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Frequently asked questions from host families

Find the answers to the main questions that our families to host an au pair.

The important points before you get started

Many families have questions about how the au pair programme works. You should know that depending on the host country, some rules or requirement of the au pair program can be different, so if you have a specific question about your country before to host an au pair, and you don’t find the answer in this page, email or call us.

Here you will find the answers to the most important questions of families and response about the au pair program in France. These responses could help you assess whether the au pair experience is right for you.

⚠ Be aware we have other pages where we explain you a lot of information about becoming a host family, the condition for hiring an au pair, the cost of our services, how works au pair Butrfly and how to register. Please check the pages on the menu “for host families” if your question is not already answered.

What is the status of an au pair in France?

There are 3 statuses in France that allow you to be an au pair: 

  • The status of foreign family assistant (up to 30 hours of work with children) applies to Europeans
  • The status of young au pair (up to 25 hours of work with children) applies to non-Europeans
  • The status of employee au pair applies to French and foreign students.

An au pair is a young foreigner (between 18 and 30 years old) who comes to France to discover French culture. The au pair is hosted by a host family in return for which he/she carries out family or household tasks (childcare, light housework, etc.). He/she receives pocket money (minimum 80€ per week).

This program should not be confused with that of the au pair employee title, which is covered by the collective agreement of the individual employer.

The au pair program is a language and cultural exchange. Its primary objective is to bring together different cultures. The au pair comes to learn French.
However, it is possible to be an au pair in France for French ejuenes (under the regime of an au pair employee or for a short period of time, especially during the summer)

A young au pair who is not European must be a citizen of a non-French speaking country to obtain the young au pair visa. Please contact us for more information.

Many families are looking for an English, Spanish or German speaking au pair in order to introduce their children to a foreign language. 

Your au pair can of course teach his or her mother tongue to your children. However, she or he comes to France to learn French and it is therefore customary for her or him to practice French at least when he or she exchanges with the parents. This cultural and language exchange is the heart of the au pair program. 



The au pair placement is a cultural exchange program. The contract offered depends on the status of the au pair.
This placement contract defines the following points

rights and obligations of each party, in particular the conditions of reception of the trainee (single room or not for example),

services due (what are the missions on which you have agreed, the number of children to be looked after ….),

working hours (which days, which period) and rest periods.

remuneration conditions (what is the weekly pocket money – minimum 90€ with BUTRFLY)

who pays for the au pair’s travel, French lessons, daily expenses (transportation card, telephone…..)

This contract must be established and signed by the family and the au pair before the au pair joins the host family.


This costs are a minimum of 650€ per month excluding reception costs (food / running costs of the house): about 360€ for pocket money per month + 220€ for URSSAF contributions (if the au pair comes for more than 3 months) + between 25€ and 40€ of private insurance to cover your au pair during his/her stay.

In addition to this, add on the price of a transport card or the costs associated with the provision of the vehicle (petrol, insurance). 

As a reminder, the visa fees, the plane ticket and the French courses are at the au pair’s expense. You are free to help with these costs, if you wish. 

The costs incurred for hosting an au pair are not tax deductible. You will have the status of a host family (host agreement / pocket money without pay slip) and not that of a private individual employer.

The au pair in France must work a maximum of 30 hours per week for a European and 25 hours per week for a non-European, including baby sitting. 

The au pair is granted at least 1 full day off per week, including at least one full weekend per month.

The au pair may babysit in the evening if this is included in his/her 25 or 30 hours of work. If the au pair has to do babysitting during the week beyond 25h / 30h, these extra hours will have to be compensated with off-days / extra pocket money …

Of course, the principle of hosting an au pair is based on flexibility but it is important to inform your au pair well in advance if you need a babysitter in order to make sure that he/she has no plans. 

Your au pair is not responsible for your children during the night. 

If you are on business trips and you are away one or more nights per month, a legal guardian of the children must be present in the accommodation or nearby (less than an hour) to intervene if there is an emergency (parents / grandparents / uncle and aunt) or if, for example, the au pair must bring the children to the hospital.

Au pairs are not early childhood professionals.

If you only have one child under the age of 3, you will not be able to host an au pair who will need a visa (only a European one). 

If you have a child under the age of 3 years, the visa can be accepted under the condition that you can prove that your child is in a nursery or with a childcarer during the day. The au pair is not a substitute for professional childcare. His/her mission will be exclusively to drop him/her off or pick him/her up at the crèche / to the nanny but not to be responsible for him/her.


Social Security coverage only covers part of the medical expenses, so the difference in costs is your responsibility. It is therefore advisable to take out an Au Pair Insurance policy (health expenses / hospitalization / repatriation / civil liability) with a private insurer which will provide coverage of even the slightest of costs, without deductible and without waiting periods.

The average policy costs about 25€ per month for a European national and 40€ per month for a person outside the European Union.

If you want your au pair to drive your vehicle, ask your car insurer to add your young person onto your insurance contract. You should also decide with your au pair who will pay the excess if he/she was at fault in an accident with your car.


