Do I need an agency for my au pair stay?

(Also to be found with keywords Agency requirement and Au pair agency)

For European countries there is no obligation to organise the au pair stay through an agency except for the Netherlands and Switzerland. In addition, au pairs stays in the USA must be organised through an officially designated agency. When working with an agency it is still possible to use the AuPairWorld platform to search for a good match.

Woman with open Arms in front of the Ocean

Citizens of the European Union have right to free movement throughout the countries of the European Union and can organise their activities as they wish in other EU countries. The agency requirement in the Netherlands is therefore an exception. AuPairWorld works together with qualified partner agencies in the Netherlands, Switzerland and the USA (see below) to support au pair-host family matching via the AuPairWorld platform.

Do I really need an agency to organise my au pair stay?

In many countries, it is entirely possible to organise an au pair stay without an agency. Edwina and Hanna were both au pairs. One found her family at AuPairWorld, the other through an agency. Watch their video to find out what worked best and why.

Do I need an agency for my au pair stay? | AuPairWorld

An agency is required in these countries to organise an au pair stay

The Netherlands

According to the law, Dutch host families and their future au pairs have to turn to a recognised au pair agency in the Netherlands, a so-called "sponsor", so as to submit the au pair application and handle the necessary administrative paperwork.

AuPairWorld has partnered with Au Pair International, one official sponsor, so that you can manage the au pair search with AuPairWorld and then the paperwork with Au Pair International.


In Switzerland, au pairs from non-EU countries need to pass through an agency designated by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. AuPairWorld's partner agency for au pair stays in Switzerland is Wind Connections. Families and au pairs can make a pre-match using the AuPairWorld platform and families can then register for the services of Wind Connections. 


In the USA, the government stipulates that au pairs and host families must use one of the designated agencies in order to organise their legal au pair stay. The agency helps with the application for the required J1 visa. The partner agency of AuPairWorld in the USA is Cultural Care.

Find a prematch on AuPairWorld prior to choosing an agency

Why do I still find American host families and au pairs who wish to go to the USA on AuPairWorld? Au pairs and host families search and find each other on their own on AuPairWorld. This also works for the USA as a host country: host families and au pairs can make their choice according to their own criteria (prematching) as a first step. In the second step, they need to agree on one of the designated agencies. You can find more information in our information on the au pair program in the USA and in the FAQs on the USA.