Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do you want to know more about Aupair World and how it works? In most cases you will find an answer right here. For more specific questions (pocket money, working hours, travel costs, etc.) please look under Au Pair A-Z.
An au pair is a young person aged 18 to 30, unmarried with no children, going abroad for a temporary period of time and living with a host family. Whilst living abroad, the new temporary family member assists his or her host family with childcare and light housework.
Incidentally, the term au pair is French and means "by mutual agreement". Therefore, au pairs receive a pocket money, live free of charge with their host families, just as regular family members, and share meals with the families. The monetary allowance and amount of working hours are defined by the regulations of the respective host country. The main objective of an au pair placement is the mutual cultural exchange – within an informal setting.
As a "big sister" or "big brother", an au pair occasionally takes on the responsibility of looking after the children. By living with a host family, he/she improves his/her language skills and normally attends a language course. He/she gains an insight into the family's life, as well as culture, language and the lifestyle of the host country. The au pair gets to know more about the daily routine of his or her host family, as well as new customs and habits. He/she gains new experiences, impressions and perspectives. All these are advatages – even for their future careers.
As an au pair, you will be living with your host family like a regular family member assuming daily tasks during this period. As a „son or daughter for a determined period of time“, you are primarily in charge of childcare, a task which requires a great sense of responsibility on your part. Apart from this, you will help with minor household tasks related to childcare, such as:
However, you should not only be aware of your duties, but also of your rights: an au pair is neither a nanny nor home help nor carer for the elderly. He or she is no employee, but must be considered a fully adequate family member throughout his or her entire stay as an au pair.
Should you have answered these questions with "Yes", au pairing would be just the thing for you. The Info Host Countries section will help you to thoroughly get to know the culture and language of your host country. At the same time you will live with your host family as a "big brother of sister for a determined period of time", thus having close persons who support you while you are abroad.
Au pairing entails much joy and fun, however, also a great deal of responsibility, especially when it comes to childcare. Therefore, it is very important that you love to assume responsibility and that you are not afraid of new challenges. After all, it can be very life-enhancing for an au pair to tackle challenges. You will get a more detailed overview of the au pair experience by reading the Au Pair Stories our au pairs and host families have sent us.
No, as an au pair you will not receive a salary, but pocket money from your host family. The amount of pocket money varies according to the relevant host country and partly depends on your working hours.
Costs which incur in the home country are to be paid by the au pair. Such costs could be: expenses for visa or medical checks. Furthermore, the au pair pays the travel costs by himself or herself. In most countries, au pairs also bear the costs for the language course. This, however, depends on the relevant host country.
We at Aupair World recommend that host families contribute to the expenses of the language course and return trip.
As an au pair, you always need to stick to the regulations of your host country. You will find the most important regulations concerning your stay as an au pair in our Info Host Countries. Good to know: In our Tips for au pairs you will find useful information regarding your au pair placement to make sure that you will have a great time as an au pair.
Most host families who are registered on Aupair World are from Europe. The most significant host countries are Great Britain, Germany and France. However, there is also a great demand for au pairs in Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
A host family has at least one child under the age of 18 and invites an au pair from a foreign country for a defined period of time to join in family life. Single parents also qualify as host families if their children live with them on a permanent basis. The au pair lives with the host family just as a regular family member and participates in family activities.
The main duty of an au pair living with a host family is looking after the children and helping with light housework. In return, the family provide their au pair with free board and a room of his or her own in the family home. They also pay the au pair an agreed amount of pocket money. (The amount of pocket money and working hours are defined by the regulations of the respective host country). The au pair should have the possibility to improve his/her language skills by attending a language course.
If you answered all these questions with "Yes", then having an au pair might be just the thing for your family. The au pair will help with taking care of your children and with minor household tasks. And a unique cultural exchange can take place with both the au pair and your family gaining a lot from each other.
