Skip to main content

Becoming an au pair in Ireland


Currently in Ireland, there is no legislation governing the au pair cultural exchange programme. In Ireland families are now obliged to pay minimum wage to an au pair as the au pair is considered to be an employee. For more information regarding minimum wages see the following information on the website.

General information


To help look after your host's children and help out with light household chores relating to the children. Discuss your duties with your host family before agreeing to an au pair stay. Always sign a contract with your host family and add household duties to this contract.


Pocket money
From our understanding, in Ireland families are now obliged to pay minimum wage to an au pair as the au pair is considered to be an employee.

Board and Lodging
From our understanding, if a family chooses to give board and lodging to  an au pair, they may deduct €54.13 per week from an au pair salary.



Travel expenses
You should bear the cost of all travel yourself unless otherwise agreed with the host family.

Working hours
Working hours should be discussed and agreed with your host family before you commence your au pair stay.


Length of stay
Generally, an au pair stays with their host  family from 1 month to a maximum of 2 years.

Free time
We recommend that you would have at least 2 days off per week, 1 of these to be at the weekend. You must get at least 1 weekend off per month.


From our understanding, an au pair is entitled to 4 weeks paid holidays per year.

Always sign a contract with your host family at the beginning of the au pair placement. 


Language courses
You can attend English classes in your free time, usually 2 evenings or 2 mornings per week as agreed with your family. Your host family cannot ask you to work during these times. You will pay the cost of these English classes yourself unless otherwise agreed with your host family.

If your host family requires you to drive in Ireland, they must provide you with a car, pay for your car insurance, ensure that the car is well maintained and provide fuel or give you money to pay for fuel for the car. Holders of a driving licence issued by an EU member state can drive in Ireland as long as their existing driving licence is valid. For more information about driving in Ireland when holding a foreign licence visit the National Driver Licence Service website.


We recommend that all EU and EFTA citizens take out comprehensive travel insurance, which covers travel, medical and liability costs, before travelling to Ireland. Non-EU citizens who travel to Ireland on a student visa are required to take out adequate private health insurance and must provide evidence of this with their visa application.

Documents needed for EU and EFTA states citizens

The following documents will be required:

  • valid national ID or passport
  • no visa is required by EU or EFTA states citizen to be an au pair in Ireland.

Visa information for non-EU citizens

All non-EU citizens have to apply for a PPS Number and have to register with the local authorities (Garda National Immigration Bureau) if their stay in Ireland is longer than 90 days. The cost for a Garda registration card is €300.


Work-study visa

If you are coming from a non-EU country you may apply for a work-study visa, provided that you have enrolled in a full-time course listed on the Internationalisation Register and that you can prove you have access to at least €7,000. You can have a part-time job as long as you don't work more than 20 hours a week (or 40 hours during the college holiday period). 

For more information, please visit the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website.

Working holiday maker visa

Citizens from Argentina, AustraliaCanada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan can apply for a can apply for a Working Holiday Maker visa, provided that they can prove to have sufficient funds to support themselves and that they have medical insurance.

Please note that the Working Holiday Maker visa can be requested only in certain periods and that only a limited number of visas is issued.


Travel visa

Citizens from the US can apply for a Work & Travel visa provided that they are in post-secondary education or have recently graduated (within the previous 12 months) and that they can prove to have access to €1,500 plus a return ticket or €3,000.

You can find more information on the Department of Foreign Affairs website.


For more information about being an au pair in Ireland see