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FAQ

General FAQs

 

What is the difference between a nanny, an au pair and mother’s help?

Do I need to be a premium member to contact host families / au pairs?

Does Kangaroo Au Pair offer any local support?

Are the profiles safe?

How does Kangaroo au pair work?

Are we required to pay a subscription fee?

How can I deactivate my profile?

Why can I not send a personal message?

Why can I not send any more messages?

How can I change/update my profile?

How can I reply to a received message?

 

Au Pair FAQs

 

Will I receive a salary?

Who will pay for my language classes?

Should I get health insurance?

Will I have to pay for my flight?

Can I drive abroad?

How many hours will I be working?

Do I always need to provide a medical report and a police check?

How much does a placement cost?

Do I need to sign a contract to be an au pair?

How long does it take to find a family?

I’m not happy in my host family, can I change it?

How much notice should I give?

How do I know that a host family profile is genuine?

What should I do if I suspect a family is a scammer?

 

Family FAQs

 

I have an au pair helping me with childcare. Can I claim any tax back?

Do I need to register my au pair for tax?

How do I know that an au pair profile is genuine?

Should we pay for the au pair’s travel expenses?

Should we pay for an au pair’s language classes?

Do we need to sign a contract?

What questions should I ask an au pair before making a choice?

How much housework can our au pair do?

Can I change au pair if things are not working out?

Can we ask our au pair to work for more hours than what we initially agreed?

Do we need to insure our au pair?

Do we need to provide a separate room to our au pair or can she sleep in the same room as our children?

 

General FAQs

 

What is the difference between a nanny, an au pair and mother’s help?

An au pair is a young person who is treated as a family member in exchange for help with minding the children and a small amount of light housework. The au pair is given her/his own bedroom and food as well as pocket money. An au pair will usually work between 25 and no more than 35 hours per week. An au pair does not have formal childcare qualifications and will not be a native speaker of her host country. The amount of pocket money and of hours worked is different in each country, so we suggest you check our Au Pair Programmes page and search by country for more detailed information.

Nanny

A nanny is a person with childcare qualifications, who is employed to care for children in their own home and who doesn’t necessarily live with the family. A nanny is an employee employed by the family and is entitled to the same conditions as any other employee. Her salary reflects the years of experience and the number of qualifications in childcare’s care, learning and development that she holds.

Mothers Help

A live-in mother’s help will have at least one year experience and/or qualifications. A mother’s help can work up to 10 hours per day and does not attend language classes as she would be already fluent or the host country's language is her mother tongue. They usually have good childcare experience and are aged 21+. They work up to 50 hours per week plus 1 night babysitting and they usually receive a higher amount of weekly pocket money compared to an au pair. A mother’s help would often progress to working as a live-out nanny after 1 or 2 years. A mother's help will carry out more house work than an au pair. Unlike nannies, they will also carry out some light housework in addition to minding the children. The mother's help programme is not recognised in every country.

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Do I need to be a premium member to contact host families / au pairs?

You don’t need to be a Premium Membership when you first contact a family / an au pair. If you want to contact a family / an au pair and show your interest in them, you can do that using our free automatic messages (‘Hi, I'm very interested in your profile. Would you like to get in contact with me?’) and you will be able to receive their answer too. However, if you want to exchange more personal messages with your family / au pair, you will need to sign up for a Premium Membership against a small fee of €39 or £31.

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Does Kangaroo Au Pair offer any local support?

Our head office is in Dublin Ireland and we are always happy to give advice to all our au pairs and families. We also have a team of international staff so we should be able to give you advice in your native language is you require it. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on +353 (0)1 969 6036 or e-mail us at support@KangarooAuPair.com.

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Are the profiles safe?

Users’ safety is our first priority and we work hard to ensure the trustworthiness of users by doing automatic and random checks on their profiles on a daily basis. We have staff who check profiles on a daily basis to try to ensure that all our users are genuine.

In case we find any scam profiles, we make sure to contact au pairs and families who have been in contact with them and we always delete suspicious profiles straightaway.  Remember to never send money to a family / au pair, under any circumstance. If you have any concerns about a family / au pair or if you believe that they are not genuine, please get in contact with us and we will remove their profile straightaway.

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How does Kangaroo au pair work?

  1. Register

Click on the Sign up button and fill in our registration form. Remember the more information you put in your profile, the more likely you are to find your perfect match!

  1. Search

Search through our list of families / au pairs. When you find a profile you like, simply click on the ‘yellow star’ to add the profile to your favourite list.