It is important that you choose an au pair who really fits well with your family. After all, the au pair experience involves an intense relationship that needs to be based on mutual trust. You will be entrusted with a new family member coming from a different cultural background. At the same time, you will entrust your children to your au pair. In this context, mutual respect, a thorough communication, clear rules and basic affinity are all important for the successful integration of an au pair into your family life.
Please note: Au pairs are not nannies or hired household helps. In contrast to a regular employment relationship, au pairs live as fully integrated family members with their host families, albeit for a limited period of time. Your au pair will share your daily routine and help you with minor household tasks, just as any other member of your family would. As a "big brother or sister", your au pair will usually become an important figure in the lives of your children. And just as your au pair will be learning a lot about a new language and culture, your family will also gain significant insights into the culture, language, customs and traditions of your au pair's country of origin.
Any family with at least one child aged 18 or younger living in the same household may host an au pair. The same applies for single-parent families. A host family should have an extra room for the au pair to stay in as well as sufficient financial resources to cover costs such as pocket money for their au pair, free board and lodging, as well as taking out necessary insurance. The host family will treat their au pair like a family member for a defined period of the au pair stay and accept the au pair's help with childcare and light household tasks. Furthermore, the family are interested in an intercultural exchange, helping the au pair to improve his or her knowledge of the relevant language. For this purpose, the au pair is given the opportunity to participate in a language course during the au pair stay. The family speak the official language of the host country at home. This is usually not the first language of the au pair. The host family should be open-minded in regard to the au pair's cultural background and allow the au pair to practice his or her religion.
Further requirements for host families vary according to the relevant host country. Host families should consult our section Infos Host Countries and do our Quick Check to find out if they meet all necessary requirements.
Related links for host families:
As a host family, you provide free board and lodging (in the latter case, an individual room) for your au pair plus the specified amount of pocket money usually offered in your country. In some countries, host families also need to pay for an au pair insurance policy.
The au pair is responsible for paying his or her own travel expenses. In most countries, the au pair also needs to cover the costs for the language course. However, this depends on the respective host country. We at Aupair World recommend that host families share the cost of the language course as well as the return trip with their au pairs. We believe that the party in a financially stronger position should help the party with fewer resources.
To prepare for the stay of your au pair in the best possible way, you should gather sufficient information on the regulations of your country governing au pair placements. You should remember that it is always the regulations of the host country which apply to your au pair. Our Info Host Countries section provides detailed information on the number of working hours and the amount of pocket money for different host countries. Additionally, there are practical issues you need to consider, for instance the question of whether you can offer an individual room to your au pair.
You should discuss the future tasks of your au pair beforehand and draw a weekly rota together. Our tip:if possible, take a few days off to help your au pair get used to his or her daily working routine. Should you be a single parent, you should also bear in mind that, in order to be able to host an au pair, at least one of your children should permanently be living in your household.
More information about our services:
You register on Aupair World to find a matching au pair or host family. For this purpose, you create your individual profile free of charge. As soon as you have created the profile, your EasyFind will show you matching profiles according to your search criteria. Furthermore, you can contact every au pair or host family within the secure area of the Aupair World messaging system right after registration. To let an au pair or a host family know that you are interested, you can simply send them a standard message.To exchange personal contact details, one of you can become a Premium Member. It is usually the host families who become Premium Members.
Au pairs and host families search for a desirable match on Aupair World on their own initiative. For this purpose, they register free of charge and create an individual profile. In the profile, they select certain search criteria, for instance, their preferred host country, their country of residence or their languages. By defining their search criteria, users allow their EasyFind to automatically display matching profiles. Furthermore, Aupair World informs all of its users of matching new registrations by sending a corresponding message, the Daily Update – which is delivered to your designated e-mail address.
As soon as the au pair or the host family have found a matching profile, they can enter into contact with each other. For this purpose, they simply send a Standard Message to their preferred candidate, expressing their interest. If either of the two parties is a Premium Member, they can also begin to exchange personal messages.
