What is Au Pair Training?

What is an Au Pair and can you provide me with more details about Au Pair Training?

An au pair is someone who fetches, looks after and assists a child or children in completing homework, projects and study for exams. This is also someone who guides, supports and loves your child to the best of their ability. An Au Pair is usually between the ages of 18 to 30 and it is typically a female and has sometimes completed au pair training.

In simple terms, au pair training is a course that can be completed in small groups under the guidance of an au pair agency whereby you learn childcare techniques but we will discuss au pair training in more detail at a later stage.

Do I have to do Au Pair Training to become an Au Pair?

No. Absolutely not. In order to become an au pair, you must meet the following requirements regardless if you have completed au pair training:

  • You must be between 18-35 years old
  • You must have a good grasp of the English language
  • You must have at least passed matric
  • You must enjoy and have a passion for working with children
  • You must be in good health and not have any chronic diseases
  • You must have a clear criminal record

In the general sense, an Au Pair is someone who:

  • Generally has a Matric qualification
  • Is generally between the ages of 20 to 30
  • Has completed a first aid course
  • Has sometimes completed Au Pair Training
  • Is sometimes is studying towards a degree / diploma
  • Sometimes has teaching experience
  • Has a teaching degree (but this isn’t very common)
  • Has a valid drivers license
  • Has their own roadworthy vehicle
  • Works Monday – Friday and sometimes on the weekend if the family requires
  • Looks after children in the home
  • Fetches the children from school
  • Takes the children to any sports or extra activities
  • Takes the children to any doctors, dentist or hairdresser appointments
  • Runs errands like grocery shopping
  • Does not do any domestic duties
  • Please note you don’t have to have completed au pair training to become an au pair

A Junior Level Au Pair:

A Junior level au pair is someone who…

  • Hasn’t been au pairing for long.
  • Doesn’t have formal experience as an Au Pair
  • Has sometimes completed Au Pair Training
  • Hasn’t completed any courses
  • May or may not have their First Aid
  • Can assist your child with homework and school projects
  • Can usually only commit for 6-12 months as an au pair
  • Please note you don’t have to have completed au pair training to become an au pair

A Senior Level Au Pair:

A senior level au pair is someone who…

  • Generally older than 24
  • Has completed Life Coach Training, First Aid or Au Pair Training
  • Has more than 3 years of childcare experience (Children of all ages)
  • Has some form of childcare qualifications (First Aid, Degree, Diploma)
  • Assists your child with homework, school projects and study preparation
  • Can commit for more than 1 year
  • Please note you don’t have to have completed au pair training to become an au pair

A live-in Au Pair:

A live-in au pair is someone who…

  • Is generally a more senior au pair
  • Has 3 or more years of childcare experience
  • Has completed Life Coach Training, First Aid or Au Pair Training
  • Lives in your room and requires comfortable and safe living conditions
  • Is someone who is available to the family when they need
  • Generally earn between R15 000 and R20 000 a month
  • Has relevant childcare qualifications and courses (Diploma, Degree, Higher Certificate)
  • Usually has their own accommodation on the properly or room that is separate from the main sleeping area (Cottage or a room on the other side of the house)
  • Please note you don’t have to have completed au pair training to become an au pair

An overseas Au Pair:

An overseas au pair or someone who travels around the world au pairing is someone who…

  • Travels overseas to live with a family
  • Has sometimes completed Au Pair Training
  • Has sometimes completed First Aid & CPR training
  • Has sometimes completed an online au pair training course?
  • They travel with the family on holiday and wherever they go
  • They fetch the children from school
  • They may take the children to school
  • They help take the children to the beach, game reserve, hotels etc
  • Please note you don’t have to have completed au pair training to become an au pair

little sunshines au pair training

The pros and cons of being an overseas au pair

The pros:

  • It isn’t expensive to be an overseas au pair as the family pays for most of your expenses
  • You become apart of a local family
  • You have an opportunity to improve your language skills if not become fluent in the language
  • You make international friends as an overseas au pair
  • You have the opportunity to share your culture with others
  • You get to help raise the children and see them reach their milestones
  • You get to enhance your CV with more experience

The cons:

  • Au Pairs may struggle to adapt and fit into the family’s lifestyle
  • The au pair may be placed with a family with difficult children
  • You won’t have a lot of time to socialise
  • You will be living with your boss which can make life difficult

Au Pair Living Condition Requirements

As a live-in or overseas au pair, it is important to take note of your living condition requirements. Is your boss treating you fairly and did you chose the correct au pair agency?

