Au pair duties and responsibilities

As an au pair, you live with a host family and look after the children of the family together with your host parents. You receive free room and board and earn weekly pocket money. You are more than a nanny, because you take part in the everyday home life of your host family and are actively involved in the daily routines of the children. Aside from your au pair duties, you enjoy plenty of free time and are entitled to paid holidays (number of days depends on the country and the programme length), which you can spend however you please. Living abroad as an au pair is the perfect way to immerse yourself deeply into the culture and language of your host country!

A typical day as an Au pair

Every day is different, no two days are alike. AuPairCare au pair Daria lived in Boston, USA and looked after two boys (aged 5 and 2) and a little baby girl (2 months old). In this video, she shows you what a typical day in her life as an au pair looked like.

Your tasks as an Au pair

Taking care of children is a huge responsibility, but it also comes with many perks and benefits. Anyone who takes care of kids knows that they never get bored and can bring a lot of joy into your life. Little ones are always on the run and bring out your creative side, your talent for improvisation and - of course - put your patience to the test.

Au pair activities can be varied and always depend on the age and the number of children you have to look after. Maybe you will live in a family with very young children who are not yet going to school or kindergarten and will be mainly responsible for playing, dressing and feeding them. If there are school children in your host family, daily homework supervision will probably also be one of your tasks and duties as an au pair. In order to give you a better impression of the classic childcare activities that you can expect as an au pair, you will find an overview below:

Au pair task cooking
Preparing food
Au pair task school
Picking up kids from school
Au pair task playing
Playing with kids

The tasks of an au pair are contractually regulated. All duties are strictly related to the care of your host children. Your tasks may also include minor household duties like washing the children's clothes. However, heavy physical work such as house cleaning or garden work may not be given to you. Since your duties will be clearly defined and limited in your au pair contract, you don't have to worry that your au pair work will consist mainly of household work such as cleaning. 

Au pair task driving
Driving kids to school or playdates
Au pair task feeding
Feeding babies
Au pair task laundry
Doing the kids' laundry

Why wait any longer?

Can't wait to start your everyday life as an au pair? Fill out your online application today!

Your spare time as an Au pair

Your host children and their care are the focus of your au pair stay. Since you do not have to work 24/7 as an au pair, you will still have a lot of leisure time: evenings, free weekends or holidays - you can make full use of your free time! All au pairs are entitled to their own room, so you have your own personal space and privacy.

Whether you choose to spend your personal time sightseeing, shopping, exploring a new hobby or hanging out with friends - there are no limits to your freedom. You decide for yourself how you want to schedule your free time.

Make friends with other Au pairs

Au pair Leben Freunde

Before your departure, you will receive the contact info of au pairs who will live or are already living with a host family in your area. In most countries, your local coordinator will organize regular meet ups where you can get to know other au pairs, discuss challenges or share your positive experiences. During their time abroad, many au pairs make friendships that last a lifetime! 

However, your circle of friends will not consist exclusively of other au pairs, but also include new acquaintances and friends that you meet outside the programme, for instance while attending college courses or in the gym during your free time.  

Au pair Life Instagram
Pictures can reveal more than a thousand words! Our AuPairCare Au Pairs give you the best information about how life as an Au Pair really looks like. Follow their true stories and experiences first hand!

Travel and discover your host country

Au pair Leben Reisen

Your au pair year is the perfect opportunity to get to know the most beautiful corners of your host country! You have at least one free weekend per month and paid holidays to travel or meet new friends. After your stay with your host family, your visa allows you to remain in the US for one more month and for up to six more months in Australia and New Zealand. Plan ahead, because there's a lot to discover: the Rocky Mountains in the USA, Australia's white sandy beaches, New Zealand's breathtaking nature or England's medieval cities. Take advantage of your travel time and give your au pair stay a grand finale!

College Courses as an Au pair in the USA

College Au pair USA

In the US, you can get up to $ 500 from your host family for courses at a college or another educational institution. Consult your supervisor if you are unsure which courses you would like to attend. Experiencing college allows you to find new friends and get a taste of university life in the US. You must earn at least 6 credits, equivalent to about 60 hours a year, in order to successfully complete your au pair year.

 

The following courses are especially popular with au pairs:

  • Foreign languages, eg Spanish, Japanese or sign language

  • Art, eg Art Class, Graphic Design, Filmmaking

  • USA related courses, z.B. American Culture, American History, American Holidays

Questions and Answers

  • How is my vacation as an au pair regulated? Read more

    You are entitled to a minimum number of paid vacation days which is set in your au pair contract and depends on your destination and the length of your stay. In the US, the number of vacation days is regulated by the rules of the official US au pair programme. In other countries you are free to negotiate certain terms of your contract with your host family, e.g. the exact number of vacation days. 
    It is best to schedule your vacation time together with your host family, as they will have to arrange other childcare options during this time. If you are accompanying your host family on holiday trips, you should agree in advance whether this time will be deducted from your vacation days and is intended for you as leisure time or whether you will also work regularly during this time.

     

     

  • How am I insured during my au pair programme? Read more

    Our Au pair programme package includes an all-round insurance, which consists of health, accident, baggage and liability insurance. The insurance cover is valid for the duration of the au pair programme, i.e. for at least 6 months. Your travel time after the programme is not covered. However, you do have the option to extend the insurance at your own expense. Please read the entire insurance policy carefully before you travel and familiarize yourself with any exclusion criteria. Find out more about your au pair insurance in our guide section.