Finding the Perfect Au-Pair – A Parents Guide to Nurturing

A helping hand, a friend, a new family member, a role model for kids – looks like a description of an inexistent person, doesn’t it? However, this blessing is known as an au-pair, and if you dedicate enough time to choosing the right person for your family and kids you will have a simply unforgettable year.

Being an au-pair is a well-known practice all over the world. It is a type of cultural experience combined with babysitting. Young people get accommodation, food, weekly pocket money, and a chance to immerse into the culture of another country; parents get a kids’ caretaker, who is available flexible hours, and who can easily make a part of a family. 

When deciding to find an au pair, the very first step to do is to agree on that with the kids. You need to prepare them for a new person, who will make a part of their life for a year or less (depending on your choice) and will stay with them under one roof. 

When reaching out to the agency you will have numerous offers, and yet again, it is important to listen and hear your kids when selecting an appropriate candidate. That’s the best way to show that their opinion is valued, and will help to choose the most worthy candidate.

What are the important things to consider when choosing the au-pair?

  • Find the agency

The success of the whole cooperation depends on the third party, which actually makes everything work. Google reviews, specialized forums, Trust pilot, Play market – everything will help to see the big picture and come up with a list of reliable options. It is crucial to filter the reviews and check if they are left by long-term users, and with real names. 

The specialists at Nina.Care recommend exploring the experience of the agency, defining its role in maintaining the whole cooperation, the type, and duration of the training, and the overall number of ‘matched’ families. 

  • Create your profile

The best au-pair agencies have websites and applications with user-friendly layouts, with all the necessary information. The actions are intuitive and easily performed, thus, the search and the requests will always be smooth.

  • Define your goals

Obviously, you need a babysitter, however, it is important to extend your outlook in the selection. As a rule, the au-pairs come from all around the world, bringing in their special traditions and culture. It can be a good idea to choose an au-pair to help a kid learn a second language, or just explore the way of life of specific countries. 

In case you like the au-pair experience, you can do it repeatedly, dedicating every new period to a new country. Thus, apart from just a child-caring option, you will help your kid to develop a wider vision of the world. 

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash
  • Check social media

Social media makes everything visible. When narrowing down the list of candidates, check their profiles on social media. It is important to take into account everything – the quality of the content, the frequency of posts, the way the person communicates, the list of ‘following’ and ‘followers’, etc. It is also worth googling the name, and checking if there is no negative digital footprint. 

When checking the posted content, it is also important to read between the lines. Every quotation, photo, and repost can say a lot about the person. So just let your psychologist out and investigate the profiles properly. 

Obviously, you will choose the best from the best, as the au-pair agencies have a pretty rigid selection process in order to provide the best service for their client, yet, being cautious never hurts. 

  • Character

This person will spend a lot of time as a part of a family, thus, it is important to find the one whose inner world resonates with yours and the kids’. Try to avoid complete opposites, as it will make everyone feel uncomfortable and the whole period will be rather disappointing. 

It will also be a good idea to do the matching according to the hobbies and interests, as it will make communication more lively. 

  • The interview

After narrowing down the list, then the most important stage follows – the interview. Make sure you come up with specific questions that worry you, regarding the experience, schedule, hobbies, and bad habits. It is also important to mention some specific ‘secrets’ about your family traditions or habits, it will help to understand if the au-pair will find it acceptable.

Hiring an au-pair will certainly be a valuable experience for you and your kids. Your childcare time will be significantly unloaded by the presence of an au-pair for 30 hours a week and the child will be able to look into the diversity of the world and communicate with people from various parts of the world, which will help to raise a tolerant citizen of a modern society. 

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