Au pair information
What’s an Au Pair?
An au pair in the Netherlands is a young single person between the ages of 18-30 who lives with a family in a country other than his or her own for a maximum of 12 months, helps with general housework and childcare in exchange for room, board and pocket money (stipend).
The au pair program is one of cultural exchange and the au pair must be given the opportunity to learn a foreign language and to experience the culture of the country that he/she is in. In return, the au pair will be asked to perform general household duties (washing and tidying up, laundry, ironing, cooking etc.) and to take care of children during a limited number of hours a day and/or baby-sit at night. The au pair is not an employee but a member of the family and will be treated as such. The au pair usually does not have formal childcare training but must have documented and/or verifiable experience.
Au pair according to Dutch immigration (IND)
There are certain conditions that apply to everyone. In addition to these conditions, you and your host family will have to meet the following criteria:
- You are going to live in the Netherlands temporarily under an exchange program as an au pair via a recognised au pair agency such as House-o-Orange Au Pairs.
- You are 18 years of age or older, but younger than 31 years of age.
- You did not sign a contract with a host family, Dutch or foreign intermediary agency or au pair agency under which you are obliged to pay money or a fine if you fail to perform all or parts of the contract.
- You did not pay a sum of money as deposit to a Dutch or foreign intermediary agency or au pair agency.
- You will not be carrying out work for people who are in need of more specialised care. More specialised care means care duties that require specific skills.
- You and the host family are not family members in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree.
- You did not pay more than €34 in costs for the preparations for your stay in the Netherlands.
- You have not had a residence permit for exchange purposes in the Netherlands before.
- You are going to live with the host family. You will register with the municipality as living at the address of the host family once you have arrived.
- Your host family is registered in the Netherlands in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP) of the municipality where they live.
- Your host family consists of two or more people who either have the Dutch nationality or a valid residence permit for the Netherlands.
- You have not worked for the host family in the Netherlands or abroad before.
- You will perform your au pair duties during a maximum of 5 days per week and for no more than 8 hours per day and a total maximum of 30 hours per week. You will have at least 2 full days off per week.
- You will only perform light domestic work for your host family.
- A schedule between you and your host family sprecifying your daily work routine for all 7 days of the week, must be drawn up and signed by both you and your host family as part of the visa application procedures. The schedule must contain your daily work routine including:
- the number of hours per day that the au pair will do light domestic work;
- which 2 days of the week will be the au pair’s off days;
- what other person performs light domestic work in addition to the au pair.
Your host family must have an independent sufficient and sustainable income.
Other conditions may apply for Turkish nationals and their family members.
What does an Au Pair earn and what other expenses are paid for by the family?
The average stipend in The Netherlands for approx. 30 hrs a week of help, is currently either € 300 or 340 month depending on age and experience. The family that the au pair lives with is fully responsible for the au pair during his/her stay in The Netherlands and will pay for your room and board.
Furthermore, the family will pay for the au pair’s full medical insurance for the duration of his/her stay. If you are from Europe, you will also have to take out a Basic Health insurance and will receive tax compensation for this from our government. The family is responsible for offering you a paid language course (usually a Dutch course but English is also possible) to a maximum of € 350 which you must finish. On top of this, the family will provide a telephone allowance as well as a portion of your travelling expenses to and from your home country if your return travelling expenses are more than € 500 – € 700 depending on your country of origin.
Why should I use an agency to Au Pair in the Netherlands?
