Au pair contract: What's included and templates for different countries

(Also to be found with keywords Au pair contract, Contract and Invitation letter)

The au pair contract is a very important document for every au pair stay. It lets the au pair and the host family make clear written agreements about important elements of the upcoming au pair stay, such as the au pair tasks, the pocket money, the working hours and holiday times. This gives everyone involved a clear and secure basis for making their plans.

A person signing a contract

What should be included in the au pair contract?

The first section of the contract specifies the general conditions of the stay:

  • Duration of the stay
  • Language that the au pair will be speaking together with the host family
  • Starting date of the au pair stay

The second section gives information about the host family and its obligations to the au pair: 

  • General information about the family, including the children
  • Information about the place where the family lives and the room available for the au pair
  • Pocket money paid to the au pair
  • Free time and holidays of the au pair
  • Details regarding au pair insurance

The third section specifies the duties of the au pair:

The period of notice for terminating the au pair contract should also be specified. Any additional miscellaneous agreements between the au pair and the family can also be included in this section.

Who should prepare the au pair contract?

Usually the host family will draft the au pair contract. To get ready for this, the au pairs and the host family should discuss the various points that will be included in the contract (pocket money, tasks, hours, etc.). Then the host family will typically prepare a draft version of the contract including these points. The au pair can then review the draft contract and give her/his okay. Only then should the contract be printed and signed by the au pair and the family. Both parties should get a copy of the contract, which can then be used tas needed in connection with travel or visa arrangements.

Under no circumstances should an au pair start working without an au pair contract. If your host family suggests that you you begin your au pair stay without a contract, then please contact us.

When should the au pair contract be drafted?

The au pair contract is prepared and signed before the au pair stay begins. This way there is enough time to discuss arrangements and reach a mutually acceptable agreement - or to decide that the family or au pair is not the right one and that your respective expectations do not match sufficiently to plan an au pair stay together.

Is there an official contract for the au pair stay?

Some countries, such as Germany, France or Belgium have an official au pair contract that must be used. In others, the European au pair contract template can be used and is widely accepted for bureaucratic purposes.

Au pair contract provisions for different host countries

Country Is there an official au pair contract for this country?
Australia: Au pair contract information No. We recommend using the European au pair contract template.
Austria: Au pair contract information Yes, and the contract must be prepared in German.
Belgium: Au pair contract information Yes. For the different regions of Belgium (Brussels, Wallonia, Flanders) there are also different contract versions.
Canada: Au pair contract information No. We recommend using the European au pair contract template.
Denmark: Au pair contract information Yes. The contract is included in the application for the residence permit.
Finland: Au pair contract information No. We recommend using the European au pair contract template.
France: Au pair contract information Yes. There are different contracts for EU au pairs and non-EU au pairs. 
Germany: Au pair contract information Yes. Non-EU au pairs also need an invitation letter in addition to the contact.
Iceland: Au pair contract information Yes. It is available on the website for Icelandic immigration.
Ireland: Au pair contract information No. We recommend using the European au pair contract template.
Italy: Au pair contract information No. We recommend using the European au pair contract template in the Italian language.
Japan: Au pair contract information No. We recommend using the European au pair contract template.
Liechtenstein: Au pair contract information Yes. The contract is provided by the Liechtenstein state administration. 
Luxembourg: Au pair contract information Yes, a template contract is available.
Netherlands: Au pair contract information Yes. The au pair stay must be organised by an officially recognised agency which issues the contract.
New Zealand: Au pair contract information No. We recommend using the European au pair contract template.
Norway: Au pair contract information Yes, the official standard contract is required for arrangements with various authorities. 
Spain: Au pair contract information No. We recommend using the European au pair contract template.
Sweden: Au pair contract information No. We recommend using the European au pair contract template.
Swizterzland: Au pair contract information Yes. The contract is issued by the responsible employment office authorities in the canton.
UK: Au pair contract information No. We recommend using the European au pair contract template.
USA: Au pair contract information Yes. Au pair stays in the USA must be organised through an officially designated agency, which is also responsible for the contract.

Au pair contracts for other countries

If you need a contract for another country not listed here, we recommend using the template for the standard European au pair contract, which can then be adjusted for your particular requirements.

Related information

How do I find a suitable au pair?
How to prepare for your first au pair