Info Denmark

Here is all you need to know about au-pair life in Denmark.

To become an au-pair you have to be between 18 and not turned 30 years of age. Other qualifications are not required, but it's an advantage to have experience with children and housework - and you must have at least basic knowledge of the English language to be able to communicate with your host family. As an au-pair in Denmark you will have an excellent opportunity to experience the everyday life of the Danes and you will be introduced to a language very different from your own. You will probably find the local language very hard to understand, but you will soon discover that most Danes speak quite good English so you can almost always get by with basic knowledge of the English language.

The duties of an au-pair
As an au-pair your duties will include ordinary housework such as dusting, vacuum cleaning, ironing etc. You are not supposed to do heavy housework such as the spring cleaning or the gardening, and your working hours are not supposed to exceed 5 hours a day with one full day off every week. In addition to this you must be prepared to babysit up to 3 evenings per week.

Most of the host families offering au-pair positions have children, and the children are often away at school or nursery during the day. Most au-pairs are therefore expected to help with getting the children ready in the mornings and to clear up after breakfast. The mornings and sometimes early afternoons will often be free time - work then starts again when the children have to be picked up from school or nursery and looked after until early evening when the parents return home. After dinner most au-pairs will be free to go out unless babysitting is required.

Some families will expect you to do the ordinary, general housework during the day while the children are away, but others may expect you to do the housework in between looking after the children or - if you are looking after a young baby during the day - when the baby is asleep in the morning or afternoon. As an au-pair you will find that housework is a considerable part of your duties. The family might ask you to work as an "au-pair plus". An "au-pair plus" has the same duties as an au-pair but in addition does more babysitting. As an "au-pair plus" you would take care of the children during the day in addition to the evening babysitting and you could be left with a baby in the day time.

Duties vary quite a bit from host family to host family. Some will expect their au-pair to go shopping or prepare the evening meal, some will need you to drive a car, and some will leave you with a very young baby. Not many families expect you to cook other than a snack meal for the children, but if you like cooking, try suggesting that you cook a meal - the family is bound to be pleased and it's a very good way to get closer to them. Remember that not every minute you spend with the family is regarded as work. Helping clear the table and assisting with the washing up after dinner (when you have eaten with the family) is regarded as a normal task for someone who is part of the family - not as work.

When you go out for an evening please let your host family know where you are going and when you expect to be back. Remember that the host family is likely to feel responsible for your safety and always let them know in advance if you plan to stay out very late. Also please be aware that your host family probably does not like you handing out your (their) telephone number to strangers - and never give anyone your address unless you have asked the family and they agree.

As you will be staying with a family and not working in an office with fixed hours, please try to be flexible - you may be needed extra hours or full time for a few days if the children get sick and both parents are working, in which case of course you will receive compensation in some form.

We ask our host families to fill in an application form and to write a letter of introduction. Several of our host families have been recommended by other host families and we try our best to make sure that the new families know what is expected from a host family. Once we have found a host family for you their letter of introduction together with photos of the family will be sent to you to make sure that you know what the family expects from you. Please note that when you receive this information you have probably already spoken to the family, who is likely to call you on the phone.

As an au-pair you will receive board and lodgings plus at least DKK 4550 per month as pocket money. You will, of course, have your own room and you will be entitled to three meals a day, also on days off.

Our host families have agreed to the terms and conditions of Scandinavian Au-Pair Center which helps to ensure that your work as an au-pair runs as smoothly as possible.

Should any problem occur during your stay, the first thing to do is to talk to your host family about it. Your will find that most problems are due to misunderstandings and are thus easily solved. If talking does not work, or in case of a more serious problem, please do not hesitate to contact us at Scandinavian Au-Pair Center. We will help you settle in when you arrive and we are always ready to assist you throughout your stay. Shortly after your arrival we will call you to make sure that you have arrived safely and settled in.

Staying with a family is the best possible way to discover the ways of life in a foreign country. Children are excellent teachers. Looking after young children gives you the possibility of learning the language from their books and children can be taken to parks and playgroups where you may meet other au-pairs or perhaps Danish mother's helps. To live in a foreign country for a period of time is also a very good way to become much more mature and independent. Last but not least - it's an experience you will always remember.

Practical information
Driving: You will need an international driving license to drive a car in Denmark. If your host family requires you to drive please make sure that you have an international licence before leaving your country. Please do not expect to have full use of a car while in Denmark.

Health insurance: Non-EU-citizens are not covered by the Danish Health Insurance until 6 weeks after registering with the Danish Authorities - after your arrival in Denmark. It's therefore advisable to take out insurance for the initial period of time before you leave your home country. EU-citizens are covered by the Danish Health Insurance. To seek medical help you need a civil registration number (in Denmark this is called a "CPR number") which you will receive automatically when registered with the Danish Authorities (see residence permit) together with a health insurance card ("sygesikringskort"). Form E104 from your local health service within the EU will ensure that you are covered until registered. Treatment is free of charge but you pay for medicine. Please note that only treatment locally in Denmark is covered, not transportation to your home country.

Holidays: If you stay with the family for six months or longer you will be entitled to a minimum of one week off and often two weeks or more. You will not receive payment during your holiday.
Insurance: The host family is asked to make sure that you are covered by their insurance.

Language classes: Danish classes are available in most places. If you are over 18 and registered with the Danish authorities (see residence permit) Danish classes are almost free of charge or quite cheap. The best place to find out about local classes is at the local library.

Leaving the host family: If you for some reason decide to leave the family earlier than planned you must give them at least two week’s notice. If the host family asks you to leave earlier than planned they must also give you at least two week's notice. Scandinavian Au-Pair Center must be notified immediately.

Public transport: The public transport system is very efficient in Denmark. Almost anywhere in the country you will find a local bus to the nearest town. Trains are frequent until quite late. In larger cities you will find frequent bus services during the day and night buses throughout the night.
Residence permit: As a non-EU-citizen you must apply for a visa before you arrive in Denmark. At Scandinavian Au-Pair Center we will of course assist you with your application for a visa. Please note that it normally takes 8 weeks for your visa to come through. As an EU-citizen you are given permission to stay for three months upon your arrival in Denmark. Upon your arrival in Denmark we will send you and your host family the form needed for your application. You will receive your civil registration number ("CPR number") with your residence permit. Your CPR number is needed for seeking medical help (among other things) - see health insurance.

Time off: You will have one full days off per week.

Travelling costs: If you stay with the host family for more than six months, the family is supposed to pay the full cost of your return journey when you leave the family - provided that you have stayed for the length of time agreed. Do not expect the host family to pay for your journey unless it's specifically agreed upon. You will have to pay for your journey to Denmark initially. If you leave the family before the agreed time the family is not likely to pay for your journey. If you go home for a holiday (e.g. at Christmas) the family will not pay for your travel.

Travelling arrangements: Once you have agreed a date with the host family you make your own travel arrangements. If you have agreed with the family that they refund the cost of the ticket when you leave, please make sure that they accept the price of your ticket before you book.

Fill in your application
When we receive your application, we will put it on file and start the search. You will be notified as soon as the right host family has been found. They will also contact you. This is a good time to find out more about the host family and what they expect from you. Prepare a list of things you would like to know in advance.

If there's a match, we will go ahead with the rest of the procedure. Travel arrangements will be made. Contracts will be prepared. You and the host family will both receive a copy.

If you don't prefer the host family we have found, we will continue our search until you are fully satisfied.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call us at +46 42 20 44 02 or mail us at