Au pair information
What’s an Au Pair?
An Au Pair in a Belgium is a young single 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 for 20 hours per week in exchange for room, board and pocket money (stipend).
The Au Pair program in Belgium is one of cultural exchange and the Au Pair must be given the opportunity to learn a foreign language (Flemish or French are most common) 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. The Au Pair usually does not have formal childcare training but must have documented and/or verifiable experience and must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
What does an Au Pair in Belgium earn and what other expenses are paid for by the family?
The stipend in Belgium for 20 hrs a week of light housework and childcare is currently at least € 450 per month. The family will pay for your room and board and medical insurance for the duration of your stay. The family is responsible for offering you a paid language course as well (usually Flemish or French depending on the area that you are placed in). On top of this, the family will pay for you travelling expenses to and from your home country depending on your country of origin (conditions apply) and will offer you a monthly telephone allowance of € 10. You are also entitled to one week of paid vacation per 6 months worked.
Why should I use an agency to Au Pair in the Belgium?
An Au Pair agency offers you invaluable protection, advice and security while you are far away from your family members and friends. House-o-Orange Belgium was founded in 2021 but is a derivative of House-o-Orange Au Pairs which is one of the oldest (founded in 2000) and most prestigious agencies in Europe and is a sister agency to House-o-Orange South Africa which was founded in 2010. We are longstanding members of IAPA (International Au Pair Association) and we work according to a carefully crafted code of conduct. We care greatly about our Au Pairs and each family that applies to hire an Au Pair through us is taken through a stringent procedure which includes a home check and income check. For our South African and Namibian candidates, a weekend long training at our beautiful Cape Town office is included in the selection process.
Once you arrive in Belgium you will have full support from our staff and will receive regular phone calls, e-mails and invitations from us. You will become an automatic member of our Orange Au Pair Club which is a social club that will allow you to get in touch with other Au Pairs all around the country and in The Netherlands and you will receive invitations to our social events, a welcome package and information about language courses, help with your visa process and more. We have an emergency number available for you, will help you with questions and will offer support when you need it. If you need a safe space to stay, we have accommodation available in case of an emergency at our office in Schilde (Antwerp area). Becoming a House-o-Orange Au Pair means that you will be matched to the best families and will have a full year of support from one of the most professional companies in the industry.
What qualifications do I need in order to become an Au Pair through House-o-Orange Au Pairs?
We are looking for Au Pairs with fluency in English and an interest in learning Flemish or French that truly love children and have the experience to back up the claim. Perhaps you have worked in a school or daycare, have studied teaching or nursing, have done volunteering, have coached younger kids, or have simply been babysitting since your teens; all of these qualifications will help you find a placement. You must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, be in good health, be flexible on your starting date and be available for at least 6 months if you have an EU passport or 12 months if you are not from the EU. In exceptional cases we can place candidates on a 10 month visa, please enquire via email@example.com to see if you qualify. We do not place candidates who smoke so if you want to Au Pair, make sure that you have kicked that bad habit. You must also be able to provide us with a clean criminal record and we do not place candidates who are married or have children of their own. The age bracket is 18-26 for Belgium (visa needs to be approved before 26th birthday) and we can place both boys and girls although it takes longer to place boys and they have to be super qualified.
Most of our families have up to 3 kids and we like candidates that understand that and can care for multiple children. A driver’s license is not a prerequisite but it is preferred and will help you find a placement quicker. You should also be able to cycle comfortably and to be able to ride a “bakfiets” or cargo bike that some of our families have, you have to be at least 1.55 meters tall. We are looking for candidates that have a variety of hobbies, that are sporty and if you are musical, so much the better! Our families and their kids love an Au Pair who plays piano or sings. But hockey or soccer players are very popular too! Are you creative? Do you enjoy arts & crafts? Great! Our families and their kids will love you! So what are you waiting for? Apply now by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or start your on-line application here.
How much will it cost to become an Au Pair through House-o-Orange and what’s the process?
Once your application is received we will let you know whether or not we think we can place you and if we have a partner agency in your home country we will forward your application to them. You can also find our partners by clicking on our our partner page. If we do not have a partner agency in your home country but if you have already been a successful Au Pair in another country, we might be able to work with you directly. Please enquire by emailing us at email@example.com. If you are in doubt if you qualify, please contact us and we can discuss your options with your directly.
Once you have been accepted into the program, you will be charged a registration fee by the agent in your home country or by our head office. You will also be asked to pay for translation of documents, training, a portion of your visa and more. Please query us if you are unsure of any payment. You are also going to have to pay for your own passport, medical tests in your home country, clean criminal record and transport to the airport. In most cases you will be paying € 500 – € 700 in order to become an au pair in Belgium.
What if I’m already in Europe on another Au Pair program?
If you are currently in Europe on another Au Pair program and are interested in continuing your Au Pair journey, please contact us directly on firstname.lastname@example.org regardless of your nationality. If you have au paired before (in the USA, Germany, France, the Netherlands or Scandinavia for instance) you can apply directly through our on-line system. If you have the South African or Namibian nationality, please contact the South African office at email@example.com to get the process started.
A registration fee and fees for medical tests, other required documents and your portion of the visa as well as a placement fee, still apply.
What should I do to register with House-o Orange Au Pairs?
Au Pair candidates should contact a local agent in their country of origin and South African or Namibian candidates should contact our Cape Town office via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We prefer to work through a network of agencies that are part of IAPA. An IAPA agency can be found through www.iapa.org.
We are sometimes able to work with Au Pairs directly, please e-mail us on email@example.com to find out if you qualify for a direct placement.
Belgium, is that lovely little country right below The Netherlands, next to Germany and Luxembourg and above France, smack in the middle of the European Union and with 60 kilometres of luscious sandy coast right on the North Sea to the west. It is not large but it is extremely densely populated and currently has about 11,5 million inhabitants.
Belgium is divided into regions, Flanders in the North where Flemish (Dutch) is spoken, Wallonia in the South where French is mostly spoken and Brussels-Capital Region which is also predominantly French speaking. A small portion of Belgians are native German speaking. Some note worthy Belgian towns and cities include Brugge (Venice of the North as it is known), Antwerp, Brussels and Gent.
Did you know?
That Belgium has a royal family? And that it is known as The Kingdom of Belgium? That Brussels is home to EU and NATO headquarters? That many Belgians are bilingual and are able to speak both Flemish and French? That 60 % of Belgians are Roman Catholic while 30 % of Belgians are not religious? That although Belgians are divided by language and culture (Flemish versus Wallonians) they are also able to show solidarity and will come together during difficult times?
The Belgian people are known for being polite and kind and for living the good life and loving beautiful things. Belgian food is amazing (Belgian chocolates, Waffles, and Belgian Fries and Beer are world famous) clothes are gorgeous (designers like Anne DeMeulemeester and Dries van Noten and even Diane von Furstenberg are all Belgian) and Belgian homes are generally spacious and bought for life. The Belgian climate is mild but there is a lot of variability depending on where you are based and if you are close to the sea (coast) or in the mountains (Ardennen) where Belgians often have their second holiday homes. Regardless, summers are generally warm and winters are cooler and wet with some days of snow and ice.
Our office is in Flanders (just to the North of Antwerp) and many of our families are in the Antwerp area but we are also able to place au pairs in the capital Brussels or in Wallonia. As an au pair you do not need to speak the language just yet but it does help and if you are able to do a Dutch or French course before arriving, it will certainly be an asset to you and your host family, once you arrive.
Belgium-links for further reading
Are you eager to find out more about Belgium? Try these links: