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.
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.