- 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.