au pair

Granny Au Pair

⏱ Reading time: 6 min.
Granny Au Pair is a social project, giving the elderly applicants a chance to explore the Au Pair world. 
From the conceptual point of view, Granny Au Pair Project is very similar to the “standard” Au Pair Program, although there are few important differences.
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Granny Au Pair
The Granny Au Pair idea is a pretty new concept, dedicated to older people dreaming about an opportunity to live abroad and immerse in another culture. The Granny Au Pair may be a great alternative to the “standard” Au Pair or other childcare providers. This program is not only for Au Pairs 50 plus: it's open for everyone who wants to discover the world and doesn't meet the age limit for the classic Au Pair program.

Granny Au Pairs receive accommodation and full board in exchange for the help they provide to the Host Families. The exact scope of responsibilities depends on the agreement between the Host Family and the Au Pair and is not regulated by any exchange program.
What’s also important, the Granny Au Pairs do not officially receive pocket money nor any other salary  / allowance. If they do, they must be employed according to the Host Country’s employment law. 

Why the Granny Au Pair may be the right childcare solution

Recently the number of families opting for Granny Au Pairs is constantly increasing, since it seems that the Granny Au Pairs provide warmth and comfort for the children like no one else. 
Why should the family consider this project?

Love, warmth and experience

Granny Au Pairs are incomparably more experienced than other childcare providers. They are probably already mothers and grandmothers and know perfectly well how to take care of the children. 
Granny Au Pairs are also experienced housekeepers and if the agreement between the Au Pair and the Host Family involves housekeeping tasks, the Host Family may be sure that the household will run as smooth as never before.


Granny Au Pairs will be most likely already focused on the children instead of sharing the time between the Au Pair duties, parties, studies, love life and planning future career. Granny Au Pairs already have retired, lived their lives to the fullest and now look for new possibilities to share their time, love and experience.
Thus, they will be probably seeking for children’s company for pure pleasure of sharing the time with them and see the children as own grandchildren, understanding perfectly every stage of their development. 


Granny Au Pairs can bring a bit of tradition and old fashion to the Host Family’s home and help the children learn the right values. They are rich in experience and knowledge gathered through all the years and ready to share them with the Host Family and in particular with the children.

Granny Au Pair - program regulations

The Grannies are volunteers and don’t receive financial benefits for the provided help and company. The Host Family has to ensure that the Granny Au Pair has proper accommodation and full board, but the pocket money or salary paid according to the Au Pair program is not necessary (even illegal).
This does not mean in any case that Granny Au Pairs may be exploited by the Host Family. The Family should make sure that the Granny is satisfied with the conditions and participates in their family life like a real grandma.  

Granny Au Pairs’ duties and responsibilities 

Granny Au Pair
A Granny Au Pair is not an official cultural exchange program and there is no official regulations clarifying what the Granny Au Pair should / can do and what is beyond her scope of responsibilities. In such cases everything depends on the agreement between the Granny Au Pair and the Host Family.
Grannies are usually happy to take care of the household duties and bring a wonderful atmosphere and the scent of freshly baked cookies and homemade food to the home. Of course, Granny Au Pairs are also perfect for providing childcare for many reasons, mentioned previously.

Granny Au Pairs’ salary (pocket money)

Granny Au Pairs cannot receive any money from the Host Family if they work and stay in the Host Country as volunteers. Still, the Host Family should consider covering the costs of the Granny Au Pair’s travel to the Host Country, private insurance cost, language course fee or even cost of transportation in the Host Country and the Granny’s shopping. 
It’s really nothing compared to the cost of other childcare solutions and it’s a nice gesture toward the person who wishes to help the family almost for free.
The Granny Au Pair can receive financial gratification only if she signs an employment contract with the Host Family and the Host Family hires her as a nanny

Insurance for Granny Au Pairs

Health insurance for Granny Au Pairs works similarly to the health insurance for Au Pairs - if the Au Pair is an EU citizen, European Health Insurance Card can be a decent solution, ensuring the Au Pair a standard package of medical service in any other European Union country. Depending on the Granny Au Pair’s needs, she can always consider purchasing an additional private insurance.
In case of:
  • non-EU Au Pairs in EU countries
  • EU Au Pairs in non-EU countries
the private insurance will be necessary. Who will cover the costs of the insurance depends on the agreement between the Au Pair and the Host Family - there are no regulations regarding this case.
Granny Au Pairs should also consider personal liability insurance as well as an accident insurance.

