Information for families about hosting an aupair

An au pair is usually 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. Nannies can be any age.  However we also have a lot of older aupairs who also apply. If you are from the EU then there is no age restriction. Countries outside the EU will have their own individual laws. Please check our visa page for more details

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 relationship.

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 aupairs may agree to do more for extra pocket money. These applicants are called au pair plusses.  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 of £3.50 per hour in the UK for aupairs whose mother tongue is not English and for native english speakers a minimum of £4.20 per hour. In Europe it is €3.50 per hour – all of the aforementioned include up to 2 evenings of babysitting per week. Any additional babysitting should be paid at the hourly rate. Some families may be prepared to pay their aupair more than this but that is up to the discretion of the family and what they can afford.

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 enrolment.

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.

Note: It is advisable to draw up a contract before your aupair/nanny arrives so that the working hours and duties are very clear. You can view and download a sample contract – click here – and adjust it to suit your own needs. This avoids any misunderstandings and will hopefully make for a harmonious and long lasting relationship.