Au pair FAQ
1. What's an au pair?
The word “Au pair” comes from the French term "on a par" or "equal to". It is not an everyday job since the au pair is a part of the family she or he works for. In other words the au pair is a family member, a temporary one. The au pair should take part in daily family life and is partly responsible for childcare and light household duties. The au pair should never do heavy household work or act as a household cleaner.
2. What's the difference between an au pair and a nanny?
A nanny works full time as a child caretaker and most often has a childcare education. The nanny rarely lives with the family as the au pair does. Aupairads.com currently does not offer any nanny positions.
3. Why become au pair/host family?
A positive relationship between the au pair and the host family is characterized by mutual respect and cultural exchange. The au pair will experience a country and culture. Improving on a new language and gaining valuable life experience. The family gains lot's of experience from having an au pair from another country and gets more quality time available together.
4. Who can become an au pair?
Young women and men who want to work for a foreign family with childcare. An au pair is normally in the age 18-26 but the national regulations vary and in some countries younger or older au pairs are allowed. A person can only work as an au pair in a foreign country.
5. Can only girls become au pairs?
No, many families request a male au pair. Male au pairs often become positive, energetic “big brothers” and role models for the kids. Male au pairs are often requested by sporty families who have sons.
6. How do I de-activate my account?
Au pairs log in to My Aupairads account settings and click “I wish to deactivate my profile”. The account can be activated anytime.
7. Can families contact au pairs?
Registered families who are “PLUS+ member” can search among au pair profiles and contact you by sending personal messages to introduce their family. The message will be shown in your e-mail inbox and a link to the family’s ad. These families are particularly interested in your au pair profile and would like you to send them your application so that they can contact you directly. If you do not wish families to view your profile, you can change this in your account settings “I wish to be invisible for families”.
WORK AND POCKET MONEY
1. How much does an au pair work?
The working hours differs from 25 hours up to 40 hours per week. Babysitting hours on evenings or weekends should be included in the working time estimate. For additional working hours or babysitting, the au pair must be paid extra or get extra time off. There are national regulations regarding the working hours that need to be considered before the au pair starts working.
2. What are the duties of an au pair?
The work consists of child care duties and household duties. Included in the childcare duties are typically babysitting, take children to school/nursery or after-school activities, help the children with their home work, make lighter food and snacks, play with the children, and put them to bed. The household duties are typically washing the children's clothes, tidy up in their playrooms/bedrooms, make their beds, iron their clothes and prepare their school bags.
3. How much does an au pair earn?
An au pair usually gets a weekly amount of pocket money. Some receives the pocket money on a monthly basis. For additional hours of work or babysitting excluded from the agreement, the au pair should be paid extra or get compensation in form of free time.
1. How does my family get an au pair?
Get more information about how to find a great au pair through our services, please see our 3-step guide.
2. Are there any regulations for au pair work that are necessary for you to know?
There are national regulations regarding au pair working hours, taxes, visa that you need to know before the au pair arrives. A good starting point is to contact your national immigration department and the local tax department.
3. Our family lives in the US and would like to use Aupairads.com, is that possible?
Currently the service is only available for families living in the European Union, the Nordics or in Switzerland. In the near future, the service will also be available for families in countries outside Europe. We are more than happy to keep your family updated on how we can help you to find a great Scandinavian au pair, please contact us for more information.
4. How can I best welcome my new au pair?
Coming to a new country by onself can make anyone feel a little bit unsure - especially if you are quite a young person. We therefore recommend you take some time off to welcome you new au pair into your family. Get to know your new au pair by taking her or him out to see your town, do family activities such as sports together, and have nice dinners at home. Let you au pair know about how things work in your home by guiding and informing them about the house rules. For a successful au pair period remember not only to make your au pair feel welcomed during the first weeks, but also to feel welcomed for the rest of their stay!
5. How can I create a good relationship with our au pair?
Keep an open dialogue and be aware of the cultural differences that may cause misunderstandings. The au pair will need some time to adjust both to your family as well as to the language and culture, so be patient! Early on it is important to inform the au pair on the expectations you have of them and also to ask the au pair on the expectations they have during their stay. Treat your au pair as a new family member and make sure there is a mutual respect between the au pair and all family members.
6. We would like to replace our current au pair, can we do that before the contract ends?
It is always best to try to work things out with your current au pair and try to keep them for the agreed period. We recommend that you be patient in the beginning and keep a good dialogue with the au pair to handle conflicts. However, sometimes it is just not a good match and both the family and au pair are better off ending the contract early. If that is the case there is usually a two week notice period. Make sure the au pair has somewhere to go if you end the contract in advance.
7. What do I need to do before the au pair arrives?
Look up the au pair’s working and residence permit, organize insurance coverage and investigate if you or the au pair need to pay any additional taxes. We also advice you to create an agreement for you and the au pair to sign. The agreement should specify household and childcare duties, working hours, housing, benefits (for example paid language school, access to family car etc.), wage/pocket money and dismissal terms (normally this will include a 14 day notice period for you and your au pair).
8. How do we make sure we have made a good au pair choice?
We encourage you to speak with your potential au pair more than once; a good idea is to use the video call tool on Skype (free IP telephony). We also recommend you to call the named references and the au pair’s parents before making this important decision. Please also consider to engage your kids in finding a great au pair.
