Business Survey 2022 Less agencies – less quality

Au pairs in Germany and worldwide

Business Survey 2022 Less agencies – less quality


In its annual business survey, DR-WALTER collects data and information on au pairs and host families. Although not all the effects of the pandemic have yet been overcome, the roughly 13,000 au pairs who traveled to Germany again in 2021 are fueling hopes for an upswing in the traditional cultural exchange program. For German au pairs, too, there are finally many attractive destinations to choose from again. Only stays abroad as an au pair in the UK and China are not possible until further notice.

Fewer au pair agencies on the German market
The number of au pair agencies has decreased again by 9 percent compared to 2021: In 2022, there are only 116 au pair agencies active in Germany - a further decline from the previous year. The financial situation of many agencies remains difficult and it can be assumed that even more will give up. In addition, fewer and fewer foreign au pairs are being placed in Germany through agencies, which endangers the quality of the au pair sector. When au pairs are placed with host families through other channels, they are not fully informed about their rights and responsibilities, nor do they have any support if problems arise.  

New countries of origin
Around 13,000 au pairs traveled to Germany in 2021. The numbers are not yet back to the pre-pandemic level, when 15,000 young people worked here as au pairs. The pandemic has had a significant impact on visa applications and approvals at embassies. Colombia and the Eastern European countries Russia and Ukraine no longer rank highest among the countries of origin. In contrast, a surprisingly large number of au pairs came from Turkey and Bulgaria last year. Most au pairs in 2021 came from Tanzania and Madagascar, as well as Indonesia and Georgia. 

Many au pairs in Germany ended their stay early
Unlike in previous years, in 2021 many au pairs from third countries did not stay in their host family for the full 12 months of their au pair visa. The purpose of their residence permit was changed because they started a voluntary social year or training in Germany. This trend, exacerbated by staff and skills shortages, leaves host families disappointed and weakens confidence in the exchange program.

Many countries are open to German au pairs again
Some popular destinations such as Australia, New Zealand and the USA have been late in reopening their borders to au pairs, but are now awaiting their return all the more eagerly. National and international au pair associations were able to achieve improvements for the au pair programs in France, the Netherlands and the USA. Hopefully their lobbying will also be successful in the UK, because the loss of this formerly most popular au pair destination after the Brexit is particularly painful for young Germans.

Comprehensive source of data
Every year, the business survey ‘Au pairs in Germany and worldwide’ provides current data and information on au pairs and host families. It is based on a representative survey among 48 au pair agencies and on talks with au pair experts. The business survey is carried out annually by insurance expert DR-WALTER Auslandsversicherungen and published by Calypso Verlag.

Click here for the full version of the survey.