5 Au Pair expenses that Host Families would not have to pay

 In this posting we’ll take a quick look at au pair expenses the host family would normally not need to cover. We’ve already written blog postings covering topics such as  au pairs’ wages and other au pair costs and expenses you should consider.

  1. Fuel for personal car use – when your au pair is using a car for job-related tasks, such as running errands, or collecting your kids, you should cover petrol expenses. However,if  your au pair is using the car for personal reasons, or for leisure, you would not be expected to pay any related expenses.
  2. Personal items – such as toiletries would not normally covered by the host family.
  3. Non work-related phone costs – while you should cover all telephone expenses related to your au pair’s job, you would not be expected to cover the costs incurred when they make personal calls, unless previously agreed.
  4. Unreasonable grocery/food requests –  Being from a different culture/country some au pairs may  have unusual food requests. Unless you were aware of your au pair’s special dietry requirements when hiring them, you wouldn’t be expected to cover these expenses. Always check with the job candidate before hiring, and agree who pays in advance.
  5. Any expenses incurred outside the au pair’s line of duties – Expenses incurred outside their normal line of duties, such as clothing or dentist visits, would not be covered, unless previously agreed.

Further Reading

7 Other Au Pair Costs and Expenses you Should Consider

Your au pair’s weekly salary is a complex subject which requires its own blog posting, but it’s not the only expense you can expect when hiring an au pair (we’ve covered au pair wages already in a post we published earlier this year, you  can read our guide to au pair wages here).

After their basic wage the other expenses tend to be household expenses, and they will increase proportionally with the arrival of another adult in your home.

These expenses and costs include:

  1. Groceries – this will probably be your biggest expense, you’ll need to consider the costs of another adult eating up to three meals a day in your home. This cost may be reduced by employing a live-out au pair, but live-out au pairs do tend to be paid a higher wage than live-in.
  2. Petrol – will you be providing your au pair with access to a car? Consider the extra costs for petrol, especially if the au pair is using the car on her days off.
  3. Car Insurance – find out in advance if your au pair has a full license and the number of years of no-claims they have and get a quote from your insurance agency, organise all paperwork before your au pair arrives, as not doing so can lead to expensive surprises.
  4. Leisure – part of  the au pair experience is the cultural exchange, your au pair should share in your family’s leisure time as well as day-to-day living. How often does your family eat out, go to the cinema, take holidays? While you’re in no way obliged to involve your au pair in any of these activities, spending leisure time with them is always a good way of helping them bond with your family, so bear in mind you would be expected to pay your au pairs costs on these excursions.
  5. Electricity/Gas – your electricity and gas bill will also increase when there’s an extra person living in your house, more-so if your au pair has just come from a hot country and is  running your heating, or takes frequent showers/baths, while this may sound like a trivial expense, it does all add up.
  6. Phone – some host families offer their au pair, as an employment benefit, a mobile phone allowance. You should  consider this if you plan on getting regular updates on your children over the phone or by text.
  7. Medical/Dental – while less frequently offered, some host families do offer their au pairs medical and dental cover while in their employment.

Other costs worth considering include au pair travel costs, internet access (if you still use dial-up) , television (if you intend on adding a  SKY Box to your au pair’s room,) and the cost of their language class.

Further Reading

Au Pair Wages / Au Pair Costs, 2019

If you’re considering hiring an au pair an au pair one of the first things you’ll want to know is, what is a typical au pair salary and what are au pair costs, it’s also the question we get asked most frequently.

Host families run the risk of legal proceedings against them if they fail to pay their au pair the correct national rates, listed below.

This information is correct as of 4th March 2019.

Au Pair minimum hourly rate of pay 2019
Au Pair Age Minimum hourly rate of pay, €
Aged 20 and over 9.80
Aged 19 8.82
Aged 18 7.84
Aged under 18 6.86


The cost, per hour, for live in and live out au pairs is the same, however you may make the deductions, listed below, to a live in au pair’s wages to cover food and board.

  • you may deduct €0.87 per hour worked, for board
  • You may deduct €23.15 per week, or a daily rate of €3.32

Further Reading