9. Will our account and ad be saved for future use?
As being a registered member at Aupairads.com you have an account. The account is used to login to My Aupairads. As a registered family member you can also create an ad. The ad is automatically deactivated 90 days after being posted, if you have found an au pair before those 90 days you can deactive the ad yourself in “account settings”. To make it easier for you to use our service in the future, we save your deactivated ad in My Aupairads.
10. What is a PLUS+ member?
Aupairads.com offer PLUS+ members to search au pair profiles* and contact au pairs. A personal message can be sent to the au pair and will be shown in their e-mail inbox with a link to the ad, encourage them to send an application. Families can become a PLUS+ member directly when paying for an ad or upgrade to this membership anytime.
*For safety reasons, au pairs decide whether to have their profile visible or not.
11. Can we contact au pairs directly?
For safety reasons, the au pairs personal contact details (e-mail and phone number) will only be shown to those families they decide to apply to. PLUS+ member can send au pairs personal messages including information about the family ad.
12. When can we expect applications from au pairs?
It is best to post an ad at least two months in advance if possible. The advantage of being a PLUS+ Member is that you can then introduce your ad to potential au pairs and speed up the process.
1. How can I become an au pair?
If you intend to become an au pair within European Union, the Nordics or in Switzerland, you can simply register at Aupairads.com and then apply to families of interest. To know how to become an au pair through Aupairads.com, please check out our quick guide.
2. Are there any regulations for au pair work which I should know about?
There are national regulations regarding au pair working hours, taxes, visa which you need to know about before you arrive at your host family. A good starting point is to contact the national immigration department of the family’s country, as well as their local tax department.
3. I'd like to work as an au pair outside Europe, is that possible?
Currently Aupairads.com is only available for families living in the European Union, the Nordics or in Switzerland. In the near future, the service will be available for countries outside Europe. If you like to go as an au pair to the US, Australia or New Zealand you will therefore have to turn to an authorized au pair agency in that specific country.
4. For how long can I work for a family?
Normally, au pairs stay for one year. Some au pairs may stay for only six months if this okey with the family, or even less. For example if the family need an au pair only for the summer holiday period this might be an acceptable au pair time period. Some families may also ask their au pair to stay for longer than one year.
5. How can I create a good relationship with my host family?
The most important thing to make you relationship with your host family as good as possible is to keep a positive mindset, respect all the family members and keep open communication. It is always difficult to come to a new culture and live with new people – so be patient and view cultural differences as something that will make you develop as a person. Always try to do a good job and make sure you understand your host family’s expectations.
6. I want to change host family, can I leave before my contract ends?
It is always good to try to work things out with your current family and aim on staying for the agreed period. We recommend you to be patient in the beginning (the first weeks are always tough).However, sometimes it just isn’t a good match and both the family and au pair are better off in a new setting. If that is the case there's usually a two week notice period. Make sure you have somewhere to go when the two weeks have passed and never accept the family “throwing you out” before the two week notice period is up.
7. How can I improve my language skills faster?
Languages skills are vital in today’s society and will be a good advantage for future your working life, studies or travelling. Take every opportunity you can to improve your language capabilities in the new country and don’t be afraid to make grammatical or pronunciation mistakes. Ask the family about languages courses nearby, there might even be some free of charge classes close to where you live. You may discover that the best language teachers are your family's children! Let them help you. It is also good to read books, watch films and TV in the native language.
8. What do I need to do before I leave for the family?
Check if you need a working and residence permit and how to apply for it, also ensure that your insurance covers you when you are working abroad and if you will need to pay any additional income taxes. We also advice you to create an agreement for the family and you to sign. The agreement should specify what household and childcare duties, working hours, housing, benefits (for example paid language school, access to family car etc.), wage/pocket money and dismissal terms (commonly, you and the family have a 14 day notice period) which should apply. In My Aupairads you can find an au pair agreement.
9. How can I feel more secure when choosing a hostfamily?
We provide ads and information about how to work safely as an au pair. We believe the most important thing is to make sure that you contact the potential host family directly before making your decision. By talking to them several times over the telephone and also by letting you family members speak to them you will be in a better position to make your decision. You will be able to find more information in your “My Aupairads” account when registered.
10. How do I make sure I choose the right host family?
Always call the potential host family before deciding to work for them – preferably more then once. A good idea is to use the video call tool on Skype (free IP telephony). If the family has had an au pair before we recommend you to call her/him before making this important decision. It is also good to ask your parents to speak with the host family.
1. What is Aupairads.com?
Aupairads.com is a web based tool for matching families and au pair. To ensure the best possible match we let the families introduce themselves properly and share their au pair expectations in a family ad. The au pair send applications to families which they find interesting where they describe themselves and their au pair capabilities. PLUS+ Members can also contact au pairs by sending them a personal message. Aupairads.com does not arrange the employment contracts between the au pair and the host family – this is a responsibility of the families and au pairs. For more information please read through our terms and conditions.
2. What is the difference between Aupairads.com and an au pair agency?
Aupairads.com is not an au pair agency. It's a unique web based tool for matching au pairs and host families. When you have found a good match you need to make the necessary arrangements before the working period starts (for example check national working permits and agree upon working duties), arrangements which would normally be handled by an au pair agency. Anyhow, by using our services families can save a lot of money while still finding the best au pair match.
3. How much does it cost to use Aupairads.com?
Registration at Aupairads.com is of course free for both families and au pairs. When you as a family decide to post an ad you will be charged 39€ for a 90 days period. It is always free for au pairs to search and apply for families.
4. Why a Scandinavian au pair?