Au Pair in Holland
Who is an au pair? What is an au pair?
An au pair is a young person between the ages of 18 – 25 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. Three big European rivers (Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt) reach the ocean via the Netherlands and create an important delta. 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.
Sports, Culture & People
The most popular sports in the Netherlands are football (soccer), hockey, tennis, cycling, golf, volleyball, korfball, handball, swimming and ice-skating. Dutch football and speed skating especially enjoy a worldwide reputation. 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’. This also happens on the Queen’s birthday, a national holiday, on April 30th each year!
The Dutch are creative, open minded and pragmatic. They are also rather direct, honest and open in their dealings with others. The Dutch love to practice foreign languages and you will find that most people speak English, some French as well as German. As Holland is so small, the public transportation system is excellent; trains & buses get you wherever you need to go quickly and the bicycle is a typical and simple way to move around your city and neighbourhood. It is also easy to take a short trip to many other countries including Belgium, Germany, France and more!
The weather is totally unpredictable in the Netherlands! The sea has a great effect on the climate of Holland. 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. In January and February, the average maximum temperature is about 5 degrees centigrade. Summers are quite warm with maximum temperatures averaging 20 to 25 degrees centigrade in July and August. In the east and south-east winters are a few degrees colder and summers a few degrees warmer. Spring is the driest season. Temperatures in April and May vary between 12 and 25 degrees centigrade.
What does the Au Pair Program in Holland include?
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.
- Pocket-money 300 euro a month + 10 euro phone allowance
- Family pays for flight up to 1200 euro
- Medical insurance for the au pair (insurance covers traveling, liability, medical aid)
- Optional language course paid for by the family
- Au pair works a maximum of 30 hours a week. No more than 8 hrs a day, no more than 5 days a week, always at least one full weekend off per month
- Canadian au pairs can apply for permission to say (visa) AFTER ARRIVAL!
Families will help with traveling expenses to and from your home country. In most cases the families will pay for your ticket upfront. This does mean however, that in case you decide not to fulfill the 12 months of the contract, you will need to reimburse the host family for the remainder of the costs pro rata.
We also offer The Orange Au Pair Club to all of our au pairs in Belgium & the Netherlands. Membership is automatic and gives the au pair the opportunity to participate in all of our Orange Au Pair Club outings and allows her to receive our au pair list, welcome package with a manual, information about a language schools as well as support from our agency. Twice a year the host family and their children are also invited to the Orange Au Pair Club activities.
A brief overview with all the Au Pair benefits:
- Screened and high quality host family
- Au pair agency to answer all your questions before and during your stay
- Membership of the Orange Au Pair Club
- Room and board
- Pocket money per month value € 300
- Insurance cover for 12 months value € 500
- Prepaid flight (provided you stay for 12 months) value € 1000
- Visa for 12 months value € 750
- Phone allowance per month value € 10
- 2 weeks of paid vacation per 12 months
Requirements to Au Pair in the Netherlands
The requirements of the au pair program in Holland are as follows:
- Aged between 18 and 25
- Canadian citizen with a passport valid for at least 15 months
- 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
- Good health
- Not married
- No criminal record
- Willingness to explore and experience a different country and culture
How to Apply for the Au Pair Program in Holland
Documents to be sent immediately:
- Completed Application Form (contact Latitude International to receive this)
- 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)
Documents to bring with you to the Netherlands:
- Original Passport
- International Drivers Licence (If Applicable)
- Legalised Long Form Birth Certificate Translated
Au Pair Application Process
In order to get ready for your au pair in the Netherlands program, these are the steps that you need to take:
1. Fill out the application form attached & gather all other required documents above
2. Hand in your completed application package (this is the official registration) & pay the program application fee $600 CAD
3. Apply for all other official documents that are needed for going to the Netherlands (long form birth certificate)
4. Match with a family
5. Travel to the Netherlands
6. Apply for the permission to stay
See attached files for application form. Send your completed application by email to Latitude International Education. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
Au Pair Visa Requirements for Canadians Staying in the Netherlands
Canadian 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 passport with a validity of at least 15 months
- 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.
Enjoy your stay in the Netherlands !