You and your family should clarify in advance what you expect from each other. Make sure that you always define all aspects of your au pair stay you agree upon in a written contract. Thus, you can avoid future disappointment. You should use the official contract according to the European Agreement.
You can find more useful information and details about the conditions of your au pair stay in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on our page Pocket money, working hours, time off etc.
The legal period of notice is 14 days, leaving enough time for you to help your host family find a replacement au pair and either organise a return trip for yourself or find a new host family.
In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) is responsible for public health care. This includes hospital stays, medical care and ambulance services.
Visitors from EEA states: Citizens of these countries are entitled to benefit from NHS services throughout their stay in the UK. However, to do so, they need to provide their European health insurance card (EHIC)* . Otherwise, they may be charged for healthcare services in the UK.
Visits to the doctor and ambulance services are free of charge, whereas hospital treatment, prescription costs, dental treatment, eyesight tests and ophthalmic products are subject to fees, unless the person in question is exempt from charges.
*Please be aware that the healthcare system in the UK may differ from your own country's. Thus, your EHIC might not cover the same services as it does in your country. In the UK, the EHIC does not cover private medical healthcare or costs, such as mountain rescue and being air-lifted from ski resorts, repatriation, etc. Therefore, you should make sure that you bring along your valid private travel insurance policy on top of your European health insurance card when entering your host country. If your EHIC is lost or stolen during your stay in the UK, you need to contact your insurance company in your home country to obtain a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC).
Clarify with your host family prior to your departure if they would bear part of the cost, should you need to make use of any NHS services that are subject to charges.
Visitors from non-EEA states, which have signed a reciprocal health agreement with the UK: Citizens of these countries are entitled to NHS hospital treatment (limited to emergency treatment in most cases). Visitors will need to bear the cost of hospitalisation during their stay in the UK, unless they are exempt from charges. Entitlement to specific NHS services depends upon the reciprocal health care agreement with the corresponding state. Therefore, it may be necessary to take out supplementary health and accident insurance for the entire stay in the UK prior to departure. We recommend you to ask your host family prior to your departure if they would be prepared to bear part of the cost of your international insurance.
Visitors from all other states: Citizens from all other countries need to take out an individual health and accident insurance policy for their entire duration of stay in the UK before leaving their countries. It is not possible to contact the NHS upon arrival in the United Kingdom to take out a corresponding insurance policy.
Usually, host families prefer an au pair who has a driving licence. Having enough driving experience is also expected. Please note that people drive on the left in Britain. Make sure that you do not feel uncomfortable about driving there.
Most probably, as an au pair you will be driving the car of your host family. Issues of insurance and liability should be clarified in advance. Should any damages result from an accident, it should be clear who pays for them. Your host family should contact their own insurance company. They can possibly add you to their car insurance for the entire duration of your stay with them.
If you wish to drive in the UK, you should first find out whether or not your driving licence is valid there.
We strongly recommend you to discuss all important details concerning your au pair stay with your future host parents well in advance. On the following page you will find the most important questions you should ask your host family.
Especially au pairs who wish to go to popular host countries like Great Britain (UK) and the USA are often chosen targets of fraudsters. Therefore another of our tips: never send any money, no matter what you are told! Also be cautious if the family profile seems too good to be true. The same applies if you are offered an unusually large amount of pocket money. You can find more information on our Scam page.
Beware: scammers are increasingly passing themselves off as officials working for British authorities. Consult the website of the Home Office to find out more about the different tricks used by fraudsters and how to protect yourself.
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We are continually researching and updating our host country information, but cannot guarantee that all material provided is complete and correct. If you notice gaps or inaccuracies, we would like to hear from you.