FAQs

Customer Questions About the Au Pair Program in the Netherlands

Below, we have listed the most frequently asked questions from our customers about the au pair program in the Netherlands.

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Is it per se necessary to use an agency to bring my EU au pair over here?

Yes. Since June 1st, 2013 it is mandatory to submit your au pair application through an IND-certified agency (consultant). The IND has introduced this obligation to protect the au pair’s position in the Netherlands. This may at first seem in breach of EU agreements on ‘free movement of goods and services’, however, they do not apply to the au pair program, as it is considered a ‘cultural exchange’. The SZW Inspectorate and the Aliens Police may check host family homes. If no au pair agency is involved, the relationship with the au pair will be considered employment, subject to legislation for domestic staff. Prior to the current legislation, cases were taken to court, resulting in fines for a number of host families.

What is an ‘agent fee’? Is it necessary/mandatory?

An agent fee is the amount an agent from the country of origin receives for screening your au pair. Since June 1st, 2013 au pairs that visit the Netherlands may not pay than € 34 for their screening, selection and training. The IND has introduced this regulation to prevent au pairs from having to pay sizable amounts to visit the Netherlands as an au pair. Because it is impossible to conduct a meticulous screening for € 34, we have decided to charge host families for the ‘agent fee’. To compensate host families for this and because we feel that au pairs should also show financial commitment, au pairs pay for their return ticket.

Are Au Pair Events mandatory, or can I opt not to purchase them?

Au Pair Events are part of our services portfolio, based on which the IND has certified Triple C au pair. Thanks to incorporating Au Pair Events in our standard services, every au pair will have the opportunity to become acquainted with Dutch culture and meet new friends. In addition, you will also partly comply with the cultural exchange, declared mandatory for host families by the IND.

Au Pair Events are a simple and easy way for au pairs to ask questions and exchange experiences. Au pairs are free to choose in which event(s) they will participate. Per year, Triple C au pair organizes 5 to 6 cultural events. These events are announced on our website, as well as e-mailed personally to our host families and au pairs. If an au pair does not participate in one or more of the events, the host family shall not be entitled to a refund.

Must I have an intake interview each year?

No. An intake interview is once only, provided you will welcome an au pair or submit a new request afterwards, or within a year after the intake or departure of your last au pair.

Do I have to pay mobile phone and internet fees for my au pair each month?

No, this is not necessary. We argue, that the host family will provide the au pair with a phone on loan during her/his stay. This also includes WIFI access. In addition, a host family will pay at least once for a prepaid SIM card after arrival. From then on, it will be the au pair’s responsibility to pay for communication costs. Of course you can offer your au pair to bear part of the expenses, but this is not mandatory.

Who will pay for the language course?

The host family will pay for the language course, as well as incurred travel costs. The language course may either be English or Dutch. The costs per year amount to € 320 and will immediately be paid by the host family to the institution hosting the course. Without actually participating in the language course, in no case whatsoever will the au pair be entitled to allowance for expenses. If the course has been completed and a mismatch should occur, the costs are considered incurred and cannot be recovered from any party involved.

When you have found us an au pair and we accept her, does she come with a warranty?

This question is asked frequently, its answer requires some explanation. We cannot provide a warranty on people.

Triple C au pair will take care of careful screening. When we feel that an au pair would match well with your family, we will introduce her/him to you. It is up to you to become personally acquainted, to see (and feel) whether she/he will fit into your family. We recommend a number of Skype conversations with the au pair and (preferably) all family members. Make sure that you are perfectly clear when it comes to expressing your expectations and carefully prepare your questions. Afterwards, it will be up to you and your au pair to accept each other.

It is wise to keep in mind, that an au pair is not a ‘blank slate’. An au pair is a young woman/man with a different culture, language and etiquette, in short, someone to become acquainted with and accustomed to, this applies vice versa as well.  An au pair’s stay with your family will in any case require you to devote attention and time.  It is impossible to estimate beforehand how the dynamic between your family and the au pair will work out over time, for that reason in particular it is highly recommended to keep an open mind, show interest and continue to communicate with each other.

If you require feedback on how to deal with your new housemate, we will gladly advise you and provide useful tips. This also applies to your au pair.

If we have found an au pair ourselves and purchase the Self-match service, do we get a warranty on our au pair?

This question is asked frequently, its answer requires some explanation. We cannot provide a warranty on people.