Your room or accommodation should have the following:

  • It should have adequate lighting – the room should have at least two windows
  • The area should be a minimum of 8sq.m
  • Privacy – an au pair should not share a room with the children or be near the family’s sleeping area
  • Security – is the accommodation lockable and keeping your belongings safe?
  • It is sufficiently furnished and cozy?
  • Does it have its own private bathroom?

Common Problems as an Au Pair

  • You agree on your stay with a Host Family but they seem to ignore further emails and phone calls.
  • You feel homesick, you find it hard to make friends and you miss your family and friends back home.
  • You feel verbally harassed or abused by the family in any way.
  • You are too exhausted after every working day because of the amount of working hours, not enough free time, too many tasks.
  • You find it very hard to learn the language of the Host Country and to communicate with the family.
  • The Host Family seems to be different from what you have expected according to their profile.
  • Your educational methods differ from the Host Family’s and the family doesn’t agree with them.
  • The cultural differences seem to be bigger than expected.
  • The Host Family doesn’t pay the required amount of pocket money.
  • The children don’t accept you as their Au Pair.
  • Your Host Family doesn’t allow you to invite people over.
  • You have special diet requirements which are different from the Host Family’s.
  • You didn’t ask enough questions at Au Pair Training and didn’t truly get an understanding of how difficult it was going to be.

Common Problems for a Host Family

  • The Au Pair takes advantage of the program to live abroad without having to pay rent and is not actually interested in the Au Pair experience.
  • The Au Pair agrees on his/her stay with a Host Family but seems to ignore further emails and phone calls.
  • The Au Pair refuses to speak in a foreign language and isn’t able to communicate.
  • The Au Pair overuses the Internet and has always his/her smartphone, tablet or laptop around.
  • The Au Pair spends most of the time on the phone and makes expensive international calls, because he/she misses family and friends.
  • The Au Pair seems to be different from what you have expected according to his/her profile. There might have been wrong references in the profile.
  • You don’t agree with the Au Pair’s educational methods.
  • The Au Pair is using streaming websites or downloading illegally.
  • The Au Pair doesn’t care about personal hygiene, the Au Pair’s room is dirty.
  • The Au Pair goes out every night and is tired at work.
  • The Au Pair has a driving license but no driving experience.
  • The Au Pair doesn’t have the qualifications you thought he or she had such as au pair training, life coach training or a First aid and CPR course.
  • The cultural differences seem to be bigger than expected.
  • Your children don’t accept the Au Pair.
  • The Au Pair invites guests over.
  • You have just discovered that the Au Pair has special diet requirements.

that sassy life coach

Welcome present for your new Au Pair

You don’t know your Au Pair very well yet and will thus want to buy something that is practical or pleasant.

You will surely find some helpful tips here:

  • A guidebook covering the area you live in and the surroundings (including a map if possible)
  • A diary or notebook
  • A gift card for a local store, coffee house, cinema or a fun activity
  • A special cup/mug
  • Comfy home slippers
  • Nice shower gel and shampoo
  • Some sweets that are typical of your home country
  • A book about the history, literature or music of your home country

Birthday or holiday present for your Au Pair

  • Photo book with pictures of your Au Pair and your family…
  • …or get one special picture framed
  • A small personalized item with a special picture (mug, pillow, blanket…)
  • Tickets to some local event (concert, theater, sports game …)
  • A special piece of jewelry that will always remind her/him of you and the Au Pair experience
  • T-Shirt/sweater with the name/logo of your city/state/country
  • Throw a surprise birthday party
  • Have an individual cake made for her/him
  • Her/his favorite sweets/tea/spice in a special gift box
  • Winter accessories (scarf, hat, touchscreen gloves…)
  • Make-up or cosmetics
  • An activity that she will enjoy and that she could bring one friend with (afternoon tea, day at the spa…)
  • A travel voucher

Au Pair Qualifications

To become an Au Pair at any Au Pair Agency, you would need to be able to answer “yes” to the following:

  • Age: are you between the ages of 18 and 30?
  • Education and Qualifications: Have you or are you about to complete any tertiary or secondary school or any courses? (Au pair training, Life Coach Training)
  • Criminal Background: Are you free of any criminal charges and haven’t been arrested?
  • Time Commitment: Are you able to commit to a family for the next 12 months?
  • Experience: Do you have at least 20o hours of childcare experience?
  • References: Do you have any references (that aren’t from family and friends) to verify your skills?
  • Driving: Do you have a drivers license and have you been driving for at least 1 year?
  • Health: Are you in good health and not at risk of needing to take sick leave?
  • Language: Are you fluent in English?

au pair qualifications

What are the general duties of an Au Pair?

