An au pair is a single girl (or
boy) usually aged between 17 and 27 years of age, maximum age in the USA is 26, in Germany is 24,
France and Belgium is 30. Please check our visa page for more details
Relationship with the prospective family:
She/he should be provided with
free room, board and pocket money. She/he has her own room with facility to study
and is allowed free time each day at a time which is mutually convenient. It is
essential that she/he is given consideration and respect and is treated as a
member of the family. She/he should take her meals with the family and be invited
to share in recreational pursuits whenever possible. An au pair is not a
qualified child-minder nor a domestic. She should receive full instructions
before being left in sole charge of the household or with children. During the
initial period the au pair will need time to adjust to her new environment and
the family must be patient and sympathetic in order to build up a good
The au pair should be given
full information about the family and her duties before she leaves her country
to avoid any confusion. She/he is expected to help with the housework and the care
of the children. some training may be necessary initially.
Au pairs usually work 25 to 30 (depending on the country) hours per week (but some may agree to do more
for extra pocket money these are au pair+). Also you can expect 1 or 2 evenings baby-sitting a
week providing it does not clash with any language classes. Baby sitting during
the day is regarded as working time so any additional hours must be paid by
agreement between those parties concerned.
The au pair should be given at least
one and preferably two full days per week, plus free time during the day and some
evenings, to allow her to attend classes and socialize with friends. It is
important that she/he be encouraged to make friends as soon as possible because
sometimes an au pair can feel lonely in a foreign country at first.
This amount is at the discretion of the host family but a minimum
£3.00 per hour in the UK ( for native english speakers £3.80 ), €3,50 in Europe per hour and $140 per week in the USA and that includes 2 babysits per week.
The cost of attending language classes is the responsibility of the au pair (except in the USA).
The family should help to find a suitable course and assist with the
The au pair is usually
responsible for the cost of her fare to and from her country (except in USA).
She must also inform her family and the agency of her/his expected arrival time to
enable the family to collect her/him from the airport or main line station.
for families in the UK and Ireland we have more information on hosting an au pair or nanny