Good preparation = Good security

You've searched and found an au pair or a host family who seems just right and you're ready to move ahead. Now lots of contact and shared information are the best way to ensure that you will have a great (and safe) experience.



PreperationThe au pair and the host family each have a role to play in getting ready. And they also need to work together for good preparation!


Tips for au pairs
Tips for host families
After making a decision
  • Find out about your future host family and your au pair duties

    The best way to find your perfect match is by being in regular contact with potential host families via email, Skype or telephone.

    Continue these regular conversations with your chosen family to be safe and prepared for the stay.

    Au pair looking for information on the Internet

    Follow these tips to be well-prepared for your upcoming au pair experience and to maximise your security by being well-informed:

    • Use our preparation questions to be sure to cover all the important topics in your conversations with a future host family.
    • See if it is possible to talk to the current or a former au pair who has worked for your host family. Ask the family if contact details are available. If so, then you can get in touch by phone or Skype or email and get a firsthand report about what to expect in the family. 
    • Another way to find out more about a host family is to ask for references from third parties.
    • Once you have signed the au pair contract, plan your trip to your new host country and host family carefully. We have detailed tips for you in “How do I plan my trip?
  • Find out about your future au pair and let him or her know what to expect

    The best way to find your perfect match is by being in regular contact with potential au pairs via email, Skype or telephone. This also helps you to get a better idea of your au pair's language skills.

    Continue these regular conversations with your chosen au pair to be safe and prepared for the stay.

    Host family writing an email to her future au pair

    Follow these tips to be sure that you and your au pair are ready for the upcoming au pair experience:

    • Use our preparation questions to be sure to cover all the important topics in your conversations with a future au pair.
    • Does your preferred au pair live in a neighbouring country? Why not invite him or her over to get to know each other personally.
    • Another possibility to learn more about your future temporary family member is to ask the au pair to provide you with some references. The au pair's teachers, former or current employers, or families who employed your au pair as a babysitter could be good sources for references.
    • Having a well structured situation for your au pair before he or she arrives is a key first step for safety. Read our detailed tips in “How to prepare for your first au pair
  • Specify your mutual expectations in the au pair contract

    The au pair contract is a document that lets the au pair and the host family come to a clear agreement about what they expect from each other. Both parties need to take the contract seriously and use it as a communication tool for their mutual protection.

    Preparing an au pair contract is a key step for being well prepared for an upcoming au pair stay. Sample contracts for various countries and languages are available on our website.

    After taking a decision

    These sample contracts can be supplemented with specific points that are important for you, which should be discussed in preparatory communication (telephone, Skype, email) before the au pair placement begins. When the points are written down everyone benefits from having clear and well-defined conditions. For example: 

    • What will the typical weekly working schedule of the au pair be?
    • How many hours will the au pair work each day and week?
    • What specific duties besides childcare will be expected of the au pair?
    • Will the au pair need to drive a car?
    • Will the host family help with expenses for a language course?
    • What are the specific arrangements for insurance for the au pair?
    • Who are the contact persons for the au pair in the event of an emergency?
    • Will the au pair receive support from the host family to pay for public transportation?
    • Is smoking allowed in the home of the host family?
    • What possibilities will there be for Internet use?
    • Will the au pair receive a mobile telephone for use during the au pair placement?

    When both the host family and the au pair have clearly formulated ideas what to expect for the au pair placement, they can be better prepared – mentally and practically. And as we know, better preparation means better safety.

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