The general duties of an au pair usually are:

  • Fetch the children from school
  • Take the children to school (Morning run)
  • Play with the children
  • Teach children to stand and aid their development if they are infants
  • Provide children with routine and structure
  • Assisting the children with their homework and school projects
  • Running errands for the family such as grocery shopping, buying of school uniforms and stationery supplies
  • Meal Preparation – make sure that you prepare the children something healthy, nutritious and yummy to eat
  • Tidying up – ensuring the children are taught to pack away their toys after using them
  • Bath the children
  • Sometimes you may be required to travel with the family but you can inform the Au Pair agency that you aren’t prepared to do such a task
  • Sometimes you may need to accompany the parents to any play therapist and school appointments for things like parent teacher interviews where they discuss the child’s academic progress (school reports)
  • Take the children to appointments such as: Doctors appointment, dentist appointment, OT, Play therapy and speech therapy
  • Teaching the children to swim
  • Playing sport with the children such as throwing balls, playing soccer, swimming and playing basketball. This is fantastic for physical development and mental health as exercise releases endorphins which make us feel fantastic, keeps us healthy and fit
  • Taking the children on outings such as to restaurants, bounce, a painting studio, checkout a book at the public library or pop into the best bakery’s in Johannesburg- If this is a daunting task for you, it is possible that you are lacking that emotional connection with your child. You can attend courses to ensure that you foster a stronger and healthier relationship with your child and rectify that problem.
  • Prepare dinner for the children or family
  • Pack school lunches for the next day
  • Do baby sitting in the evenings and over the weekends

Keep in mind you will not be expected to perform tasks that are unrelated to children or include heavy manual labor such as housecleaning, garden maintenance or other types of chores. These duties are applicable to all types of au pairs, regardless if you have completed au pair training or not.

Typical Au Pair Salaries:

An Au Pair’s salary is usually dependent on the au pair’s experience level, how old they are and how qualified they are (i.e Have they completed au pair training, a CPR course or Life Coach training course for au pairs?). The more qualified they are, the more you are likely to pay. You can expect to pay an au pair between R4000 to R8000 per month for a part time au pair working between 6 to 30 hours per week, and R8500 to R16000 per month for a full-time au pair working between 35 to 50 hours per week”.

Morning Salaries:

Au Pairs can usually expect to earn between R4500 and R9000 per month dependent on how many hours they work in the morning and what duties they are required to carry out.

Afternoon Salaries:

Generally afternoons require more assistance given children have school, sports and extra lessons. During this time, an au pair can work between 3 and 6 hours in an afternoon and can expect to earn anything between R5500 and R12000.

An au pair salary will depend on many factors:

  • How old the au pair is
  • Their level of childcare experience
  • What relevant qualifications and courses they have completed (online au pair training, First Aid & CPR, Au Pair Training)
  • The amount of hours they are required to work each week and if babysitting is required. (Remember that you need to be compensated for babysitting as it is considered “overtime”)
  • A valid drivers licence
  • A own roadworthy vehicle with functioning seat-belts in the back and front seats
  • The area you reside in – you may have to pay a little more for petrol

Please note that some au pairs will naturally expect a higher salary if they have completed courses such as au pair training, life coach training, CPR course etc.

Au Pair Petrol and Au Pair Training

It is important to note that you aren’t required to reimburse an au pair for the distance traveled to and from the candidates home to work. Au Pair petrol is calculated by distance traveled with the children whilst taking them to and from school, taking them to doctors appointments etc. The rate per km can be determined by the AA and the candidate should log the km traveled. Please note that if you decide to complete au pair training, you will not be reimbursed for any petrol used.

Au Pair Contracts at a Glance:

Please see the below clauses that you need to look out for before signing a contract to become an Au Pair:

Duration of contract:

  • Is it a temporary/ 6 months or 12 month contract?

Start date:

  • When are you expected to start and ensure you can commit to that date

Weekly/monthly remuneration:

  • What is your expected salary? Ensure this is enough for you to live on.
  • You need to account for fuel, food, utilities (Should you have your own apartment), insurance for your car etc


  • How many free days will you have and when?
  • This is important to establish before you start, so to prevent tension from arising in the future and ensuring you get the rest your body requires and needs.


  • Are you to be a live-in Au Pair and if so, where are you to stay on the property, what are the living conditions like?
  • Will you be comfortable, have enough privacy and feel happy?

Working Hours:

  • How many hours are you expected to work in a week/month? Please remember that normal working hours in a single week are up to 45 hours that an employee is expected to work.
  • This excludes additional remuneration and compensation for work done during school holidays and over public holidays

Travel expenses:

  • Who will cover your fuel and travel costs if you are to go away with the family?
  • Make sure you check the standard AA Rates when it comes to claiming fuel per km.


