What We Do

Our Work

Our work is inspired by our mission to be the trusted and caring voice for the global au pair community. We are actively committed to the support and protection of au pair and cultural exchange opportunities for young people.

We give information and educate not only our members but give guidelines and orientation to au pairs and host families as well as governmental bodies and other stakeholders.
We lobby the au pair idea worldwide and support national associations in their work to grow and improve this cultural exchange program.

Quality Standards

  • We know that professional standards are essential to the success of our growing industry. We focus on maintaining quality international regulations as demand increases and new agencies are formed.
  • Our internationally recognised codes of conduct and guidelines are designed to protect the interests of au pairs and host families in order to provide the best experience.
  • We help with the development and setting up of new au pair programmes in countries where they do not yet exist.
  • We have an active role in ECAPS – the European Committee for Au Pair Standards, which aims to define universal standards in Europe for au pairs, host families and national au pair associations.


The European Committee for Au Pair Standards (ECAPS) was established in April 2006 with the objective of defining au pair standards within Europe.

ECAPS aims to establish one set of standardised rules and guidelines for au pairs, host families, au pair agencies, and national au pair associations across Europe; creating a common platform for the development of quality au pair programs throughout Europe.

One seat is available on the committee for each European country. National au pair associations wishing to join the committee are required to meet the participation criteria.

In addition there is an advisory board to support the committee’s activities.

ECAPS activities include discussions and lobbying with the Council of Europe, the European Commission and individual governments.

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and Education

  • We provide practical up-to-date information to au pairs, agencies and host families.
  • We regularly hold conferences, workshops and seminars to encourage networking and the exchange of ideas and industry information.
  • We host and issue the annual “Au Pair of the Year” award.

Policy Work

  • We lobby for the treatment of au pair programmes as a cultural exchange experience.
  • We act as the collective voice of our members, representing them on a local and international level.
  • We encourage governments and official bodies to authorise au pair programmes to and from their countries.
  • We increase public awareness to the professionalism of our members as high quality, reputable agencies.
  • We facilitate communication around specific issues with local and national stakeholders.
  • We encourage the formation of national au pair associations
  • Our rules and code of conduct ensure we can confidently endorse our members as reputable, financially stable IAPA organisations, offering them written support (on a case by case basis) when lobbying to local authorities.


IAPA conducts regular surveys among its members to evaluate the situation of the au pair sector and to help members to benchmark their companies. At the same time we also ask our members about their feedback on the association.

The results of the last survey which was taken in April/May will be provided to all members shortly and an abstract will be presented on the website here.