Au pairing – What does it mean?

An au pair is a young single person between the ages of 18-26 who lives with a family in a country other than his or her own for a maximum of 12 months, helps with general housework and childcare in exchange for room, board and pocket money (stipend). The au pair program is one of cultural exchange and the au pair is given the opportunity to learn a foreign language and to experience the culture of the country that he/sheis in. In return, the au pair will be asked to perform general household duties (washing and tidying up, laundry, ironing, cooking etc.) and to take care of children during a limited number of hours a day and/or baby-sit at night. The au pair is not an employee but a member of the family and will be treated as such.

About Holland

Tulips, clogs, canals, windmills, cheese, soccer, water, the little boy with his finger in the dyke, tolerance, red light district, Amsterdam and legal coffee shops are generally the first things that comes to mind when non- Dutchies are questioned about Holland. But the Kingdom of the Netherlands is much more than that! More great things about Holland; we love to practice foreign languages and you will find that most people speak English, some French as well as German. Because Holland is so small and our public transportation system is excellent, you will generally not need to drive. Get on a train and go to Paris (about 4 hrs from Amsterdam) or take a bus downtown. Join your host family in trips to Germany (2 hrs), Belgium (an hour) or Switzerland (about 10 hrs) or be even more adventurous and hop on a plane to Italy, Greece, Spain or any of the Scandinavian countries. In fact, the Dutch feel that Holland is the center of Europe and if you look at a map, you can see why!

What does the au program include?

The host family provides you with a satisfactory private room. Because houses in The Netherlands are generally small, private bath/shower facilities are not always available and your room will not always be spacious. It will, however, be properly furnished, clean and pleasant. We always view the available rooms and facilities before an au pair placement is made. As mentioned, the host family also provides you with full board, however that does not mean that you are entitled to your own private weekly shopping list of organic foods, exotic fruits and prime cuts of beef... It means that you are to join in with family meals and eat the foods that are bought by the family. Eating meals with the host family is an important part of cultural exchange for both you and your host family. Besides the room and board you receive from your host family, the au pair program includes more than that. The average stipend in The Netherlands for a max. 30 hrs a week of help, is currently € 300 month. Furthermore, the family will pay for your full medical insurance for the duration of your stay as well as a (language) course to a maximum of € 270 provided you finish the full course and stay with the family for a minimum of 6 months. On top of that, the host family will provide you with a typical Dutch bike to use while you are there, a mobile phone as well as a phone allowance so you can stay in touch with your family as well as with your new made friends. Furthermore, families will help with travelling expenses to and from your home country. In most cases the families will pay for your ticket upfront. This does mean however, that in case you decide not to fulfil the 12 months of the contract, you will need to reimburse the host family for the remainder of the costs pro rata.

au4A brief overview with all benefits:

  • Screened host family
  • Au pair agency to answer all your questions before and during your stay
  • Membership of the orange au pair Club
  • Room and board
  • Use of a Mobile Phone
  • Use of a Bicycle
  • Pocket money per month                                 
  • Insurance cover for 12 months                        
  • Language course for 12 months                     
  • Pre-paid visa for 12 months  
  • Phone allowance per month   
  • 2 weeks of paid vacation per 12 months

The Requirements of the program are as follows:

  • Aged between 18 and 29
  • Having some child care or baby-sitting experience
  • Having a genuine love and interest for children
  • Being able to swim and ride a bike, a driver's license is not essential but definitely preferred
  • Fluent in English and good knowledge Afrikaans
  • Good Health
  • Not married, no criminal record
  • Willingness to explore and experience a different country and culture

For more experienced child caretakers we also offer an au pair plus program. If you are 20+ and have been an au pair before, please ask for the au pair plus program conditions.

Costs involved

If you are excited about going to Holland, you will have to take the following costs into account flight fee paid in 3 parts.

Click here to Apply for Au Pair USA & Netherlands