Navigating the Au Pair Contract: What You Need to Know

Signing a contract with an au pair is an important step in welcoming a childcare provider into your home. It’s essential to understand the terms of the contract and ensure that both parties are on the same page. Here’s what you need to know about navigating the au pair contract.

Understanding the Role of an Au Pair

Before diving into the contract details, it’s crucial to understand the role of an au pair. Au pairs are typically young adults from foreign countries who live with a host family and provide childcare in exchange for room, board, and a stipend. They are not considered employees but rather members of the family.

Key Components of an Au Pair Contract

When drafting an au pair contract, there are several key components to consider:

Work Schedule

Outline the au pair’s work schedule, including the number of hours they are expected to work each week and any additional responsibilities they may have, such as light housework or tutoring.

Room and Board

Specify what accommodations will be provided for the au pair, such as their own room and access to shared living spaces. Also, clarify what meals will be included and any dietary restrictions the au pair may have.

Stipend and Benefits

Detail the stipend amount that will be paid to the au pair, as well as any additional benefits such as transportation costs, language classes, or vacations with the family.

Time Off and Vacation

Clearly outline the au pair’s entitlement to time off, including weekends, evenings, and any vacation days they may have. Be sure to discuss how vacation time will be scheduled and any expectations for participating in family activities.

Communicating Expectations

It’s important to have open and honest communication with your au pair about your expectations and any concerns you may have. Discussing these issues before signing the contract can help prevent misunderstandings down the road.

Reviewing and Signing the Contract

Before finalizing the au pair contract, it’s essential to review it carefully with the au pair and ensure that both parties agree on all terms. Make sure to address any questions or concerns that may arise and be willing to make adjustments as needed.


Signing an au pair contract is a significant commitment, so it’s crucial to approach the process thoughtfully and with clear communication. By understanding the role of an au pair, outlining key components of the contract, and communicating expectations, you can ensure a successful and harmonious relationship with your childcare provider.