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FAQs

How long does it take to be placed with a family after I apply?

Generally, we require at least 4 weeks’ notice to place you with a family. The matching process does take time to ensure that the host family matches your preferences and experience. Remember that you will need to apply for your visa and purchase your flight which at certain times of year may take longer. If this is the case we will advise you when we receive your application.
 

Will I need to drive in Australia?

Yes, we require that an Au Pair has an International Driver's License and can assist for example with the school runs or with driving the children sporting or other afternoon/weekend activities. Although we will consider applicants without a licence we do find that placements are often hard to find.

If you are required to drive, your Host Family will provide vehicle insurance coverage for the Au Pair and have you listed as a driver on the car insurance policy. More information about driving will be supplied in your Handbook.
 

What kind of childcare experience do I need?

All AIFS Au Pairs must have a minimum of 200 referenced hours of childcare experience. This may include internships in kindergartens, as midwives, children's nurses, camp counsellors, sports coaches, babysitting or tutoring. While caring for younger siblings should be included on your Application it will not be counted for you childcare hours.
 

Will I need to do housekeeping too?

All AIFS Au Pairs will need to help with light household duties that are childcare related such as tidying the children's room, making their beds, preparing light lunches, cleaning up the kitchen after the preparation of meals or doing the laundry. The primary objective for the Au Pair, however, is to care for children.
 

Why should I apply with AIFS Au Pair in Australia when I can find a Host Family for free on the internet?

There are many websites offering free searches for AU Pairs. What these sites do not offer is the security of knowing that your Host family has gone through a rigorous screening process before being accepted onto the AIFS programme.

You will also know that you have the peace of mind of being fully supported for the FULL duration of your placement – not just when you apply. Just a few of the benefits of choosing AIFS are:

  • Experience – we have over 50 years’ experience offering cultural programmes. Over 55,000 people will do an AIFS programme this year. 
  • Reputation – we are the largest Au Pair programme in Australia with families in every state and territory. Many of our families have used us for 5 or more years as they trust the support we offer to them and their Au pairs.
  • Screening – You can rest easy that prior to being accepted onto AIFS’ programme every host family has completed a rigorous screening including police checks and references. 
  • Support – our experienced Au Pair teams in the US and Australia will support you from the moment you apply until the completion of your placement. Our community counsellor was an au pair and is now a mum so she knows some of the challenges you will go through as you adjust to life in Australia and a new environment. In the event of an emergency you have the peace of mind knowing that we have 24/7 emergency support.
  • Simple & transparent application/matching process – Our application might take a little longer to complete however the information will help us match you with families best suiting your preferences. We will look at your experience, allergies, religion, location preferences and any other factors that will be important to find you the right family. And remember that you are never obliged to accept the first placement. The priority is always to find the right match for you and your host family.
  • Australian first aid – Australia has many unique flora and fauna. The Paediatric first aid course that you will complete as part of your orientation includes first aid instruction to cover incident that are unique to Australia. As many host families have backyard swimming pools, water safety at home and at the beach is an important part of our course.

Does AIFS have a Child protection policy?

At AIFS Au Pair, we believe that adults in all aspects of children’s lives, whether parents or other carers have a moral and ethical responsibility to keep children safe and to protect them from harm and child abuse.

AIFS Au Pair actively supports measures towards child protection and child abuse prevention. AIFS Au Pair always considers and acts in the ‘best interests of the child’ principle as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and this principle forms the basis for this AIFS Au Pair Child Protection Policy and Reporting Framework.

As an organisation in the Cultural Exchange sector offering in-home services, AIFS Au Pair has a place in ensuring that children are protected from harm and believes that all children have a right to be safe from abuse and neglect.

AIFS Au Pair uses a range of opportunities to educate their community about child safety and wellbeing, so to create a child safe environment, free from harm. Such opportunities to educate include:

  • This Child Protection Policy and Reporting Framework, annually reviewed and updated
  • A Code of Conduct for appropriate behaviour towards and around children
  • Notices and brochures displayed at our offices, on our website and advertising material, including newsletters
  • Child Safer recruitment advertising, interviewing, and red-flagging for warning signs
  • Child Safer recruitment screening including reference and police checks, working with children checks, qualification and first aid checks, and employment gap exploration
  • Child Safer focussed Induction pack content including this Policy & Code of Conduct for Au Pairs and Host Families.
  • Supervision, support and performance monitoring of Au Pairs by the Australian Child Safety Officer. 
  • Professional Development Training in the Child Protection field for both office representatives and Au Pairs, creating an understanding including legal responsibilities and Duty of Care to children in Australia
  • Appointed Child Safety Officer
  • Child abuse complaints/reporting procedures; and
  • Annual review and renewal of child protection policies, procedures and code of conduct, ensuring our company continues its child safer practices has an appropriate continuous improvement process in place.
     

If it doesn't work out, will you find me another Host Family?

Occasionally we may hear from an Au Pair that she/he is struggling in the placement. In this case AIFS” Community Counsellor will assist you and your family with trying to resolve the issue. If AIFS determines that the placement cannot be continued, it will provide assistance that may include placement with another Host Family or the services of our Work & Travel program.
 

Who is AIFS?

The American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) and its family of companies organises cultural exchange programs throughout the world for more than 50,000 students and young people each year. Since our founding in 1964, more than a million people have participated on an AIFS study or working-travel program.

The American Institute for Foreign Study (Australia) Pty Ltd opened in Melbourne in 1999 with the company focusing on the growth of established outbound programs, Camp America and Au Pair in America. In January 2005 AIFS opened its Sydney office and student centre which also serves as the base for AIFS' regional headquarters.

Each year, around between 2000-3000 adventurous young people will participate on an AIFS programme to or from Australia. AIFS currently offers young Australians the opportunity to participate on Camp America or Au Pair in America. Our inbound options include Work & Travel, Ranch & Travel, Farm & Travel, Internship and Au Pair. For more information about AIFS in Australia please visit www.aifs.com.au. For more information about AIFS around the world please visit www.aifs.com.