the families to arrange insurance for those aged 21 upwards.

Support system

Once in Britain the au pairs are given all necessary support for their stay.  The host agency will introduce au pairs to friends whenever possible and are here to help them in any way.  A welcome pack will be waiting for the au pair at the host family’s home and this will contain a list of “friends” in the area where she/he is placed and an au pair’s handbook.  Some tourist information is also included.  In addition, the host agency arranges get-togethers during the year which will include outings to places of interest.

BAPAA Au Pair Friends Website

All au pairs are welcome to make use of the BAPAA Au Pair Friends website.  Through this they will be able to meet not only friends from their own agency, but also friends introduced to the site by other British agencies.  On arrival the au pairs will be given a log-in and password so that they can access the site.

Not Happy with your Host Family?

Should an au pair be unhappy in her chosen family, naturally we will try to place her in another host family.  We ask that they each give each other 2 weeks’ notice wherever possible to allow the host agency time to arrange interviews with other suitable host families.  We are very aware that what may not suit one au pair or one family, may well be just right for another.  We want our au pairs to be happy with their stay and will do our best to ensure this.

How to Apply to Au Pair in England               

Submit the following documents to Latitude International Education by email:                              

  • Completed application form (contact us for the application form!)
  • A minimum of 2 childcare references
  • A passport sized photo
  • 5 or 6 photos (maximum) of you, your family and possibly any children you have cared for
  • A note from your doctor stating that you are fit and able to work as au pair abroad
  • A “Dear Family” letter written in English
  • A signed copy of our Au Pair Agreement

Au Pair Application Process

In order to get ready for your Au Pair experience, these are the steps that you need to take:

1. Fill out the application form & gather all other required documents above (contact us for the application form!)
2. Hand in your portfolio (this is the official registration) & pay your registration fee $600 CAD
3. Apply for all other official documents that are needed for going to the UK (visa docs)
4. Interviews & match with a family
5. Visa Application
6. Collect your visa and get ready for departure
7. Travel to the UK

Send your completed application by email to Latitude International Education. 
Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

***

Working Holiday UK General information 

You must apply for a Working Holiday visa under the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme. Below you will find requirements and instructions.

Au Pair in the UK – Visa Requirements for Canadians

  • Canadian citizen between the ages of 18 – 30
  • Must hold a valid Canadian passport
  • You must have no children under the age of 18
  • You must not have participated in the Youth Mobility (Working Holiday) previously
  • Proof of Funds / Maintenance minimum $2,650 Can.*
  • Application fee: $220.85 Can.*
  • Be ready to enrol your fingerprints and photograph (known as biometric information) at one of our visa application centres in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver or Edmonton

*Amounts are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on exchange rate fluctuations. Please consult the British High Commission to know the exact procedures to follow for that destination.

How to apply for a Working Holiday Visa in the UK
(Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme)

To apply for a visa, you must:

  • complete and submit an online visa application form http://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/ApplyNow.aspx
  • pay your visa application fee online as part of your online application;
  • book an appointment online with our commercial partner WorldBridge to visit one of our visa application centres or mobile biometric clinics – appointments at a visa application centre are free of charge, but there is a charge for appointments at our mobile biometric clinics in Halifax or St John’s; and
  • send your application to the UK Border Agency processing centre in New York (unless you attend our visa application centre in Toronto). You will need to pay an additional courier fee to mail your documents to the processing centre and to have them couriered back to you. Only the Toronto visa application centre in Toronto will send your application to our New York office free of charge and allow you to collect your documents in person.

Online WorkingMaker Holiday Visa Application Form

You can find the online application form here http://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/ApplyNow.aspx. You will need to print out and sign your completed online application form. If you do not have access to a printer when you apply, you will be able to log in later and print out the form.

When you have completed your online application, you will receive an email message containing your application number (also known as a ‘GWF reference’). Please make a note of this number.

Working Holiday Visa Appointments

All visa applicants must book an appointment at either one of our visa application centres in Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver or Toronto or at one of our mobile biometric clinics in Halifax or St John’s. You must attend the appointment in person.

You must first apply online; your appointment must be no more than 90 days after the date when you completed and submitted your online visa application form.

You must enrol your fingerprints and facial photograph (known as ‘biometric information) when you attend your appointment. You cannot enrol your fingerprints if your fingertips are cut or damaged, or if you have put any form of temporary decoration (such as henna or mehendi) on them.

How to Book a Visa Appointment

You can book, change or cancel an appointment online by using the Worldbridge booking an appointment service.

