The Au Pair

by Claire Minnaar

I faced the choice of getting a nanny or an au pair when I had my first child in 2008. I think finances play a HUGE role in what one decides to choose, but I think there’s a very important understanding on the differences between an Au Pair and a Nanny that isn’t always clear.

So, to help you get clarity on what an Au Pair is and what they are supposed to do, Momtrepreneur and Chilton Au Pairs have put this article together.

What is an Au Pair?

An Au Pair is typically between the ages of 18-26 and typically have the following qualifications:

  • Basic childcare experience
  • Minimum of two years babysitting & Au Pair experience
  • First Aid / CPR qualification
  • A Matric
  • Clean driving license and well kept and safe car

Au pairs typically don’t make a career out of childcare work like nannies do. There is about 10% of these fulltime career Au Pairs around.

Qualifications and Background

Most Au Pairs have had or are in some form of tertiary education. Generally they have N4, N5 and N6 Educare Qualification and are truly passionate about working with children in the private home sector.

Au Pairs tend to be mostly varsity students with a sincere interest in children, the girls should be mature, disciplined, sporty, creative and caring to the children.

Responsibilities of an Au Pair

Au Pairs are employed to care for the children and do only light household work e.g. tidying up a the mess a child has made. Heavy duty and taxing domestic work is not part of a typical Au Pairs job description.

The duties of an Au Pair include :

  • Drive children to and from school
  • Liaise with the children’s teachers if required
  • Ensure the child / children area managing homework and projects
  • Prepare meals and snacks for the children
  • Organise Play Dates
  • Purchase birthday gifts and school items required
  • Transport children to necessary appointments e.g. doctors, dentists, remedial
  • Provide stimulating activities during school holidays


I asked Chilton Au Pairs to provide us with information on market related Au Pair Salaries:

  • A minimum of R50 per hour and petrol costs on top of it on the job.
  • 3 hours per day 5 days a week R3600 per month
  • 4 hours per day 5 days a week R4700.00 per month
  • 5 hours per day 5 days a week R6000.00 per month
  • 6 hours per day 5 days a week R7000.00 per month
  • 7 hours per day 5 days a week R8200.00 per month
  • A “full day” (over 7 hours per day) salary can start at R9500.00 per month and go up to R12000.00

About Chilton Au Pairs

Our goal is to upgrade and professionalize the standard of the Au Pair & Nanny industry in South Africa. We strive to change the face of childcare by offering a strong and fully supportive backup system.

Through our training school in Cape Town, we enable students to continuously upgrade & improve their skills set. This is done through revolving childcare modules that run for 50 weeks of the year covering Au Pair, Nannies and specialized parenting workshops. We ensure that our students absorb and develop passion and professional level of ethics and knowledge that is world class. In this way, Chilton serves as a place of mentoring, encouragement & growth, for career upgrades as they progress & grow.

We are committed to:

  • Searching and selecting the most talented Au Pairs and Nannies in the Western Cape for placements with local & international families.
  • Be at all times ethically loyal to the job specifications and the family’s needs, while keeping the best interests of the child & family at the front of all the work we do.
  • Continuously develop our Au Pair training school personalized branding of tailored uniforms and training material to the highest standards in South Africa.
  • Expanding the Chilton Au Pair brand as the premier & preferred placement agency in the Western Cape.
  • Our famous guarantee on placement of one full year’s support & further free placements if needed, or mediation at any time with no extra charges.

Visit  for more information.

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1 comment

The Nanny | Momtrepreneur March 27, 2012 - 8:15 am

[…] covered the Au Pair, so now it’s time to explain the role of a Nanny. As per The Au Pair article, information […]


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