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Here follows a list of frequently asked questions and answers:
   
1. What is an au pair (au pairing)?
2. What is a tutor/teaching assistant?
3. What is the difference between nannies and childminders?
4. What about babysitters?
5. What is Aupair.za.com?
6. What is an au pair agency?
7. Is Aupair.za.com an au pair agency?
8. Do I need an au pair agency?
9. What is a summer au pair?
10. What are “special needs”?
  Down syndrome (or Trisomy 21)
  Autism
  Cerebral Palsy
  Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (or ADHD)
  Tourette Syndrome (or Tourette’s Disorder)
11. How do I search/find an au pair or family?
12. How do I register as an au pair or family?
13. Why do I need to register as an Au Pair or Family?
14. Must both the au pair and the family be Premium Members in order to contact each other directly?
15. Do I need to be a Premium Member to view matching profiles?
     
     
1. What is an au pair (au pairing)?
Au pair or au pairing relates to the French term "au pair," which means "on par" or "equal to or living on equal terms" and describes a young unmarried person between 17 and 30, living on an equal basis with a host family in a foreign country. The au pair helps the family with childcare, housework, or both while staying as a guest of the family and generally receiving a small allowance (or pocket money). An au pair will typically be a young woman, or sometimes a young man, who is accepted into the host family as an extended family member. Both the family and au pair are expected to respect cultural differences and display tolerance towards one another.

Au pairing provides thus the opportunity to single women and men to study a language and culture while living as part of a family abroad. Au pairing or the demand for live-in childcare is nowadays huge, especially for young women, and is a great, adventurous experience.

 
2. What is a private tutor or teaching assistant?
A private tutor/teaching assistant is a private instructor/person (or au pair in this case) who teaches a specific educational subject or skill/s to an individual student (child/children in this case). Such one-on-one attention allows the tutor to improve the child’s knowledge or skills far more rapidly than in a classroom setting. Tutors are often hired and paid by families of children with special needs particular to stimulate development by the one-on-one attention. Also refer to the topic “What are special needs?”
 
3. What is the difference between nannies and childminders?
A nanny or childminder is a person who looks after the child or children of another family. Childminders differ from nannies in that a nanny goes to the house of the child in order to care for it while childminders look after the child in the childminder's home.

Nannies are employed by a family in either a live-in or live-out basis. Duties are typically focused on childcare and any household chores or tasks related to the children. Nannies may or may not have any formal training; however, many have significant actual experience. Nannies typically work full-time or at least 40 hours a week.

Childminders look after children all year round for a full or half working day. A single handed childminder should look after no more than six children including her own who are under 6 years of age and no more than 3 of these should be under 1 year of age. A childminder is allowed to care for 3 pre-school children, before they are required to notify their local Health Board.

 
4. What about babysitters?
Babysitters engage to care for one or more babies or children for a short period of time, normally when the parents are not home. Babysitters are commonly teenagers or students performing babysitting as an odd job for extra money. Babysitters can be quite expensive in some countries, but rates vary considerably according to the location. Babysitters are distinguished from nannies by the term of employment; babysitters are normally contracted one night at a time, while nannies are employed over an extended period of time.
 
5. What is Aupair.za.com?
Aupair.za.com is an au pair and family matching database website. It is a safe and convenient way to search for an au pair or a family over the internet without leaving the comfort of your own home or office. Au pairs can search our worldwide website for au pair jobs or tutor or nanny positions. Aupair.za.com offers a free service for au pairs looking for au pair jobs in their home country or au pair jobs abroad. If you are a family looking for au pairs, nannies or tutors you are in the right place! Families can quickly and cost-effectively search our website for au pairs matching their requirements – there are no registration or placement fees payable!
   
6. What is an au pair agency?
An au pair agency is a recruitment or placement agency operating in a specific area or suburb of a town or country. An au pair agency screens, interviews and has personal meetings with potential au pairs. An au pair agency might even conduct reference checks on au pairs as well.

