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Au Pair in Edinburgh

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An au pair is in charge of taking care of the children and lives within the home of the family. The au pair is provided accommodation and meals and a stipend of spending money. The family gains a loving caretaker for their children and an addition to the family. Expats have both found work, and employed, au pairs.

Au Pair in Scotland

Nannies are fairly popular in the UK, including Scotland. Different agencies charge different fees an have different standards, so make sure to compare companies.

The average cost of a nanny is between 200 - 400 GBP a week. A big factor in determining price is where you are in Scotland as well as if the nanny is live-in or live-out. To mitigate cost, nanny-sharing is becoming popular.

What the au pair must know

    Basic application criteria vary from agency to agency, there are a few typical requirements:
  • Be conversant in English
  • Be between 18-27 years old
  • Have a High School diploma or equivalent
  • Be able to commit to at least a 6 month placement
  • Have at least 6 months child care experience
  • Be able to provide 3 references regarding your experience and character
  • Be in good physical and mental condition as evidenced by a Physician's Report. Agree to a background check.
In addition to these requirements, it is common for families to ask for non-smoking, possession of driver's license, responsible or non-drinkers, and for females. Many au pair families prefer native English speakers. Some agencies may also require time spent tutoring.

What the family has to do

    The family has to welcome the au pair in thinking that she is not just an employee, but an important part of the family. Therefore they will make sure:
  • The au pair must have her own bedroom.
  • The au pair will work to a maximum of 40 hours per week with a minimum 2 days off during the week.
  • They understand that having an au pair does not mean having a servant. Au pairs may be asked to do some housework as agreed upon in the contract.
  • It may be of benefit to register the au pair at the family doctor.
  • The family should pay an allowance, with the amount written into the contract.

An excellent place to look for a nanny is on EasyExpat's job listings. You can also ask questions and find advice on the forums. Here, other expats can give advice on the services they use and what to look for.


If hired through an agency, the agency usually guides the au pair through the process.

The most common visa for an au pair is through a Youth Mobility Scheme. You must be a national of a country taking part in the scheme, and have a valid national passport from that country. You can apply if you:

  • are a citizen of a country taking part in the scheme or a British overseas citizen, British overseas territories citizen or a British national (overseas)
  • are 18 years old or over when your visa lets you come to the United Kingdom (becomes valid) and under 31 years old when you apply
  • have at least 1,600 GBP in available funds
    The countries in the scheme are:
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Monaco
For more about this visa, go to the UK Border Agency's page on the Youth Mobility Scheme.

For more information on visas in general, consult the section on Passport and visas.

Update 8/04/2011


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