Au Pair FAQ's​

  • What happens if I get homesick?​

Who are the host families?
Our host families come in all shapes and sizes. They may have two parents or one, one child or four. The most common family arrangement is a mother and father with two or three children. Most parents are married with one parent working full-time and one working part-time. Our families all appreciate and treasure the placement of an Au Pair in their home. They understand that this is a cultural and work experience placement for you as an Au Pair and host families choose their Au Pair candidate very carefully.

Where might the families be located?
In the Netherlands families are usually located in the provinces of Noord Holland, Zuid Holland and Utrecht but placements can be all across the country. As the Netherlands is a small country it is easy to travel across it within four hours and will allow for you to visit and sight see easily when you have time away from the children.

In the USA host families are usually located outside of large cities and they are based across the USA. You will have time to travel during your allocated holiday period and one free weekend a year. Your visa also allows you an additional 30 days at the end of your placement to travel.

In Germany there are nine main placement areas: Stuttgart, Berlin, Hannover, Hamburg, Munich, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Cologne and Heidelberg.

Au Pair applicants cannot request a placement in a certain area. Host families choose their Au Pair based on their experience and compatibility with their family and this is the most important aspect of the placement.​

Can I apply if I have no formal childcare experience?

We can accept people with minimal childcare experience. Whether you have spent time looking after your siblings or babysitting this is all valuable experience. The most important skills are proof of reliability, maturity, flexibility and an eagerness to work with young people and care for them. If you are not sure about your level of experience then please contact the office.

What household chores might I be responsible for?

You will be expected to complete basic household chores but should not be solely responsible for the cleanliness of the home. Chores may include: washing the dishes, cleaning the children’s clothes, cooking simple meals, tidying the children’s rooms, vacuuming, taking out the garbage etc.

Can I apply if I do not have a driving license?

A driving license is a requirement if you wish to be placed in the USA. As the USA has such a car culture it is vital that an Au Pair can drive. You can apply for the program without a license but you will need to learn and secure a license before your departure date.

If you wish to apply to go the Netherlands or Germany then a driving license is not required but it is preferred. Applicants without a license may be harder to place.

Can I apply for less than one year or extend my program?

In the Netherlands placements are for a maximum of 12 months and cannot be extended. Please note that host families prefer Au Pairs who can complete a full year placement because it takes time to build a trusting relationship with an Au Pair so the longer you can stay, the easier it will be for you to be placed.

​In the USA an Au Pair applicant must commit to a 12 month placement to be accepted onto the program. An Au Pair and a host family can choose to extend the placement beyond the 12 month initial period but this decision is made during the program and to extend you must remain with the same host family.

In Germany you can apply for either a six or twelve month program. As you do not require a visa to live in Germany we can also be more flexible over the length of your placement. If you would like to stay for a different amount of time then please contact the office.

How many hours will I work?

In the Netherlands you will be expected to work a maximum of 30 hours per week spread over a maximum of five days. An Au Pair is not allowed to work more than 8 hours in a day. Babysitting activities can be undertaken over a maximum of three evenings per week. It is against government rules for a family to ask or pay an Au Pair to work longer than 30 hours per week. You will be given two leisure days per week and a minimum of one full weekend per month.

​In the USA you are expected to work 45 hours per week with two weeks of holiday time during the year. You cannot work for longer than 10 hours per day and must be granted at least 1.5 consecutive days of leave per week. You will also have one full weekend off a month.

In Germany you will be expected to work 30 hours a week and a maximum of six hours per day. You will receive at 1.5 days of consecutive days off per week. On a 6 month placement you will get 2 weeks of holiday allowance and 4 weeks on a 12 month placements.

Do I need to get a visa?

For entry into the Netherlands you do not require a visa if you are an EU citizen but you will apply for a permit at the local town house after your arrival in the country. For this permit you will require an original copy of your full birth certificate.

Entry into Germany is also possible without a visa if you are an EU citizen. Your host family will register your arrival with the local authority within a few days of the start of your program.

To enter the USA you must apply for a J1 visa. To receive a visa of this nature you must apply through an accredited program provider. We work with EurAuPair in the USA who will sponsor your entry and support you throughout your time in the USA. To receive the J1 visa you must attend an interview at the Consulate in London. There are additional fees for the issuing of this visa that are paid to the Consulate.

Can I study while on the program?

As part of the program in the USA you are expected to attend at least 3 hours of classes per week at a local education facility. You will meet new people through these classes and learn in a new environment. Your host family will ensure that you are able to reach these classes and your Community Counsellor will ensure that your chosen courses meet the visa requirements. Your host family will pay $500 to pay for the classes.

In the Netherlands your host family will pay up to 270 Euros to enroll you into language classes or other subjects. The host family will pay for the classes directly.

In Germany you will receive an additional 90 Euro payment per month to pay for enrolment at a language school or other institution. It is expected that you will attend the classes throughout your placement.

When should I book my flight for departure?

You should not book a flight until the point that you have received your placement. A host family placement should be received within 1 – 3 months of your application being processed but it can take longer in some circumstances. Until you have the placement you cannot book a flight for travel because you need to know your final destination.


Applicants to the USA will have their flight to New York for the orientation booked for them and their onward flight connection to their host family. Dates for the monthly orientation are available from the office.

If you are applying to go to the Netherlands then you will be able to speak with your host family and agree a suitable arrival date with them. You will then book your own flight. For Germany applicants if you are making a 12 month commitment then your host family will agree a date with you and book your flight. If you are committing to a shorter placement then you should agree on your arrival date and book your own flight.

Am I able to change my host family?
The host family that chooses you to join their family will have considered your application and compatibility with their family very carefully but you are able to change your placement if you are not suited. However, finding a new placement is not always easy and some applicants have their program terminated if a new placement cannot be found.As well as being a cultural experience you are expected to treat the placement professionally and work hard to succeed with the family and the children so mediation will always be the first step in issue resolution with your host family. This mediation will be managed and supported by your Support Coordinator to ensure that everyone works to make the placement a success.

Finding a new placement can be difficult as you will no longer be looking for a full 12 month placement which most host families prefer, so please consider the request for a move carefully and speak openly with your Coordinator as soon as you have concerns about your placement. The earlier you report an issue the easier it should be to find a resolution.

What happens if I get homesick?

Homesickness and culture shock can be a part of life overseas and should be expected at some point throughout the program. It is important that you speak with your host family, local friends or Support Coordinator if you are feeling homesick because they can offer advice and support to help you overcome the feeling. You are never on your own while working as an Au Pair and people are there to support and assist you if you are willing to speak with them.​

Address

Wessex House,

Upper Market Street,

Eastleigh, Hampshire,
SO50 9FD

Contact info

Main office number: +44 (0) 2380 970 924

Email address: info@myeducationuk.co.uk

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