Whether the au pair comes from the European Union or not, it doesn’t change anything. Host families must declare their au pair to the URSSAF for the payment of contributions and for the affiliation of the young person to the French Social Security for any stay longer than 3 months.  It is your responsibility to declare your au pair to the URSSAF. Burtfly accompanies you in these steps.

For stays of less than 3 months, there are no URSSAF contributions to pay.

The aim of the au pair stay is to live in immersion within the family to be able to practice French on a daily basis and to get to know the way of life of a French family. 

Most families have an extra room in their main accommodation for the au pair. Some families, especially Parisian families, provide a separate, living-out room or a studio in a building close to their home with a minimum area of 9m2 with a window.

In this case, the room must be equipped with a bathroom and toilet as well as WIFI access.

If you provide your au pair with a car, the rules for the use of the car must be defined upon the arrival of the au pair.

For example, perhaps the au pair only uses the car to accompany the children and to go to his/her French lessons. If he/she uses public transport for her personal travel or if he/she uses the car for personal travel, the gas costs are at his/her expense. It is important to explain this gas budget and to define precisely what you are paying for and what your au pair has to pay.

The insurance for the vehicle is the responsibility of the family.

In case of an accident, the deductible can be covered by the au pair and it is important to inform him/her of how the car insurance works at the beginning of the stay.

Her health expenses are covered by the health insurance you have taken out for your au pair. 

They must continue to receive pocket money even if he/she is ill. 

The au pair is in charge of the tasks related to the children: waking them up, getting them dressed, giving them breakfast, taking them to school, playing with them, giving them a bath, making them do homework, accompanying them or driving them to extra-curricular activities. The au pair also participates in the daily chores of family life such as emptying the dishwasher, keeping the living areas clean, clearing the table, doing the dishes.

Under no circumstances does the au pair replace a cleaning lady: she does not have to clean the whole house, do the dusting, maintain the garden or other. She can participate if the whole family participates in this type of tidying but she does not do it for you.

The au pair has a minimum of one day off per week and one full weekend per month. 

The au pair will also benefit from one week of paid holidays every 3 months. The minimum is 2 weeks per year.

The subject of holidays is an important one which should be discussed during the first interviews with the au pair candidates. 

3 possibilities: 

  • you invite them on holiday with you: this means that they will accompany you but they will not be in charge of the children during 25-30 hours that week. 
  • the au pair accompanies you on holiday and will have to be in charge of the children as usual. They will therefore receive pocket money as usual.
  • you do not want your au pair to accompany you and they are therefore free to organise their week of holidays as they wish.  

When you go through an agency, you have the guarantee that the candidates are briefed on the conditions of the au pair program and have a serious profile (experience with children, languages spoken, motivation to be an au pair). 

We only introduce you to candidates who are eligible for the au pair programme in their country. We save you time by presenting you both serious profiles but also by managing the administrative procedures (contract / visa / insurance…). 

We will be with you throughout the process, if ever you have a question or problem, and it is very common for you to need advice or have questions. 

If this is a first experience, it is always better to be accompanied by professionals who know the ins and outs! 

In the event of a minor dispute, the Butrfly team acts as mediator (outside of the formalities package).

In the case of a major dispute and willingness to break the stay, the au pair and the family have 2 weeks notice to terminate their contract. During the notice period, the au pair works and is paid.

Between a month and a year. If your au pair has a visa, it can be extended for one year after the first year. A young person can only be an au pair for a maximum of 2 years.

A distinction is made between au pairs for summer stays between 1 and 2 months (who may be French or foreign depending on the length of the period) and au pairs for stays longer than 3 months (who are normally foreign). 

In all cases, you will have to sign a host contract which summarizes all the terms and conditions of your au pair’s stay.

Testimonials 👇

Read the testimonials of our host families and Au Pairs.

Frederic M
December 15, 2021
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Relevance of matches. We've used Butrfly now for 3 years in a row to find our au pairs, from South Africa, Germany and the USA. Each time, the team was able to find us the rare pearl by listening to our expectations. What a time saver compared to other services! Thank you!!!
February 8, 2022
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Great experience. Butrfly helped us recruit our 1st au pair. We were in an emergency situation and were delighted with the service and support. The profiles selected are really great. I highly recommend Butrfly.
March 3, 2022
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Butrfly was able to understand our expectations and the way our family functioned, so as to offer us the best profile. And the support doesn't stop there, as the team is always available. The principle of videoconferencing between families to discuss our questions is also a real plus!
Laura Dimaiuta
February 3, 2022
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Butrfly saved us! After going through Aupair World and finding the wrong person, Butrfly found us a gem! Highly recommended!
Barbizet Charlotte
March 21, 2022
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Very good experience with Butrfly. We found an Au Pair for next year, and we were very pleasantly assisted in our search.
Florence Rive
March 18, 2023
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We are very happy with our experience. Our au pair is very pleasant, participates in family life and gets on very well with our children. Butterfly manages the introductions efficiently and then follows up on the file.
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