How to become an au pair in Spain?

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Spain has 7 different programs for the different au pair citizenships.
Choose here which programs you want to see and compare.

rules & regulations

Au pair
Working Holiday
New Zealand
Youth mobility

minimum stay

No minimum stay defined.

maximum stay

24 months.

12 months.
The au pair may not stay with the same family for more than 3 months or work in Spain for over 6 months in the context of this program.

Canadian citizens that have qualified for this visa (Youth Mobility) may benefit twice from the application under two different categories among those set out in Article 2 of the Agreement Between Canada and Spain on Youth Mobility Programs. The period of each stay may not exceed one year. In all cases, there shall be a minimum three-month period between the two stays. 

working hours

maximum 5 hours/day. 

maximum 30 hours/week.

days off

Article 8 European Agreement on "au pair" Placement 

The au pair shall have at least one full free day per week, not less than one such free day in every month being a Sunday, and shall have the full opportunity to take part in religious worship.


There is no official regulation on how many days an au pair should have as holidays. 

The European Committee for Au Pair Standards (ECAPS) recommends this:

Based upon a 12 month stay, the au pair receives a minimum of two weeks holiday. If an au pair stays less than 12 months with an individual host family, this period is to be determined based upon actual time worked.
The length and duration of vacations are to be discussed and agreed upon with the host family in advance of any holiday taken.

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's 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 an au pair definitely doesn't have to do? Discuss with others in our community!

forbidden work

There are no official regulations regarding forbidden work as an au pair. But, an au pair should only do light household duties, there are some housework that she/he doesn´t have to do like: 

  • Cleaning the whole house
  • Cleaning the master bathroom
  • Washing the car
  • Hand washing

pocket money

The Spanish Association for the Au pair program or AEPA recommends:

The minimum amount of pocket money weekly received by Au Pairs will be of 70€. It could be more depending on the amount of helping hours.
The placement agency should fix and approve the weekly pocket money and should also inform the participant about it prior to his/her arrival. This money will be paid by the family on a weekly basis. The payment day will be previously agreed upon between the family and the participant.

board and lodging

The European Agreement on "au pair" Placement specifies in article 8 that the au pair shall receive board and lodging from the receiving family.

The Spanish Association for the Au pair program AEPA recommends:

If the Au Pair falls sick, the host-parents should take care of her/him as if she/he were part of the family.


The European Agreement on "au pair" Placement specifies in article 8, that the au pair shall occupy a separate room.

language course

The European Agreement on "au pair" Placement specifies in the article 8, that the au pair shall be given adequate time to attend language courses as well as for cultural and professional improvement; every facility as in regard the arrangement of working hours shall be determined to this end.

Usually, it is the au pair who pays for her/his own language course.

travel expenses

It is common practice that the expenses for traveling will be covered by the au pair.

Nevertheless, the AEPA recommends, that the host family has to pick up the Au Pair at her destination the day she/he arrives (airport, train station...). If that´s not possible, the host family should make arrangements for her/him to be picked up by someone clearly identified on their behalf. Should the au pair have to take a taxi or any other public transport to get to her final destination, the host family has to pay for all expenses.

Regarding the public transport ticket in Spain, the AEPA recommends: 

the families living in the outer suburbs or attached villages to bigger cities should pay their Au Pair the monthly ticket for public transport, if he/she needs to use this transport to move around and/or get to language school. 

We recommend to fix the arrangement regarding this topic in the contract between the au pair and the host family.

health, accident and liability insurance

The au pair should get in touch with her/his health insurance company in her/his home country to find out if he/she will be fully covered throughout her/his entire stay in Spain.

Spain has signed the European Agreement on "au pair" Placement. This means that au pairs and host families equally share the costs of private insurance contributions if the au pair has to contract one.

In any case the AEPA recommends:

a full health insurance coverage, for the case of accidents, repatriation and civil responsibility. If the host family needs their Au Pair to use a car, they should include the Au Pair in the care insurance and cover all extra costs.

Before entering Spain, the au pair must hold medical and comprehensive hospitalization insurance to remain in force throughout her/his stay in this country.

The au pair has to have a medical insurance, including hospitalization and repatriation, for the full period of their authorized stay.

social welfare system

There are no official rules regarding this topic.


No official rules.

cost for host family

monthly pocket money: 280 EUR
language course: ~80 EUR
insurance: ~45 EUR
ev. monthly public transport ticket (in a city): ~33EUR
lodging: ~100 EUR
board: ~100 EUR

This sums up to about 650 EUR/month.

ending of contract

The European Agreement on "au pair" Placement specifies in article 11:

1. Where the agreement referred to in Article 6  (=contract) has been concluded for an unspecified period, either party shall be entitled to terminate it by giving two weeks' notice

2. Whether the agreement (contract) was made for a specified period or not, it may be terminated with immediate effect by either party in the event of serious misconduct by either party or if other serious circumstances make such instant termination necessary.

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Hi, my name is Christoph Knauer

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