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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Au pairing after the au pair scheme: New migration rules and childcare in private homes in the UK

This project investigates the lives of au pairs and host families in the UK.  Au pairs are now depended upon by thousands of British households to provide childcare and help with housework and there is evidence that au pairs are now less distinguishable from other domestic workers. However, au pairs are not protected by employment law. They have no right to a minimum wage, nor defined maximum working hours nor a right to holidays. The project aims are:

  • to investigate the effects of changes to recent UK immigration legislation on the supply of au pairs within the UK
  • to examine the place of au pairing in the life and work trajectories of au pairs
  • to evaluate the subjective experience of au pairs
  • to examine understandings of au pairing within host families’ narratives of (good) parenting.

The project uses four methods: an on-line survey and analysis of existing data to provide an overview of the nature and extent of au pairing in the UK; in-depth interviews with au pairs to explore their experiences; interviews with host families to uncover how au pairing to fits with their identity as parents and interviews with key informants to provide context.

  • Outputs (5)