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Working as an Au Pair in Germany

What is Au pair?

An Au pair is a person from a foreign country that lives with a host family while taking part in family responsibilities like caring for children and doing light household duties. In return, an Au pair gets a financial allowance. Au pair programs are regulated and controlled by the government rules and regulations. These specify that an Au pair should be between 18 and 26 years of age.
 

What are the duties of an  Au pair?

 

  • The roles of an Au pair during her stay with the host family vary widely. These depend on the way the host family organises and runs their family life. 

  • Basically the Au pair supports the host family with children. The usual schedule of an Au pair involves:

  • Taking care of infant children and taking them to school or Kindergarten and sometimes to events if any.

  • Playing with them and taking them on walks.

  • Helping out with simple housework like: preparing breakfast and simple meals, caring for the pets in the home, washing  and ironing clothes, cleaning and keeping the house orderly.

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What duration is work and free time  of Au pair?

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What should Au pairs not do?

The duties of an Au pair in the the host family are not to take care of the sick and elderly in he family. For example grandparents of host parents that live in the neighbourhood or lying in the hospital.

The whole purpose of the Au pair program is to help Au pairs improve their German language and also learn more about the German culture. 

Au pairs should also be vigilant not to do work that is not stupulated in the Au pair contract. If you are asked to do more of such work, this should be agreed upon by both parties.

 

 

The duration of an Au pair year should be one year. For non EU citizens like Ugandans, the least is six months. After one year, the Au pair can still be hired by the same host family.

 

Au pairs are supposed to work a maximum of six hours daily and 30 hours per week. However, according to the Au pairs' arrangements with the host family. For example, in cases of overtime work in the house, this must be compensated with free time. 

It is also important to note that private and personal duties in the house are not regarded as Au pair duties. These may include one's room, watching clothes and doing private shopping. There is basically no specific household routine for Au pairs in the guest house. This is usually organised according to the family's schedule and habits.

The Au pair must at least take a full day off per week. This however, does not have to be on a weekend. In one month one of these day offs must be at least a Sunday. In addition to that, they must be granted at least four free evenings per week. 

 

The Au pair must also be given time to attend language courses, religious activities, cultural events and excursions in town.

What happens if the host family is on holiday?

As the host family has the possibility to take holiday from their busy schedules, the Au pair must also take "paid" holiday. If an Au pair has been working for a family for a year, he/she is entitled to four weeks paid holiday. If this is not the case, the Au pair must take 2 days of paid holiday each full month.

When the host family has holidays away from home, they sometime take the Au pair with them. If this is the case, the Au pair is expected to under take some duties concerning the kids while on holiday, for example caring for them and their well-being. However, please note that some families consider the family holiday as holiday for the Au pair as well if the duties they are to perform are just simple and can be performed by the family themselves with out the Au pair.

If the host family does not take the Au pair with them on holiday, the Au pair is not allowed to work for another family, neighbours, friends or any other person.

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What other benefits does a host family provide to an Au pair?

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Meals and Accomodation

Accormodation and meals are provided by the hosting family in Germany. The Au pair must have his/her own room in the homestead of the host family. The Au pair should also eat with the family and not to keep in his/her  room all the time. The Au pair should eat the same food as the host family as a normal family member unless organised differently among the Au pair and host family. In case the Au pair wants a different arrangement due to dietry restrictions, they should agree upon that with the host family from the beginning, i.e. during their introduction and application of the Au pair program.

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Health, Accident and Pregnacy Insurance

During the Au pair year, the Au pair should have the opportunity to learn the German language and culture more. This way, the Au pair will be able to also integrate not only in the host family but also in the day to day life of Germans. This should be done however, in the free time.

The fees for the language courses must be paid by the host family. This amounts to 600 Euro in the year or 50 per month. The payment methods can be agreed upon by the Au pair and the host family. It can be paid per month at a flat rate of 50 Euro or as a whole amount of the Au pair year of 600 Euro. The cost of other events must be met by the Au pair themselves.

Health, Accident and Pregnacy Insurance

The host family must also pay, in addition to language course, meals and accommodation, health insurance and accident insurance. The health insurance covers sickness, pregnancy and birth, while the accident insurance only accidents. All these insurance must be paid by the host family and not deducted from the Au pair's pocket money.

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Payments and benefits

The main purpose of the Au pair program is for the Au pair to improve his/her German language skills. Through this program the Au pair can, if possible acquire professional work experience and also understand the culture and the way of life of Germans. It is therefore, important to understand that Au pair is not a normal job and the Au pair does not receive a normal salary but what is called,"Pocket money."

By the year 2021 this amount is 280 Euros per month. This amount is independent of the number of hours they work for in host family. It is also important to note that Au pairs have to meet their travel expenses to and back to their country of origin.

What requirements are needed and how do I apply for the Au pair program?

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At the beginning of the Au pair program, the Au pair must be at least 18 years of age and maximum 26 years by the time of their application. The Au pair can be married as long as they still fall in the required age range.

The Au pair is expected to have the basic skills of the German language. These skills are expected to be competent at the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The common institute that issues such an exam is the Goethe Institute. The Goethe institute has many small centers in different countries that issue the same exam and send it to German. Such a center are called Goethe Zentrum. The required exam is called Start Deutsch 1 .

At this level a person is expected to understand and use common and simple daily expression including short sentences like greetings and asking for directions. At this level of German language a person 

is expected to be able to describe things they own and what is around them.

In addition to that, when speaking to someone, who is slowly speaking back to them, they can be able to understand each other. At the time of application, the Au pair must obtain an Au pair visa if coming from a non EU country like Uganda. One of the requirements for the Au pair visa is a passed (60% minimum) exam of Start Deutsch 1 and the contract from the host family stipulating the terms and conditions of the Au pair work and relationship. In addition to the approval requisition or application, the SD1 test results have to be sent to the Bundesagentur für Arbeit.

The Au pair is not supposed to be  related to their host family in any way. The host family can consist of parents that are either married or not married . These can also either be of the same sex or of opposite sex. If an Au pair is not fine with a same sex or unmarried couple, they should discuss this and honestly mention it to their prospect host family. Some host parents are single with atleast one child and this is also considered a normal Germany in Germany.

The host  family should have atleast one child under 18 years in the host family. This child should be a permanent member of the house and living continuously in the host family. Therefore, for the Au pair program, a host family must include atleast one child.

 

Age and Marital Status

German Language Skills

Other requirements

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