Au Pair Simple English Guide

Are you interested in working as an Au Pair in an English-speaking country? This guide will teach you easy English phrases and words you need to know to work as an Au Pair.

Talking to Parents

Asking about the job

Here are some important questions to ask before saying “yes” to an au pair job. Make sure the family is the right one for you! 

How many hours per week am I expected to work?

Do you require me to clean or cook?

Will I need a driver’s license?

What times will I work?

What days will I work?

Speaking politely to parents

Would and could are two words that help you speak in a polite way. 

Would you like me to (clean/cook/help you/pick up the kids/walk the dog)…?

Could you tell me (where the pots are/when to pick up the kids/what you’d like for dinner)…?

Talking about money

It’s important to know exactly how and when parents will pay you. Use these phrases and questions to ask about being an au pair and money.

Pocket money – the money you get that isn’t for housing or food

Room and board – housing and food

Live-in au pair – you will live with the family

Live-out au pair – you won’t live with the family

Will you pay me weekly/fortnightly/monthly? 

How will you pay me? (by transfer, in cash)

Will I receive sick pay or holiday pay?

Au Pair English Phrases

Talking to Children

Talking to kids is easier than talking to their parents! Here are some words and phrases you can use with young children.

Good job! – say this when the child does something good

Hurry up! – say this when you want the child to go faster

Time to wake up! – say this in the morning

Night night! – say this at bedtime

Do you need to use the potty/bathroom/toilet? – say this often!

Words to know with young children and babies

Diaper/nappy – what a child wears when they don’t know how to use the toilet

Pacifier/binky/dummy – the thing a child puts in their mouth

Teddy bear/stuffed animal/teddy/toy – a toy bear or other animal

Doll/action figure – a toy made of plastic

Stroller/pram/buggy – the thing you put a child in to go for a walk

Morning routine

In the morning, you can wake up the child. (It’s time to wake up!). Then, help them put on their clothing. (Let’s get dressed.)

In the bathroom, children can use the toilet (Do you need to go potty?) and clean their teeth. (Show me how you brush your teeth!) Ask if they want help with your hair. (Can I brush/braid your hair?)

In the kitchen, get breakfast ready and tell the children (It’s time to eat!) Encourage them to finish the food by saying (yum, yum. Eat up!) and when they finish you can say (All done!)

Drop off the children at school. This means to drive or walk with them and leave them at school.

At home, the parents might ask you to do some housework (clean up/tidy up). They might use words like dust, vacuum, mop, sweep, or wash the dishes/do the washing-up. If you help clean the clothes, they will ask you to do the laundry/washing.

When the children have finished school, you will pick up the children. This means to collect children from school and take them home.

Parents could ask you to help children with homework, help them study or review for a test/exam. After the schoolwork is done, it’s playtime!

When dinner and bathtime are finished, it’s bedtime. Read the children and story and put them to bed (tuck them in.) Turn off the lights and say night night!

Final Thoughts

Being an au pair can be a great adventure. Make sure to practice these words and phrases before you meet your new host family. Best of luck with your au pair placement! 

Try these other English lessons:

Improve your English speaking skills

Family and friends phrasal verbs

Learn English with music videos

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