Most people that take this program love nature and the outdoors and have often grown up on a farm or around horses and would love to look after the children while the parents are busy working on the farm or out working their day job away from the farm.
Your host family may be involved with horses, cows, sheep, vineyards, alpacas, or run guest farms. Farming families are very busy so your main role is to take give them some extra time by helping to look after the children, helping around the home and in some cases, helping with some light farm duties. For those with previous horse experience there may also be some work with the horses. Often our farm Au Pairs have the opportunity to do some hobby riding when other jobs are done around the house.
You need to be very flexible and open to helping with a wide range of tasks from day to day. This project is suitable for those with previous experience with children and have a keen interest or passion for farming, or horses or simply a desire to be away from all the city lights and experience rural New Zealand.
The tasks of a Farm Au Pair will vary depending on the needs of your host family and will include morning and afternoon work, as well as some evenings and weekends. Typical duties will include;
Day-care / school / kindy runs
Some in-home care for younger children
Taking children to playdates and other extra-curricular activities
Helping older children with homework
Preparing and cooking food
Age-appropriate games and playtime
Helping with housework
Some ‘baby-sitting’ hours
Other help around the farm
Other help around the farmhouse
While school aged children are at school the farm Au Pair typically helps around the house with cleaning, food shopping, washing and baking. Most Farm Au Pairs also get the opportunity to help with some farm duties such as collecting eggs, feeding animals, gardening and maintaining the veggie garden.
For those with horse experience there may also be some help with the horses. This may include feeding horses, cleaning the stables, grooming the horses. There may also be opportunity to ride but this will be at the discretion of your host family.
Farm Au Pairs are also required to help with their daily domestic chores, which are outside of normal work hours. These are the type of tasks required in any household. For example; cleaning and washing your clothes, vacuuming, keeping your bedroom and living areas tidy, grocery shopping and feeding the pets.
After work hours you may spend time with your family and the children. This may include watching TV, going to church, attending social gatherings etc. Your host family will also want you to make friends in the local area so you can have some time away from the farm socialising with other young people. Internex will help you get in touch with other Farm Au Pairs in the area, however the local community may also have a meet up group, sport centre etc that you can attend.
The purpose of this program is to be more than just a farm job and so we aim to place you with a family that is interested in sharing their home with you. Some farm workers have their own bedroom in the main family home and share all living facilities. This develops your relationship with the family as you tend to spend a lot of time together. Your host will also invite you to attend social/family gatherings with them.
If you are more independent or travelling with friends some hosts may have separate accommodation for workers, especially on bigger or more remote farms. This results in having more independence and you tend to spend your time with other workers than with the family. During your online consultation with your Internex placement supervisor you can stipulate which living arrangement you prefer and Internex will find the most suitable arrangement for you.
Your food includes 3 meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and most meals will be shared with your host family. You are expected to help in the kitchen and contribute with the cooking. If you would like snack food such as chocolate, soft drink, potato chips you will need to purchase this yourself. If you are living in separate accommodation with other farm workers your host will supply food for you that you can cook yourself or will provide you with $100.00 per week allowance or supermarket vouchers.
Most families have WIFI that you can use for basic use such as contacting your family, checking emails, occasional Skype calls. Please ensure you ask your host family before using the WIFI as some locations have very limited reception and high usage charges. You will also be able to buy data for your mobile phone / device. You must have permission from your host family to bring alcohol onto the farm and also at your own expense. Any special dietary requirements, e.g. Almond milk, gluten free bread, vegetarian or vegan foods are also at your own cost. Any illegal behaviour is cause for dismissal from the employer.