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Au pair works hours


How are your work hours as an au pair? What does a typical day as an au pair look like? Are there any laws about work hours for au pairs?

Read more about work hours as au pair here.


  • Work schedule: 30 hours per week, including 1-2 nights of baby sitting.
  • Free time: one day off per week (once a month it has to be a Sunday)
  • Your daily routine and your work hours can be very different, depending on the host family


In  Germany , your  work hours as an au pair  cannot exceed 30 hours per week. As an au pair in  Austria  you work a maximum of 20 hours per week and in  Switzerland , your work hours are also 30 hours per week.

In a day, you shouldn’t work more than 6 hours. If you  work  overtime as an au pair, your host family has to give you some time off shortly afterward in exchange. As an au pair, you have to have one day off per week; once a month this day has to be a Sunday.

Your host family has to give you additionally four free nights per week. If your au pair stay is 12 months, you can also claim a paid vacation of 4 weeks. If you stay less, you get 2 days off every month.

Everything that is related to child care or small jobs in the house is part of your work hours as an au pair. If you set the rules from the beginning, your life with the host family will be a lot easier. We recommend that you figure out a work schedule with your host family that includes your general work hours. That way, your family will know when you are available and you can also plan your free time abroad better. By the way, taking care of your personal problems or cleaning your room don’t count as au pair work hours.

How your work hours as an au pair are divided is something you have to figure out together with your host family. Your host family’s needs dictate your work hours. Usually, they follow the host parents’ job schedule and their office hours. If, for example, your host parents have irregular work hours or work in shifts, your work hours can vary, too. Therefore, it makes sense to check the circumstances of your work hours as an au pair when choosing a host family. Make sure that you will have enough time to take a language course during your free time.

If you go on vacation with your host family, it only counts as vacation if you don’t have to work and if you don’t have to be available. On the other hand, if you are responsible for the child care during the vacation, then it is clearly considered as part of your work hours as au pair.

If the host family goes on vacation and leaves you back home you are not allowed to work for other families, neighbors or friends during this time. Many au pairs use this opportunity to go back home or to travel.

On holidays, as a general rule, you have off. Should your host family need your help on a holiday they have to give you some time off for it.


Depending on your host family and its needs, a day as an au pair and your work hours can be very different. In families where the children are in kindergarten or go to school, you usually have the mornings off and your  work as an au pair  begins around noon when the children come back home.

In this case, your day as an au pair could look like this:
  • 6 – 1 PM free;
  • 1 PM pick up the children or wait for them at home;
  • 1.30 PM prepare a small meal for all of you;
  • 2.30 PM help them with their homework;
  • 3 PM be with the children or bring them to their afternoon activities;
  • 5 PM free time.


If there are little children in the host family who are not in a day care facility your day could look like this:
  • 8 AM wake up and have breakfast;
  • 8.30 AM take care of the children, get them dressed;
  • 9 AM play with the children;
  • 11 AM prepare a meal for you;
  • 12 PM prepare the nap;
  • 1 PM free time during the nap;
  • 2 PM dress the children after the nap;
  • 2.30 PM play with the children;
  • 3.30 PM free time.

These examples are meant to give you a rough idea of your daily work as an au pair. Of course, your work hours could also be completely different.

The working hours in other countries (per week):

Germany : 30 hours (+ Babysitting)
Austria : 20 hours (+ Babysitting)
Switzerland : 30 hours (min. 12 hours)
Great Britain : 25-30 hours (2 x Babysitting)
Ireland : 25-35 hours (3x Babysitting)
Belgium : 25-35 hours (2/3 x Babysitting)
The Netherlands : 30 hours
Sweden : 30 hours
Italy : 25-35 hours France:
30-34 hours (2/3 x Babysitting)
Spain : 30-35 hours
America : 45 hours
Canada : 40 hours (max. 12 hours per day)
Australia : 25-30 hours (2 x babysitting)
New Zealand: 25-40 hours
Denmark : 18-30 hours
Norway : 30 hours
Finland : 30 hours
South Africa : 30 hours