Au Pair Contracts - What You Need to Know

June 5, 2023

Host families and au pairs who write down their agreements in a contract avoid many possible misunderstandings and have a better chance of a successful au pair stay. The contract should mention the length of the au pair's visit, the weekly and daily working hours, holiday entitlement and pocket money.


When you're an au pair, you take care of the host family's children. This means taking them to school or nursery, picking them up after school or work and looking after them while the parents are away on errands. You also help with household chores, such as cooking meals for the whole family, shopping and washing the children's clothes.

However, the au pair responsibilities should be limited to childcare and light housework tasks. It would be advantageous if you had sufficient spare time to enjoy your au pair experience and learn more about the nation in which you live.

If you need clarification on whether your host family is treating you fairly, it's a good idea to discuss it with them. Read your contract carefully and only agree to do tasks you're comfortable with. You should never feel obligated to do things you're not happy with, especially in the early stages of your contract. Also, read your agreement regularly and get your questions answered by a representative.

Working hours

Usually, au pairs work up to 45 hours a week, calming temper tantrums, helping with morning and bedtime routines, doing children's laundry, answering burning math questions, cooking meals, transporting kids to school or activities, and so much more. In return, they receive a weekly stipend, a private room and meals, a full weekend of each month and two weeks of paid holiday.

While the term au pair is not widely used in the United States, it has become popular in many countries worldwide. Au pairs are young people from other countries who stay with host families to provide childcare in exchange for room and board, a pocket money allowance, and educational benefits such as learning the language of their host country.

The word' au pair' is derived from the French phrase "au pair," which means "big sister." It refers to young women who travel to other countries to live with their families in exchange for child care. This arrangement became common after World War II when social change and the rise of middle-class incomes made it possible for many girls to seek jobs outside the home.

Pocket money

The Au Pair Contract allows the host family and au pair to make clear written agreements about important elements of the au pair's stay. These include the tasks that will be undertaken, working hours and holidays. It should also specify the minimum amount of pocket money that the au pair will receive.

In Germany, au pairs are entitled to a minimum of 260 euros per month. They can also enroll in a language course and receive a carte Navigo pass for free public transport within the city. Au pairs are allowed a maximum of four free days per week, any day other than Sundays.

The Au Pair Contract is an essential document for both parties. It should be signed before the Au Pair begins her stay with the host family. The agreement should be reviewed periodically and revised when necessary. It should also state that either party may terminate the contract with two weeks' notice. However, the contract should not be used to avoid responsibilities under labor laws.


While the au pair program is full of fun and adventure, it can also be challenging for an au pair. This is especially true during the holidays when many families are busy with holiday activities and family gatherings. It's a good idea to involve your au pair in these holiday traditions and make her feel included. For example, if you're celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, ask her to help trim the tree or prepare Lebkuchen. It will make her feel like part of the family and help her cope with missing her home country.

Host families must offer their au pairs two weeks of paid vacation and one week off each month. In addition, they must pay their au pairs' stipend and provide room and board while away.

While the au pair program rules vary from country to country, most countries offer au pairs some flexibility in their weekly pocket money, working hours and holiday allowances. The laws of the program should be clearly stated in the contract. Ideally, an au pair should be allowed to negotiate some aspects of the agreement, but these negotiations should maintain the program's eligibility and other legal requirements.


Host families must provide au pairs with a private room. It must be clean, well-lit and have a door lock to ensure privacy and safety. It should also have a comfortable bed, bathroom access, and enough clothing space. The host family should not walk through the au pair's bedroom to other rooms in the house or use it as a storage area. It's also important to include a clause stating that the au pair's room is their personal property and that they should keep it clean.

The contract should also state the amount of pocket money an au pair will receive after deducting room and board. It should also note the number of meals they will receive daily, their holiday expectations and paid vacation. They specify house rules, such as curfew times, allergies, and dietary requirements. Also, stipulate that the au pair cannot share photos of the children on social media.

Samantha Williams
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