What is an Au pair?

Thank you for visiting this page. Before you decide to become an au pair here in Europe PLEASE read and understand what is an Au Pair.

Definition of Au Pair

The word “Au Pair” is a French term, which means “on par” or “equal to”, denoting living on an equal basis in a reciprocal, caring relationship between the host family and the children. An aupair will typically be a young woman and sometimes a young man from a foreign country who chooses to help look after the children of a host family and provide light housekeeping. The aupair is given room and board and is typically paid a weekly “pocket-money” salary. Aupairs generally stay with their host family for one year.

A Short Background of the Au pair scheme

The goal of the au pair scheme was a cultural exchange where mostly young women availed in order to learn the culture and language of another country. In exchange of the board and lodging au pairs do baby sitting and light household chores to the host families.

Through the years in became so popular especially in Europe where it became the melting pot of au pairs. So in the late 60′s, November 24 1969, the member states of Council of Europe which became the European Union later formulated an Au Pair Placement to regulate the hiring of Au pair. Since an au pair is neither a student or worker they tackled all important aspects like the age, allowance, scope of work, hours of work, the cultural aspect which is learning the language, contract between host and au pair, responsibilities of host and consequences if there’s violations of the signed contract.

The said treaty or agreement was signed by Denmark, Spain, Italy, France, Norway and Spain and was in forced May 30 1971. (Luxembourg denounced the Treaty but Seven other countries have signed, but not ratified the treaty: Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Greece, Moldova and Switzerland.).

In 1994, the “International Au Pair Association” (IAPA) was set up to “self-regulate” the ever-growing au pair industry. The association currently represents 146 organisations in 43 countries, with another 20 soon to join.

It has called for a greater regulation of the sector in Europe to avoid exploitation of au pairs, and warns against the growing practice of recruiting au pairs from the Internet. The United States of America has an extremely well-regulated au pair sector, with detailed security checks, references and interviews before placements – regulations the IAPA would like to see emulated in Europe. However, even the US programme has been plagued with problems – from au pairs crashing family cars to alleged child abuse (at least three children have died while in the care of au pairs in the USA since the start of the programme in 1986). In fact, in the USA, au pairs are expected to work up to 45 hours per week, and are thus at risk of being exploited as a “cheap childcare option”: emulating the USA in this sector might thus not be the answer. ( Source: http://assembly.coe.int )

Since the different states still have different view and guidelines regarding au pairs the European Committee on Au Pair Standards wanted the Au Pair Placement Treaty to be updated. They have agreed that indeed the au pair is a Cultural Exchange Program.

According to the ECAPS they set the more precise definitions for au pairs, host families and au pair agencies. The following are the definitions of au pair.

Criteria for Au Pairs:

  • Between ages of 18 and 27 (the au pair may have not reach the age of 27 when they arrive in the host country)
  • Unmarried
  • Male or Female
  • Without defendants

Duration of Au Pair Programme

  • the length of stay shall be limited to a maximum of 24 months
  • a period of 12 months with a possibility(s) if extension(s)

Hours, Activities and Duties

  • up to maximum of 30 hours a week including childcare and babysitting in the evenings; Note: By defination babysitting is an evening activity
  • if an au pair has no options to undertake that task then that activity should be considered mandatory i.e not a voluntary action undertaken by the au pair. When the host parents leaves the au pair unsupervised ( and the au pir is expected tot ake care of the children ) then the au aupair is in duty and this time it should be included as a part in the 30hours / week maximum.

Leisure Time/ Holidays

  • Base on a 12 month stay the au pair receives a minimum of 2 weeks holiday. If the au pair stay is less than 12 months in an individual host family, then this period should be determined pro rata.
  • The length and duration of vacations are to be discussed and agreed in advance with the host family of any holiday taken.

The Role of the Au pair

  • Help the family with light households chores*
  • help with the routines;
  • act and integrate as a family member
  • Take part in activities;
  • Share his/her own culture to the host family and vice versa

Au aupair accommodation : Room and Board

  • The au pair receives full room and board from the family throughout the duration of the placement.
  • The au pair should have their own heated and furnished room (which is not shared) with a window. The au pair is obligated to keep it clean and tidy.

Pocket Money/Allowance

  • National Au pair associations will set the minimum and maximum level of pocket money according to the standard of living of each country; pocket money should be paid throughout the duration of the au pair agreement.

Insurance

  • The host family is responsible for the providing and paying for the adequate health, accident repatriation  and liability insurance during the complete duration that the au apir and the host family are sharing the cultural exchange.
  • The insurance is laways arranged in the host’s country not in the au pair’s home country.

