Host family references, for Au Pairs, from previous Au Pairs

We’ve just added a new question on the host family’s Post Job page, the question is Have you previously employed an au pair you could offer as a reference? – if a host family has previously employed an au pair, and they are willing to share that au pair’s contact details with the new au pair, they can indicate so here.

This information will appear on the job description page as a bullet point “This host family has previously employed an au pair they could offer as a reference”.

Sharing a previous au pair’s contact details with the new au pair allows the new au pair contact the old one, to get an idea of what to expect in their new job,  the working conditions, what the family are like, etc.

We would ask host families to share this information, if possible, as moving into a new home, in a new country, with a new family, would be a daunting  prospect for anyone, talking to someone who has experienced it before would be a massive assurance for the au pair, and their family.

We would suggest the host family only share the previous au pair’s contact details with the job seeker they are considering offering the position to.

Article on Childcare in Irish Times

There was a very well researched and written piece posted on yesterday’s (15/10/2013) Irish Times. The article, written by Sheila Wayman, examines home solutions to childcare issues.

It  covers legal aspects of home childcare and is a must-read for anyone who is considering hiring a childcare worker in their own home.

We even get a bit of a mention 🙂

You can read the article at

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

Calls for Regulation of Au Pair Industry

Here’s an interesting article from about the Migrants Rights Centre calling for statutory guidelines for the au pair industry. It contains some startling figures, research they did showed 36% of Au Pairs reported being exploited, 42% had no written contract and 30% reported not getting any holidays.

You can read the MRCI report here

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

Live-Out Au Pairs

One interesting trend emerging from the traditional model of the au pair job, and childcare, is the popularity of the live-out au pair option. The live-out au pair, as the name suggests, does not live with the host family, rather comes and goes on a daily basis in the same way a normal employee would.

As a result of the influx of young EU workers to Ireland over the past decade a large pool suitable candidates has formed in the country, making this a popular option, that provides a lot of choices, for families. At the time of writing this posting, of the almost 4,000 job-seekers registered on, who are located in Ireland, well over half of them express a willingness, or a preference, to find a live-out au pair job.

The live-out option is most suited to families who don’t have the spare accommodation needed to host another person in their household, or to families who wish to employ an au pair, but are worried about the implications a relative stranger could have on the privacy of their home.

In our experience it is families living in urban areas, especially those in cities popular with young people and immigrants, will get the most applicants for their advertised live-out positions.

Typical work for a live-out au pair would be the same as for an live-in au pair, arriving in the morning the au pair brings the children to creche or school, collecting them after school, making light meals and maybe some light housework.

Writing an Au Pair Contract, with Sample Contract

One of the most first things you should do when you hire an au pair or nanny is to clarify your’s and the au pair’s expectations, write them down and draw up a contract. This will reduce the likelihood of confusion, at a later date, of either party’s responsibilities.

Some tips for writing an Au Pair contract.

A good contract will cover the following topics.

  • Hours – the au pair’s working hours
  • Duties and responsibilities – this should be as detailed as possible, listing the au pair’s duties and responsibilities in an almost diary-like format
  • Salary – The au pair’s weekly/monthly wage and the rate at which the au pair will be paid for working extra hours
  • Start date and end date of employment
  • Discipline – how you expect the au pair to act while in your employment and what falls outside the boundaries of acceptable behaviour
    • Disciplinary procedures – what disciplinary process the au pair can expect
    • Summary dismissial reasons – the grounds on which the au pair can expect instant dismissal
  • Holidays
  • Accommodation – detailing the au pair’s accommodation and the condition you expect it to be kept in
  • School – if the au pair is to attend language school while in your employment detail it here

Below is a sample of a formal letter of offer.


Family name and address
Aupair name and address

Dear ……………………………………

We are delighted to offer you the position of Aupair, and to welcome you to our family. We hope your stay with us will be a happy and memorable occasion for both you and us alike.

In order to clarify expectations we are including the terms and conditions of your employment. Once you have read it, and if you are happy with it, please sign and date a copy of it and send it back to us at the above address.

The terms and conditions of the position are as follows:

  • Hours: You will be required to work for approximately ………… hours per week. In addition …………. nights per week babysitting will be required. Every …………. weekend, will be spent with the family. You will have ……… long weekends off a month from Friday afternoon to Monday morning.
  • Duties and responsibilities: Your main duty is the due care of ………………………………………..You will be required to get ……………………………………….. ready for the day, get ……………………………………….. to kindergarten or school, collect ……………………………………….. from kindergarten or school and see to his/their needs in the afternoon. You will also be required to assist with homework, prepare lunch, snacks and dinner as required, bath and change as required, arrange visits with friends, see to after school activities, play games together as well as any thing else that may be necessary for his/their amusement and wellbeing. You will be required to do some cleaning up after ……………………………………….. and yourself (including washing and ironing for ……………………………………….. and yourself and the cleaning of your rooms).
  • Salary: You will be paid an amount of …….. per month / week in arrears. Additional hours will be paid at a rate of …….. per hour.
  • Start Date and Period of Employment: You are expected to start on the ………… and to stay for a minimum period of ……………………………….. If due to circumstances beyond your control or for any other reason, you wish to leave at an earlier date than our agreement, you will be required to give one month’s notice. If we require you to leave, subject to the conditions specified under ‘discipline’, we will give you a minimum of one month’s notice.
  • Discipline: Reasons which could give rise to disciplinary measures are as follows:
    • Causing a disruptive influence in the household.
    • Job incompetence.
    • Conduct during or outside working hours prejudicial to our interests.
    • Unreliability in timekeeping or attendance.
    • Failure to comply with our reasonable instructions or procedures.

In the event of a need for disciplinary action, the procedure will be:

  • First – a verbal warning.
  • Second – a written warning.
  • Third – dismissal without need for further notice.

Reasons with would give rise to summary dismissal would be:

  • Theft or other dishonest offences.
  • Drunkenness.
  • Illegal drug taking.
  • Child abuse or neglect.
  • Holidays: You will have ……….. weeks paid holidays after ……….. months of work. Dates must be negotiated …………. weeks in advance.
  • Accommodation: You will have your own room in our home. We would like you to treat our home as your own. We ask that all rooms be kept tidy and that friends staying over should only do so with our permission. If we go out as a family, you will generally be invited to come with us (at our expense) should you so choose.
  • School You will be enrolled at a language school to attend a course in ………………… for the duration of your stay.

We look forward to having you with us and are sure that our association will be a long and happy one. If you have any questions or comments regarding this contract, please contact us as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully


I have read and accept the above terms and conditions. ……………………………………………..

Aupair name Dated: ……………………………………………..


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Further Reading