Au Pair FAQS



What is an au pair?

An au pair is a young person who moves to a foreign country to live with a host family and provide childcare services in exchange for accommodation and pocket money.


What are the requirements for an au pair?

  • 20 – 26 years of age
  • 200 hours (about 1 week 1 and a half days) of childcare experience
  • 2 x childcare references from non-family members.
  • Commit for the full duration


What are the benefits of being an au pair overseas?

  • Cultural exchange
  • Personal growth
  • Developing soft skills
  • Character building
  • Seeing the world


Can you still apply if you don’t have a passport?

Certainly. While waiting for your passport from Home Affairs, one can apply.


Can you still apply if you don’t have a driver’s license?

Yes, although it is a requirement of the experience that au pairs applying for USA, Italy and France hold a valid driver’s license, one does not need a driver’s license to au pair in the Netherlands. An application can still be submitted while obtaining the driver’s license.


Is there an age limit to au pair overseas?

Yes. The ideal age range for an au pair overseas is 18 – 26 years.


Do you need to be fluent in any other languages besides English?

You do not need to be fluent in any language besides English to qualify to au pair overseas, however, fluency in French, Dutch and or Italian is an advantage.


What type of references are required?

Two (2) references from non-family members to support the application. These are references of parents whose children one took care of; an educator or co-educator of the school or nursery in which; a fellow coach or board member at an organization where one trained or worked with children; or a representative from the youth program.


How will interviews be conducted?

Online Teams interview, a Teams invitation link with be provided with all the details required to attend the interview.


How to prepare for the interview?

Strong internet connection and connect to the Teams link at least 15 minutes before the interview time. Sit in a quiet room with a clear background to ensure that there are no interruptions.


How long does it take to get matched with a host family?

Finding a host family typically takes 4 – 6 weeks (about 1 and a half months). During this time one can interview multiple families before being matched.


Does one pay all the expenses upfront?

An R1,500 nonrefundable deposit to join the experience is paid on successful completion of interview. The balance of the fee is invoiced once matched with a host family.


What travel destinations can an au pair choose?

Should you meet the requirements, one can choose to au pair in the USA, Netherlands, Italy, or France.


Do you have an option to au pair for less than 12 months?

Yes. Au pair for 3 months in Italy and or 6-12 months in France.


Can you au pair in Europe for 3, 6 or 12 months?

The duration of the au pairing experience varies depending on the passport held by the au pair. For those requiring a visa, you can stay up to 3 months. If the au pair holds a USA, Australian, New Zealand or European passport, you can stay for 3 – 12 months.


Can you extend your stay?

Countries extensions are as follows:

  • Netherlands – 12 months, with no extension
  • USA – 12 months, with the option to extend for a further 12 months
  • Italy – 3 months (If you have the right passport you may extend) Read the above FAQ.
  • France – 12 months, with the option to extend for a further 12 months


Do you accept male au pairs?

Hopscotch Travel welcomes men to apply! However, it is important to note that the search for a host family might take longer for male applicants. Therefore, being open-minded and highly motivated is essential, along with having significant childcare and driving experience. The more childcare experience you have, the better your chances of finding a suitable host family.


What is the weekly stipend?

In Europe, au pairs receive a weekly stipend directly from their host family. The amount of this stipend ranges from 80 to 150 euros, depending on the level of experience. In the USA au pairs receive a monthly stipend directly from their host family. The amount of this stipend ranges from $190 to $200, depending on the level of experience.


Are flights included in the experience fee?

USA and Netherlands include return flights. Italy and France, flights will be booked through Hopscotch flight partner, Pentravel.


What is included in the experience?

  • Screened & Safe Host Family
  • First Aid Course
  • Return Flights (USA & Netherlands)
  • Accommodation & Meals
  • Visa and Flight support
  • Hopscotch Travel support


What type of family will one get matched with?

A friendly and safe host family that has been screened and vetted to ensure your safety and security.


What type of visa do you need to au pair overseas?

Each country requires a different Visa. Hopscotch guides you every step of the visa process.

  • USA – J1 VISA
  • France – Jeune au pair VISA
  • Italy – 90 DAY Schengen visa
  • Netherlands – MVV LONG-STAY VISA


Is it guaranteed that one will find a host family?

The process of securing a host family takes around 4 to 6 weeks (about 1 and a half months), during which au pairs may participate in interviews with multiple families until a suitable match is found. At Hopscotch Travel, we guarantee a host family.


Does one have the option to study while overseas?

USA au pair experience provides a study allowance to the value of R8 384 to study a course of one’s choice.


What if the Au Pair does not have a good relationship with their host family?

Hopscotch Travel has a rematch process that is 2 weeks, however, it is not guaranteed that the aupair will find a new host family, but that is why Hopscotch Travel encourages au pairs to make sure that their host family is the right match by asking the right questions.


What if the Au Pair decides to leave their host family after arriving?

There is a 5-step process that the Au Pair will need to follow. This will be discussed in the interview.


Will the Au Pair receive full support when they are overseas?

Ongoing support is provided to ensure there is an easy transition overseas.