Study

  • In the spirit of cultural exchange the au pair is expected to take the opportunity to study or participate in the cultural activities;
  • the time the au pair attends courses and/or  activities is during the free time of ten au pair. The au pair and the host family discuss which day(s) the au pair are able to attend;

Other Obligations

  • The motivation of the au aupair is based in enriching their knowledge of another culture and language, while he/ she has no financial reasons and/or reasons;
  • Respecting the host family’s cultural background and activities;
  • Submersing themselves in another culture in the widest sense of meaning, taking into acccount the house rules, expectations and local rules of the au pair programmes in the host country.
  • Ensure the rules of the local au pair’s programme the house rules /host family’s expectations and other (visa and residence permit) requirements are known;
  • In case the au pair requires a vis, all expenses in obtaining the visa(for example documents to  be arranged in the home country of the au pair) are to be paid by the au pair.

Remember that the rules and regulations stills differs from country to country and it alo depends on your agency but it will be advisable to check the host country’s rules.

114 Comments

  1. good day ask lang po ako my nag offer sa akin for nanny shes living in europe pero taga new york cya she said she will help me with my visa she will shoulder my processing fee daw po….possible po ba makalabas ng bansa as for nanny? i mean sa eupore po….or scam lang po ung narecieve k na message? panu po malalaman na scam lang po ito?

  2. Hello poh,
    Maam i would like to ask tungkol sa au pair sa germany ,i am waiting for my visa now but the i read a lot of blogs regarding about for a filipina au pair,maam ano po yung dapat kong gawin para hindi ako ma hold sa immigration wala po talaga akong idea,please help me po.

  3. pag mag apply ba may age limit ba? kc 38 na po ako…. sana meron age limit salamat

  4. @Ana Lindenhann-admin..may alam po ba kau kng san pwedeng mg apply as an au pair?im currently working here in riyadh and my contract will end this january,2012..thanks!!!

  5. yes other countries limit to only 25 yrs old the rest is up to 30 yrs old

  6. ask ko lang..i’m 29 years of age i’m planning to apply as an au pair in denmark. but this january 2012 i’ll be turning 30 already. is it possible for me to still apply? kasi may nabasa akong site which states that you should not be above the age of 30 on the time you reached your host family. ano po ba tama kasi ung site na un updated lang last july of this year po..

  7. hi.im here in singapore already and apply goiung to denmark im still 25.is it really possible that easy lang ang processing dito or same in philippines.thanks

  8. Good day!

    I have read na walang au pair sa UK. Kindly check daw Mathew Kelvin family, 7 College Approach, Greenwhich, London, United Kingdom. Baka scam may contract na ako and everything. Pero I will be working at his hotel side line lng ang nanny.

  9. Hi! im just asking if filipino aupair allowed in Sweden? because my host family last summer want me to bring there… hope to hear from you :)

  10. Scam lang yan pakokontakin ka kunwari sa agent or attrney nila tapos hihingi ng pera sa iyo thru western union so ingat forget about UK

  11. is there any agency that can help find a host family i am in philippines…

  12. itatanung ko lang po kung pwede kaya au pair to france from philippines?
    kasi may ngtanung sa akin na host family kung panu ba daw pg process ng papers.
    looki forward to hear this
    thanks! :)

  13. Di pwede pag sa France ang Aupair fr PHL

  14. Hi mam. merun po bang aupair from phils to italy?

  15. what are the requirements for aupair visa going to switzerland. kc may employeer ako dun at hnd nya alam ang process kc 1st time nya kumuha ng aupair from the phil. wlang dn ako idea what are the supporting documents na kelangan ko forinterview.

    thanks!

  16. hello..my tita want’s me to apply aupair for her in greece!?is it possible..im here in the phil…pls needed attention immediately poh..thanks if possible po ask lng sna ako ng requirements o anu ang gagawin ko po..thanks

  17. @Marion May ban åa ang aupair Denamrk, Norway at Switzerland lang ang hindi. Baka mahirapan ka lang na maka alis saka mahirap ang buhay sa Greece right now pabanckrup ang country nila problema nga ng mraming pinoy duon na nawawalan ng trabaho mga amo nila.

  18. hello,,pwedi ba ishare dito and pag process ng aupair papers? including the sample of letter of invitation? and so with the expenses?
    thnx,and where in phil located and aupair agency???? sa baguio lang ba?thn,,hope to hear some from u…..godbless

  19. good day po..Pwede po ba sa Germany ang Au Pair from Philippines???? At kelangan po ba ng Exit Permit from POEA???

  20. Hello, ask lang po ako if its possible ang aupair to Netherlands? and do you know if its really necessary to go through an agency? thank you in advance!

  21. tanung ku lng. meron kasing nagoffer sakin. doctor daw sya at nkatira sa 30 Wykeham Road, Hendon Central London, England. banned pa rin ba dun?
    ndi kaya scam lng un? taga uk daw sya.

  22. @Chessa scam yan sussunod pagnanayarin ka

  23. Helo, p-ask lng ha.. my possible employer ako from HAMPSHIRE,UK. Ok b dun? ban ba dun? scam b yon? anu b ang requirements para maasikaso ko ang papers ko?

