What You Need to Know About the Au Pair Program in the Netherlands
We have summarized general information about the au pair program for you.
The Dutch Au Pair Program
The Dutch au pair program is a cultural exchange, intended to acquaint foreign adolescents with Dutch society and culture. The au pair will stay with a host family, where she/he will perform light domestic tasks and/or babysits the children, in return for board and lodging, pocket money and additional benefits. The au pair program offers a great deal of benefits to our country. It is a relatively cheap way for young people from abroad to get acquainted with our country from the inside, thus constituting an excellent opportunity to promote the Dutch society, culture and language. Simultaneously, Dutch children can be molded into genuine world citizens, due to early exposure to other languages and cultures.
Since the Modern Migration Act became effective on June 1st, 2013, the au pair program has been reformed comprehensively. Nowadays, au pairs can only visit the Netherlands through an agency certified as a consultant by the IND.
What Is an Au Pair?
A person of non-Dutch nationality between 18 and 31 years of age, without duty of care for children in the country of origin, visiting the Netherlands for a maximum period of 12 months, in the context of a cultural exchange. In return for, among others, board and lodging, pocket money and some secondary fringe benefits, the au pair will take care of the children of the host family and perform light domestic tasks.
What Is a Visa?
A visa is official permission to enter a country and stay there. A visa is issued by the country where passengers travel to. This way the country in question can exercise control on people entering it.
Most visas contain conditions related to the visit. Often, a visa is valid for a limited time period, travelers have to leave the country in question after the expiration date. All au pair outside of the EU have to submit a visa application. Au pairs from the US, South Korea, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Iceland and Japan may enter the Netherlands on a tourist visa and initiate the visa procedure within the Netherlands. A visa is valid for a maximum of 12 months. The stay cannot be extended.
Important Rules of the Dutch Au Pair Program
You can ask your au pair to perform the following domestic and child-related tasks, as they fall under the au pair program:
- Feeding the children (bottle or snack)
- Taking the children to bed and getting them out
- Childcare: changing clothes, bathroom visits, washing, getting dressed / undressed, brushing teeth and combing hair
- Preparation of breakfast, lunch and lunch boxes
- Preparing items for children daycare
- Taking and picking up the children to/from school or daycare
- >Organizing activities for the children, including guidance and participation, such as: reading, tinkering, swimming, playing in playgrounds or recreation areas, dropping them off and/or picking them up at friends etc.
- Doing the dishes, loading and unloading the dishwasher
- Preparation of simple meals
- Keeping the kitchen tidy;
- Running small errands
- Doing the laundry, including folding, ironing and tidying
- Cleaning the children’s room(s) and keeping it/them tidy
- Cleaning her/his personal room and keeping it tidy
- Cleaning and tidying the house in general, this includes vacuuming, dusting and cleaning floors
- Bed-making and putting clean sheets on beds
- Putting out garbage bags (ground floor)
- Walking and feeding pets
- Taking care of plants
Although all tasks listed above fall within the scope of the au pair program, it is up to the host family and au pair to come to a prior mutual agreement on allocation of duties.
Which Things Should Not Be Expected from an Au Pair?
An au pair is not permitted to perform care tasks for adults and heavy domestic duties, such as:
- Mop more than 20 square meters
- Cleaning windows (both indoors and outdoors)
- Cleaning the bathroom (unless solely used by the au pair)
- Cleaning toilets (unless solely used by the au pair)
- Washing pets
- Outdoor tasks (except sweeping a terrace)
You will commit to the following:
- The host family may deploy an au pair for childcare and light domestic tasks, with a maximum of 30 hours per week, divided over 5 days with a maximum of 8 hours per day.
- The host family is obliged to submit a work schedule to the au pair and Triple C au pair.
- The host family must have a backup available at all times, in case the au pair unexpectedly becomes unavailable or is not able to perform her/his duties.
- The host family will provide the au pair with a room with a door lock, daylight, (a) window(s) that can be opened, heating, bed, closet space, desk, chair and WIFI access.
- The host family must to see to it that the au pair takes out basic healthcare insurance and applies for a care allowance./li>
- The au pair is entitled to pocket money, amounting between € 300 and € 340 per month.
- The host family is obliged to provide au pairs with the opportunity to become acquainted with Dutch culture (participation in our cultural events contributes to this).
- The host family is obliged to provide au pairs with the opportunity to attend a Dutch or English language course and will contribute a maximum of € 320 per year.
- The host family is obliged to see to it that au pairs can be reached by phone.