  • Please make sure you car is insured before starting your position as the family cannot be held liable for damage, loss or neglect of your car

Au Pair Responsibilities:

  • As an au pair, you need to make sure your duties are clearly defined in your contract to avoid confusion and conflict. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you are carrying out tasks that aren’t meant for your job description (e.g taking out the dustbins)

Cancellation of Contract:

  • What is the notice period?
  • 1 month is usually the industry standard.
  • Will you still be paid your salary?

*NB: please don’t forget to provide the family with your certified qualifications (Au Pair Training certificate, Life coach training certificate, First aid certificate etc)

 What Au Pairs are entitled to:

  • Au Pairs shouldn’t work more than ten hours a day or 45 hours a week, which works out to 180 hours in a single working month – regardless if they have completed au pair training 
  • Au Pairs must receive 1.5 consecutive days off per week and one full weekend each month
  • During the December period, Au Pairs must be given 2 weeks of paid off duty holiday – given they wanted to work but aren’t able to due to the festive season and family’s going on holiday. It isn’t your fault that you cannot work and therefore, you are rightfully owed your pay.

What is Au Pair Training?

Au Pair training is a course that has become quite popular amongst the youth of today yet not everyone knows what it is all about.

Au Pair training is a course provided by many Au Pairing agencies in and around the Johannesburg area to teach Au Pairs about children, the duties and expectations of an Au Pair, the do’s and don’ts whilst around children, such as texting on your cellphone, updating your social media and smoking and how to manage emergency situations.

au pair training

The Cost of Au Pair Training

The average au pair agency charges R1000 per person per au pair training. These au pair training sessions are between 6-8 hours long and you are awarded a certificate after completing the course.

Hidden costs in Au Pair Training:

First au pair training cost to consider:

  • In order to complete au pair training, you would need to organise money for transportation costs for those who don’t have a car (this can usually tally up to R100 there and back from the au pair training depending on where you live) This means at this point, together with the cost of the au pair training, you would have spent about R1100 in total.

Second au pair training cost to consider:

  • If you are fortunate enough to have your own vehicle, you will put millage on your car as well as cause wear and tear on your tyres as you have to drive to the au pair training

Third au pair training cost to consider:

  • You have to consider the cost of petrol – some au pairs have to use a significant amount of money on petrol driving to au pair training (this isn’t always a financial option for some as au pairs tend to be young individuals just starting out in their careers and don’t have much disposable income)

The Benefits of Au Pair Training

  • It is an awesome qualification to have on your CV
  • You will have a better understanding of children
  • You will make friends at au pair training and get to know the other au pairs

Which Au Pair Agencies Offer Au Pair Training?

After I matriculated I decided like most young woman do, to become an au pair and spend my afternoons engaging in conversation, entertaining, exploring with and getting to know the children I was put in-charge of looking after.

The following au pair agencies offer au pair training:

  • Domestic Angels offers au pair training and they are situated in Fourways
  • Au Pair Extraordinaire offers au pair training and they are situated in Sandton
  • Tip-Top Au Pair Agency offers au pair training and they are situated in Malanshof
  • Carla’s Au Pair Agency offers au pair training and they are situated in Germiston
  • Cultural Care offers au pair training and they are situated in Bryanston
  • Little Sunshines Au Pair Agency offers au pair training and online au pair training they are situated in the Johannesburg area

But I would have to say my top three favorite Au Pair Agencies who offer au pair training are:

  • Domestic Angels
  • Tip-Top Au Pair Agency
  • Cultural Care

What is a Life Coach Training Course?

Life Coach Training provides you with an alternative to Au Pair Training.  lt also provides you with the necessary skills you need to be a complete, well-rounded and level headed individual in both your professional and private life,

This will enable you to tackle any obstacles you may face as an au pair or Nanny, how to resolve conflict, self esteem issues, difficult employers, how to manage stress, delegate time and much much more.

Nowadays, with everyone having similar qualifications (Like Bcom, first aid, CPR, Matric and Au Pair Training) and levels of experience, it is hard to make yourself stand out from the crowd to get that dream job.

At That Sassy Life Coach, we offer Au Pairs, Nannies, Moms and Tutors with a chance to join our online au pair training course which will enable you to seek employment opportunities more quickly

Our course is reliable, affordable and convenient and is an alternative to Au Pair Training. The best part is, the course can be completed on any mobile, ipad or computer and can be done at any time.

Please note that we can train you in person

Who has seen results from this course?

  • Any mother, regardless of age, looking to foster a healthier relationship with their child
  • Any Nanny, Au Pair & Teacher wanting to build a stronger relationship with their placement family
  • Those who don’t have any qualification
  • Those who haven’t completed au pair training

We understand, as an au pair or nanny, that times can be tough financially which is why, at the end of each month, we run specials between R200 and R250 off our training.

Click here to book our online au pair training course