An au pair is in charge of taking care of the children and lives within the home of the family. The au pair is provided accommodation and meals and a stipend of spending money. The family gains a loving caretaker for their children and an addition to the family. Expats have both found work, and employed, au pairs.
Nannies (assistantes maternelles or nourrice) are paid to either look after children on their own premises or at your home. Assistante maternelle are required to holds a state childcare diploma and they are subject to regular inspections. The maximum number of children a assistantes maternelles can look over is five children.
There are many agencies of state-approved au pair in Paris and other large cities in France that help you locate a assistantes maternelles. There are even many bilingual childcare givers. Listings for qualified nannies can be requested from the local mairie.
Hiring a nanny privately is also legal. The au pair must be within the country as a legal resident and the employer pays all associated social-security charges (any paid work over five hours per week is subject to these charges). To make this easier, the government has created the chèque emploi service. This simplifies the process and returns nearly all of these charges in the form of tax deductions.
The average cost of a nanny is between €200 - 400 a week. A big factor in determining price is where you are in France as well as if the nanny is live-in or live-out. To mitigate cost, nanny-sharing is becoming popular.
If hired through an agency, the agency usually guides the au pair through the process.
France also offers a working holiday visa (Permis Vacances Travail, PVT) to Australian, Canadian, Japanese, New Zealand, South Korean, Argentinean, and Taiwanese citizens.
For more information on visas in general, consult the section on "Passport and Visas".
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