How To Become an Au Pair in Ireland | Au Pair Requirements Ireland

It’s always a good idea to research your options before you make any big decisions, and one of the most important decisions you will make is where to live and work. If you’re considering becoming an au pair, which is a great way to see the world, then Ireland is a great option. With its breathtaking landscapes, gorgeous coastlines, and friendly people, Ireland is one of the most beautiful, welcoming places on earth. In this blog, we aim to answer your questions and support you to get started in this exciting new adventure.

Is becoming an au pair the right choice for me?

If you’re looking for a new life experience, then seeking a job as an au pair in Ireland is a great way to do just that. Not only will you learn about a new culture, experiencing it first-hand, but you can also improve your language skills, and meet new people along the way. Au pairing can be a lot of fun and provides a unique experience to get totally immersed in a new culture and environment as you live and work with your host family. But it’s also important to be aware that the role of au pair also comes with a lot of responsibility. As you’re taking care of your host family’s children, you are required to be responsible and dependable when it comes to taking charge and ensuring the best care. Au pairing is both challenging and rewarding. The challenges of the role become the opportunities to grow your own personal and professional experience to support you achieve your long-term goals. If this speaks to you, and you enjoy taking care of children, then you have found the perfect opportunity to combine your ambition to travel with the opportunity to work and gain new life experience. 

What qualifications do you need to be an au pair?

There are no specific qualifications to become an au pair but there are several requirements to be fulfilled and which can differ based on whether you are an EU or non-EU citizen. 

First off, the EU countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. All other countries are non-EU.

Requirements for EU citizens 

If you are an EU country citizen, then you must:

  • be aged between 18 – 28 years 
  • have good English language skills 
  • be able to pay for your own travel costs

Citizens from EFTA (European Free Trade Association) countries can also avail of free movement between European member states. The EFTA includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

Requirements for Non-EU Citizens

There are slightly different requirements if you are not a citizen of an EU country. You must:

  • be between 18 and 27 years, 
  • be comfortable speaking and understanding English
  • hold a certificate to show you have graduated from, at minimum, an intermediate school
  • be eligible to apply for a visa to Ireland
  • be able to pay for your visa and travel costs to Ireland

In relation to visas, there are several options to explore:

  • The Youth mobility scheme allows citizens from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Monaco, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan to apply to be Au Pairs in the Republic of Ireland. 
  • The US-Ireland Working Holiday Agreement enables Irish and US citizens to work and travel in each other’s countries for up to 12 months.
  • If the above are not applicable, then you can opt for a student visa. A student visa requires an Au Pair to be enrolled in a course and permits a person to work for up to 25 hours per week. 

As visa requirements can change, it is best to speak with a representative of the Irish government through the Irish Embassy in your country or through the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Once you have connected with a family, secured your visa, and travel to Ireland, you must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau to change your visa into a residence permit, and secure a Personal Public Service (PPS) number which enables you to access public services and information in Ireland.


Finding a Host Family

The first step is to register as an Au Pair on and create your profile. You will then be able to connect with Host Families and apply for vacancies that suit your criteria. Remember it’s important to find out if a family is a good match for you and for each other. You may want to consider the age and number of children, any special requirements, their location, the hours of work they require, and whether the personality fit is right, if you share common interests, and so on. It is a good idea to have a few calls with a family before travelling, speaking with the host adults and the children. 

Signing The Contract

The Au Pair contract is a legal document that underscores the agreement between you the Au Pair and Host family. It is a critically important document and will help you to avoid any misunderstandings and to set expectations. A typical Au Pair contract covers the following: 

  • Au Pair’s work time 
  • Au Pair’s salary
  • Au Pair duties and responsibilities
  • Host Family duties and responsibilities

Getting to (and getting around) Ireland

Before travelling it’s important to ensure that your passport or identity card is up-to-date and if required, that your visa has been successfully awarded. Once here, it’s important to plan your route to meet your Host family, or perhaps you can arrange to be collected from the airport. Public transport (bus and train) in Ireland is improving but still has a long way to go when compared with our European neighbours. Depending on where you are, you might be well connected to a bus route(s) or train however as is often the case in rural Ireland, there can be a high dependency on transport via private car. If you are planning to use the Host family’s car, it’s important to be aware that the roads can be quite narrow in places, and that Irish people drive on the left-hand side so your steering wheel will be on the right hand side of the car. It is best to discuss local transport options when you are speaking with your Host family, as they will be familiar with the public transport options and local cycling greenways (connecting a growing number of towns and villages). 

Au Pair Insurance

In the event of a medical emergency or a minor incident, having health insurance cover will support you to access the care you need. For an EU citizen, it is possible to get your European Health Insurance Card (EIHC) which enables you to access the public healthcare system of the host country. For more information on the EIHC, see here. However, as there are variations in the care included in the public health systems from country to country in the EU, it can be a good idea to also secure additional private insurance. 

If you are travelling from outside of the EU, it is a requirement to have arranged health insurance cover. As part of the visa application process, you will be asked to confirm your insurance cover, therefore it is important to seek out the cover from a reputable provider that best suits your needs.  

At Suresitter, we’re here to support you to grow your experience. If you found this blog helpful, please feel free to share it with friends.