Do you consider to work as a nanny in Europe? In Germany you can live together with families and look after their kids for up to one year. In this time you can learn German. We explain how to work as Au pair in Germany as international.
Understanding the au pair program in Germany
If you are interested in working as a nanny in Germany go sure to understand what the au pair program in Germany is. The au pair program in Germany is regulated by the German government, and there are specific requirements that both the host family and the au pair must meet. As an au pair, you will be living with a German family and taking care of their children. In return, you will receive free accommodation, food, and a monthly allowance.
To be eligible for the program, you must be between 18 and 26 years old, have basic knowledge of the German language, and have no criminal record. You should also have some experience in taking care of children.
Find a host family
The next step is to find a suitable host family. There are several ways to do this, such as using an au pair agency, searching online, or networking with friends and family. It is essential to communicate with the host family before making any commitments to ensure that you are a good match.
Apply for a visa
As an au pair, you will need a visa to enter Germany unless you are a EU citicen. You can apply for a visa at the German embassy or consulate in your home country. To apply, you will need a valid passport, a letter of invitation from your host family, and proof of health insurance.
Register with the local authorities
Once you arrive in Germany, you must register with the local authorities (‘Ausländerbehörde’) within two weeks. This registration process is called Anmeldung, and it is mandatory for everyone living in Germany. You will need your passport, visa, and rental agreement to complete the registration.
Attend a language course
One of the requirements of the au pair program is that you attend a language course during your stay in Germany. This course is an excellent opportunity to improve your German language skills and make new friends. Your host family will provide you with the necessary information to enroll in a course.
Sign a contract with your host family
Before starting your au pair duties, you must sign a contract with your host family. The contract should include details such as working hours, days off, and the monthly allowance. It is essential to read the contract carefully and ask for clarification if you have any doubt.
Checklist for applicants
You should meet the following conditions:
- You can apply from any country. Your citizenship is not relevant. You do not need a visa for Germany when you apply – you can apply for one as soon as you receive an au pair contract with a German family through us.
- You are at least 18 years old, but younger than 27 years.
- You have basic knowledge of the German language (level A1). If you do not come from the EU, your language skills will usually be checked at the embassy / consulate in a conversation about everyday topics before you get a visa for Germany.
- Your assignment as an Au-Pair should be about 3-4 months after your application – this time is needed for finding a suitable family and applying for a visa!
Frequently asked questions
An “au pair” is basically a nanny (male or female) who lives permanently with a family in Germany and looks after children there. Au pairs are usually young adults up to approximately 25 years who receive free board and lodging as well as pocket money during their time with the host family.
The au-pair assignments are suitable for young people from all over the world in order to learn the German language in Germany and to prepare for later vocational training, studies or a job in Germany. As an Au-Pair you can, for example, start after your school attendance (if you are already 18 years old), after your studies or during a break of your studies.
The main task for the au pair is to look after the children. In most cases, these children are no longer babies, but infants of pre-school age. A typical task of the au-pair is, for example, to supervise the play of the child on the playground or in the children’s room or to take the child to the kindergarten and pick it up.
The families also often expect the child to do light housework, such as clearing the dining table, shopping, cleaning up the children’s room or vacuuming the apartment. However, an au-pair is not primarily a cleaner of the host family, but is particularly helpful in childcare.
As a rule, an au pair assignment in Germany lasts between 6 and 12 months. While a longer period than 12 months is not planned, your assignment may be shorter than 6 months. In addition, it is possible to change to another family if a family and an au pair do not get along – this can happen and can always be solved!
Although the au pairs receive a contract and a small pocket money, they are not employees of the families, but rather “temporary family members”. In almost all cases the au pairs have their own room and privacy. The mediating agency, the contract and other rights and laws in Germany protect the au pairs comprehensively.
As a rule, au pairs come to families who are interested in living with a foreign guest and who can afford it. Au pairs therefore expect attractive circumstances. Of course, it can happen that the host families do not live in big cities, but in the countryside.
Au-pairs receive free food in the family as well as free accommodation. In addition, the host family pays for insurance and a language course of up to 50 euros per month. In addition, an au pair receives 260 Euro pocket money per month for free use.
Finding a host family in Germany via an agency
There are a number of companies and organizations offering to connect host families and future au pairs. Here are some of them:
- AIFS (https://www.aifs.de/) AIFS is an international organization that offers au pair programs in Germany. Their services include matching au pairs with host families, providing orientation and support, and arranging language courses.
- Aupair.com (https://www.aupair.com/) Aupair.com is an online platform that connects au pairs with host families in Germany and other countries. Their services include a database of host families and au pairs, as well as tools for messaging, background checks, and contracts.
- Ayusa-Intrax (https://www.ayusa-intrax.de/) Ayusa-Intrax is an organization that offers cultural exchange programs, including au pair programs in Germany. Their services include matching au pairs with host families, providing orientation and support, and arranging language courses.
