Au Pairs

The term au pair means 'on equal terms.' Raquel Camarasa asks, how often is that really the case, for young migrant women who come to live with families and look after their children?

First Raquel hears about the experiences of Ayahs and the Ayahs home in Hackney. The home provided accommodation for Indian Ayahs and Chinese Amahs, who were nannies that cared for the children of British colonial families on the long voyages between India and China and Britain.

Raquel then shares her own experiences as an au pair, both positive and negative, and speaks to people working as au pairs in London now. Why, they ask, is this form of childcare not regulated? Why are there few protections for au pairs?

Check out the Nanny Solidarity Network for more information about nanny and au pair rights: and the IWGB Nanny and Au Pair Union Branch -

Episode produced by Raquel Camarasa

Artwork by Eva Freeman Sound design by Hannah Kemp Welch

Interview with Niti Acharya from Hackney Museum recorded by Rosa Schling and Veronica Deutsch for On the Record

Interviews with Aleja, and Lily and Inma recorded by Raquel Camarasa

This podcast is part of the Grow Your Own oral history project, run by On the Record and funded by Trust for London. Find out more at or follow us on twitter @growyourown_ohp and instagram @on_the_record_stories