How much does an Au pair cost?

March 18, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Host Families

Let’s talk about numbers: how much does having an Au pair cost in Ireland?

If you’re considering hiring an au pair an au pair one of the first things you’ll want to know is, what is a typical au pair salary and what are au pair costs, it’s also the question we get asked most frequently.

What are standard au pair wages in Ireland?

A recent court case recognises that au pairs are employees entitled to be paid a minimum wage, currently between €7.64 and €9.55 per hour. Our opinion in Au pair Ireland on this ruling is that, it is only fair that au pairs are paid the minimum wage, however it is unfair to host families, given the cost of living in Ireland, that the maximum deduction a host family can make for hosting the au pair, corresponds to €54.13 for full board and lodgings per week.

It is a complex and emotive issue for most people involved, both host families and au pairs, and it will take some time to see the full effects of the ruling. While there has been a notable increase in the salaries being offered on the host families’ posts on dedicated websites, since the ruling we have also noticed a worrying 20% decrease in jobs being posted. So, for the moment, it looks like it is a significantly reduced number of au pairs who are going to benefit from this ruling.

Au pairs are legally entitled to the minimum wage, the current minimum wage stands as follows:

Rates on or after 1 January 2018
Minimum hourly rate of
% of minimum wage
Experienced adult worker€9.55100%
Aged under 18€6.6970%
First year from date of first employment aged
over 18
Second year from date of first employment
aged over 18


The cost, per hour, for live in and live out au pairs is the same, however you may make the deductions, listed below, to a live in au pair’s wages to cover food and board.

  • €54.13 for full board and lodgings per week, or €7.73 per day
  • €32.14 for full board only per week, or €4.60 per day
  • €21.85 for lodgings only per week, or €3.14 per day

Your au pair’s weekly salary is a complex subject but it is not the only expense you can expect when hiring an au pair – for more details, check our article “Au Pair Costs and Expenses you Should Consider”. We also recommend you to read our article about “Au pair expenses that Host Families should not pay”.