This list will be saved and can be accessed by clicking on Favourites in the drop-down menu visible when you click on your account name. Remember always begin your search on page one. These are the families / au pairs who have most recently logged in and are most actively looking for an au pair / a family.

  1. Choose and make contact

It is now time to make contact with your chosen families / au pairs.

Every profile has a message box at the bottom of their profile. Simply click the ‘send message’ button and this will send the family / au pair the standard message

Hi I 'm very interested in your profile.’ The family /The au pair can then respond with the message ‘yes, I am interested in your profile’ or ‘no, thank you, I am not interested at this time. Good luck with your search’.

  1. Become a Premium Member to send personal messages

You may now like to send personal messages (other than the standard message ‘Hi, I am interested in your profile’) to the families / au pairs that you have chosen. It is time to become a Premium Member. Premium membership costs €39/£31 and allows you to contact families / au pairs for 60 days.

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Are we required to pay a subscription fee?

No, you are not required to pay a subscription fee to register on our website. You can search au pairs’ / families' profiles and you can contact them for free sending one of our automatic messages.

If you would like to exchange private messages with your potential au pairs / families, you need to apply for a Premium Membership. The subscription fee for Premium Membership is €39/£31 and it will allow you to send unlimited private messages for 60 days.

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How can I deactivate my profile?

To deactivate your profile just login into your account and:

  1. Click on your profile name
  2. Select My profile from the drop-down menu
  3. Click on Deactivate my profile under 'Your matches'

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Why can I not send a personal message?

Personal messages are available only to Premium Members. If a family / au pair sends you a personal message you can then respond with a personal message. If you wish to send more personal messages to families / au pairs to have more chances to find a placement, just sign up for a Premium Membership for only €39 or £31. This will allow you to send unlimited personal messages for up to 60 days and you won’t have to wait to receive a personal message from a family / au pair to continue the conversation.

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Why can I not send any more messages?

If you have a standard account and you notice that you can’t send any more automatic messages, bear in mind that there is a limit of 30 personal messages every 24 hours.

If you would like to send unlimited and personalised messages, sign up for a Premium Membership.

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How can I change/update my profile?

If you want to change or update your profile:

  1. login into your account
  2. click on your profile name
  3. select My profile from the drop-down menu
  4. click on Edit profile in the Profile section
  5. enter new information under the Edit profile tab or upload new images under the Edit images tab
  6. click on the Save button at the bottom of the page

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How can I reply to a received message?

If you want to reply to a received message, you just need to: 

  1. login into your account
  2. click on your profile name
  3. select Messages from the drop-down menu
  4. click on the message you want to reply to from your Inbox page
  5. select one of the automated replies available to you or write a personal message*
  6. hit the button Send message at the bottom of the page

*If you have a free account, you can only select an automated reply; if you have a Premium account, you'll be able to write a personalised message in the Message box before hitting Send message.

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Au Pairs FAQs

 

Will I receive a salary?

No, you will not receive a salary as being an au pair is not considered to be an employment, but a cultural exchange programme. You will receive weekly pocket money from your host family though, and will be given free board and lodgings. The amount of pocket money varies from country to country, so please visit our Au Pair Programmes page to find out the amount given in your host country.

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Who will pay for my language classes?

Au pairs have to bear the costs of their language classes themselves. Depending on the host country, some families might have to contribute part of the language course expenses (e.g. USA, Germany). Please visit our Au Pair Programmes page and search by country for more detailed information.

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Should I get health insurance?

We strongly recommend you get private health insurance before departure. If you are an EU citizen and you’re travelling to another European country we recommend that you apply for EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). This should cover much of your medical expenses while you are in your host country. In this case, if you have a European Health Insurance Card, you will be entitled to receive free medical care.

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Will I have to pay for my flight?

Yes, au pairs would normally pay for their travel expenses. Some families may decide to pay for it fully or in part, but this decision is entirely up to them.

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Can I drive abroad?

Provided you have a valid full driver’s licence, you will be able to drive abroad. If you’re an EU citizen and you’re travelling to another EU country, your driving licence will be valid. If you’re an EU citizen and are travelling outside Europe, you might need an International Driving Permit that has a validity of 1 year.

Please bear in mind that to be able to drive in some non-EU countries, you might be asked to take a test. Please check the driving licence agreements between your country and the country you’re travelling to before departure.

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How many hours will I be working?