In addition to this selection functionality, Aupair World also provides its users with all kinds of useful information and tips concerning the ins and outs of au pair placement – from legal regulations and requirements in different countries, to suggestions for successful au pair contracts, to ideas for how to choose the au pair or host family that will be best for you. The Aupair World Team also gladly answers any further questions you may have by phone and e-mail.
At Aupair World, we do not charge any placement fees as such – as au pairs and host families carry out their own searches and find each other on their own. For this purpose, our users enter into direct contact by exchanging messages. To be able to exchange personal messages, it is necessary that one of the two parties is a Premium Member. For a one-off payment of 39.90 euros, our users can subscribe to a Premium Membership for 6 weeks. Usually, it is the host families who become Premium Members. Premium Members can exchange personal messages with all au pairs or host families listed at Aupair World, even if the other users are no Premium Members.
Do the au pair and the host family both need to be Premium Members to get in touch with each other directly?
No, only one of the two parties needs to become a Premium Member. As a Premium Member, you can exchange personal messages with all au pairs or host families, even if they are not Premium Members themselves.
Our members of staff continually check profile data for completeness and plausibility. Furthermore, we ensure that every user only holds one active profile and that all our users respect the basic idea of au pairing. In some cases, we also ask for proofs of identity. Any profiles which do not correspond to the basic idea of au pairing or do not meet our plausability criteria are refused. Profiles which have been inactive for a certain period of time are automatically deleted.
By entering into direct contact (for example by phone, Skype, etc.), the au pair and host family can find out directly for themselves if they get along well with each other and if they meet mutual expectations. Users specify and agree upon all conditions of the au pair placement on their own initiative in direct discussion with each other.
Aupair World offers much useful information on planning and managing an au pair stay on the website. Thus, our users may download a model au pair contract from our site, for instance. The Aupair World Team is also always gladly at your disposal to offer live support should you have any questions or should you be facing any difficulties.
Aupair World does not provide such support. However, our highly experienced team will gladly help you by phone or e-mail should any difficulties arise during an au pair stay. You can reach us from anywhere in the world. Moreover, we provide many answers to questions concerning the au pair placement on our website.
From our experience, a frank, open-minded conversation generally helps resolve most misunderstandings and conflicts between au pairs and host families. In this context, it is a good idea to ask your friends and family for advice. Thanks to e-mail, Skype and phone service, au pairs can nowadays also easily get in touch with their loved ones. While abroad, they can stay in touch with their friends and relatives without any difficulty and turn to them at any time should a conflict arise. Our team is of course always at your disposal by phone or e-mail as well should you need our help. We offer support in seven different languages.
Sometimes users are interested in seeing how their own profiles are displayed on the website. This can be done in the following ways:
1) Please log in
2) Click on "Find a Family"
For Au Pairs
1) Please log in
2) Click on "Find an Au Pair"
Due to the high number of users on Aupair World, it is almost always possible to find a new au pair or host family at short notice. Aupair World believes in a constructive and respectful conflict resolution and offers support via phone and e-mail.
Young persons aged 18-30 can become au pairs. In this context, the au pair should not be married nor have any children. Every person who wishes to work as an au pair should enjoy caring for children and getting to know a different culture and language. The au pair should have a basic knowledge of the official language of his or her host country. It is also important that the au pair can afford the trip as he or she is usually expected to pay for his or her own travel expenses.
Some of the requirements au pairs must meet vary according to the relevant host country. In our section Infos Host Countries, au pairs can do the Quick Check to find out if they meet all the necessary requirements.
Related links for au pairs:
The EasyFind is a feature only offered to registered users on Aupair World. It displays profiles of active au pairs or families who correspond to the search criteria of the respective user. Using EasyFind, au pairs and host families have the opportunity to list their search results according to relevance, registration date or last logins. The EasyFind is thus a key tool that helps users to find and contact a matching au pair or host family easily and quickly.
More Questions? You didn't find what you are looking for?
You may call us during our office hours, send us your questions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll try to answer your question within 48 hours (while the record is 2 minutes). We will be glad to assisst you.
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