questions to Country information rules and regulations

Is there an agreement in which the functions of the au pair are established?

Hi,I would like to know how is the process when I find the host family and if we have an agreement about the works in home because it's important for me to respect the au pair and from the beginning define the works with the children and in home.

2 Answerslatest answer: 2 years ago 2506 views

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Dear Daniela,

basic agreements regarding working time and type of work are defined in the au pair contract, but I would additionally recommend to also discuss and agree on your detailed "time table" already before signing the contract.

The family and you should mutually agree on how your working time will be distributed (making sure that you will be able to attend a language course!) as well as what work you are expected to do during that time. Just as an example: Especially when you look after small kids, they should not expect you to do any housework in parallel, but you could e.g. clean up the kitchen while the kids sleep after lunch...

It really depends a lot on the family, what kind of support they expect from you and you should definitely discuss it and agree on it before you sign your contract and become their au pair!

Hope this helps!

Best regards,
Maria from the cAP team

Hola Daniela,

en el acuerdo está definido lo que se decida que se tiene que cumplir en cuanto a horas de trabajo y tipo de trabajo, pero también te recomendaría que hablaran y se pusieran de acuerdo con un horario detallado para ti antes de firmar el acuerdo.

La familia y tú deben estar de acuerdo con la distribución de tus horas de trabajo (tienen que estar seguros que puedas tener suficiente tiempo para asistir a tu curso de idiomas) así como con qué trabajo esperan que hagas durante el tiempo que vivas con ellos. Te doy un ejemplo: Especialmente cuando cuidas a niños pequeños, los padres no deben esperar que hagas al mismo tiempo tareas en el hogar, pero por ej. sí puedes limpiar la cocina cuando los niños duerman después de la comida...

Depende mucho de la familia, qué clase de ayuda esperan de ti y claro que deben hablar y ponerse de acuerdo y estipularlo en el acuerdo antes de que seas su "au pair".

¡Espero que esto te ayude!

Maria del equipo cAP

Dear Daniela,

it is good that you asked this question even though you might not see the response - someone else probably will. In any case, looks like you were concerned about your rights as an Au Pair while living with complete strangers, and I don't mean to frighten anyone, but you have absolute right to be worried if you don't follow few steps that I'll mention now.

First you need to decide whether you are going through the registered Au Pair agency or on your own. I would highly recommend the first choice, not because I work for the agency, but from my own experience and experience of others I met during the past few years. Going for the second option might cost you less in terms of money, but can also be very expensive. I'll start explaining pros and cons of both now, starting with the Au Pair agency.

There is an organisation called IAPA, standing for International Au Pair Association. It is an organisation that has worldwide registered legal Au Pair agencies, recognized for the quality service throughout the years. Member cannot be anyone - you have to be recommended by two longstanding & trustworthy members at least. More about them you can find on the following website:

Au Pair agencies first professionally screen the Host Families before they sign agreement and contract with them, which technically means - not everyone is suitable to be a Host Family (on the internet it might look like that). Agency will try to solve any disputes first, and then offer you a rematch. Let's say it is stated in the contract that you cannot work for more than 30 hours, yet you still do. Agency is there to protect you - they will contact the Host Family and offer a solution - to give you higher pocket money or more free time for example. If the Host Family does not agree, deal is off - they will get on a blacklist of the agency and cannot be matched with another Au Pair. The only con of going through the agency to find a matching Host Family is that you have to pay a program fee - still, better safe than sorry. Au Pair agencies also make sure that you have a proper training, certificate, meetings up with other Au Pairs etc. - something that Host Family itself cannot really provide.

If you decided for the second option, that is to find a Host Family by yourself, be prepared to do a lot of digging. Host family might not ask you for a program fee, but it will take you a lot of time, and you might need to start talking to them months in advance to get to know them before your arrival. There is a potential risk that they are scammers as well. However, please don't get me wrong - there are many successful cases when Au pairs found better suitable Host Families for them then the agency ever could. 

As you can see, it all depends whether you will invest more time, or more money. Whatever you decide, please be careful all the way. I wish you the best of luck!

Kind regards,

Jovana (Manager of International Affairs - APSH)

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