demi pair

How Do You Apply For A Demi Pair Programme in Australia?

Demi Pair Australia | Early Childhood Education

If you landed on this page, you are probably considering applying for a Demi Pair placement in Australia and you are not quite sure where to start. Not to worry! Here at ZOI Education, our team has been doing plenty of research on this topic, and now we are ready to share it with you.

Let’s take one step at a time, starting with the question: what exactly is a demi pair?

You’ve probably heard the term au pair before, referring to a young foreign person who moves in with a local family, providing help around the house and with the children. In exchange for this, he or she gets free accommodation, meals and some pocket money.

A demi pair programme is essentially the part-time version of an au pair programme, which is ideal for international students. As a demi pair, you are only required to work for 15 to 20 hours each week. The rest of the time, you are able to attend your course of study, complete your homework and assessments, and – most of all – make friends and explore your new city!

Demi pair programmes provide all the benefits of their au pair counterparts. You still get your own private room, meals and some pocket money in exchange for light housework and care for the children. You can have the adventure of a lifetime, travelling the world, improving your English language and totally immersing yourself in the Australian life.

What does a typical demi pair’s work day look like?

As a demi pair, your duties will be very similar to those of your au pair counterparts. A typical work day will look something like this:

  • In the morning, help with waking the children, getting them ready for school, preparing their breakfast, packing their lunch and tidying up;
  • During the day, go to the shops or do some light housework;
  • In the afternoon, help the children with their homework, initiate and supervise some games, and perhaps teach them your language;
  • In the evening, help with dinner and the children’s bath- and bed-time routines.

Occasionally, you might be requested to babysit for a few hours while the parents are away. However, as an au pair or demi pair, you are considered like a “big sister”, and so you shouldn’t be left as the children’s sole carer all the time.

How can I find a placement as a demi pair in Australia?

Australia is quite competitive when it comes to finding a demi pair placement. Many students around the world are attracted to this wonderful land full of opportunities and renowned for its innovative and progressive Education Industry.

Luckily, there are many placement agencies available to assist you in the process. In most cases, you will need to create an online profile and update it regularly with your CV, photos and extra documentation. Some agencies charge a fee for extra features, such as being able to directly message families instead of waiting to be approached.

Some students choose to find a host family directly, but we don’t recommend this riskier option. We heard many horror stories of demi pairs working way above the 20-hour recommended maximum, being left in sole charge of children for prolonged periods of time and definitely not doing “light housework”. This can be risky for both the children and the demi pair themselves.

The basic criteria to meet in order to obtain a placement are the following:

  • Be 18-30 years of age, unmarried and with no children;
  • commit to a placement of 3 to 12 months
  • understand and speak English well, preferably at an intermediate level;
  • some agencies and families require additional documents, including Working with Children Check, Police Checks and References.

Brownie points if you can prove that you also meet any of the following criteria:

  • Previous experience and knowledge about early childhood;
  • First aid, specific for children;
  • Driving license/good driving skills;
  • Enrolment in a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (keep reading for more info on this…)

Benefits of Enrolling in a Certificate III before or during your Demi pair programme

Because there are so many students who wish to participate in a demi pair programme in Australia, and not as many host families, anything you do to differentiate yourself from the other applicants will work in your favour during your application process. Enrolling in a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care could be a great way to stand out from the crowd. Someone who has a Certificate III, or is enrolled in one, might easily be chosen over you, all other things being the same.

As a Certificate III student, you will get the following benefits:

  • A formal qualification, which you’ll be able to take wherever you go;
  • Knowledge of the Early Childhood Industry in Australia
  • Child-specific formal First Aid qualification
  • Training on how to care for young children, including promoting healthy eating, assisting their learning and structuring play activities to help their development.

You will also get a chance to brush up or improve your English Language skills.

Even though you won’t be the children’s primary carer, you will still occasionally have to look after them unsupervised. Your host family will be very happy to know that you are being trained by qualified Early Childhood Industry specialists, and feel much safer leaving their children with you.

It is very important to know how to look after children and care for them properly. Even though you may have some experience working with children, a formal training will allow you to be prepared should any emergencies occur. It will teach you how to look after children with specific allergies and conditions, and you will learn more about working with children with special needs.

Aside from the safety aspect of things, you will also learn more about how to interact both with children and with parents. You will learn about children’s holistic development, and how to keep them interested with new experiences and activities.

What now?

We hope this article was helpful and answered your questions. Most of all, we hope that you enjoyed reading it and that you will now be able to put together a much stronger application for your demi pair placement. Let us know how it goes in the comments below, or contact us to request more information about demi pair programmes in Australia and our partnered demi pair agencies.

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