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Want to host an au pair? Read all about becoming a host family in Ireland

Date: 11/04/2022
Author: Nanny Nina
About the Author: Hi! This has been published by one of our content queens. Do you have any questions or remarks about the blog? Please let us know!

Need a little help around the house for your children? Then you should consider hosting an au pair and become a host family in Ireland! An au pair is cheaper than childcare and in addition to babysitting, the au pair can help you with light household tasks. An au pair comes to Ireland for a cultural exchange and to get in touch with your children. You will always have someone around to help you! Sounds amazing right?

What is an au pair?

The au pair is between 17-30 years old and joins a cultural exchange, also knows as the Au Pair Programme. During this exchange, the au pair lives with your family and takes care of the children. The au pair learns more about the Irish culture and helps with the household.

What are the requirements for an Irish au pair?

  • They are at least 18 and no more than 30 years old;
  • They are unmarried and have no children;
  • They have a basic knowledge of English;
  • They can pay for your travel costs;
  • They want to come to Ireland to learn a foreign language and take care of children;
  • They have access to sufficient financial resources (several thousand euros)*. Not required for EU and EFTA citizens.
au pair in ireland like this au pair with kid in the ocean

How much does an au pair earn in Ireland?

The au pair doesn’t’ get salary, but gets pocket money instead. Next to board and lodging, an au pair in Ireland will receive weekly payment that meets the Minimum Wage requirements for employees during the first year of employment.

What does a host family in Ireland pay Nanny Nina?

The au pair agency is the official contact between you and the au pair. We assist in finding the perfect au pair match and help with the process of collecting the right documents for your au pair. 

More information about pricing can be found here.

irish mother with her kids looking at a tablet to find au pair in ireland

What are the requirements for a host family in Ireland?

  • At least one child under 18 lives in your household;
  • You can provide your au pair with a separate room;
  • Your au pair should look after your children and help with light housework;
  • You speak English in your daily life;
  • You are willing to give your au pair the opportunity to attend a language course and get to know the Irish culture.

Au pair contract

The au pair contract contains rules and decisions made between the au pair and host family. Both parties need to sign the contract before the au pair travels to Italy.

Duties of an au pair

The main duty of the au pair is taking care of the children. In addition, the au pair helps with light household tasks such as emptying the dishwasher, cleaning up the table after dinner or folding some laundry. Be sure to discuss together what you expect, so that it’s clear for you both!

How many hours per week does the au pair work?

Au pairs in Ireland work a maximum of 30 hours per week. Au pairs can also do some babysitting up to 3 evenings per week, which should be included in the calculated working hours.

Free time

The au pair needs at least 1 day off a week, and this day has to be on a Sunday at least once a month. We advise two days off per week and to one week of paid holiday per six months. There are no official regulations regarding public holidays in Ireland.

We do recommend that au pairs have a day off on public holidays, how else are they going to experience the wonderful Irish culture?

Does the au pair need to take a language course?

Au pairs should be given the possibility to attend a language course. Usually, the au pair covers the costs for a language course.

Does the au pair need to register in Ireland?

Yes, if the au pair is from a non EU country they should apply for a visa first and then register with the local authorities. Citizens of Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan may apply for a working holiday visa. Please note that the number of visas is limited and that there are certain periods in which the application must be made. Furthermore, applicants must have sufficient funds to support themselves at least during the initial part of their stay in Ireland.

US citizens can enter Ireland on a work & travel visa. Please note that, in order to qualify for the programme, participants should either be in post-secondary education or have recently graduated (i.e. within the last 12 months). In addition, they will need to present an original bank statement showing that they have access to 1,500 euros plus a return ticket or 3,000 euros.

Students from outside the EU / EFTA who attend a recognised full time study course of at least one full academic year may work up to 20 hours per week during term time and up to 40 hours per week during the academic summer and winter holidays. However, it should be noted that most host families want their au pairs to work 30 hours per week.

After the arrival of an au pair from a non-EU country in Ireland, she/he must register with the local authorities and apply for a PPS number.

If the au pair is from an EU country they need a valid passport or ID and apply for a PPS number.

How to apply for a PPS number

The Department of Social Protection issues the PPS number to the au pair. Further information is available at the Social Welfare Local Office.

The following documents are required when applying for a PPS number:

  • A valid passport or identity card;
  • Proof of place of residence. For this purpose, the host family should write a short letter confirming that the au pair is currently living with them. It may be that the au pair needs to attach a household utility bill in the family’s name and address. 

More information on the PPS number is available at the Citizens Information website.

au pair in ireland with her host kid walking on a beautiful path in nature want to become a host family in ireland

Where can you register to become a host family in Ireland?

Register right here and place an au pair request.

Becoming a host family in Ireland

As mentioned, the au pair joins a cultural exchange where he or she focuses on babysitting and learning more about the Irish culture. Before the au pair flies to Ireland, the au pair contract must be signed by you and the au pair.

There are some laws and regulations for you and the au pair. Make sure these are clear. In addition, it’s important that you find out whether your au pair need to apply for a visa and which measures apply for your au pair. 

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