By Dutch law an Au Pair in The Netherlands must go through a government recognized Dutch agency. House-o-Orange Au Pairs is one of the oldest (founded in 2000) and most prestigious of such government recognized agencies. We are founding members of the Branch organisation BONAPA and longstanding members of IAPA (International Au Pair Association) and we work according to a carefully crafted code of conduct. We care greatly about our au pairs and each family that applies to hire an au pair through us is taken through a stringent procedure which includes a homecheck and income check. For our South African and Namibian candidates, a weekend long training at our beautiful Cape Town office is included in the selection process. Once you arrive in The Netherlands you will have full support from our staff and will receive regular phone calls, e-mails and invitations from us. You will become an automatic member of our Orange Au Pair Club which is a social club that will allow you to get in touch with other au pairs all around the country and you will receive invitations to our social events, a welcome package and information about language courses, help with your visa process and more. We have an emergency number available for you, will help you with questions and will offer support when you need it. Becoming a House-o-Orange Au Pair means that you will be matched to the best families and will have a full year of support from one of the most professional companies in the industry.
What qualifications do I need in order to become an Au Pair through House-o-Orange Au Pairs?
We are looking for au pairs that truly love children and have the experience to back up the claim. Perhaps you have worked in a school or daycare, have studied teaching or nursing, have done volunteering, have coached younger kids, or have simply been babysitting since your teens; all of these qualifications will help you find a placement. You must be in good health, be flexible on your starting date and be available for at least 6 months if you have an EU passport or 12 months if you are not from the EU. In exceptional cases we can place candidates on a 10 month visa, please enquire via email@example.com to see if you qualify. We do not place candidates who smoke so if you want to au pair, make sure that you have kicked that bad habit. You must also be able to provide us with a clean criminal record and we do not place candidates who are married or have children of their own. The age bracket is 18-30 and we can place both boys and girls although it takes longer to place boys and they have to be super qualified. Most of our families have up to 3 kids and we like candidates that understand that and can care for multiple children. A driver’s license is not a prerequisite but you should be able to cycle comfortably and to be able to ride a ” bakfitets” or cargo bike that most of our families have, you have to be at least 1.55 meters tall. We are looking for candidates that have a variety of hobbies, that are sporty and if you are musical, so much the better! Our families and their kids love an au pair who plays piano or sings. But hockey or soccer players are very popular too! Are you creative? Do you enjoy arts & crafts? Great! Our families and their kids will love you! So what are you waiting for? Apply now by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or start your on-line application here:
How much will it cost to become an au pair through House-o-Orange and what’s the process?
Once your application is received we will let you know whether or not we think we can place you and if we have a partner agency in your home country we will forward your application to them. If we do not have a partner agency but like your application, we can work with you directly. Unfortunately we are not able to work with candidates from the Philippines and other African countries apart from South Africa and Namibia (unless you reside in Cape Town and have a residence permit for RSA). We are at the moment investigating whether or not we can work with candidates from Venezuala. If you are in doubt if you qualify, please contact us and we can discuss your options with your directly. Once you have been accepted into the program, you will be charged 34 Euro’s or the equivalent in your own currency, either by us or by our partner agent. You are not to pay more than that although some of our partner agents may ask you to pay for your own airfare. Please query us if you are unsure of any payment. You are also going to have to pay for your own passport, medical tests in your home country, clean criminal record and transport to the airport. In most cases you will be paying € 500 – € 700 for your own airfare.
What should I do to register with House-o Orange Au Pairs?
Au Pair candidates should contact a local agent in their country of origin and South African or Namibian candidates should contact our Cape Town office via email@example.com . We prefer to work through a network of agencies that are part of IAPA. An IAPA agency can be found through www.iapa.org. We are sometimes able to work with au pairs directly, please e-mail us to find out if you qualify for a direct placement firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have au paired before (in the USA or Scandinavia for instance) you can apply directly through our on-line system:
Tulips, clogs, canals, windmills, cheese, soccer, water, the little boy with his finger in the dyke, tolerance, red light district, Amsterdam and legals coffeeshops is generally the first thing that comes to mind when non-Dutchies are questioned about Holland. But the Kingdom of the Netherlands is much more than that!
