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The Au Pair Contract: Why You Need It and What It Should Say

Everything host families need to know about creating an au pair contract.

One way to ensure that the au pair experience will be a success is for both the host family and the au pair to know exactly what they are letting themselves in for. An au pair contract is the best way to do this.  

Before your au pair arrives, devise a contract together to ensure that your expectations are clearly aligned. Including all the rules and expectations in the contract will help both sides if there is ever a dispute.  

Looking for an au pair? Find one now on Care.com.  

What to include in the au pair contract: 

1. Job duties  

The main duty of the au pair is to look after the host family’s children. They are also expected to engage in some light housework. When drawing up the au pair contract, it is important to be very specific in the duties you expect the au pair to take care of and include every task you expect them to do. 

It might be a good idea to include a plan of what a typical day will look like for them.  

2. Hours, pay and meals 

Along with a clearly defined schedule, your contract should state how much the au pair will be paid. State how much pocket money they will receive once their room and board is factored in. Include who will pay for the language course that they will attend.  

The contract should also state when and how they will be paid. Will you transfer it into a bank account once a month or pay them in cash every Saturday? Whatever arrangement you agree on, you must stick to it. Stipulate that any extra babysitting hours will be compensated.  

As au pairs are treated as one of the family, it is the host's duty to provide three meals a day which are generally eaten with the family. You can request that your au pair inform you if they have other plans for one of the regular meals. 

It is important to know the tax laws of your country and if you and your au pair are required to report tax. If so, include this in the contract.     

3. Time off  

Clearly state what days the au pair will have off. Au pairs generally have two days off per week and are given time to attend their language course.  

Discuss what holidays the au pair will get off and write it in the contract. Also include any paid holidays. Au pairs should receive two weeks paid time off for every six months.  

4. Holidays 

This is also the place to decide whether your au pair is expected to come with your family on your own holiday. If so, include their wages, hours they will be working and the duties that are expected of them. If you do not wish the au pair to travel with you, this must be included in the contract.  

5. Transportation  

Will you be needing the au pair to transport your children in a car? Will they use their own car or yours? Who will pay for their insurance? Who pays for the fuel? These are all questions to work out with your au pair and include in the au pair contract.  

If driving a car is not necessary, outline which modes of public transport they are allowed to bring your children on. 

6. Personal space 

This is something that is worth having clear guidelines on. You can ensure your au pair that their private room will remain private. Members of the host family should not enter the au pairs bedroom and should respect their personal property and privacy. However, you can also include that the au pair is required to clean their room, for example, once a week.  

Similarly, you can agree that the au pair will not enter your bedroom, unless instructed to do so.  

7. House rules and guidelines 

This is where you include any house rules that you have, and you set out a curfew. However, it is important to keep in mind that the au pair is (most likely) an adult and should have free reign over their time off. However, it is acceptable to impose a reasonable curfew if they are minding your children the following day.  

You can include details about your children here, such as any allergies or dietary requirements that the au pair should be aware of.  

8. Social media  

Social media usage is another aspect that can be covered in the contract. If you are not happy with the au pair posting images of your children or from inside your home, write this in the contract.  

9. Listen to your au pair 

It is important that you fully engage with the au pair prior to their arrival. Just as you want to know exactly what to expect, so does your au pair. Negotiate the contract together and agree on all the points before they arrive.  

Having a comprehensive contract that details exactly what the host family and au pair are to expect will set your relationship off to a great start and hopefully result in a rewarding au pair experience.  

Here is a contract template that you can adjust to suit you and your au pair’s requirements: 

Duration 

Start and end date. 

Home Address 

 

Work Schedule 

Should cover all seven days of the week and include the total daily and weekly hours your au pair will work. 

Job Responsibilities  

Overview of what the au pair will do. Include list of detailed tasks and timelines. 

Pay and Meals  

The amount of pocket money they will receive and the amount deducted for room and board. Include three meals per day that will be provided by the host family.  

Time Off 

What hours and days the au pair will have off. 

Holidays 

Include information about holiday expectations and paid vacation. 

Transportation  

Should include if the au pair is required to drive, what transport they can use with children and who pays for the cost.  

Personal Space  

The au pair requires their own private room. Respect each other’s privacy.  

House Rules and Guidelines 

Include any house rules, allergies, dietary requirements. Decide with your au pair on a workday curfew.  

Social Media Policy 

Explain what is appropriate use of social media such as whether or not they are allowed share photos of your children.  

Language Course 

Include who will choose the language school and who will pay for it.  

 

Read Next: 5 Things That Change When You Hire an Au Pair 

Read Next: Everything You Need to Know About Hiring an Au Pair 

Read Next: How to Interview an Au Pair    

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