Each family is individual and will have different working requirements of the au pair. It is important that a working schedule be agreed from the very beginning so that no misunderstandings occur.

Your working schedule must be arranged so that you can also attend language classes in your free time.

For example, if you attend classes from 6-8pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings then the host family cannot expect you to babysit on either of these evenings.

Each country might have different requirements about holiday entitlement, free time, free evenings and working hours. We suggest you check out our Au Pair Programmes pages (link) and search by country.

Please bear in mind that if you are a non-EU citizen and you want to au pair in Europe, you may be entitled to work only a certain amount of hours according to your visa regulations. We recommend you check our Au Pair Programmes page for more information on Visa regulations.

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Do I always need to provide a medical report and a police check?

No, we will ask you to provide a medical and/or police check ONLY if the host family requested it from us. However, you should bear in mind that families tend to request these checks before choosing an au pair. All au pairs should be medically fit to mind children and should have a clean police record.

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How much does a placement cost?

To find a placement on Kangarooaupair.com is free of charge if you choose to send automatic messages, or will cost you only a small agency fee of €39 or £31 if you want to subscribe to a Premium Membership to send personal messages.

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Do I need to sign a contract to be an au pair?

It is up to you and your family whether you wish to agree an au pair contract, however we strongly recommend you sign one to protect both of you. While there is no official au pair contract for most countries in Europe, some au pairs prefer to have a contract as it gives a sense of security.

Please beware that in some countries in Europe it is mandatory to sign an au pair contract before departure. Non-EU citizens might need to present a signed copy of the contract to their local authorities to get a visa if they want to find a placement in some European countries (e.g. UK, Spain, Italy, etc.).

Please check out our Au Pair Programmes page and search by country to find out if you are required to sign a contract.

If you wish to use a contract, you can find some sample templates on our au pair contract page.

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How long does it take to find a family?

There’s no fixed time to find a family. It depends on the number of families available at the moment of your search and on yours and your family’s needs. In general, by the time you find a suitable family, you Skype or talk to them on the phone and you organize your flight, it may take between 1 or 2 months to start your placement.

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I’m not happy in my host family, can I change it?

Sometimes au pair placements don’t work out for a number of reasons, but don’t be disheartened. This probably means that you and your host family were not the best fit for each other. Remember you and the next host family that you get could be the perfect fit for each other.

Before you decide to leave your host family maybe try to talk through some of the things that you are not happy about. If things do not improve it may be worth looking for your next au pair family. Do not be disheartened if this occurs as not all au pairs and families are the right fit for each other, but always remember that the right family is out there!

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How much notice should I give?

The notice period will depend on the previous arrangements that you and your families have made. If you didn’t discuss about the notice period with your family, we recommend you give them 2 weeks' notice. 

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How do I know that a host family’s profile is genuine?

At Kangaroo Au Pair we make sure all profiles are genuine and we delete all suspicious profiles straightaway. We recommend you:

  • Beware of families who ask you for money. NEVER SEND MONEY TO FAMILIES! Under no circumstances should any family ask you to send them money.
  • Beware of families that look too good to be true (for example, offering excessive pocket money).

Please visit our Safety & Security page for more tips on how to protect yourself against scammers and if you encounter any of these profiles on our website, please let us know and contact us at support@kangarooaupair.com.

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What should I do if I suspect a family is a scammer?

If you have any suspect that your family is a scammer, please don’t get in touch with them and never send any money beforehand. Also be careful to all offers that seem too good to be true and to contact families via social networks.

We perform daily random checks on all our profiles to make sure our users have a positive and safe experience on our website. However, if you received any suspicious message, don’t hesitate to forward it to us at support@kangarooaupair.com and we will look into that straightaway.

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Families FAQs

 

I have an au pair helping me with childcare. Can I claim any tax back?

Depending on your country’s regulations, you might be able to claim tax back or some childcare benefit (e.g. Germany). We suggest you visit our Au Pair Programmes page and search by country for more information.

We recommend you contact your local Revenue office for further guidance.

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Do I need to register my au pair for tax?

Most countries don’t require host families to register their au pair for tax purposes as the au pair placement is not seen as an official form of employment, but as a cultural exchange programme. Please ensure that you adhere to the au pair programme’s recommendations as families who use their au pairs for above the recommended number of hours may be liable to pay an au pair minimum wage as the au pair may be considered to be an employee rather than an au pair.