- Cultural Care Au Pair (https://culturalcare.de/) Cultural Care Au Pair is an organization that offers au pair programs in Germany and other countries. Their services include matching au pairs with host families, providing orientation and support, and arranging language courses.
- Demi-Pair ) Demi-Pair is an online platform that connects young people with German families who need help with childcare and housework. Their services include a database of host families and demi-pairs, as well as tools for messaging, contracts, and support.
- Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (https://www.drk.de/) The Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (German Red Cross) is an organization that offers au pair programs in Germany. Their services include matching au pairs with host families, providing orientation and support, and arranging language courses.
- IAPA (https://www.iapa.org/) IAPA is an international association of au pair agencies and organizations. Their website provides information and resources for au pair programs in Germany and other countries, as well as a directory of member agencies.
- International Experience (https://www.international-experience.net/) International Experience is an organization that offers au pair programs in Germany and other countries. Their services include matching au pairs with host families, providing orientation and support, and arranging language courses.
- Multikultur (https://www.multikultur.info/) Multikultur is an au pair agency based in Munich, Germany. Their services include matching au pairs with host families, providing orientation and support, and arranging language courses.
- Smaller Earth ) Smaller Earth is an organization that offers cultural exchange programs, including au pair programs in Germany. Their services include matching au pairs with host families, providing orientation and support, and arranging language courses.
What if I do not like my au pair job?
Working as an au pair in Germany can be a rewarding experience, but sometimes things do not go as planned. If you find yourself in a situation where you do not like your host family, Germany, or the work as a nanny in general, there are several options available to you:
Communicate with your host family
If you are having issues with your host family, the first step is to communicate with them. It may be helpful to have a mediator, such as your au pair agency, to facilitate the conversation. Be clear about your concerns and try to find a solution that works for both parties. If you cannot resolve the issue, you can ask your agency to help you find a new host family.
Reach out to other au pairs
Talking to other au pairs can be helpful, especially if they have been in a similar situation. You can ask for advice or support and share your experiences. There are many online forums and groups where you can connect with other au pairs.
Take time for yourself
Working as an au pair can be exhausting, both physically and mentally. It is essential to take time for yourself and engage in activities that you enjoy. Germany has many opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking and cycling, and cultural activities, such as visiting museums and theaters.
Consider changing your au pair program
If you find that the work as a nanny is not for you, you may want to consider changing your au pair program. You can switch to a language course program or study program, which will allow you to continue your stay in Germany and explore other opportunities.
Seek professional help
If you are experiencing mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, it is important to seek professional help. Germany has excellent healthcare services, and you can find a therapist or counselor who speaks your language.
Finally, if you have tried everything and still do not enjoy your au pair experience, it may be time to return home. You can speak to your agency about the process of ending your program early and returning home.
Options after your time as au pair in Germany
Completing an au pair program in Germany is an excellent opportunity to gain international experience, learn a new language, and immerse yourself in a different culture. Once your au pair experience comes to an end, you may be wondering what options are available to you. In this article, we will explore some of the options you have after completing an au pair program in Germany.
- Extend your stay in Germany
If you have enjoyed your time in Germany and would like to stay longer, you may be able to extend your stay. You can apply for a job seeker visa, which will allow you to stay in Germany for up to six months while you search for a job. Alternatively, you can apply for a student visa and enroll in a language course or study program.
- Travel around Europe
Germany is located in the heart of Europe, making it an excellent starting point for exploring the continent. After completing your au pair program, you can take some time to travel around Europe and visit neighboring countries such as France, Italy, and Spain. You can also take advantage of budget airlines and travel to more distant destinations such as Greece or Turkey.
- Continue your education
Germany is known for its excellent education system, and there are many opportunities to continue your education after completing your au pair program. You can enroll in a language course or study program, which will allow you to improve your language skills and gain a valuable qualification. Check also the opportunity of the dual study program opportunities in Germany. Alternatively, you can attend vocational training or apprenticeship programs, which will provide you with practical skills and experience.
- Work in Germany
If you would like to work in Germany, you will need a work visa. You can apply for a work visa if you have a job offer from a German employer or if you meet certain qualifications in a high-demand field. It is important to note that finding a job in Germany can be challenging, especially if you do not speak German fluently.
- Volunteer in Germany
Volunteering is an excellent way to give back to the community and gain valuable experience. There are many volunteer opportunities in Germany, such as working with refugees, animal shelters, or environmental organizations. Volunteering in FSJ, FÖJ or BFD can also be a great way to improve your language skills and make new friends.
- Return to your home country
Finally, after completing your au pair program, you may decide to return to your home country. You can use the skills and experience you gained in Germany to enhance your resume and improve your job prospects. You can also stay in touch with your host family and continue to practice your language skills.