What is a host family?
A host family is a family consisting of at least one parent and one child under the age of 16 that invites an Au pair from a foreign country for a specified period of time. The au pair lives “on equal terms” with the other members of the family and in return for food, board, and a salary, cares for children and does with light housework (the amount of pocket money and working hours are defined by the host families policies). Hosting an au pair is considered a program of cultural exchange, by no means an employment contract. Placement of the au pair shall initially be for a period not exceeding one year, but may be extended to permit a maximum stay of two years.
It is important that you choose an au pair who really matches 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 au pair with your children. In this context, mutual respect, a thorough communication, clear rules and basic affinity are very important for a successful integration of your au pair into your family.
Please note:Please note: Au pairs are neither nannies, nor hired household helps. In contrast to a regular employment relationship, au pairs live with their host families like fully integrated family members, 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. Further requirements for host families vary according to the relevant host country.
Host families should consult our section info host families policies and do our Quick Check to find out if they meet all necessary requirements.
Tips: Which questions should I ask my Au pair or my host family? How do I make the right choice?
Tips: Host the first Au pair: How can host family prepare themselves? First time as an Au pair: How do I plan my trip and what do I need to consider?