A host family has at least one child under the age of 16 and invites an au pair from a foreign country for a defined period of time to join in family life. Single parents also qualify as host families if their children live with them on a permanent basis. The au pair lives with the host family just as a regular family member and participates in family activities.
The main duty of an au pair living with a host family is looking after the children and helping with light housework. In return, the family provide their au pair with free board and a room of his or her own in the family home. They also pay the au pair an agreed amount of pocket money. (The amount of pocket money and working hours are defined by the regulations of the respective host country). The au pair should have the possibility to improve his/her language skills by attending a language course.