Visa for Granny Au Pair

Since the Granny Au Pair is not an official cultural exchange program, but a social project, there is no visa designated specifically for them. That’s why it may be troublesome for them to receive a visa and it’s usually a better choice to search for Host Families in countries where a visa is not necessary. In case you want to travel to the country where a visa is required, make sure to contact the embassy to learn about your options.

How to become a Granny Au Pair?

You learned more about the program and now you want to discover how to become a Granny Au Pair yourself? We've got six easy steps for you!

1. Check if you can take part

As the Granny Au Pair program doesn't have too many requirements you most likely will able to participate. It's important to note that it's a volunteer program meaning that you don't get paid. Also, Granny Au Pairs tend to be older than 50.

2. Create a profile at

Open an account and set up your search criteria to find your ideal Host Family.

3. Get in touch with your favourites

Leave a message in your favourite's profiles and let them know that you're interested.

4. Schedule several video calls

You should meet your Host Family before you travel to their country. Make sure to talk to them on the phone and ideally see them on the screen.

5. Sign the agreement

Eventhough you don't need a work contract it's always good to have a written document which states the conditions of your stay.

6. Buy a ticket and prepare your trip

Make sure to have a valid passport and to apply for a visa if you need it. Ask your hosts which items you need to bring and which ones you can leave at home.

What are the costs of becoming a Granny Au Pair?

The Granny Au Pair project is not an official exchange program nor a job. There must be an agreement between the Granny and the Host Family clarifying who will cover the cost of travel, transportation and insurance of the Granny Au Pair. Since the Granny Au Pair does not receive any pocket money or wage, the family could cover those process cost and this way significantly lower the Granny Au Pair’s expenses.  
The Au Pair program with a Granny Au Pair will be a private stay and you can plan everything together. Good luck!

Do Au Pairs need an insurance?
Depends - if the Au Pair is an EU citizen and wants to work in an EU country, she won't need an additional insurance. In almost every other case the Au Pair will need an insurance. You can read more about the European Health Insurance Card here
Who should pay for the travel expenses?
We recommend Host Families to help Au Pairs with travel expenses, though it’s not their obligation to do so. In any case, the Au Pair needs to cover the travel costs initially. If the Host Family would like to support the Au Pair, they can repay the ticket price in monthly installments that will be added to the Au Pair's salary during 10 months. In the case of Au Pair USA and China, the ticket will be covered by the Host Family. We recommend to discuss this topic before the Au Pair’s arrival and note down the conditions in the Au Pair contract. Learn more about other Au Pair costs to participate in the program or Host Family costs for hosting an Au Pair.  
How can an Au Pair get a visa? is an online matching agency, therefore this question is beyond our scope of responsibility. But we will do our best to help you nonetheless! Usually the best source of information is the embassy of the host country placed in the Au Pair’s homeland. Requirements vary depending on both the Au Pair’s nationality and the host country, but usually a letter of invitation from the Host Family and a signed contract are needed to start the visa application. Other documents may be different depending on each individual case, and in case of the US, assistance of a local full-service Au Pair agency is also necessary.   
Can you help me with the paperwork and the placement process?
Unfortunately, we can’t help you with it. We are an online matching agency, thus we can’t interfere in your searching or placing process. We are happy to provide you with all our searching and matching tools and the information about the Au Pair experience. As our platform is available worldwide, we are unable to take care of all the applications we get daily. Feel free to use our service to visit your dream destination and find a great Host Family. We will be also glad to get your feedback! If you have any ideas or comments, get in touch with us

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