How to Become an Au Pair in Paris

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How to Become an Au Pair in Paris
Do you enjoy looking after children? Do you want to live in a new country? And are you aged between 18-30? Consider an au pair program: it’s a wonderful way to explore a new place, make life-long friends, and learn a new language. By sharing everyday life with a family, you immerse yourself in the local culture. Accommodation is provided, as is food, and you also get paid pocket money for expenses, all while living in the most incredible locations. Why Au Pair In Paris? Upon graduating from university in summer 2022, I began searching for my next big adventure. I didn’t take a gap year before beginning university, so I knew that I wanted a gap year (or two!) after my studies to travel, explore, and spend time doing the things I really love. I found that during my final year at university, I had not given any time to my extra-curricular passions, and so I wanted a situation where I could again absorb myself in my hobbies: art, travel, learning languages, concert-going, cooking… the list goes on. I have always loved France, and Paris in particular, and I have very fond memories of family holidays spent here. After deciding that I wanted to move to Paris for a year, I researched ways in which I could do just that. The Google search result that kept recurring: I have been a babysitter since I was 16, and I’ve also worked in a nursery and as a tutor for children of all ages, so I knew that this was the perfect route. Rich in culture and history, Paris is an incredible location to be an au pair. Whatever you enjoy most, whether that be food, fashion, art, history, or adventure, there will always be something for you to do. Beyond its obvious charms, Paris is also well situated to explore the rest of Europe, and it’s well connected by train to other cities: 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach Brussels, 2 hours and 10 minutes to access London, and 3 hours to reach Amsterdam, with trains also going to Barcelona, Berlin, Milan, and many other destinations. Paris is well connected by train to other cities. Photo by Siebe Warmoeskerken on Unsplash What Does an Au Pair Do? French legislation rules that EU au pairs must work no more than 30 hours per week, babysitting included, and non-EU au pairs must work no more than 25 hours per week, babysitting included. Hence, the average au pair will tend to work four hours a day, Monday through Friday, leaving enough hours to equate to one night of babysitting per week. Personally, I look after two young children and I am required to work Monday to Friday from 4.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Children in France do not have school on Wednesdays, so on Wednesdays I take them to their extracurricular activities at midday. Three days a week, I arrive at the family’s home an hour earlier to prepare dinner which is something I really enjoy. The day-to-day schedule is different for each au pair as all family situations are unique and depend on factors such as the age and number of the children. If your schedule requires you to work in the morning, this means simply that you drop the children at school at 8:30 a.m. At 4:30 p.m., au pairs manage school pick-up and either take the kids to an afterschool activity, to a park, or back to their house. Then you usually help the children with their homework, give them a bath, and entertain them until the parents/guardians get back from work. Some schedules require the au pair to also cook the dinner. Au pairs will then have dinner with the family before being let off. The typical schedule calls for one night of babysitting per week. This schedule means that the typical au pair is able to enjoy free time for the majority of the morning and early afternoon which affords the opportunity to experience living in a new city. Many au pairs use this time to attend language classes, explore museums, meet up with new friends, join new sports teams, take part in creative courses, or simply relax and enjoy a slower pace of life.

Lead photo credit : Photo by Léonard Cotte on Unsplash

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Inspired by the rich culture that France has to offer, Poppy Pearce moved to Paris as an au pair in August 2022. Having gained a degree in Theology and Religion with Arabic from the University of Exeter, Poppy has a passion for languages and experiencing new cultures. When she’s not working, Poppy loves to explore everything that Paris has to offer, from exhibitions and museums, to restaurants and second-hand clothing stores.


  • Peter Skipwith
    2022-12-08 05:31:07
    Peter Skipwith
    This article was very interesting and informative and quite different from the first. Very helpful to anyone wanting to be an au pair. Keep going Poppy, we loved your writing!