Did you know that Holland is the most densely populated country in Europe? That the capital is in fact Amsterdam but that the government is seated in The Hague? And that the Dutch are known for the color orange? Why, you ask? Because it’s the color of our Royal Family, the House of Orange. That’s why we dress in orange and paint our faces at soccer matches, at the Olympics and on April 27th (a typically Dutch national holiday, known as the King’s b-day and that’s also why our agency has borrowed that name! We decided to make it a bit more playful by dropping the letter “f ” from the word ” of ” ; probably not the best choice because a lot of people seem to think that it’s a typo! It’s not! So now you know…!
More great things about Holland; we love to practice foreign languages and you will find that most people speak English, some French as well as German. Because Holland is so small and our public transportation system is excellent, you will generally not need to drive. Get on a train and go to Paris (about 4 hrs from Amsterdam) or take a bus downtown. Join your host family in trips to Germany (2 hrs), Belgium (an hour) or Switzerland (about 10 hrs) or be even more adventurous and hop on a plane to Italy, Greece, Spain or any of the Scandinavian countries. London is only an hour or so by plane and Ireland is also just around the corner. In fact, the Dutch feel that Holland is the center of Europe and if you look at a map, you can see why !
Holland-links for further reading
We are proud to announce that as of now we will be able to offer a full fledged au pair program for all parts of Belgium! We have interviewers that are able to interview families in all parts of Belgium (Vlaanderen, Brussels, Wallonie) and are aware of all that is needed in terms of work permits and visa requirements. We will also be able to organize Orange Au Pair Club outings in cities like Brussels, Antwerpen and Gent.
The au pair program for Belgium differs from the program in Holland and we have specific candidates available from Eastern Europe, South Africa and Peru who want to au pair in Belgium only. These candidates can be viewed by clicking on au pair profiles. If there is a candidate that you like, let us know and we can check to see if she would like to au pair in Begium.
How much will it cost to hire an au pair or nanny through House o Orange or to become one?
An au pair in Belgium is allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours a week and cannot be older than 25 or younger than 18 when applying for a work permit. Costs for the different au pair programs in Belgium are as follows:
|Monthly au pair stipend||minimum of € 450|
|Au pair insurance per month||€ 45|
|Cost for applying for a workpermit||€ 250|
|Agency fee for a regular au pair||€ 1050|
|Agency fee for an au pair PLUS||€ 1250|
|Agency fee for a Nanny||€ 2000|
In Belgium, the family is obliged to offer and pay for the au pair’s language course. A contribution towards airfare (for all au pairs) and in some cases pre-paid airfare is required for an au pair from South Africa, South America or Australia.
Au Pair in Belgium v.s. Nanny in Belgium
|Au pair is between 18-25||Nanny is 20 yrs old or older|
|Au pair does not have any formal training||Nanny has training and experience|
|Au pair does not always drive||Nanny generally drives|
|Au pair 2-12 month placements possible||Nanny 6-12 month placements possible|
|Difference in costs per month:||Au Pair||Nanny|
|Allowance||€ 450||negotiable salary, € 1000 and up|
|Orange AP Club||included||included|
|Agency||€ 100||€ 180|
|Monthly cost on average||€ 750||€ 1500 (incl. tax)|
Is there an au pair PLUS program in Belgium?
Yes, We do offer an au pair PLUS program for Belgium. The au pair PLUS will have been an au pair before (often in Holland) and will be older and more experienced. She will require a bonus at the end of her stay and a 3 week paid holiday.
What is the difference between an au pair and a nanny?
An au pair is a young person who comes to Belgium as part of a cultural exchange program and wants to learn more about Belgian culture and our language. A Nanny is someone who is part of a working program and comes to Belgium in order to work with children. A sofi-number is required and taxes and such must be paid both by the employer and by the nanny. We only place a few nannies a year, either from the EU (Ireland for instance) or from Australia (on a working holiday visa). Monthly cost for a nanny would be around 1500-2000 Euro.
Belgium-links for further reading
Are you interested in becoming an au pair in Belgium or do you live in Belgium and would you like to hire an au pair or nanny?
Download our Au Pair-form or our Family-form or send us an e-mail.