My First Experience as an Au Pair in Sidney, Australia
Today I want to tell you about my experience as an Au Pair in Sydney.
I arrived in Sydney as a student and with the purpose of improving my English and working, because here in Australia we have the right to work part time (20 hours a week).
After a few months and going through some jobs, my colleagues told me about a job called Au Pair. They explained what it was and I found it very interesting. It turned out that this idea stayed in my head for several days, I thought about finding out how I could get an Au Pair job here in Sydney, because I always liked children, spending time with them, playing games, teaching them things and at the same time time to learn from them.
So I decided to look for a job as an Au Pair. Many reasons involved this decision, one of which was because it would be a great opportunity to improve my English and, at the same time, have a cultural immersion with Australian families or families who have lived here for many years. Another reason I made this decision was because I could save money, because as everyone imagines, Sydney is a very expensive city and everything must be paid for weekly: rent, food and other related expenses.
I asked my friends and acquaintances to have references from those who had already done this. After talking to several people about their experiences and hearing good stories, I decided to organize my resume. I was recommended to groups and sites in Sydney where I started to explore. During my search I spoke to several families who needed an Au Pair girl, however, in order to work as an Au Pair and for safety reasons, the families ask for a first aid and WWC (Working With Children) course. So I had to pay for them, take the courses and get the certificates.
I continued my search and after talking to different families, I decided to go and meet one of them that caught my attention a lot. The lady had four children: a newborn and three boys aged 3, 6 and 7 years.
They lived 40 minutes from the city and it is worth noting that these families generally live on the periphery (in the suburbs), away from the city center.
I met the lady and the boys and, from the first moment, there was a lot of connection. From the beginning we agreed with the time for which I would be with them (5 months) and all the important issues. The family was flexible with my studies, on weekends I would have time off and, if they had a meeting or extra activities, they would pay me an additional amount to take care of the children. I would have a super comfortable room for myself and receive a weekly “allowance”.
The house was big. It had a swimming pool and a park with toys to distract the kids after school. Within my activities I had to wake them up in the morning, help them get ready to go to school and give them breakfast. The mother took the 6 and 7 year old children to school, while I stayed with the 3 year old child and the baby.
I completely fell in love with the baby, I accompanied her in that moment when she was so fragile and needed all my help, I watched her grow up and learned to interpret all her signs. With the 3-year-old boy who was always with me, we did various activities such as painting, going to the park, going to the mall and he even learned several words in Spanish. The 6 and 7 year old boys were more restless, but always very affectionate and respectful to me, so it was a matter of having patience and knowing how to take them.
This was better than any intensive English course, as I shared many spaces with them every day and I was not only "forced" to practice the language, but I was also exposed and learned the expressions of Australian English, which are very different from those that we usually listen when we study English in our countries.
As an experience, I can say that it was very enriching and I highly recommend it because it goes beyond taking care of children. It is not only a good way to improve a language, but it is also a constant cultural exchange, where you learn many things, both about the country and its customs; you become part of the family and end up becoming practically another sister.
Finally, I think it is a great option for those who are exploring alternatives to go to another country to study, learn about culture and, in addition, earn money.