The Benefits of First Aid for Kids

Be ready, not sorry…

Is the first thing you read on the website of

First Aid for Kids

And although I am sure we all agree that ideally every member of the family and every au pair should attend a ‘proper’ first aid course, this product does make learning first aid easy and achievable.

Developed in conjunction with some of the world’s leading first aid and paediatric specialists, First Aid for Kids is an exciting and innovative complete first aid course presented either on a 90min DVD.

  • Learn first aid in the convenience of your own home
  • Refresh your first aid skills at your own pace
  • Review, refresh and learn as often as you like
  • All aspects of basic first aid are covered
  • As comprehensive as a traditional face-to-face first aid course
  • Interactive ‘hands on’ exercises to practice and test skills
  • A very cost effective way of learning this vital life saving skill, especially relevant considering the current global economic downturn

As well as refreshing and supporting those already with first aid skills, First Aid for Kids, using the latest in interactive multimedia technology in our CD-ROM’s and clear video instruction in our DVD, allows anyone to learn basic first aid skills at anytime.

We do NOT take any commission from the sales of this product and, as they are a philanprofit company, a significant part of the monies raised from the sale of either the CD-ROM’s, DVD’s or podcasts go directly back to our supported charities in the UK and Australia.

To get your personal training DVD, order today from and share the information with current and future au pairs!

We can help finding your next au pair – Call on 0800 917 81 66 today to discuss your requirements!

Go to


An Industry View on the Vetting and Barring Scheme

Nurseryworld has published the following article to give a viewpoint on the controversial Vetting & Barring Scheme.
The scheme was established to help prevent unsuitable people from working with children & vulnerable adults – the matters brought up in the article are relevant for nannies as well as for au pairs.

At Smartaupairs we are working in close collaboration with BAPAA to ensure the introduction of this scheme causes minimal inconvenience for our host families.

Please find the original article from: Nurseryworld
The article is written by Melanie Defries, Nursery World, 14 October 2009


The Government’s controversial Vetting and Barring scheme has come under fire again after it emerged that nannies employed directly by parents will not be required to register.

Under the safeguarding scheme, which was launched on Monday (12 October) and will be phased in over the next five years, all those who work with children or with vulnerable adults, either on a paid or voluntary basis, will be required to join a register of suitability, operated by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Employers can check the register and from November 2010, it will be compulsory for anyone who is a new worker or who is moving jobs to join the register.

However, nannies are exempt from the scheme if their employment is deemed to be a ‘private arrangement’ with the family that they work for, raising fears that parents may unknowingly hire individuals that pose a threat to their children.

Nannies are not obliged to register with Ofsted and they are not required to have a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check, unless they are employed via an agency. They can sign up to the voluntary part of Ofsted’s childcare register as ‘home childcarers’, which differs from childminders in that they look after children in the child’s own home.

A spokesperson from the Department for Children, Schools and Families told Nursery World, ‘If the nanny is supplied by an agency, then it will be the agency’s duty to check the nanny’s ISA registration before supplying the individual to the parents. If, however, the nanny is employed directly by the parents, with no agency involved, then there is no duty on the parent to check ISA registration and there is no duty on the nanny to be ISA-registered. The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act was deliberately crafted in this way, so as not to intrude on private arrangements made by parents.’

News of the exemption for privately employed nannies comes just weeks after Nursery World broke the story of how two mothers working part-time in a jobshare were banned by Ofsted from looking after each other’s children because they were not registered childminders (News, 24 September).

Tricia Pritchard, senior professional officer (childcare) at the education and childcare union Voice, said, ‘There seems to be a reluctance to have one scheme that requires the same registration for anyone who works with children. In my mind, children who are looked after by nannies are some of the most vulnerable – a nanny has sole, unsupervised contact with children. Parents often assume that nannies are registered and vetted, and many parents would be surprised to learn that they are not.’

Amanda Coxen, franchise director at Tinies childcare, and executive committee member of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s childcare sector group, said, ‘It is extremely dangerous that the ISA is differentiating between agency nannies and those employed directly by families. Many parents look for nannies on the internet, which is worrying.

‘Lots of parents look for nannies who are Ofsted registered. However, one Ofsted registered nanny who came to sign up with Tinies had a fake visa and passport.’

She added, ‘Parents often believe that nannies who are registered with Ofsted will have been inspected or checked. However, that is not the case.’

A spokesperson from Ofsted said, ‘We carry out a CRB check on nannies who apply to register on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register. Ofsted does not routinely check the right to work in the UK, as it is the responsibility of the employer to confirm that the person they are proposing to employ is allowed to work in the UK.’

The Vetting and Barring scheme has been heavily criticised in recent months after reports suggested that even parents who regularly drive their friends’ children to clubs or activities would have to join the register. Several high-profile children’s authors, including Philip Pullman, Michael Morpurgo and Anne Fine, spoke out against Vetting and Barring in July and said that they will no longer visit schools if they have to sign up to the scheme.

Children’s secretary Ed Balls has called for Roger Singleton, the chairman of the Independent Safeguarding Authority, to review the requirements of the vetting and barring system. The review will be concluded in December.

Further information: Referral Guidance for Employers is at


Catherine Rushforth, independent consultant and director of Catherine Rushforth and Associates, which offers training related to safeguarding, said, ‘It appears to be a class issue – there seems to be an assumption that if you have the financial resources to be able to afford to bring childcare into your home, the childcare will be good quality. But that is not always the case. It is extremely short-sighted to think that certain sectors within childcare would not attract people that might abuse.’

