2nd July 2017
Media Release re: Proposed Au Pair Programme
The Australian Nanny Association is the national peak body representing the nanny sector. Our membership represents 500 nannies, service providers and families engaging nanny services.
Many of our agency members have more than 5000 nannies on their books. Our members are required to meet our required standards in relation to background checks, training and support. Nannies within Australia are currently engaged in various capacities such as live in, live out, supporting rural and city based families from part time to full time care. The ANA has worked diligently over the last 4 years to create awareness, training opportunities and raise the level of private home based nanny care. There is much work to be done and we would not like to take a step backwards in relation to continuing to raise the bar in the quality of home based care.
At present, there is also a Federal Government subsidised In Home Based Care programme and Nanny Pilot Program. These programmes are merging and a new programme is currently in planning. There will be many home-based care jobs made available by these programmes. The ANA recommends waiting for the results of the current assessments of these programmes to finish and for the commencement of the new programme to ascertain if there is a need for additional workers that cannot be met by Australian permanent residents and citizens. We do hope the criteria of the new home-based care programme allows many more families to be able to engage the services of those carers.
The Australian Nanny Association welcomes the Federal Government consideration of a regulated au pair programme. However, the ANA would like to see the Government consulting with the many home based care stakeholders in the sector.
Au pairs are currently informal care and unregulated there is much confusion within the parenting and au pair community in regards to applicable laws in each state requiring au pairs to hold a Working with Children Check or state and territory based equivalent, pay rates and conditions.
Children s’ well-being, safety and quality care should be at the forefront of a possible Au Pair Programme. Areas such as appropriate background checks, suitability, experience, training and support will be needed to ensure quality care and safety of children utilising this programme.
The ANA would like to see a cap on the number of hours that an au pair can work to enable them to study or participate in cultural experiences under a cultural exchange agreement.
The feedback we have from au pairs and families utilising au pairs is that au pairs tend to leave families between 3-6 months after placement due to dissatisfaction from either party or the au pair wants to continue their travels. This has also raised concerns with some au pairs being thrown out on the street with nowhere to live because their placement did not work out.
The ANA also holds concerns for vulnerable people who will be working as au pairs and would like to see an appropriate checking and support system in place in conjunction with appropriate wages.
The Australian Nanny Association can be contacted for media inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org