What does it mean to be an “Au-pair”
An Au-pair is a young person between 18 and 25 years of age for placement in Germany and 18 and 29 for placement to France, who has a working relationship with a host family.
This relationship should benefit both sides - the Au-pair and the host family. The Au-pair from helps the host family with childcare and light cleaning and in exchange the host family provides a home for the Au-pair.
Big advantages are:
- Au-pair has a place to stay while living abroad
- Food is provided
- Au-pair regularly receives an established amount of pocket money
-An Au-pair is able to improve her foreign language skills while living abroad and helping the host family for a limited number of hours per week to ensure plenty of free time. The Au-pair is treated respectfully “as a member of the family.”
conditions for placement
Must be 18-30 years old to begin process.
Able to commit to a 12 month contract
At least basic knowledge of German or French language (provided by agency)
Good health condition
No criminal record
Not to be in a relative of the host family
Au pairs Rights and Duties
Generally, Au-pair’s duties include the following :
light work at home, for example cleaning, vacuuming, washing or ironing
making breakfast and preparing light meals
looking after young children (going for a walk with them, playing with them, getting them to the kindergarten, to school, to friends…)
looking after the house/flat and caring for pets
Au-pair duties do not include taking care of old and ill people.
Period of stay
In most cases an Au-pair stays for 6-12 months. extensions can be arranged.*
Job time and free time
An Au-pair works a maximum of 6 hours a day and maximum of 30 hours a week (inclusive of babysitting). Should this maximum time be exceeded, an agreement must be arranged in advance between the Au-pair and her family. Overtime must be compensated. Private concerns (like cleaning of Au-pair´s own room) do not count toward Au-pairs household work time. The working plan is different in every family but some regularity can be expected. The Au-pair has the right to at least one free day a week (it doesn't have to be on the weekend, but one Sunday in a month has to be free). The Au-pair must have at least 4 free evenings a week.
For every month of work the Au-pair has the right to receive 2 days holiday. In a period of 12 month the Au-pair receives 4 weeks paid holidays. Often a host family will take the Au-pair along on family holiday, this is not the Au-pair's holiday time. The Au-pair will have duties when on holiday with their family (e.g. to take care of children.) If they are not required to work, or to be present with the host family, then this time counts towards her holidays. But all of this should be discussed beforehand.
Every host family is required to provide the Au-pair with a German language course, normally in the local Language School. The host-family pays 50 € per month towards the course in Germany, French Au Pairs cover their own language expenses.
Accommodation and food
The Au-pair is provided with their own room in the house of the host family. Meals are eaten together with the host family.
Pocket money and journey to Germany
The Au-pair receives monthly pocket money from their host family, the minimum amount is 260 Euros in Germany and 340 Euros in France.
The Au-pair is responsible for all expenses for their journey to Germany and France
Your host family is obliged to pay all insurance costs for you in Germany and France. For example, illness, pregnancy, birth of a child or in the case of an (car)accident.
Cancellation of Au-pair contract.
In the case that no end time is arranged, it is possible to cancel the Au-pair relationship only if both sides (Au-pair and host family) are in agreement with 14 days notice. In most cases the Au-pair and family are able to compromise and the Au-pair stays on until other arrangements can be made. If there is serious cause to leave the family, the relationship can be canceled immediately.
In the beginning, the Au-pair may experience “Culture shock” (e.g. because of different living and eating habits of the family). We know from experience that this period usually does not last long and should not be a reason for the Au-pair to leave the family. If you should have any difficulties while you are in Europe as an Au-pair, please tell us. We are available for you at all times during your stay !