With the Self-match service, we assume that you have carefully screened your au pair.  We recommend a number of Skype conversations with the au pair and (preferably) all family members. Make sure that you are perfectly clear when it comes to expressing your expectations and carefully prepare your questions. Afterwards, it will be up to you and your au pair to accept each other.

It is wise to keep in mind, that an au pair is not a ‘blank slate’. An au pair is a young woman/man with a different culture, language and etiquette, in short, someone to become acquainted with and accustomed to, this applies vice versa as well.  An au pair’s stay with your family will in any case require you to devote attention and time.  It is impossible to estimate beforehand how the dynamic between your family and the au pair will work out over time, for that reason in particular it is highly recommended to keep an open mind, show interest and continue to communicate with each other.

We will gladly assist you, should you experience problems during your au pair’s stay, but not free of charge. We offer several Self-match services and if so desired, you can also upgrade or purchase optional services in the meantime.

Do you place au pairs throughout the Netherlands?

Yes. Our au pairs are located throughout the Netherlands, in large cities as well as smaller municipalities, from Ameland to Zeeland to Gelderland and everything in-between. We will always provide au pairs with the opportunity to meet other au pairs, so they can build a network.

Is my au pair authorized to drive in the Netherlands with her/his international driver’s license?

If your au pair has a driver’s license outside the EU, it is important to know that she/he may only use that license to drive in the Netherlands for a period of six months. Afterwards, she/he will have to get a Dutch driver’s license and pass a written and practical test. The written test can be taken in English. For these tests fees will apply, which may vary per driving school. An incidental circumstance is that the au pair will turn in her own driver’s license for a Dutch one and thus will have to reobtain her own after departing to her home country

Can I expect my au pair to be able to immediately drive in the Netherlands?

Keep in mind that your au pair probably is used to other traffic regulations and a different traffic image. In addition, your car will be new to her/him and maybe she/he has not previously driven a car with children aboard (this entails a different kind of responsibility). All of this will take some time getting accustomed to.  Some host families opt for having their au pair take some driving lessons at their expense, or venture to practice with their au pair themselves. Anyway, it is common sense to devote attention to your au pair’s driving skills and not assume by definition that she/he will immediately be able to independently drive your children everywhere.

How strictly will the 30-hours-a-week work limit be enforced?

Dutch legislation is very clear on this: An au pair may assist host families for a maximum of 30 hours per week, divided over five days with a maximum of eight hours per day. An au pair is entitled to two days off per week and one consecutive weekend per month. As a certified agency we are held liable by the IND for host families complying with au pair laws and legislation. Triple C au pair is frequently reviewed by the IND. If we do not adhere to applicable laws and legislation, we risk huge fines and even loss of our consultancy certificate.

Which income requirement applies to qualify for an au pair?

The IND has set a minimum gross income of € 2,442.63 per month, including vacation pay.

Being a single parent, will I receive healthcare allowance for my au pair?

No. Unfortunately, an au pair is considered a ‘fiscal partner’ by Dutch tax authorities, implying she/he will not be eligible for care allowance. In a shared household only one partner qualifies for care allowance.

How do I prove my income is sustainable?

Your income is considered sustainable if you have a permanent contract or have generated sufficient income as an independent contractor. The standard amounts change every six months. Contact us for correct amounts.

May my au pair share a room?

No. An au pair is entitled to her/his own room and should be able to lock it. The room may not be used as a passage to another room by family members. It should at least have one window that lets in daylight, as well as a heating system, lighting, a bed, closet space, a desk and chair, television and internet access. As stated before, the room must be lockable and it should be clear to all inhabitants that the au pair’s room constitutes her/his privacy during the stay.

May my au pair live elsewhere?

An au pair is permitted to live in-house or on private premises, if located at the same address. An au pair cannot live with someone else while helping in your household, even if it concerns divorced parents with joint custody.

Should my Self-match au pair be able to speak English?

Yes. All au pairs should at least be able to speak basic English. We feel it is important, that not only you but also we as an agency should be able to communicate with the au pair and understand her, in order to determine how she/he is doing. It is mandatory within the scope of our care obligation.

Do I per se need an agency to bring my au pair from Thailand over here?

Yes. Since June 1st, 2013 it is mandatory to submit your au pair application through an IND-certified agency (consultant). The IND has introduced this obligation to protect the position of au pairs in the Netherlands.