Hosting an Au Pair: What It Really Involves and What to Expect

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Are you considering hosting an au pair? This unique cultural and childcare exchange program can offer numerous benefits to your family, but it also involves specific commitments and costs. Here’s a closer look at what hosting an au pair entails, the benefits it brings, and the financial aspects involved.

The Basics of Hosting an Au Pair

An au pair is usually a young person from a foreign country, aged between 18 and 30, who joins your family for a period typically ranging from 3 to 12 months. Unlike traditional nannies, au pairs are integrated into your family as full-fledged members, contributing to childcare and light household tasks while experiencing the culture of the host country and improving their language skills.

Benefits of Hosting an Au Pair

Hosting an Au Pair can have many benefits for you, your spouse and your kids in all ways of life.
  • Outstanding Childcare Flexibility:Au pairs can provide more personalized and flexible childcare than other options. They adapt to your family’s schedule, helping with morning routines, after-school activities, and even babysitting during evenings, all while ensuring a familiar presence for your children.

  • Simple and Economical Solution:With an au pair, you not only gain a helping hand but do so in a cost-effective manner. The costs are generally lower compared to other childcare solutions, especially when considering the dual benefits of childcare assistance and cultural exchange.

Costs of Hosting an Au Pair

While hosting an au pair is economical, there are certain costs that you should anticipate:
  • Room and Board:Your au pair will live with you, so you’ll provide free lodging and meals. This should include a private room for their comfort and privacy.

  • Pocket Money:Pocket Money: Au pairs receive a monthly allowance, which varies by country but typically ranges between €260 and €450. This stipend is meant to cover their personal expenses and leisure activities.

  • Language Course Contributions:Many au pairs wish to attend language courses during their stay. Host families often contribute to these costs, supporting the au pair’s desire to improve language proficiency.

  • Au Pair Insurance:Au Pair Insurance: Ensuring your au pair has health and accident insurance during their stay is crucial. In some cases, the host family may be required to assist with or cover these insurance costs.

  • Local Transport Contributions:If your au pair needs to commute, particularly in large cities, you might need to contribute to their local transportation costs.


Hosting an au pair can significantly enrich your family’s life, offering flexible childcare and a rich cultural exchange. However, it requires a welcoming spirit and readiness to integrate a new member into your daily life. By understanding and preparing for the responsibilities and costs involved, you can ensure a rewarding experience for both your family and the au pair. If you’re ready to explore this enriching arrangement, delve into specific country guidelines to get started on this exciting journey.

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