Work 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



work hours aupairIn 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 shortly afterward some time off 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. Even if you have enough time during your au pair stay you are not allowed to take any other jobs.



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 work hours in foreign countries (per week)

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



I had a very clear working schedule.In the mornings I always had free time because the children were in school, in the afternoons I worked from 1 PM until 5 PM. If I had to babysit, I would watch movies with the children." Pavla, 22




More information:

Au Pair is not a cleaning woman
Au pair duties
Pockety money