  24. may nag alok sa malapit sa central london gusto ko po malaman kung ano mga requirements na mga kailangan para sa pag aaplay…saan po ang british embassy pls help me ….! God Bless Us alwys<3

  25. hello poh,
    ask ko lang po kung scam itong application ko..kase parang true
    my employer said his lawyer process my certification of eligibility
    his lawyer daw is working in home office uk border agency.
    i search it exist!
    they dont ask me for procesing fee..itot yun na yun..i had scan all my documents but din may pahabol pala.i need po daw to sent an amount of 600 pounds in my name daw just to prove that i have funds for me in uk..before i have paid my first salary!
    graveh..nice tlaga yung set up..muntik na ako maniwal.actually yes im still hoping its true..but i have doubts parin..please kindly aware me namn po!
    scam na nmn po ba ito?

  26. Tanong ko lang po kung meron agency dito sa philippines sa mga au pair kc po interested po aq magapply. Salamat po

  27. ask ko lang po okay lang ba mag aupair sa Switzerland from Phil? May agency kasi skeng nirefer yung friend ko. Kagagaling ang nya dun pero medyo matagal na. I think mga 2 or 3 years ago.

  28. Okay lang bang mag au pair sa switzerland? Thanks

  29. Hi,

    Nag try po ako fill up sa bestjobsalary.com.uk. meron po nag response sa akin interview@london-work-test.com. scam po ba ito?

  30. Pwede po ba ang au pair as Italy from Phil po? Please help…

  31. @Lyn di pwede pinoy aupair papuntang Italy

  32. @Joy yes legal dyan kaso thru agency check POEA sa accredited na agency

  33. @Katlyn Forget Londo or UK scamm lang yan pagababayarin ka lang Bawal tyo dyan

  34. @Kate scamm yan forget it

  35. @Luisa forget it scam lang yan bawal pinoy sa UK

  36. Hi Po sa lahat ,,,
    i just wanna ask if do you have a format of letter para e-send sa immigration to tell them nga i will apply as an au pair. its is USA. meron po ba kayo?
    please i badly need it.

  37. good day. nag apply po ako sa online nanny agency. then may nag email sakin na nakita nila profile ko dun sa agency and gusto nila akong i-hire, from london,uk yung host family.sagot daw po nila ang gastos sa flight ticket and travel documents. ask ko lang po, sa palagay nyo po ba totoo yung employer ko?

  38. @Leslie hindi scam yan di naman non eu na magwork sa uk as nannny or aupair sabi lang yan later pababayarin ka ng ticket .

  39. Ask ko lang po if bawal po ang filipina au pair sa london?kasi po my maghohost po sakin sgot po lhat2 ng documentation, pti po visa ticket at permit po,salamat po.

  40. @Ann yes bawal scam lang yan

  41. hello! Good day! ask ko lang po ok ba mag au pair sa Netherlands or Switzerland? By the way nag register po ako sa isang website I think direct po cya, au pair for Netherlands kaso sabi sa email if pasado sa interview is may kailangan bayaran its the placement fee of 150 euro , safe po ba ang ganitong way to become an au pair in Netherlands? Di po ba scam ito? or mas safer if dadaan ng agency dito sa pinas? thanks a lot

  42. hello, ask ko lang po if sa entire france bawal ang au pair from the philippines??and how a bout sa Finland.. ill wait for ur reply po.thanks

  43. @reezie, hindi na siguro dahil nalift na ang ban all of europe pwede except UK

  44. hello, my sister want me to care for her son 1 year old. she want me to apply as aupair in sweden.. it is possible that i can be granted? she is my sister so we are relatives it is allowed that au pair can be relatives?
    look forward for your response thank you…

  45. ask ko lang po kung totoo ba to… may inaplayan ako n website b4 around 4yrs ago tapos my nag email sa akin ngayon offering an au pair job.
    he sent me an offer letter sagot n nila lahat, and it came from FITSROVIA, London.
    sana matulongan nyo ako.

  46. Good day, po. May gustong maghire sa akin from Tottenham, London bilang au pair, sagot daw lahat. Later, pinapa-deposit ako sa Western Union ng 850 pounds in my name address sa residence ng host family ko para raw sa Maintenance Funds na i-wi-withdraw ko pagdating doon. Scam po ba ‘to? Please help me! Parang kapani-paniwala rin.

  47. @ Maru,
    Naku bakit ka magbabayad wala dapat gastos pag aupair. Scam yan di totoo basta UK di allowed ang Non Eu na magwork as aupair forget it.

  48. Hi, db po wala ng ban ang ang philippines for pinoy au pair sa UK?
    My employer po kc aq, ndi xa scam, they never ask money too…
    they are asking what are the things needed… or what kind of visa ang iaapply…
    ano ba yung kelngan nila ipdala na papers o gawin pra magka visa ako…
    pano po yon? snma matulungan nio po ako…
    Salamat.

    Michelle

  49. @Michelle as I always tell our kababayan NON EU Citizens are not allowed to work as aupair in UK so forget usually scammer sila hihingi yan ng pera sa iyo http://www.filipinaaupair.net/index.php/watch-out-for-scammers-england/

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