What will happen when you attend your appointment?

When you attend your appointment, you will:

  • need to arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before your appointment (if you are late you will need to reschedule);
  • submit a printout of your visa application form and your supporting documents;
  • enrol your biometric information. The biometri information page describes the requirements for enrolling this information.

What should you bring with you to your visa appointment?

When you attend your appointment, you should bring:

  • a signed printout of your completed online application form;
  • a valid passport or travel document; you are not legally required to have 6 months’ validity on your passport at the time you apply for your visa. But your passport must be valid at the time you apply and at the time you arrive in the UK
  • 1 recent passport-sized (45mm x 35mm) colour photograph of your face, which meets the requirements in our photograph guidance – you can download this guidance from the right side of this page;
  • visa application fee payment receipt;
  • if your applying under the points-based system, a completed self-assessment form, signed and dated http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/pointscalculator
  • any supporting documents that are relevant to your application and a photocopy of each document including English translations; and
  • any previous passports which show evidence of foreign travel

Your passport must contain at least 1 page that is blank on both sides, so that your visa vignette (sticker) can be inserted.

Sending your application to the British Consulate-General in New York

Unless you attend the visa application centre in Toronto, you must mail your visa application to the UK Border Agency at the British Consulate General in New York at the address below. If you attend the visa application centre in Toronto, we will forward your application to our office in New York at no extra charge. Whichever, visa application centre you attend, you must ensure that you enclose a prepaid return self addressed courier envelope to get documents returned. The self-addressed courier envelope must be DHL. We are unable to use any other courier service.

You must ensure that your visa application and your documents reach the UK Border Agency office in New York within two weeks of your appointment at the visa application centre. If your documents are received after the two weeks, your application will have expired and you will have to repeat the process and pay for a new application.

UK Border Agency
British Consulate General
845 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022

If you attend the visa application centre in Toronto, you also have the option to collect your documents from the Toronto visa application centre when a decision has been made on your application.

What You Should Enclose with Your Working Holiday Visa Application for the UK

  • a signed printout of your completed online application form;
  • a valid passport or travel document; you are not legally required to have 6 months’ validity on your passport at the time you apply for your visa. But your passport must be valid at the time you apply and at the time you arrive in the UK
  • 1 recent passport-sized (45mm x 35mm) colour photograph of your face, which meets the requirements in our photograph guidance – you can download this guidance from the right side of this page;
  • visa application fee payment receipt;
  • if you are applying under the points based system, a completed self-assessment form, signed and dated;
  • any supporting documents that are relevant to your application and a photocopy of each document including English translations; and
  • any previous passports which show evidence of foreign travel

Collecting Your Documents

Applicants attending one of other visa application centres in Edmonton, Ottawa or Vancouver or one of our mobile biometric clinics in Halifax or St. John’s, must ensure that they enclose a prepaid return self addressed courier envelope to get documents returned. The self-addressed courier envelope must be DHL. We are unable to use any other courier service.  The UK Border

Agency will email you once the documents have been sent by DHL courier. The email will state the tracking number that can be tracked on the courier website. Delivery is typically by 18:00 the following business day. The documents must be signed for. If you are not available to sign for the documents, a delivery notice will be left for you. You will need to contact the courier company on the delivery notice to make arrangements for collection.

If you submitted your application at the Toronto visa application centre and have requested to collect your documents in person, the UK Border Agency will email you when a decision has been made on your application. Once your documents have been received by WorldBridge, they will contact you to arrange collection. You can collect your documents between 16:00 and 17:00, Monday to Friday (excluding holidays).

When Will Your Passport Be Returned?

We will retain your passport until we have made a decision on your visa application. You should remember this when you make your travel arrangements, particularly if you plan to visit other countries before going to the UK.

If you need your passport returned to you before a visa decision has been made, your visa application will be withdrawn. Please note that the visa fee is non-refundable, and if you would like to reapply for a visa you will need to lodge another application, submit your biometric data, and pay the visa fee once again.

Upon receipt of your visa you should check, that it:

  • contains your correct personal details;
  • correctly states the purpose for which you want to come to the UK; and
  • is valid for the date when you want to travel

Congratulations! You are now ready to start your au pair experience in the United Kingdom!

Questions? Contact Latitude International Education today!

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Contact Latitude

Latitude International Education
Burnaby, BC Canada
Phone: +(1) 604-376-0450
Website: http://latitudetravel.ca
Email: info(at)latitudetravel.ca
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