How to become an au pair in Germany?

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Germany has 10 different programs for the different au pair citizenships.
Choose here which programs you want to see and compare.

rules & regulations

Au pair
Working Holiday

minimum stay

6 months

This also means that it's not possible to become a "summer au pair" (normally for 2-3 months) in Germany!

no minimum stay defined

maximum stay

1 year 

The au pair contract must be of least 6 months' duration and can cover at the most 1 year.
A renewal of employment as an au pair is not permitted even when the maximum duration of 1 year has not been completed.

max. 3 months at the same employer (host family), 1 year in total

working hours

  • maximum 6 hours/day
  • maximum 30 hours/week
In general, an au-pair is not allowed to carry out household tasks (including babysitting) for longer than 6 hours a day and 30 hours a week. If this length of time is exceeded for a particular reason, then prior agreement is needed. The extra hours must be compensated for with time off.

Note: With an au pair visa it's definitely not allowed to work more hours for more money!

The family has the right to expect that the au pair will complete the tasks assigned to him/her in a reasonable period of time. Carrying out personal tasks (e.g. cleaning and tidying of the au pair's own room) does not count as housework time.
The arrangement of housework time is done according to the needs and habits of the family. However, a degree of regularity in the daily routine is to be expected.

  • maximum 6 hours/day
  • maximum 30 hours/week

In contrast to an au pair visa the work and travel visa also allows to work more hours for more money, but then this is a nanny job which means minimum wages (8,50 EUR/h), social insurance, tax,...

General recommendation: To be classified as au pair job, the same rules should be obeyed as with an au pair visa (this applies to all points below).

days off

  • minimum 1 full day / week (not necessarily on the weekend);
  • at least one Sunday / month
  • minimum 4 free evenings / week


  • 4 weeks if the au pair stays a full year
  • 2 workdays (= days the au pair would normally work) per full month if the au pair stays shorter than a year
  • all national holidays
If the family itself is going on holidays, the au pair often joins them. In such cases however, the au pair also has specific tasks and responsibilities (e.g. looking after children, etc). However, for the au pair a family holiday only counts as his/her own holidays when only non-essential tasks are to be carried out and where the au-pair is not obliged to join the family on holiday. If the au pair does not join the family holiday, then working for another family (e.g. neighbours, friends) is not permitted.

allowed work

The daily work of an au pair varies widely. It wholly depends on the type and lifestyle of the family that is hosting the au pair.
In general, an au pair everyday work includes:
# Carrying out light housework such as helping to keep the home clean and tidy as well as washing and ironing clothes;
# Making breakfast and simple meals;
# Looking after younger children, i.e. supervising them, accompanying them to kindergarten, to school or specific activities, bringing them for walks, playing with them;
# Watching over the house or apartment and looking after pets

Which work should and can be done by an au pair? Which work does an au pair definitely not have to do? Discuss with others in our community!

forbidden work

The tasks of an au pair do not include caring for the sick or elderly (looking after family members in need of care).

pocket money

260 EUR / month, also

  • if the working time is less than 30 hours / week
  • during holidays 
  • during illness
The purpose of working as an au pair is to improve language skills (and if applicable, work experience) as well as expanding general knowledge through a better understanding of the host country. Therefore, an au pair does not receive a wage in the normal sense but only so-called "pocket money".

Please note: Theoretically, it's allowed to pay more pocket money but it's definitely not allowed to work more hours!

board and lodging

Board and lodging are provided by the family for free, this also applies in case of illnes or during the au pair's holidays.

 The au pair joins family meals and receives the same food as the family members. If the au pair has a specific dietary requirement, then this should be clearly stated in the application.


In general, the au pair is entitled to his/her own room within the family home.

The room should have at least one window and be a minimum of 8 square meters large, it should be lockable, heated and well ventilated (although this isn't defined by law, these requirements seem to be common sense)

language course

Every au pair is entitled to the opportunity to do a German language course in his/her own time as well as take part in cultural and scholarly activities.
The host family is obliged to contribute 50 EUR a month to the cost of the language course.
However, the au pair must bear the costs for other activities himself or herself.

Although there is no regulation regarding the cost of transportation to reach the language course, many families will either provide a bike, a car or a monthly ticket for the public transportation.

travel expenses

The cost of travelling to and from the host country is usually borne by the au pair.

In the case of au pairs coming from far away with rather high travel cost, the host family often pays for the return ticket - in that case this should be fixed as part of the au pair contract.

health, accident and liability insurance

In Germany, insurance must be taken out for the au pair in the case of illness, pregnancy and birth as well as in the case of accident.
All insurance contributions are paid by the family.

Furthermore, it's recommended to have a liability insurance which also includes the work as au pair.

Note: It's always the duty of the family to care for sufficient insurance coverage!

See also step by step - insurance.

social welfare system

The au pair doesn't need to pay any (national) social insurance fees.


The au pair doesn't have to pay any tax in Germany.

For the host family, childcare and also housework by the au pair is tax deductible. Discuss with other families about tips and tricks regarding this topic in the community.

cost for host family

  • pocket money: 260 EUR
  • language course: 50 EUR
  • insurance: ~ 40 EUR
  • lodging: 183,60 EUR (official amount for tax 2014)
  • board: 224 EUR (as above)
  • ev. public transportation ticket (~ 50 EUR)
  • ev. higher car insurance fee if the au pair is allowed to use it
  • ...

This sums up to about 800 EUR, but with a rather high estimation of cost for board and lodging. So the host family should realistically expect a cost of 600 EUR / month.

placement fee

max. 150 EUR for au pairs

no regulation for host families

Au pair agencies located in Germany are entitled to charge au pairs a maximum fee of €150 for a placement (including the statutory sales tax).
Agencies are not permitted to request an advance of this fee.
The fee is only to be charged when the au pair contract legally comes into effect.
 In the case of au pairs from non-EU or non-EEA Member States (with the exception of Switzerland), this only applies when the necessary residence permit or necessary EU work permit has been obtained.

ending of contract

The au pair contract finishes at the end of the agreed time. In so far as there is no period of notice, the contractual relationship can be terminated prior to this time only in the case of mutual agreement (cancellation contract).

Note: Most au pair contracts define a period of notice of 2 weeks

In most cases, both parties agree that the au pair will stay such time until he/she has found another host family. If there is a serious reason for doing so, the au pair employment can be terminated without notice. Apart from such circumstances, it is of course expected that the au pair and family will not separate during the first few days of living together. Experience shows that with goodwill the initial "culture shock" (e.g. arising from different lifestyles and eating habits) can be overcome in a short time.

The better au pair and family match, the less severe the culture shock. Therefore we highly recommend to use our perfectMatch function to find the perfect Match!

Discuss with others in our community what you can do when you have problems with your au pair / family!

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Hi, my name is Maria Knauer

and I’m responsible for this country information

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