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
What the au pair must know
Basic application criteria vary from agency to agency, there are a few typical requirements:
In addition to these requirements, it is common for families to ask for non-smoking, possession of driver's license, responsible or non-drinkers, and for females. Many au pair families prefer native English speakers. Some agencies may also require time spent tutoring or cleaning.
- Be conversant in the language of the Canton (German for Zurich)
- Be between 18-25 years old
- Have a High School diploma or equivalent
- Be able to commit to at least a 6 month placement
- Have at least 6 months child care experience
- Be able to provide 3 references regarding your experience and character
- Be in good physical and mental condition as evidenced by a Physician's Report. Agree to a background check.
What the family has to do
The family has to welcome the au pair in thinking that she is not just an employee, but an important part of the family. Therefore they will make sure:
- The au pair must have her own bedroom.
- The au pair will work to a maximum of 40 hours per week with a minimum 2 days off during the week.
- They understand that having an au pair does not mean having a servant. Au pairs may be asked to do some housework as agreed upon in the contract.
- It may be of benefit to register the au pair at the family doctor.
- The family should pay an allowance. The amount should be written into the contract, and is usually around 600 to 700 CHF per month depending on the age, experience and hours of work.
Another excellent place to look is in expat forums. Here, other expats can give advice on the services they use and what to look for.
If hired through an agency, the agency usually guides the au pair through the process.
According to the bilateraux laws with the European common market, aupairs from the European Economic Union are eligible to aupair without a visa. The Swiss government does limit the number of residence permits for au pairs from Non-EU countries.
For more information on visa, consult the section on Passport and visas.