Working abroad as an Au pair is one of the best cultural exchange experiences that you'll ever have.
First off it's important to point out that being an Au Pair is completely different to being a Nanny. Yes, childcare is the main responsibility of an Au Pair, but it is much more than that. 'Au Pair' means 'on par' in French or 'equal terms' which means that you will be treated and respected as an equal member of the family. You'll share all the fun times and cultural experiences, that will often lead to you having a lasting relationship with your host family. You'll get to live life as a local and have opportunities that many will never have a chance to experience. Take advantage of the broad range of educational and cultural opportunities that Italy has to offer.
As an Au Pair in Italy you will work 30 hours a week. Your schedule is based on the family's needs and will differ with each placement. A usual day will be 5 to 6 hours of work. The week will most likely be 6 days of work with 1 day off or 5 days of work with 2 days off, depending on the hours worked each day. Au Pairs will watch the child[ren] for up to two evenings per week. You may be requested to extend your work schedule during school holidays. In that case your Host Family will pay you extra. During summer months you may also be asked to join the family on their vacation!
Au Pairs can begin their stay on any given date, depending on existing vacancies and experience. It is worth noting that whilst you can choose to go for 1, 2, 3, 6, 9 or 12 months, most families will prefer the reliability of having one Au Pair for as long as possible; therefore 6+ month options are our most popular choice for this program.
Roles and Responsibilites
Keep in mind that this cultural exchange program has been designed to ensure that Au Pairs have enough time to explore Italy and meet with friends! Au Pairs will never be asked to do substantial household chores because a majority of Host Families have a cleaner that can sometimes be a live-in staff member. Your tasks may include:
- Childcare and assisting with English language skills
- Light housework; such as helping prepare meals, helping to set up the table, washing dishes, helping with laundry, general tidying of living spaces, etc.
- Driving children to and from school, appointments and in some cases tutoring sessions
The Social Scene
From the culinary capital of Bologna to the iconic fashion scene of Milan, Italy has it all. Both the smaller towns and the bigger cities are full of people eager to immerse themselves in to Italian life, there really is no excuse to not learn the language whilst slurping on your espresso in the morning sun. There are so many sights to see and adventures to be had during your Au Pair adventure! We are happy to accommodate requests from Au Pairs and help create the perfect itinerary of activities for a trip. Make sure you plan for spending money...or...erm clothes shopping money!
We will put you in touch with other Au Pairs heading to Italy so that you can create your own network. There will be a dedicated private Facebook group for you to interact, chat and swap ideas with other Au Pairs. Whilst it's a great tool to use for your weekend meet up arrangements, it's also great to share advice or tips that you may be using with your Host children.
Need to Know
Location & Accommodation
Most of our families are in the north or central towns of Italy such as Milano, Genova, Bologna, Bergamo and Trieste. We also have some families located in Florence and Tuscany as well. Au Pairs will have a private room in the home and will be provided with all meals, 7 days a week. Specific details of the accommodation will be provided with your placement offer. You may request a specific placement location within Italy, however it cannot be guaranteed, and sometimes may even slow the placement process.
Age & Required Experience
- Must be aged 18 to 30 years old
- EU Passport Holder (contact us for options for non-EU citizens)
- Be a non-smoker in good health!
- Must have a clean criminal background
- Does not have a strong regional accent
- Must be able to communicate in Italian or English
- Have experience of working with children, ideally in a professional setting. Babysitting (for non-relatives) is a minimum requirement
- Must be polite and respectful of the Host Family's rules
- Enjoy immersing yourself in other cultures and sharing your own
- Minimum stay of 4 Weeks
Matching you to a Host Family
We pride ourselves on ensuring that you are matched to the right host family. All of our host families and Au Pairs have been carefully screened to ensure that we assure compatibility and sustainability in order to make your cultural exchange experience as effective and comfortable for both parties. You may receive a telephone call or be asked to Skype with prospective host families so you can get to know one another better.
Our host families are really conscious that this is a cultural exchange program and want to ensure that you are integrated fully into their family life to provide you with the best possible experience. Remember that Italian families are eager to learn more about your native language and culture and this is the main reason why they want to host an Au Pair.
When & How To Apply
Matching you to a host family can take varying lengths of time, so the earlier you apply, the better. All you need to do to get started is click on the 'Apply Now' button above and complete your Smaller Earth application in full.
- Accommodation including your own private room
- All meals in the family home
- In country support from our placement team
- Weekly pocket money (between €80-€100 p/w)
- Thorough application support & guidance
What's Not Included?
- Round trip airfare
- Travel insurance
- Criminal background check (approx. £60)
- Personal spending money
- Travel to departure airport
Dates and Prices
1 Month - £250
2 Months - £300
3 Months - £350
6 Months - £395
9 Months - £395
12 Months - £395
Why Trust Us
We want everyones trip to be fun, enriching and most of all safe. Heading on an Au Pair programme with Smaller Earth you can rest assured that you'll be going in to a loving family that has been thoroughly vetted and interviewed.
We're official members of the International Au Pairs Association, which means we work at the very highest standards of Au Pair recruitment.
We ask each Au Pair to provide a minimum of two childcare references, a police background check issued within the last 6 months and a declaration of full health. We ask all of our families to do the same. Our placement team also visit the family homes to ensure they are suitable, comfortable and safe to host international Au Pairs.
Smaller Earth along with our international Au Pair placement teams, provide 24/7 support for all of our Au Pairs. We ensure everyone is fully prepared for their trip with a comprehensive pre-departure guide, advice and orientation where applicable.