Text: Linn Stalsberg Photo: Werner Anderson
Obviously an au pair may be of great help in a busy working day, but she or he is first and foremost a young person that you as a family must be genuinely interested in getting to know. Meeting someone from a different culture can provide added interest to everyday life for adults and children alike.
A potential host family for an au pair must fulfil the following requirements:
The host family must be married, partners or co-habitees with or without children or single parents with children.
You cannot be a host family if you are:
As host family you are free to choose whether you wish to find an au pair through an agency, such as Atlantis Utveksling or Energy Au Pair Norway, or by means of private advertisement on the internet. Regardless of how you and the au pair find each other, the same Norwegian regulations concerning the au pair scheme apply. You may not write a private contract with the au pair that is in breach of the regulations.
Read more about the regulations in the text: Your rights as an au pair in Norway
Do you have any questions about the regulations or the au pair scheme? Contact the Au Pair Center.
A few things, in brief, that you must remember:
Do you want to terminate your au pair contract?
The au pair contract may be terminated by either party with one month’s notice. If the host family treats the au pair poorly or is in gross breach of their duties as laid down in the contract, it is recommended that the au pair contact the local police. In such instances, the au pair may terminate the contract with immediate effect.Only UDI can revoke a residential permit. If the host family terminates the contract, this does not mean that the au pair must leave Norway immediately.
Never lose sight of the balance of power
Many au pairs who arrive in Norway from countries outside Europe come from poverty and a background of need. That we, as host families, are rich and know the language and the system, creates an uneven balance of power in the relationship between au pair and host family.
As a host family, one must maintain an awareness of this responsibility in both practical day-to-day agreements and in attitudes towards, and interest in, the au pair’s culture. Don’t forget that you are supposed to become familiar with her/his culture, and that you may forge links that last a lifetime.