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Everything you need to know about becoming an au pair in Switzerland

Date: 23/03/2022
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!

Becoming an au pair in Switzerland – What are the requirements? What does the process consists of? Which documents do you need, and what exactly are you going to do as an au pair? In short, how do you become an au pair in Switzerland?

Requirements to become an au pair in Switzerland

Switzerland is the perfect location to go to as an au pair. They speak so many languages, the official languages ​​are Italian, French and German. So it’s perfect if you want to improve your language skills!

There are a number of important requirements that you must meet. We have listed the most important ones below.

EU and EFTA citizens

  • You are in between 18 and 30 years old
  • You have basic knowledge of the language of your canton but are not a native speaker
  • You have childcare experience and can provide references
  • You have a clean criminal record
  • You are not married and have no children
  • You have enough savings to support yourself until your first payment

Non-EU citizens

  • You are between 18 and 25 years old
  • You are from either the US, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand
  • You have basic knowledge of the language of your canton but are not a native speaker
  • You have childcare experience and can provide references
  • You have a clean criminal record
  • You are not married and have no children
  • You have enough savings to support yourself until your first payment
  • You would like to work as an au pair in Switzerland for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months
  • You have not yet been an au pair in Switzerland

Process to become an au pair in Switzerland

To travel to Switzerland, it’s important that you have a valid ID or passport. Before you can start working with the host family, you must apply for a temporary residence permit from the immigration and labor market authorities.

The following documents are required for the application:

– Passport;

– The au pair contract with the duration of your stay;

– The certificate from the municipality with confirmation of your registration – A passport photo.

An au pair is seen as an employee in Switzerland. This means that the pocket money is subject to social insurance contributions. The host family must request a certificate of insurance for the au pair from the social insurance organization. So you need the same insurance as other employees.

The host family must take out health insurance, accident insurance, pension insurance and unemployment insurance. Half of the contributions is usually paid by the family, and the other half comes from the au pair’s gross income.

More information for au pairs from the EU countries in Switzerland can be found right here.

beautiful view of a village in switzerland the perfect country if you want to become an au pair in switzerland


Au pairs and host families must sign 2 copies of the au pair contract before one can start as an au pair with the host family. The contract contains more information about the duties of the au pair and expectations of the host family. Such as the duration of the stay, the number of hours, holidays, language course, pocket money, etc.

The au pair and the host family should discuss mutual expectations before arrival. These agreements must then be laid down in a contract. In Switzerland, the au pair contract is equivalent to the normal employment contracts for domestic workers. There is not one official au pair contract for the whole of Switzerland. We recommend that you contact the relevant Swiss Migration and Employment Office to obtain the form necessary for this.

Three copies of the contract must be signed. The au pair and the host family each receive a copy and the third copy goes to the Immigration and Labor Market Authority.

It is possible to terminate the contract earlier than stated in the contract. For example, when the au pair and the host family do not get along. The Swiss regulations indicate that the contract usually has one month of probation. During this time, the contract can be canceled with a notice period of 7 days. After the probation period, the au pair contract can only be terminated in writing with a notice period of one month.

Minimum and maximum stay

If the au pair comes from the EU, the au pair and the host family can agree on the duration of the stay. Typically, they start for a one-year stay and can extend up to two years.

Au pairs who are subject to visa requirements must be able to show a minimum 6-month contract. The maximum duration is 12 months and cannot be extended.


As an au pair in Switzerland, you will receive between 500 and 800 CHF per month in pocket money regardless of the hours worked. Part of this will have to go toward your health insurance and social security contributions and the rest is to spend how you would like.

Au pairs receive their pocket money also during holidays and when they fall ill. You are to pay 50% of your insurance and social security taxes and the host family will pay the other 50%.

find au pair in switzerland such as this lovely mother with her kid staring at the beautiful swiss mountains on the background or find our how ti become an au pair in switzerland

Language course

Au pairs are required to attend a language course of their canton when they are an au pair in Switzerland. You must come in with some knowledge of the canton’s language but cannot be a native speaker. 

If there are two languages in the canton you are living in, you can choose your language course of choice. Host families should pay at least 50% of the language course for the au pairs, but most cover the cost entirely.

Amount of working hours

Au pairs in Switzerland can work either 5 hours for 6 days or 6 hours for 5 days depending on the agreement with your host family. The maximum amount of normal au pairs hours is 30 with a few cantons allowing for 40.

If agreed upon, au pairs can work an extra 2 to 3 evenings a week babysitting.

Days off and holidays

The au pair gets at least one and a half days off per week. Twice a month, this day should be a Sunday. You should have at least 4 evenings free per week.

As an au pair, you are entitled to 4 weeks of paid holiday for a 12-month period. If you are younger than 20 years old, then you are then entitled to 5 weeks of paid holiday. If you accompany your host family on holiday, then it cannot count as your own holiday time if you are working.

We also recommend that au pairs have public holidays off as it allows them to fully experience Swiss culture and get to know the traditions of their canton and country!

Au pair insurance 

Au pairs, like other employees in Switzerland, are required to pay social insurances. Usually, half of the social security contributions are paid by the au pair and the other half by the host family. To facilitate the payment of these contributions, the family must request an insurance certificate from the social insurance authorities. The premiums amount to 12.5% ​​of the au pair’s gross income, regardless of how much pocket money the au pair receives in total. The premiums are for pension insurance, disability insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance.

During the au pair stay in Switzerland, au pairs benefit from health insurance, accident insurance and pension insurance. The monthly amount to be paid depends on the insurance taken out and the cover. At least half of the contributions is paid by the host family. The premiums for occupational accident insurance are paid exclusively by the family.

Frequently asked questions

Is the au pair a certified childcare provider?

The au pair does not need to have specialist knowledge of childcare, but does have some babysitting experience and love for children. The au pair is your extra pair of hands and eyes when you are busy. The au pair supervises children at home and can make your daily routine much easier.

Is an au pair entitled to board and lodging?

An au pair is entitled to board, lodging and pocket money.

In conclusion

So, you now know what the requirements are and what the process is to become an au pair in Switzerland consists of. So, there is only one question left:

Want to register as an au pair?

We’d love to look for a wonderful family for you!