Helen Kewley, owner of agency Nice Nannies Now, said, ‘If I was a parent I wouldn’t want my nanny not to be vetted just because I wasn’t using an agency. I believe that all nannies, whether recruited privately or through an agency, should have to go through this procedure as part of their professional paperwork.’

Maggie Dyer, owner of the London Au Pair and Nanny Agency, said, ‘It’s ludicrous. All it’s going to do is encourage more people to avoid using agencies, when agencies are making all the proper safeguarding checks. I can’t see how the Government can claim to have the best interests of children at heart. It just looks like a money-making exercise and nothing to do with safeguarding children.’


Why Britain?

Great Britain is the ideal country to become an au pair – learn English as you earn, and apply your skills to new and exciting social situations.

Please consult the links found at the bottom of this page for more information on English language and culture.

This page has kindly been contributed by our guest editor Kenny Boyle, Commercial & Marketing Services Director, Visit Britain

Dear Au Pair,

Thinking of coming to work in Britain? It’s a great choice and working as an au pair is a fantastic way to discover the country, which we think is the greatest in the world!

You’ll enjoy the enormous diversity to be found in Britain – from glamorous, exciting cities to gorgeous countryside; and all with the invaluable opportunity to improve or perfect your English – an asset which, since this is the global language of business, will enhance your personal and professional life for years to come.

Britain has something to offer everybody; but young travellers and workers are particularly spoilt for choice!

A global trend-setting music and dance scene; great student/youth nightlife and many fantastic pubs, bars, and theatres; some of the world’s finest museums and galleries; cutting edge fashions and food – it’s all here. What’s more, many of the most enjoyable things are free – museums, galleries, public parks, picnics and outdoor events and festivals…so come and experience it for yourselves!

For the traditionalists, there’s a wealth of history, culture and ancient traditions to discover. Wherever you are based in Britain, you’ll never be far from something fascinating to explore and discover.

England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all have fascinating and ancient castles, houses, royal residences, parliaments and landscapes to visit.

There’s also the chance to witness famous events, such as the races at Ascot, the annual Oxford and Cambridge boat race, London’s Notting Hill Canival or the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, to name just a few…

Travel, make friends, feel at home.

The UK is an easy place to travel around – even on a budget; with plenty of bus and rail networks offering discounts for young travellers.

It is easy to meet other people, and it is likely that there will be other au pairs working in your area. One of the best ways to find them is to enrol in a language course. Many courses are free of charge for EU Nationals, ask for the nearest EFL or ESOL courses, often organised in a local college by the local authority.

If you are interested in sport, you’ll find a fantastic range of activities available to you, including British favourites such as football, rugby, tennis, horse riding and sailing amongst others.

If you have a particular hobby or passion, make sure that you indicate it on your profile, and you can share your talent and interests with your host family. Taking part in these types of activity is an excellent way of making friends – through a shared interest.

Equally, if you like animals, almost half of all British households have a cat or dog as ‘part of the family’, so please indicate your preferences in your profile.

Find out more

To find out more about the country or region where you are going, please visit There you can discover more about your visit, buy maps, passes and tickets for where you are going, and sign up for a newsletter with all the latest information about Britain.

Best Wishes

Kenny Boyle

Commercial & Marketing Services Director

Visit Britain

English Language and Culture

If you want to get started with some fun English lessons in preparation for your arrival, try these websites.

This site is the most popular with our au pairs, as it’s the most fun: Ellie’s English – English for Crazy people

These websites are very informative and more serious regarding learning English: and

There is also a great site about English culture with icons, such as Stone Henge, Cricket and the Crown Jewels, have a look at

Would you like to see on the map where it is you will be going? To find out, enter in the name of the town or the postal code of your host family on

Australian au pairs, nannies and tutors

Friendly and caring Australian au pair

We now recruit personally in Australia. Smartaupairs is now the only agency in Britain to directly enrol Australian nannies, au pairs, mother’s help candidates, tutors and governesses and screen them for jobs in Britain.

Our agency in Adelaide is ideally placed to help find candidates for families in Britain. The process is managed by Nicole Kofkin who has years of experience from the UK office, knows what host families need and not only screens but prepares candidates for the position awaiting. This way; we know exactly what candidates have been given in terms of documentation and preparation material and we know it matches our high standards.

As part of the package we offer Australian au pairs, we offer an accredited Au Pair Course in collaboration with MKLC. The training course is designed to be a 30 hour course divided into 4 sections, covering topics such as Getting To Know Your Family, Health & safety, Food & Recipes and ‘Out & About’. Throughout the course your au pair will have access to support from a tutor plus a student forum. At the end of the course, when all the assessments/tasks have been completed successfully, an official certificate will be issued.

English speaking candidates have always been very popular and we always had more demand than supply. Now, with our own recruitment efforts we can ensure we can find more native speaking au pairs for more host families.

We are looking for candidate with a real interest in children and a background in childcare. Many young Australians are frequent babysitters and this experience prepares them very well for the au pair program.

Excursions for Au Pairs – 2010

This is the new excursion program covering January – June 2010.

In collaboration with International Friends and BAPAA we offer an extensive excursion program.  International Friends have added additional weekend day trips – there is now a trip taking place every Saturday. All tours are guided.

Au pairs can also book for a friend going with them at the discounted rate.

BAPAA au pairs receive a £10 discount on a variety of weekend day trips – please note that the BAPAA code must be quoted for the discount.

BAPAA_Intl_Friends_Leaflet_Jan-June 2010