Frequently Asked Questions

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Does perform background checks on au pairs or host families?

No we don't. is a job website, not an au pair agency. We do not perform background checks on either host families or job seekers, and we play no part in the hiring process.

An au pair's or host family's listing on should not be considered an endorsement of that party from


What is the average salary of an Au Pair

Please see our blog posting Au Pair Wages / Au Pair Costs


What is a Nanny?

Nannies usually have some type of formal training or have had a lot of experience with children. Nannies usually work full time and are available 24 hours a day. They get 1 or 2 days off per week. Nannies normally have sole responsibility for the child. A nanny signs a contract with her employer.


Do Host Families ever employ male Au Pairs?

Yes they do. Most of the host families we get on this site are looking for females, but that does not mean there are no positions for males. Having a good CV, cover letter and including a photo will help your prospects of finding a job.


What is the job of an Au Pair?

Being an au pair can be a great opportunity to experience a different country and culture. The "job" of the au pair will vary depending on how much the host family expects. Typical duties include:

Hours worked are usually about 4 per day for a wage of about Ä100 (for live in) and double that for a full time (8 hours per day) au pair.


How should an Au Pair be treated?

An au pair should be treated as an equal part of the family, not as a servant, and shall not be required to wear a uniform. There can be misunderstandings on both sides about what this means. The usual practice is that au pairs eat with the family most of the time, and join in some of the usual family activities such as outings and trips. However, host families normally expect to have some private time to themselves, particularly in the evenings. During this time, an au pair might retire to his or her room to watch television, study, or go out with friends. The au pair is given a monthly allowance and all expenses are paid by the host family.


What is an Au Pair?

An au pair is (usually) a foreign-national domestic assistant working for, and living as part of, a host family. Typically, au pairs are girls or young women and take on a share of the family's responsibility for child care as well as some housework, and receive a small monetary allowance for personal use. The title comes from the French term au pair, meaning "on a par" or "equal to", indicating that the relationship is intended to be one of equals: the au pair is intended to become a member of the family, albeit a temporary one, rather than a domestic servant. In the best circumstances, both parties benefit from learning about the other's culture.


What are the duties of an Au Pair

Au pairing can incorporate any number of duties beyond caring for children. It is worth emphasising that the job is often very demanding. Try not to have unrealistic expectations and never be seduced into thinking that you are on holiday. You will no doubt have opportunities that might not have come your way had you stayed at home, but first and foremost you are abroad to work. Your primary duties will revolve around the children.

Most families will expect you not only to keep their children's rooms tidy, but also to do some light housework. `Light housework' is notoriously open to interpretation, however, so do be careful that you are not exploited. It is usual to be asked to dust, vacuum, wash dishes and keep the childrenís room clean.

It would be surprising not to be responsible for the children's clothes, though you should not be expected to do any hand washing. The vast majority of families who hire live-in helpers own a washing machine and usually a dryer, which should cut down the time taken to do this chore and on any ironing you may be expected to do.

Normally you will be expected to prepare the children's meals. You might even be required to cook for the adult members of the household sometimes, so be honest about how good you are at cooking and how much (or little) you enjoy it.

The amount of shopping you will be required to do varies considerably from family to family. Some will expect you merely to pick up a few items at the local grocery store while others will make you responsible for the entire food budget. Usually, the parents will go on a major shopping expedition once a week and leave you to purchase any extras that may be needed.

Candidates with driving licences are at a distinct advantage when applying for jobs since many parents will want you to ferry their children to school, to the doctor/dentist/dance class, etc. Not all parents are willing to lend their au pair or nanny a car, but if they do require you to drive, they will usually allow you to use the car to take the children out for day trips, or even allow you to borrow the car for your own private use during your free time. Always be scrupulous about paying for your own petrol, unless you have come to some arrangement.

Some families prefer foreign au pairs so that they can assist the children with another language. Your task will be made a lot easier if the children share their parents' ideas about the benefits of language learning, not to mention have a certain aptitude. It may be a case of giving a scheduled lesson once a day or simply chatting to them in English or reading them stories.

Au pairs must not be asked to work more than their maximum allowable hours and they must be given at least 2 days a week completely free.

It is important that the "free time" should be genuinely free, that the girl should be at liberty to meet her friends and to go sight-seeing and to concerts, cinemas etc. and that she should have the time and opportunity to attend religious services.

Many Au pairs leave families if they feel they are being taken advantage of in terms of work, so it is in the interest of the family to work out the Au pairs schedule in the form of a written work plan in order to make the best use of her time.

Examples of how your au pair may be expected to help include:

1.Childcare: Preparing breakfast and an evening meal for the children, taking and collecting children from school and helping with homework, playing games, taking them for walks or to the park, taking them to after school activities and outings, feeding, bathing and reading them bedtime stories.

2.Housework: dusting, vacuuming, making beds, laundry, simple cooking or the children, helping with family meal preparation


Common Au Pair Scams

As we are a jobs site and not a recruitment agency we do not authenticate each new au pair or host family account. This is the responsibility of the au pair or host family.

Unfortunately there are a number of scams that we come across from time to time.

The most common is whereby the scammer pretends to be a host family, posts a great job with wonderful conditions. They then offer every applicant the position and as negotiations progress the 'host family' announces that the au pair will have to hand over a sum of money to get a visa, or in some cases the scammer announces that they have already paid a sum of money to get the au pair a visa and ask the au pair to wire them the money.

Another scam involves the scammer pretending to be an au pair, in this case the (genuine) host family offers them the job but on the day the au pair is due to arrive the 'au pair' contacts them to say they are unable to fly as they need money for a vaccination or a visa, or plane ticket, and requests the host family wire them the money.

We cannot emphasise this enough, regardless of whether you are an jobseeker, or a host family - never ever, ever, ever, send money. Never. Again, never. If you are asked to send money please contact us immediately.

If you know of any other scams please let us know, or if you suspect any accounts on please send us details.


Do you only allow Au Pair ads?

No, we have the following types of ads - Au Pairs, Au Pair Plus, Nannies, Babysitter, Childminder, Elderly Care, and Mothers' Help.

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