There are different experiences of being an au pair in the UK. There are a lot of opportunities for traveling, meeting new people and improving your English. However, it is very dependent on the type of work you do, how many hours you will work and the Letter of Invitation which you sign before your arrival to the family's house which tells you how much of free time you have, what you are helping with and how much you will receive pocket money.
Work You Will Most Likely Do
school runs (taking children to and from school)
helping with homework
making simple dishes for children
light ironing, washing
light housekeeping: vacuuming, dusting, tidying children's bedroom and bathroom
clearing away and washing up after meals
For all the help you will do you will get weekly pocket money. This is not a salary as you will not be employed, and it will not be taxed unless if it is not more than a certain amount. The amount varies, however, it is a minimum of £80 for London area but can be even £120 or more depends on the hours you will work, how many children you will look after, difficulty of the work, your age and experience etc. It is important that you bring your own money for emergencies and for all the trips or courses that you will do.
Work You Are Not Expected To Do
take solo charge of children under 2 years old
cooking the family meal
In your free time, you can attend language classes, meet your au pair friends or other new people, travel etc. However, you have to let the family know if you are traveling and be reachable on phone so that the family can call you in a case of emergency.
It is important that you speak at least a good level of English in order to be able to communicate and agree with the family and others.