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Want to host an au pair? Read all about how to become a host family in the UK

Date: 22/03/2022
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!

Hard time finding a good day care or a reliable babysitter? Have you ever considered an au pair? This might be the perfect solution for you! Hosting an au pair comes with a lot of perks. It is for example way cheaper than daycare, you always have someone who is at home for the children and you and your family have a person to connect with. Does this make you excited? Read further on how to become a host family in the UK!

What is an au pair?

So, you want to become a host family in the UK? But what is an au pair actually? An au pair is someone who lives in your house and helps you with babysitting and light household chores. The au pair is between 18-30 years old and comes to the UK for a cultural experience. During this experience the au pair will learn a new language, learn about a new culture and become part of your family!


Great Britain is now officially no longer part of the European Union. This has significant implications for the aupair programme and to become a host family in the UK. According to the website of the British government, there is no current information on an au pair visa. Therefore, candidates from the EU can no longer officially enter the UK as au pairs. Alternatively, the host family can employ the candidate as a domestic worker. Later in this article we will tell you which countries can enter the UK as an au pair and work for your host family in the UK. 

Requirements for you as host family in the UK

       You need to have at least one kid under the age of 18 years old;

        You have an interest in inviting someone from another country to experience a cultural exchange;

        You are able to offer meals and a salary of 70-85 GBP per week;

       You are able to provide the participant with their own room with a window;

        Respect the working hours of the au pair (maximum 30 hours per week).

 Law and regulations in UK

Au pairs must comply with these measures:

 – They have no children; 

– They have a basic knowledge of Spanish. French or English language skills would also be preferred, since some families are looking for someone who can teach those languages totheir children;

– They have at least an intermediate school certificate, a university degree is also a plus;

– They are entitled to a visa (if necessary);

– They can pay for visa (if necessary) travel and other au pair expenses;

– They have a clear criminal record.


Which au pairs can get a visa and work in the UK?

There are different possibilities to get a visa become an au pair in Great Britain and work for your host family in the UK. 

Work – Government Authorized Exchange visa: this is a visa that allows you to
work in a country for a certain period after approval from the government. For
this visa you need a sponsor and you must meet the eligibility requirements.

Tier 5
Youth Mobility Scheme: A 2 year visa available to au pairs from Australia,
Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Taiwan and Monaco and
British Overseas Territories Citizens. This also applies to British citizens
living abroad.

Visa: Available to au pairs of all nationalities registered for full-time study
in the UK.

Pre-settled status for EU citizens living in the UK before 12/31/2020: These
citizens had the option to apply for Pre-Settled Status until 6/30/2021. This
makes it possible to stay for up to 5 years without restrictions on work or

Irish au pairs: as a result of the new Brexit conditions, au pairs from Ireland can
enter and work in the UK without any additional restrictions.

Host family in the UK

 Au pair contract

To gain insight into the agreements made between you and the
host family, there is an au pair contract. The au pair contract contains
important information such as:

• Au pair contract: the au pair contract must be signed before the au pairs travel to the host country and must specify all the arrangements for the au pair’s stay (services, holidays, working hours, pocket money, etc.). This ensures a clear and fair settlement between the family and the au pair. It is possible to cancel the contract. The legal notice period is 14 days.

• Duties: as an au pair, the focus is on taking care of the children. It is also nice if you can help with the household. This includes light tasks such as running laundry, cooking for the children and unloading the dishwasher.

• Board and lodging: as an au pair you receive free board and lodging. This also applies during holidays and illness.

• Hours: as an au pair in Great Britain you work an average of 30 hours a week. This already includes the hours that you are babysitting.

• Free time: you are entitled to at least 2 days off per week. One of these days must fall on a Sunday at least once a month. Nanny Nina recommends giving the au pair 4 weeks of vacation every 12 months.

• Language course: au pairs must have the opportunity to follow an English language course. This is paid by the au pair him or herself. 

• Driver’s license: many host families like it when an au pair has a driver’s license. It is important that you have sufficient driving experience to feel comfortable. Foreign driving licenses are valid for a period of 12 months after arrival. After this period, other arrangements may be necessary. In addition, it is important to clarify beforehand what the agreements are about insurance and liability issues.


Language course

Au pairs should have the possibility to attend an English language course. Usually, au pairs pay for the cost of such courses themselves. The host family should help to find an appropriate course within their area if possible.


The process

1. First of all, it is important to check the COVID-19 testing requirements before traveling. Check if you have to self-quarantine and what you need to enter the UK.

2. Visa Application: According to the UK government website, there is no current information about an Au Pair Visa. It is important to find out which visa you need. Check the government website for this.

3. Insurance and Income Tax: Au pairs do not have the same employment status as regular workers and employees. Depending on how much pocket money you receive, you may have to pay income tax and national insurance.

4. Health Insurance: In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) is responsible for public health care. This includes hospital stays, medical care and ambulance services. Anyone planning to stay in the UK after January 1, 2021 must have travel insurance with medical cover.

5. How long you can stay depends on the type of visa you have and the laws and regulations that go with it.


Why Nanny Nina?

So you want to become a host family in the UK? Great! We can help you with that. We have a big database with a lot of potential and qualified candidates. We have all screened them thoroughly and made sure they are good candidates. We also offer personal guidance through the whole process and if the au pair is not a suitable match, we find you a rematch. Your au pair is also able to join our ‘academy’ where the au pair can gain skills about first aid, self-development and a lot of helpful tips for their au pair journey. Are you excited to become a host family in the UK? Sign up here as a host family in the UK and we will do the rest!

The costs of this are 1000 euros.

Enjoy your time together!

Do I need to pay my au pair?

Next to food and lodging, your au pair has the right of a salary of 70-85 GBP per week.

Does my au pair need a visa?

Because of the brexit, an au pair must have a visa to work in the UK