The Netherlands

The Netherlands

The Netherlands (Holland) are a perfect destination if you want to go abroad as an au pair. It is a good base to travel in Europe and there is more than just the tulips, windmills, cheese, cows and clogs. Dutch people attach much value to family and social life and are friendly, open-minded and interested in people from all over the world. Host families are straightforward and direct, they like open communication. Sometimes this can come across as being a bit rude, but you need to understand that this is the Dutch culture and that communication is important. Besides that, Holland is a country where young people have a lot of opportunities to explore their educational and language capacities, travel with friends and family and to be conscious about their own character and culture.

Application and requirements

To the Netherlands with Au Pair New ZealandYou can become an au pair in Holland if you are minimum 18 and maximum 30 years and 6 months old and the duration for this programme is a consecutive 12 months. The best time of the year to arrive is between August and October, just after the summer holidays and right before the primary school starts again. As families start searching 4-6 months before an au pair’s arrival, it is important to send in your application as early as possible.

To start the procedure and become an au pair in Holland, we will give you all the information you need, before you register with Au Pair New Zealand. We will then register you with our partner agency. After this you will receive an email from us with a login and password so that you can upload additional documents. We will assist you during the time that your application is in circulation and help you during the matching process.

The documents that we need are:

An application form, 1 character and 2 childcare references (not by family members or friends), a medical report (partly filled out by yourself and partly by your GP), a letter to your host family, a photo collage (in PDF or Word) or a video, 1 profile photo, a copy of all pages in your passport (to be send in one document and your passport shall be valid 6 months after leaving Holland), a police clearance (not older than 3 months when you apply), a copy of your high school diploma and papers to apply for the permit to stay.  You will also need to bring your birth certificate so that you can register at the town hall after arrival in The Netherlands.

Once there is a match and all your documents are received, our partner agency will inform your host family about the visa application process, make sure they collect all documents required, check the documents and send them off to the the IND (Dutch Immigration). The IND checks the visa application and will approve the visa in two weeks. After, they will send the visa approval to our partner agency by airmail, who will then forward the approval to us. We will then schedule a visa appointment for you ASAP and inform you about all the documents that you need to bring to the Dutch Embassy. It takes 1 to 2 weeks before you will receive your passport including your visa. Please note that this visa will only be valid for 3 months, but you will receive your permit to stay – which allows you to stay in the Netherlands for 12 months – after you have arrived in the Netherlands.

You shall book your flight only after you have received your passport including the visa from the embassy. The ticket shall always be a round trip and valid for 12 months. Check for an appropriate arrival date with your host family.

Tasks

Go to the Netherlands with Au Pair New Zealand 6As an au pair you will be expected to take care of the children, but also help with light household duties. The duties that you will do will depend on the family, but can include washing dishes, loading and unloading the dishwasher, preparing simple meals, keeping the kitchen clean, general tidying up and cleaning, shopping groceries, loading laundry into the washing machine, folding clothes, ironing, tidying and cleaning of children’s rooms, tidying and cleaning of your own room, vacuuming, dusting, mopping the floors, taking out garbage – but only on the ground floor, walking and feeding pets, watering plants and flowers and  making and changing beds.

Tasks that are not part of the expected light household chores but can be asked by the family are for example all tasks for which you are solely responsible within the host family, all tasks with regard to gardening and the garden, washing of windows (inside and outside), scrubbing, mopping/scrubbing any area larger than 30 m2, washing/cleaning a car or automobile and cleaning of the bathroom facilities unless these facilities are to be used solely by you.

You will never be single-handedly made responsible for household chores.

Rights and Responsibilities 

Work and free time

You will work maximum 30 hours per week and no more than 8 hours a day, spread out over a maximum of five days. Babysitting activities can be undertaken over a maximum 3 evenings per week. It is absolutely not allowed for a family to ask you to work more than 30 hours, even if they pay extra. These are government rules and need to be obeyed. Working hours will be agreed between your host family and yourself before arrival in Holland. You are entitled to 2 days off per week and a minimum of one full weekend once per month.

An arrival pack with useful information will be waiting for you upon arrival, including activities that you can join.

Holidays

You are entitled to two weeks of paid holidays per 12 months, during which time your pocket money will be paid in full. If your placement is for a shorter period of time, holidays are awarded accordingly. It is your and your host family’s responsibility to agree on the holidays together prior to the start of your au pair journey.

Language course

A maximum of 320 € (ca. 535 NZD) annually will be paid by the host family. This money is only meant to be spend on a course and will not be given in cash.

Accommodation and meals

All costs during the duration of your au pair stay with regard to food and drinks are to be bought completely by the host family. You need to be registered at the same address than the host family for the duration you are staying and living there. In other words, you live with the family at the same address and become a part of the family, which is the spirit of the au pair programme. At this address, you will have a room with a window containing minimum a bed, a desk and a chair. Bath/shower facilities must be offered if and when desired.

Pocket money, travel costs and insurance

You will receive a minimum of 300 € per month (ca. 500 NZD), regardless of whether or not you actually work the maximum of 30 hours per week.

Go to the Netherlands with Au Pair New Zealand 1It is your responsibility to pay for your own ticket. Make sure that the ticket can be changed, is valid for 365 days and does not have a transit flight in a country where you need a visa. A copy of the flight ticket should be send to us as soon as the ticket is booked. Possible options should immediately be discussed between yourself and your host family. Costs for changing a ticket will be covered by the host family in case you stay for 12 months. If you decide to go home early, the costs for changing the flight will be paid by you.

The host family is responsible for taking out and paying for health, accident, repatriation and travel insurance in your name for the duration of your stay. We recommend you to have your own health and travel insurance if you want to go travelling.

Changing families

In case you and your host family have problems, we will always talk to both of you and mediate in the best possible way. If the problem does not get solved and the family and/or you decide to not continue with each other, our partner agency will try to find a new au pair for your host family and a new family for you. Please note that a replacement is done in 50% of the cases. If we cannot find a host family you must return home. Staying in Holland or travelling through Europe is not an option as you will be reported as illegal when you are not with a host family. Our partner agency has the obligation to the IND (Dutch Immigration) to report everything that happens with you.

You will always be invited to our partner’s office (or if not possible, a Skype interview will take place) for a replacement interview. You can only get another family if you can stay for max. 6 months until you leave Holland. During the replacement interview our colleagues will ask you some questions to find out what kind of family you are looking for and if you are suitable to be replaced. It sometimes happens that after this replacement interview it is decided that you will not be placed in another family. In most cases though, our colleagues will try to find you a new family. Please note that you and your host family have to give two weeks’ notice. This means that from the moment you or your host family have agreed to stop the cooperation, you can stay for maximum 2 weeks with them. This means that we need to find you another family within two weeks. Sometimes you may find a family on your own. In that case it is very important that you inform our colleagues and us and let us both know the contact details of the family and the agency that the family is with. A new family should always apply for a “new visa” and in case they don’t we will report you as being illegally in Holland.

Visa

As per the 1st of June 2013, our partner agency is responsible for your visa. The Dutch host family will apply with their financial documents for the visa. It is not possible for a host family to apply for an Au Pair visa without an agency that is officially recognized by the Dutch Immigration office (IND). Check the website of the Dutch Embassy for the latest information and updates.  

Fees

The cost to participate in the Au Pair Holland programme is 45 NZD.