Frequently Asked Questions By Au Pairs
The FAQ by Au pair is divided into two sections;
Questions That Arise Before The Placement
- How do I use the site?
- What is an au pair,what duties do they perform.
- How can I become an Au pair?
- I am older than 27, can I still be an Au pair?
- What is the difference between an Au pair and a nanny?
- How much can I earn as an au pair and what duties will I be asked to perform?
- What questions should I ask the host family when I speak to them?
- How much free time will I have and how can I earn extra money?
- What countries do I need a visa and work permit for and how long can I stay in the country?
- Do I have to pay travel cost and what other costs will I incur?
- How much money should I take with me?
- Should there be a contract between the Au pair and the Aupair family.
- Will I be able to go to school and how do I find my way around?
- Will I be allowed to drive abroad?
- What should I do about health insurance?
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Questions that arise after the placement
- What happens if things are not working out?
- How much notice period do I need to give?
- How do I meet other au pairs?
1. How do I use the site
The operation of Au Pair World agency can best be described as an ‘information platform’ in which host families, au pairs and nannies upload profiles of themselves andÂ then exchange information with other members with a view to either hiring or being hired for an Au pair or nanny job. Â
Two methods to find a host family.
- Create profile and let prospective host families make contact with you.
- Create profile and initiate contact with prospective host families.
If you would like more detail on how to use this site please go to the how to use the site page.
2. What is an Au pair and what duties do they perform.?
An au pair (plural: au pairs) is a domestic assistant working for, and living as part of, a
host family. Typically, au pairs take on
a share of the family's responsibility for childcare
as well as some housework chores,
and receive a small monetary allowance for personal
use. They are often foreign-nationals of the country in which they are working.
Accordingly Au pairs should be treated as an equal part of the family and not as a servant, and shall not be required to wear a uniform. There are often a lot of misunderstandings on both sides about what this means. The usual practice is that au pairs eat with the family most of the time, and join in some of the usual family activities such as outings and trips. Click here for more detail on the definition of an au pair.
Normal duties undertaken by an Au pair
- taking children to and from school
- taking children to after-school activities
- cooking children meals while parents away
- light cleaning andÂ ironing,
3. How can I become an au pair
It's simply to become an au pair. Simply join our site and create a profile for yourself. Host families will then be able
to contact you and ask you to work for them; alternatively you can create a profile and then write to host families or
au pair families and ask to work for them. Once a host family has agreed for you to work for them you will simply proceed
to go to the host families’ home and commence your placement.
If you are from a country that requires a visa in order to travel to the host families’ country then you will need to apply to the embassy of the nationality of your host family to obtain one. For example, if you are a Filipino national and you have been accepted by a Danish host family then you will need to go to the Danish embassy in Manila to obtain your
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4. I am older than 27, can I still be an Au pair
Yes, it's possible. However this often depends on whether you need a visa for the country that you intend to be an au pair
in. For example, if you don’t need a visa for the country that you want to work in then you can be an Au pair of any
age. An example of this would be Au pair from EU who are working in EU countries: they are generally not subject to any
sort of restrictions and can therefore be au pair of any age.
On the other hand if you require a visa to work in the country of your choice then you are likely to be subject to that countries age restrictions policies for au pairs. Click here to go to the visa pages for each country
5. What is the difference between an Au pair and nanny?
Five main differences
- Chosen career path
- One is a household guest, the other is an employee
- Age restrictions for visas
In summary. An Au pair is someone who goes to the host families home to help with child care while experiencing life in
the host country. The salary is basic but the Au pair receive full board and accommodation i.e. full meals and the
Au pair’s own room in the host family home.
A nanny on the other hand is a formal employee of the family. She often formally trained as a child carer and does not necessarily live in the host families’ home. Her salary is a full salary reflecting her degree of training and experience.
For a more detailed explanation of the differences please click here.
6. How much can I earn as an au pair
An Au pair only receives a basic allowance. The actual rates can differ from country to country and from family to family. It may even differ according to the duties that you may be asked to perform. Click here to see au pair salary guide for different countries.However you will receive as standard in every home the following:
- All your meals
7. What Questions Should I Ask The Host Family When I Speak To Them?
- You need to know how their home is run and whether you can fit into this.
- Find out what tasks you will need to do in the house and when they will need you to work.
- Find out what time of the day the host family will allow you to go to school.
- Also ask how near they are to transport links, I. e. trains, buses and underground.
- Find out what rules they have in the house, so that you will know what they expect of you.
- If its not already stated on the host families profile find outÂ if you will have your own room and, ask how much you will be paid.
- But, again, most importantly, make sure that you know exactly what the family will expect of you!
8. How much free time will I have and how can I earn extra money?
This depends on the host family. You will generally work between 25-30 hours a week. Please note that many countries
place limits on the number of hours that you are allowed to work. But as a minimum you will have at least two full days
off and also have two evenings off.
It’s very possible to earn extra money while doing you main au pairing activities. Many Au pair earn extra money by doing things like;
- Working as a weekend/evening babysitter
- Walking and caring for peoples pets i.e. dogs, cats etc
9. What countries do I need a visa for and how long can I stay in the country?
Au pair contracts normally last between 6- 24 months. However it is possible to extend this, depending on the country
that you go to.
Which countries that you will need a visa for will depend on what country you are from? If you are from an European Economic Area then you will be able to work in anyÂ European country. You will also be able to work as an Au pair for as long as you want and won’t be restricted to the 24 month period that non EC Au pair are restricted to.
But, if for example you are from an European Economic Area country and you want to work in North America i.e USA, Canada, etc then you will be restricted to the visa rules of that country which will restrict how long you can work there. They will often also restrict how many hours you are permitted to work.
For non European Au pairs coming to Europe to work, you will obviously be restricted to the visa rules for the country
For more information on the visa rules click;
10. Do I have to pay travel cost and what other costs will I incur?
Yes,Â you will have to pay your travel cost to the place of work. You will also have to pay for your visa and other associated costs i.e. medical examination cost, legal costs.
Put simply. All cost that you will incur prior to your arrival at the host families home are to paid for by you.
However all costs associated with your job are to be met by the host family or au pair family once you arrive at the job.
It is a fundamental condition of registration and use of this site
that all Au pair are able to pay the cost of the journey to the host families or au pair families.
For more information on this please view our terms and conditions page.
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11. How much money should I take with me?
As an Au pair your monthly allowance will not be very much. We advice that you take some money with you to help you to cover the costs of things that you might want to do
12. Should there be a contract between the Au pair and the Aupair family.
This depends on the country you go to and on the family. Some countries require there to be a written contract between
the Au pair and the host family other do not.
Our advice is that it is a very good idea for both parties to clearly state in writing what each party’s duties and obligations are towards each other. This should be done prior to the commencement of the placement, this will go a long way to help to avoid possible confusion and misunderstanding about what each party thinks the other party’s role, duties and obligations will be once the placement has started.
To see a sample contract click here
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Will I be able to go to school and how do I find my way around?Yes you will be able to go to school. The whole point of the Au pair programme is for you to discover a newÂ country and learn that countries culture and language. Click here to view the guidelines by the The European Committee for Au pair Standards
Â So your host family should allow you to attend a language course. You should look for a course on your arrival and agree with your host familyÂ or au pair family when you can attend these courses.
14. Will I be allowed to drive abroad?
Yes you will allowed to drive provided you have a valid license . In some countries you may be required to take a test. However you will find that your license is transferable in a lot of the countries you wish to work in. for example all European driving licenses are valid throughout Europe.
What should I do about health insurance?
The host families are generally responsible to insure that you are covered for health insurance for the duration of your stay.
15. What should I do about health insurance?
You should get health insurance
Questions that arise after the placement
16. What happens if things are not working out?
If things are not working out there are several alternatives available between you. Often things are not working out simply because of a misunderstanding between you and the host family or au pair family. If this is the case it often helps to have a third party to medicate on each party’s behalf. Au pair world agency will be happy to help you with this.
However if it is clear that things are not going to work or that you are just unhappy with your host family or Au pair family, then by all means you will have the option to change host families. You should give your host family notice that you wish to leave so that they may look for another au pair or nanny.
17. How much notice period do I need to give?
This will depend on the prior agreement that you had with the host families.Â Generally speaking the notice period should be sufficient to enable the host family to find an alternative au pair. 1-2 weeks is often enough time for the host family or au pair family to find a replacement.
18. How do I meet other au pairs
Once you have found a placement and you wish to meet other au pairs we will put you in contact with au pair close to you. Alternatively you may join our forum and chat with other au pairs.
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