The role of an au pair in the South African context is similar to that of a ‘nanny’ overseas. An au pair provides complete care for the children in the employer’s home. The children she works with are usually of school going age, and she plays a key role in their development and education. She may live in or outside the family’s home and work part-time or full-time. Her working conditions depend on the family’s individual needs. A driver’s license and own reliable, child-safe vehicle is essential.
An au pair in the overseas context is a domestic assistant from a foreign country. She lives with a host family and is responsible for childcare and some housework. She receives a monetary allowance for personal use. In Europe, au pairs usually work and study part-time, while in the USA they may provide full-time childcare.
What is a nanny?
In South Africa, a nanny usually cares for children up to primary-school age. She creates and maintains a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment in which the children can thrive and develop. Duties usually include childcare as well as housework. The more qualified and experienced the nanny, the greater her childcare responsibilities and the less housework required) Most nanny positions are full-time and may be live-in or live-out.
What is a night nurse?
A night nurse is a highly qualified and experienced nanny who specialises in infant care. She assists the family of a newborn with feeding, nursery setup, colic, reflux and establishing good sleep patterns.