Is an Au Pair the same as a Mothers Help?

Savernake Nannies are seeing more and more adverts stating “Au Pair or Mother’s Help.”

So, are they the same?

What is an Au Pair?

An Au Pair is typically from another country who comes to the UK on a cultural exchange that is based around childcare. Families are considered HOSTS of the Au Pair and not EMPLOYERS. They are to be given pocket money not a salary. This will cost the family a minimum of £90 for up to 30 hours max a week.

They should be treated like members of the family and invited to join in with all meals and be included in family life.

An Au Pair should not be left in sole charge of children under the age of 2 years old.

An Au Pair is often unqualified in childcare, so families need to remember they are not a NANNY, and they are also not a CLEANER!

With BREXIT and COVID-19 it is becoming increasingly harder to host an Au Pair and parents are therefore moving over to a Mothers Help (often thinking the two are similar)

Au pairs from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein need to have been living in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021.”

What is a Mothers Help?

A Mothers Help is usually an unqualified person with some experience of childcare, such as babysitting or newly qualified/moving over from nursery work. It is often used as a steppingstone to become a Nanny.

They are typically 18-24 years old and work alongside the parents and help with light household chores.

Mothers Helps are EMPLOYED and therefore this makes the family EMPLOYERS. It is an employer’s legal responsibility to deduct Tax, NI, pension contributions, student loan payments from the gross salary.

On average Mothers Helps are paid £10phg live out and £8-£9phg live in.

If a Mothers Help is found using a reputable Nanny Agency, then they will have a DBS and a 12- hour paediatric first aid certificate.

Useful Links:

Employing someone to work in your home: Au pairs - GOV.UK (

Employing someone to work in your home - GOV.UK (

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information included in this article is accurate at the point of release this should not be relied upon as legal advice. It is the opinion of Savernake Nannies. Copyright 2021

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