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Au Pair in Paris

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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.

Au Pair in France

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.

Searching for an au pair

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.

What the au pair must know

    Basic application criteria vary from agency to agency, there are a few typical requirements:
  • Work for about 5-6 hours each day
  • Take a language course during the week
  • Be conversant in French
  • Be between 18-27 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.
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 French or English speakers. Some agencies may also require time spent tutoring.

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 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.

An excellent place to look for a nanny is on Easy Expat's job listings. You can also ask questions and find advice on the forums or the expat network.


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".

Update 13/02/2013


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Au pair visas
Applications for a long-stay visa should be submitted to the French embassy or consulate by the au pair for stays over 3 months.
Au pair must have an employment contract with the host family called "Accord de placement au pair d'un stagiaire aide familiale". The contract can be obtained and must be signed by a "Direction Departementale de la Main d'Oeuvre Etrangere".

This employment contract must be approved and signed in France before forwarding to the aupair.

If you need to find an au pair or an au pair job anywhere in the world or need more information, visit

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Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).