FAQs from au pair

FAQs from au pair

Below you find a list with frequently asked questions for the "Au Pair" (click on the question to get your answer):

1. What is difference between au pair and nanny?

An au pair belongs to part of a culture exchange program. An au pair is not an employee of a family, but will be considered as a member of the host family. The au pair will share responsibilities and have their own space and full privacy. Their main purpose is to experience. Experience the culture and language. However, the au pair program is to be considered as a “working experience”.

A nanny is an employee of the family. His or her main responsibility is to take care of the children while arrange the household solely depending on their job description. Their purpose is to work. Most of them have qualifications and are certified childcare workers.

2.Why do au pairs need to help with household chores?

It is considered “division of functions and responsibility sharing”. Everyone in the family contributes to the family life. Even the 5 year olds. One of the functions of the parents is to work to support the family financially and one of the function of the au pair is to help the host parents to take care of the younger children in the family and manage household chores.

3. What if there is a conflict with the host family?

Au pair bureau HELDER encourages open, direct and honest communication. If there is a conflict, the best policy is to talk about it with the host parents and try to solve it first. Conflict is part of life’s experience and we learn from it. If talking and communicating does not help, you can always call us. One of our roles is as a mediator. We will provide our objective opinion.


4. What if one or both parties decide to end the contract prematurely?

Sometimes it does happen that things don’t work out, no matter how hard we try. In that case, the au pair bureau will take the role as the caregiver of the program seriously. We will handle everything professionally including finding alternatives and finalize administration so that the au pair can return safely to their home country.


5. Is the rights of au pairs well protected?

The rights of au pairs are well protected by the Dutch government and various branch organizations, including the IND (Bureau of Immigration and Naturalisation Service) which is part of the Ministry of Justice and Security; and Branche Organisatie van Nederlandse Au Pair Agentschappen  (Bonapa), membership organization of Dutch au pair agencies. Bonapa defends the collective and individual interests of the au pairs and host family. The Dutch government set up a special service line for au pairs in the Netherlands:  0610823594.


6. What are the obligation of the host family in terms of promoting cultural exchange?

The host family should pay for the language course (up to max. EUR 350). They will need to pay for the museum cards and cultural events and training which are organized by the au pair bureau. They are encouraged to take their au pair to cultural events and family activities.

7. Why do au pairs need to pay for the flight ticket?

We think both participants in the au pair program need to be committed to the decision they make. The host family will be required to take on most of the program costs. We believe it is the least that the au pair can do to pay for their own transportation to and from their home country. But the host family might consider contributing to the travel costs, as a form of reward.