An au pair is a young adult wishing to experience a new culture and lifestyle by sharing their time, culture and Apply Now!helping hands with a family in a foreign country. The words “au pair” come from the French meaning ‘at par’, or ‘equal to’. Taking this into consideration, the au pair is meant to be an equal part of the family and treated as a family member.
Latitude International is actively recruiting qualified au pairs for the Netherlands to start August/September 2017.
Sample family profiles are available here.
- At a Glance
- Program Description
- Eligibility & Visas
- Perks of being an Au Pair
- Fees & How to Apply
What is an Au Pair?
An au pair is a young person between the ages of 18 – 26 who lives with a family in a country other than his or her own for a maximum of 12 months, helps with general housework and childcare in exchange for room, board and pocket money (stipend). The au pair program is one of cultural exchange and the au pair is given the opportunity to learn a foreign language and to experience the culture of the country that he/she is in. In return, the au pair will be asked to perform general household duties (washing and tidying up, laundry, ironing, cooking etc.) and to take care of children during a limited number of hours a day and/or baby-sit at night. The au pair is not an employee but a member of the family and will be treated as such.
Tulips, clogs, canals, windmills, cheese, soccer, water, the little boy with his finger in the dyke, tolerance, red light district, Amsterdam and coffeeshops are generally the first things that come to mind when non-Dutchies are questioned about Holland. But the Kingdom of the Netherlands is much more than that! With over 16.5 million people and a population density of 488 people per km2, the Netherlands is the most densely populated country of the European Union and one of the mostly densely populated countries in the world. The total size of the Netherlands is 41,500 km2. Amsterdam is the capital, but the government resides in The Hague.
Water dominates the Dutch landscape. 26% of the Netherlands is under sea level. During a age-long battle against the water, the Dutch constructed a water system consisting of dykes, polders and weirs. However, the Netherlands offers more variation than the familiar green, flat polder landscape with black and white cows.
The most popular sports in the Netherlands are football (soccer), hockey, tennis, cycling, golf, volleyball, korfball, handball, swimming and ice-skating. Orange is related to the Dutch Royal Family and represents the national identity of the Netherlands. That’s why Dutch fans dress up in orange. During some sport events the whole country turns orange and people become infected with what they like to call the ‘orange fever’.
The weather is totally unpredictable in the Netherlands! The average winter is mild, although a sudden cold snap in January or February will have the skaters out with a vengeance on our lakes and waterways. Summers are quite warm with maximum temperatures averaging 20 to 25 degrees centigrade in July and August.
What is it like to be an Au Pair in Holland?
The host family provides the au pair with a private room including bed and desk. It will, be properly furnished, clean and pleasant. The hosting au pair agency always meets the hosting families and views the rooms and facilities before an au pair placement is made. Many families will provide their au pair with phone & computer facilities, as well as a TV and radio/CD player. If such facilities are not provided, the au pair will have access to these facilities in the living room or common areas of the home, like any other member of the family would.
As mentioned, the host family also provides the au pair with full board, however that does not mean that the au pair is entitled to her own private weekly shopping list of organic foods, exotic fruits and prime cuts of beef… It means that the au pair is to join in with family meals and eat the foods that are bought by the family. Eating meals with the host family is an important part of cultural exchange for both parties. It enables both the au pair and the host parents to review the daily activities and to get to know one another a lot better.
Besides the room and board you receive from your host family, the au pair program includes more than that. The program includes customized placement and personal service throughout your stay abroad. Orientation, cultural activities and emergency services are all provided for you while you are an au pair in Holland.
Everyone has a problem adapting to a new culture and some au pairs might suffer from a culture shock. But don’t assume that the task of breaking the ice is only the family’s responsibility. The children may be difficult to handle at the beginning but they will soon start to respond if you play with them and show them attention. Homesickness can happen throughout your stay, but generally more at the beginning of your settling period. These feelings are natural and you must try to understand them as something that will pass rather than an indication that moving abroad was a mistake. Keeping yourself busy and build a social life will be the key to a successful stay.
Requirements for Au Pair in Holland
The requirements of the au pair program in Holland are as follows:
- Aged between 18 and 26
- Canadian, American, Australian, New Zealand citizen with a passport valid for at least 15 months or European national
- Having some child care or baby-sitting experience
- Having a genuine love and interest for children
- Being able to ride a bike, a driver’s license is not essential but definitely preferred
- Fluent in English
- In good physical and mental health (must provide doctor’s certificate)
- Not married
- No criminal record
- Willingness to explore and experience a different country and culture
Canadian, American, Australian, New Zealand nationals may enter the Netherlands without a visa, as a tourist, and the host family will submit the application to the IND on behalf of the au pair AFTER ARRIVAL as a temporary foreign worker. The au pair is responsible to provide the following documents upon application & registration in the Netherlands:
- Canadian, American, Australian, New Zealand passport with a validity of at least 15 months or European national
- Legalized long form birth certificate in English, Dutch, French or German. The birth certificate must be legalized by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands or Dutch Consulate General in Canada. The fee for this service is $34.00 CAD. If the document is not in one of the languages mentioned above, a certified translation must also be legalized along with the original document. If you cannot submit in person, you may send the document that needs to be legalized to the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ottawa or Consulate General in Toronto or Vancouver and add a note with your request for legalization, your contact information and a money order covering the legalization fee. The document to be legalized must have been issued within the past year (12 months). If any name change has taken place since that time, you must present the document which reflects this change.
What benefits does an Au Pair in Holland receive?
- Max 30 hours / week, max 8 hours / day, max 5 days / week
- Minimum 1 full weekend off per month
- 2 weeks paid vacation per 12 months
- €340 pocket-money / month
- €250 bonus after 12 months completion
- free room & board
Low program application fee 34€ ($40)!!
How to Apply to be an Au Pair in Holland?
Low program application fee of $50 CAD !
When you decide to apply for the Au Pair in Holland Program, please make sure that you have the following documents ready, prior to your application and arrival to Holland:
- Completed Application Form
- Dear Host Family Letter
- Passport Picture
- References (1 Character and 2 Childcare)
- Photo Collage (5 or 6 Pictures Maximum)
- Diplomas (Translations Only)
- Medical Form
- Signed Au Pair Agreement
- Copy of Passport (First Page)
- Police Clearance
- Copy of Drivers License (If Applicable)
Aside from the above mentioned documents, these are the documents that you should bring with you to the Netherlands:
- Original Passport
- International Drivers Licence (if applicable)
- Legalised Long Form Birth Certificate Translated
In order to get ready for your Au Pair in Holland program, these are the steps that you need to take:
- Fill out the online au pair application form & submit it with your resume (CV), host family letter and copy of your passport.
- After submitting your online au pair application form, your application will be reviewed. If your application is accepted, you will be prompted to pay $50 CAD/USD or 50€ non-refundable application processing fee. This must be paid before proceeding with the skype interview and the rest of the application process. This fee can be paid by paypal, interac e-transfer or bank transfer.
- Skype interview with program coordinator, part 2 of application process explained. The coordinator will send you the complete list after your Skype interview.
- Complete part 2 of the application process which includes submitting other required documents such as references, criminal record check, birth certificate, diploma, photos and more.
- Pay $40 CAD program fee.
- Apply for all other official documents that are needed for going to the Netherlands (long form birth certificate)
- Match with a family
- Travel to the Netherlands
- Apply for work permit with the help of the host family and agency