Au pairs coming to Australia are now allowed to stay with host families for up to 12 months following a ruling made recently by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
Au pairs travel on a Working Holiday visa, which, until now, enabled them to stay in the same workplace – in other words, with the same host family – for a maximum of only six months.
Working Holiday visas are valid for 12 months. The new ruling removes the six month restriction enabling au pairs to continue to stay with the same host family throughout the term of the visa.
Au pairs who are already in Australia can also choose to apply for an extension through the Department to enable them to lengthen their stay with the current family to up to 12 months.
“International au pairs provide an affordable childcare solution. The growing demand for au pairs shows that their benefits are increasingly being recognised by parents. This ruling that will enable au pairs to stay with a family for up to 12 months is being welcomed by host families,” said Ms Kofkin.
“The ruling makes having an au pair an even more appealing option for childcare. Until now an au pair could stay with one family for a maximum of six months. Many of our families find that amount of time just too short. Families appreciate the idea of having an au pair who can stay longer.”
Ms Aylward said au pairing is growing in Australia as families recognise that it is flexible and affordable.
“Longer placements will address seasonable shortage of au pairs, and cause less disruption for families as the bond formed between children and their au pair can continue for a longer period,” she said.
The ruling follows lobbying by the au pair industry and a 2014 recommendation by the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Childcare for au pairs to be allowed to work for a family for up to the full 12 month term of their visa.
Ms Kofkin and Ms Aylward met last month with Minister of Social Services Scott Morrison to discuss the extension and the role of au pairs in childcare in Australia.
The new ruling is effective immediately.
As a well-respected au pair agency in Australia, Smart Au Pairs can guide you through the process of finding the right au pair who can provide flexible and affordable childcare for your family for up to a year.