The purpose of the au pair-program is cultural exchange. The origin can be traced back to the European au pair-agreement of 1969 in which the movement of adventurous young Europeans crossing borders was regulated. An au pair stays in the home of a host family as part of the family, while primarily learning about the Norwegian ways, language and society and exchanging cultural knowledge with friends and family. It is important that both the au pair and host family recognize the purpose of the program as cultural exchange. This means that an au pair is not a housemaid nor a nanny. However, you are expected to do some work in return and for this your recieve pay/pocket money.
UDI writes, «As an au pair, you can improve your language skills and learn about Norwegian society by living with a Norwegian family. In return, you will provide services such as light housework and/or child care for the host family.» We recommend you to click on the link and read thouroughly the UDI circular on the au pair-program.
An au pair and the host family must agree on the terms of the au pair-stay in the UDI au pair-contract. You can find the contract here. In any case, an au pair cannot work more than five hours per day, with a maximum of 30 hours per week. Contact Caritas au pair-senter if you need help with the contract or have other questions.
Who can be a host family?
- Host families can be married couples, partners or cohabitants with or without children.
- Host families can also be single parents with children and at least 50 % of the daily child care.
- The host family must have thorough knowledge of Norwegian society and language.
- You can not be related to the au pair.
- Usually you cannot have the same country of origin as the au pair because the permit is about cultural exchange.
- At least one of the parents of the host family must complete UDI’s e-learning course for host families.