Westport has been named the best place to live in Ireland and we live in a beautiful area at the bottom of Croagh Patrick 10 mins from the town. It is a busy tourist centre with a wide range of organisations, clubs and services that provide opportunities to be involved in sports, music, art and drama, social activism and much more. If you enjoy the outdoors we are only minutes from local beaches, mountains, woodlands and access to islands to explore.
We are a home educating family with two children aged 6 and 8. We have been hosting au pairs for for 5 years now and have hosted people from Slovenia, Spain, France and Italy. We have found the experience of opening our home and welcoming an au pair into our family very educational and rewarding. We have made lifelong friendships and have gone to visit some of our au pairs in their home country and they return on holidays to stay with us long after their stay.
Both parents work outside the home but with reduced hours away from the home (mother works part-time as a secondary teacher and father works from home a few days a week) so that we can spend more time with our children while they are young and to support their education at home. We are a fun loving family with very close relationships were we respect our children independence and help them to grow within their personal interests and strengths.
Babysitting and creative play
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We have hosted several au pairs and know how important it is to have a warm, welcoming host family who are interested in sharing a true cultural exchange....daily family life, food, trips and events. Westport has a rich musical and artistic history with many events held throughout the year that bring a wide and diverse range of tourists and holiday makers to the town. We have a strong sporting communities in the area including our native games of Gaelic football (you use your hands as well as your feet!) and hurling. Going to local matches has always been a greta experience for our au pairs.
There is also a vibrant group of au pairs and other people from aboard working and living in the town all year round. We have found that our au pairs have always made strong friendships with au pairs from other countries while they have been with us. Often travelling to visit them in their various home countries after their stay in Ireland is over. Irish people are well known for their welcoming nature and interest in talking to people from other parts of the world. Our au paris have always been amazed at how a trip into town for coffee on their own can up in interesting conversations with locals who just enjoy having a chat with new people.
Westport is a key point on the Wild Atlantic Way with many opportunities to travel more extensively in Ireland at weekends and during school holidays when our family do not require daily childcare.
My children are learning Irish, our native language, as a second language and it is possible to learn this language with them as they are beginners.
Also as we have a rich reading culture in our family ( reading aloud happens for 2 to 3 hours most days) and are home educating there are daily opportunities to read good books in english and develop both your oral and reading comprehension skills. Our children have a very good vocabulary and as they have grown up with au pairs who have english as a second language they are really good at explaining words and phrases.
20 - 25 hours of child care per week between Monday to Friday.
Cook lunch for children most days and help them to keep the living space organised.
Reading books, helping them with craft or art projects, going for walks in the area, library and playground trips, possibly sharing your language or a hobby, sharing stories about life in your country/family/culture.
A private bedroom on the ground floor of our house with an en suite bathroom with a shower.
You also have full access to our kitchen/living room and our sitting room. We have a large garden with a vegetable garden and polytonal where we grow a lot of our own vegetables.
You will be able to eat all your meals with us as a family.
We can organise access to a family car most evenings and at weekends for local use. You will not have to work at weekends and are free to travel as much, or as little, as you like.
You can have access to our home computer and we have wi-fi in our home to use with your own devices.
We don't smoke and would prefer a non-smoker as our house is smoke-free.
We have a small dog who is a bichon and therefore low allergy. she's in the house all the time. We also have 2 rabbits and 2 guinea pigs and they live in a shed outside the house....the children have responsibility for them and you will not have to look after them at all.
As we've had au pairs for over 4 years our children are good at respecting privacy and your room is out to bounds to them unless you invite them in.
We really want someone who wants to live as a member of our family. We have heard many stories through the years from our au pairs of the unhappiness of some of their friends who are with families who treat them as hired help. This is not our way! We strongly believe that our children must be able to form rich, happy relationships with the people they are spending time with and this can only happen if our au pair is feeling happy in our home.
I hope you like what you have read and will get in touch with us
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week