Definition of a host family

(Also to be found with keywords Host family)

A host family is a family (this includes single-parent families) with at least one child who is 17 years of age or younger living with them under the same roof that hosts an au pair for a defined period of time. 

The au pair helps the host family take care of the children and also performs minor household tasks. In exchange, the host family offers free board and lodging to their au pair and in some cases also pays pocket money. Au pairs, however, are not there to serve simply as domestic help. The family invites the au pair for a fixed period of time and treats him or her like a member of the family. In addition, the au pair is entitled to a separate bedroom in the family's home.

In the context of the au pair placement, the focus is laid upon the mutual cutural exchange between au pairs and host families. Au pairs also improve their linguistic skills in the national language of their host country. The families help their au pairs by communicating with them in this language. Au pairs should also be offered the opportunity to attend a language course.
Whether it is the au pairs or the families who pay for the language course depends on prevailing practice in the relevant host country. The same applies with the cost of insurance, travel and mobility. You will find more information on the regulations of the different host countries on our pages Info host countries.

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