February 22, 2019

Why you should host a French au pair

A Cultural Care country spotlight

3 minutes
About au pairs

France is a country known for excelling at many different things—art, history, science, food, architecture and language to name just a few. But did you know that the French make exceptional caregivers as well? After all, the term “au pair” is French!  

There are countless reasons to host a French au pair, from their strong family values and open communication style to the incredible culture and language that they take pride in sharing. Keep reading to find out whether a French au pair would be a great addition to your family! 


French is the official language of France 

Hello | Bonjour 

How are you? | Ça va? 

I am excited to meet you! | Je suis ravi de vous rencontrer! 


The average age of French au pairs is 21.5 years old. French au pairs usually join the program after high school or after getting their bachelor’s degree.   

English level 

French au pairs have an average English level of 4.6. In France, while most media is in French, there are not enough lessons in school for students to be fluent. Most French au pairs are looking to improve their English in the USA. 



“Léa is an incredible au pair. She is fun, patient, kind, and always goes above and beyond to ensure that our children are safe, happy, and learning. We love hearing our children speak in French as they play imaginary games and we’ve learned a lot about French cuisine!” —Host mom Betsy about Léa from France  

Driving experience 

Most French au pairs have their license by age 18. However, some au pairs in bigger cities use public transportation and don’t get their license until their early 20s. Most French au pairs will mainly have experience driving manual transmission. 

Childcare experience 

French au pairs have usually babysat children, cared for younger family members, or worked in day camps. Most have a youth work diploma called the BAFA, which certifies them to be able to work in camps and government-funded childcare programs and gain the experience needed to become an au pair.  


French au pairs tend to be very social and love to show their love through food! Some popular French foods that an au pair may introduce to your family are French onion soup, cassoulet, crepes, or madeleines.  


“Since arriving from France, Orlane has made a HUGE impact on our family and developed an incredible bond with our 2 young children. It is evident to us that she truly loves caring for our children, and we knew from day 1 that she fit perfectly with our family.” —Host mom Sabattis about Orlane from France 

 An important holiday 

July 14th, or “Bastille Day,” is France’s Independence Day and is celebrated similarly to the Fourth of July in the U.S. with picnics, parades, and fireworks.


Many French au pairs love playing soccer or watching the French soccer team play. They also enjoy going to the gym and staying active. 

I wish my host family…

“…was more open when talking about our relationship.”

“…knew that French people tend to be very honest when there is a problem—we may also be very direct.”  

“…knew that French au pairs are often independent and may enjoy having the freedom to do what we want during our free time.”

When talking about cultural differences, understand that while we can make generalizations about au pairs from certain countries, all au pairs are unique and have their own personalities, journeys, and cultural perspectives. Our country spotlights serve as a great way to start a dialogue with your au pair or prospective au pair about their home country and continue to learn more about their unique culture!