Working as an au pair in a foreign country is a way to work and improve a foreign language at the same time.
The term “au pair” comes from French and means “on par”. In return for taking care of the children, the young woman (18 to 30 years old, single and childless) receives money and is considered a new member of the family.
The main task of an au pair is to take care of the children and, as the case may be, to do light housework (dusting, setting the table, cleaning up). In return, she receives accommodation, food and money. Taking care of children means taking them to school or to another place, preparing their meals, organizing their activities, making sure they learn, etc.
To work as an au pair abroad, you need to be patient, creative and caring. We remind you that it is not a qualified service: The au pair must not be solely responsible for a child under two years old. The stay can last between 6 and 12 months, proposals for shorter stays (2/4 months) are possible only in summer and only in some countries. Usually this position is filled almost exclusively by girls, but recently there are more and more families interested in a boy (families with school-age sons).
Working as an au pair abroad has the advantage that in many cases no previous experience is required. Even if previous experience in childcare is a preference. Smokers are usually not welcome and in some cases a driver’s license is required. Another advantage of working as an au pair is the language. There is no better place to learn a foreign language than in a native speaking family.
Au pair employment can be a good starting point for your move abroad, giving you time to settle in, get the necessary documents for your stay, improve your language and look for a job, all without spending any money.
Requirements and skills of the au pair
The requirements for being an au pair abroad vary from country to country, so you must check with the respective embassies to find out what documents are required. (EU citizens who wish to work in Europe are exempt).
For example, to work as an au pair in the U.S., you must have a high school diploma, have a driver’s licence, be between 18 and 26 years old, and have a good command of the English language. You must also be a non-smoker and be able to stay for one year. Required is a J-1 visa, which is issued by the U.S. government through agencies that offer approved programs and are listed on the Office of Educational and Cultural Affairs website.
Looking for job as an au pair
Au pair search portal websites:
- Au Pair World, the most famous website with information and offers in many countries of the world
- Au Pair Box, you have to register, choose the country and you resume will be sent to different agencies
- Au Pair Com, allows you to search for offers in many countries of the world
- Au Pairnet 24, job offers from all over the world
- Great Au Pair, job offers from all over the world
- New Au Pair, job offers from all over the world
- Find Au pair, contacts between au pairs and families from all over the world
Au pair country search websites
- Au Pair Australia, to find work in Australia
- Au Pair Denmark, Danish website for au pairs
- Au Pair Wagner, to find work in Germany
- Au Pair Vermittkung, website to find work in Germany
- Anette B Wandress, German Au Pair Agency
- Nova Scotia, Canadian agency with offers for Japan
- Childcare, website to find work in Great Britain
- Little one, website to find work in London
- Gen 122, au pair jobs
- Cara International, an agency that offers au pair jobs in Ireland
- Mindme, offers and demand for au pairs and other jobs
- Au Pair Link, au pair agency
- Au Pair In Spain, website to find work in Spain
- AEPA, you can find information and host families
- Au Pair Spain, to find work in Spain
- Adayss, website to find work in Spain
- Au Pair in America, website where you can apply as an au pair for the United States
- Childcare International,an english agency for au-pairs in America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and all over Europe
- Exchange Programme, section of the U.S. government’s program for au pairs, where it is possible to find host families
- Au Pair SA, aupair in the main cities of South Africa
One piece of advice I can give you is also to search for families directly through Facebook, join a group of au pairs in a given city or country and post a job search ad.
The au pair’s salary varies according to the country, according to the family, according to the type of service and commitment required. In any case, the salary and the required duties should be agreed with the family before accepting the job, so as not to have any unpleasant surprises later. Your rights and responsibilities must be agreed with the host family before you leave, if possible.
It is good to remember that no type of employment relationship is established, not even comparable to a domestic employment contract. It is a form of cultural hospitality, a cultural exchange for learning and perfecting a foreign language.
The working hours of an au pair vary from country to country. In some countries, such as Germany and the United States, the working hours are set by law.
These are the working hours and salaries that are considered guidelines in some countries:
- Australia, 25-40 hours per week AU$1,000/month
- Austria, 18 hours per week €450/month
- Belgium, 20 hours per week €450/month
- Denmark, 18-30 hours per week SEK4,000/month
- Finland, 30 hours per week 300 €/month
- France, 30 hours per week 300 €/month
- Germany, 30 hours per week 250 €/month
- Great Britain, 30 hours per week £350/month
- Ireland, 30 hours per week variable
- Norway, 30 hours per week SEK 5,000/month
- New Zealand, 30 to 40 hours per week New Zealand $800/month
- Netherlands, 30 hours per week 300 €/month
- Spain, 30 hours per week $300/month
- United States, 45 hours per week $800/month
- Sweden, 40 hours per week SEK3,500/month
- Switzerland, 30 hours per week CHF600/month
As far as Europe is concerned, the greatest demand for au pairs comes from the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Outside the European continent, most requests come from Canada, New Zealand and Australia.