Some countries require you to pay for the au pair’s social contributions (e.g. France). We recommend you check our Au Pair Programmes page and search by country or you contact your local Revenue office and ask them.

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How do I know that an au pair profile is genuine?

At Kangaroo Au Pair we work hard to ensure that all profiles are genuine and we delete all suspicious profiles straightaway. We have staff who monitor the profiles on the website daily to ensure that only genuine au pairs and host families use our website.

We recommend you:

  • Beware of au pairs who ask you for money. NEVER SEND MONEY TO AU PAIRS! Under no circumstances should any au pair ask you to send her/him money.
  • Beware of au pairs who ask you to pay for their travel expenses. It is up to you if you want to pay for it, but if you do, we recommend you give the money to the au pair at her/his arrival.
  • Beware of au pairs that look too good to be true (for example, holding too many qualifications or offering to work excessive hours).

Please visit our Safety & Security page for more tips on how to protect yourself against scammers and if you encounter any of these profiles on our website, please let us know by contacting us at support@kangarooaupair.com.

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Should we pay for the au pair’s travel expenses?

The au pair will usually pay for their own travel expenses. It is entirely up to you if you want to provide for his/her travel expenses.

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Should we pay for an au pair’s language classes?

Au pairs will usually pay for their language course. In some countries the family has to contribute to part of the language course expenses (e.g. USA, Germany). Please visit our Au Pair Programmes page and search by country for more detailed information.

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Do we need to sign a contract?

We recommend that you sign a contract with your au pair before your au pair begins. Please beware that in some countries in Europe it is mandatory to sign an au pair contract before departure. Non-EU citizens might need to present a signed copy of the contract to their local authorities to get a visa if they want to find a placement in some European countries (e.g. UK, Spain, Italy, etc.).

Please check out our Au Pair Programmes page and search by country to find out if you are required to sign a contract.

If you wish to use a contract, you can find some sample templates on our au pair contract page.

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What questions should I ask an au pair before making a choice?

If your au pair is already in your country, invite her around to your home to meet her. This way she can get to meet your children and get an idea of how your home works. The more you know about each other and what is expected from both parties, the better the whole au pair experience is likely to be.

For an au pair who is coming from abroad talk on Skype or FaceTime her as many times as possible to iron out any potential problems when she arrives. We suggest you ask your future au pair any question that you feel is important to you. For example, if you need an au pair to drive, make sure to confirm that the au pair has a full driver’s licence and that she is willing to drive when she comes to live with you.

Other important questions you might want to ask are: what type of housework is the au pair willing to do, if she/he has previous childcare experience, how many hours is the au pair willing to work, if she/he is going to attend language classes, and anything else that’s relevant to you.

Again, au pair duties and responsibilities should be outlined and agreed from the very beginning to ensure that the au pair stay works out as well as possible. Ask the au pair for any relevant references, in particular from any past childcare experience.

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How much housework can our au pair do?

An au pair will usually do up to an hour of light housework per day. This housework will relate to the children. An au pair's primary duty is to mind the children.

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Can I change au pair if things are not working out?

Sometimes au pair placements don’t work out for a number of reasons, but don’t be disheartened. This probably means that you and your au pair were not the best fit for each other. Remember you and the next au pair that you get could be the perfect fit for each other.

Before you decide to change au pair maybe try to talk through some of the things that you are not happy about. If things do not improve you and your au pair may agree to end the au pair placement. If this is the case you will need to give your au pair a minimum of 2 weeks' notice. Do not be disheartened if this occurs as not all au pairs and families are the right fit for each other, but always remember that the right au pair is out there!

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Can we ask our au pair to work for more hours than what we initially agreed?

You can occasionally ask your au pair to work more hours if necessary, but only if the au pair is happy to do that and if in exchange you give her more free time the week after or if you pay her more pocket money. This has to be an exception though as you and your au pair agreed different terms initially and these terms have to be respected.

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Do we need to insure our au pair?

With the exception of a few countries where the family needs to insure their au pair (e.g. France), most host families don’t need to insure their au pair. Usually au pairs will have already sorted a travel insurance or a medical insurance prior to departure.

We recommend you visit our Au Pair Programmes page and search by country for more detailed information.

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Do we need to provide a separate room to our au pair or can she sleep in the same room as our children?

An au pair always needs her own separate room. Exceptions can be made only for temporary and exceptional circumstances (e.g. if your family is going on holiday for a short period of time, then your au pair may share her room with the children). In many countries you will need to supply your au pair with a study desk in her bedroom.

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