A summer au pair is an employee who is hired to care for children over the summer; this person may also be referred to as a nanny or simply a child caregiver. Often, an au pair will live with the family, and may accompany them on vacations or other trips. Sometimes, however, a summer au pair will have his or her own place and will only stay with the children during the day, such as while the parents are at work. This is a fairly popular job for college students, especially those who want a career in education working with younger children; foreign exchange students also frequently take these jobs.
Generally, anyone wanting to become a summer au pair will need to have a great deal of babysitting experience, which many people gain throughout high school, as well as a number of references from families who were happy with his or her work. Some parents like a caregiver to have additional certifications, such as a CPR certification or first aid training in case of emergency. It would be very rare for a family to hire a summer au pair who did not have extensive experience working with kids; many families will run background checks as well just to be careful.
In most cases, an au pair will be responsible for caring for kids all day in the summer. Often, the au pair will provide childcare whether the parents or home or not. He or she might take the kids on day trips, such as to an amusement park or the beach. She might also do educational activities with the child, particularly if she is studying childhood education in college. An au pair might be responsible for caring for children of many different ages, and ensuring that their needs are met. For instance, he might need to prepare different meals for children of different ages.
Being a summer au pair can be great experience for a future job working with children or in an educational environment. A family who is happy with their summer au pair might hire the same person over and over again, or they might hire him or her to provide childcare services throughout the year as well. Any negative experience with a family should be resolved as quickly and professionally as possible to ensure it does not cause any problems with getting hired for future jobs or other opportunities.