Tips for finding a career path in childcare
2017-08-15 09:27:25 -

Mariaam Bhatti - Tales of a Domestic Worker

Now that I have worked in various parts of the childcare sector, I feel I can review them all for anyone else considering this work as a career path.


My first experience was working in a live-in role and I was called an au pair, although when looking at what was required of me, I was really a full-time live-in housekeeper and childminder. Still, for the purposes of this guide, I’ll give some advice on what it takes to be an au pair, and what to look out for when searching for a suitable role.


Firstly, there has to be clarity in terms of what’s expected in the role. Simply because one is designated an ‘au pair’ does not mean they should be paid only a token amount, or even nothing. One should be paid at least the statutory minimum wage, which is now €9.25 per hour. On top of that, food and accommodation deductions shall not be more than €54.10 weekly. 


Once that’s taken care of, it is important to decide whether one wants to be live with the family they work for, or live elsewhere and come to work every morning.


Some of the advantages of living with the family are that one can wake up and be at work within a very short time, thus saving on the hassle and expense of transport.


Secondly, living in provides endless opportunities to interact with the family’s children, as they will be within the house and its surrounding most of the time.


What’s more, the majority of one’s weekly or monthly earnings can be saved or spent as one wishes, without having to worry about rent or utilities.


However, it is very important to make sure that by living in the employer’s house, one isn’t expected to work round the clock. Starting and finishing times still apply, just like if one were working in a shop.

Continued next issue

Mariaam Bhatti is a member of the Domestic Workers Action Group and Force Labour Action Group of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland.

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