A once-off registration fee is payable by interested au pairs and families for services offered by the au pair agency. Families pay a further placement fee to the au pair agency once they have found a suitable au pair. The placement fee is generally a substantial amount (payable every year to the au pair agency) and is calculated as a percentage of the au pair’s annual salary.

   
7. Is Aupair.za.com an au pair agency?
No. Aupair.za.com is not an au pair or employment agency. It’s a worldwide database where you have access to families and au pairs all over the world. You can use Aupair.za.com to find a suitable au pair or a host family and make all the necessary arrangements yourself without the use of an authorised au pair agency.
   
8. Do I need an au pair agency?
No. The only exception is the United States of America that has 11 authorised agencies that administer their au pair programme and provide documentation for the au pair’s J1 visa. An au pair would need a J1 visa in order to au pair in the USA.
   
9. What is a summer au pair?
In the USA, a summer au pair takes care of children during the long summer holidays. A summer au pair needs to attend a summer au pair program in the USA. The Summer Au Pair USA program offers full-time, live-in childcare for families with children over the age of 2 years. A summer au pair gets the same live-in benefits and compensation as full-time au pairs, but on a pro-rated basis for their 2 or 3 months of employment.
   
10. What are “special needs”?
The term special needs refers to those children whose development, behaviour, or ability to learn and communicate are such that they need extra special care to realise their potential and lead happy lives. Children with special needs may have: mild learning disabilities or profound mental retardation; food allergies or terminal illness; developmental delays that catch up quickly or remain entrenched; occasional panic attacks or serious psychiatric problems, etc.
 

Down syndrome (or Trisomy 21)

    A genetic condition caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21. Typical physical features may include a single transverse palmar crease, an epicanthic fold of the eyelid, shorter limbs and poor muscle tone. Individuals with Down syndrome can have a lower than average cognitive ability, often ranging from mild to moderate learning disabilities. Although some of the physical genetic limitations of Down syndrome cannot be overcome, education and proper care will improve quality of life.
Visit http://www.downsyndrome.org.za for more information.
 

Autism

    Autism is a complex developmental disability that begins in early childhood and persists throughout adulthood and is a result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, affecting crucial areas of development: communication, social interaction, and creative or imaginative play.
Visit http://www.autism-society.org for more information.
 

Cerebral Palsy

    Cerebral palsy is a medical condition caused by a permanent brain injury that occurs before, during, or shortly after birth. The primary characteristic of cerebral palsy is a lack of muscle control and movement.
Visit http://www.cerebralpalsyinfo.org/ for more information.
 

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or Hyperkinetic Disorder)

    ADHD is a developmental disorder, largely neurological in nature. The disorder typically presents itself during childhood, and is characterised by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity, as well as forgetfulness, poor impulse control or impulsivity, and distractibility.
Visit http://adhd.com/ for more information.
 

Tourette Syndrome (also known as Tourette's Disorder)

    A neurological disorder which becomes evident in early childhood or adolescence between the ages of 2 and 15. Tourette syndrome is defined by multiple motor and vocal tics (involuntary movements) lasting for more than one year.
Visit http://www.tsa-usa.org for more information.
 
11. How do I search/find an au pair or family?
Simply click on the “Search for an au pair/family” button on the main menu.
 
12. How do I register as an au pair or family?
Simply click on the “Register as an au pair or family” button on the main menu and complete the registration form. Please enter all information accurately.
 
13. Why do I need to register as an au pair or family?
By registering on this website, your information will be used to create a personal profile which will be viewed by au pairs and families when searching for a suitable au pair or family. So by registering your information will be used to help you find an au pair or family matching your needs.
 
14. Must both the au pair and the family be Premium Members in order to contact each other directly?
No. Either the family or the au pair has to become a Premium Member.
 
15. Do I need to be a Premium Member to view matching profiles?
No. You can use Aupair.za.com by searching and viewing matching profiles without being a Premium Member.
 
Should you have any further questions or require more information, please send an email to info@aupair.za.com for further assistance.
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