Searching for the right au pair for your family can be time-consuming. However, it is worth the effort as it will enhance your au pair experience. Being transparent about your family’s expectations is crucial, especially regarding non-negotiables. This will prevent any confusion and facilitate a seamless pairing process.
Look for Experience
Most au pairs participate in the program to gain experience in a different culture, learn a new language, or both. Some au pairs also find comfort in a family connection and may even consider the family their extended family while they’re away from home.
While it’s essential to ask the au pair questions about her experiences and ensure she meets qualifications like driving skills, childcare certifications, and English fluency, looking at her personality is the best way to assess if an au pair is genuinely committed to this lifestyle. This can often be determined during the video interview and follow-up email correspondence.
Find an AU pair who is excited about her opportunity and the responsibilities that come with it. Avoid au pairs who seem to be only interested in the money, a vacation from their own country, or simply a change of scenery.
Look for Qualifications
In addition to assessing the au pair’s experience, looking at their qualifications is essential. This can include things like their driving skills, English language abilities, and childcare certifications. It would help if you also asked for a copy of their driving license and other relevant documents to ensure they are safe to drive your children.
It’s also good to ask for references from past au pairs. This can give you a good sense of what it’s like working with this family and help you spot any red flags. Speaking with the au pair’s former host family would be best.
Look for Flexibility
When finding an au pair, the host family should be upfront about what they expect from their au pair. Making a list of what they consider non-negotiables can help them filter out au pairs who will need to be a better match for them daily.
For example, if the family wants their au pair to speak only English at home, this should be made clear from the start, as it will only work for some au pairs. They may also prefer if their au pair is more active with the kids or willing to cook.
Families should discuss their expectations with potential au pairs during the interview and via video call. This way, they can quickly find out whether their personalities are a good fit.
Look for a Friendly Personality
If an au pair’s personality doesn’t mesh well with your family, it can be difficult to resolve conflicts and problems constructively. This is one reason why it’s important to interview more than just the first au pair you talk to.
You can learn much about an au pair’s personality during her video interview, especially when discussing why she wants to live with you. Listen to her motivations, understanding of cultural differences, and flexibility.
For example, one au pair was reluctant to decline her children’s requests for playtime because she didn’t want to be viewed as selfish. That’s why it’s essential to communicate regularly and openly with your au pair to keep the relationship healthy.
Look for a Good Fit
Finding the perfect au pair can take time. Reviewing profiles and interviewing candidates via email or video call takes effort and energy. But ultimately, the search is worth it to find someone you can welcome into your family and provide a high-quality experience for your children.
It’s important to ask candidates about their relationships. If they’re looking to move abroad to escape a bad breakup, they may not be the most committed au pair.
It’s also good to ask for references from former au pairs. This will give you a better sense of their work ethic, how they interact with kids, and their level of commitment to the program. If you are uncomfortable asking for references, that is a red flag and should be a reason to pass on the au pair.
Look for a Positive Attitude
Choosing an au pair is a big deal. The person you choose will be living with you day in and day out for a whole year, so make sure they’re someone you can get along with!
Look for a positive attitude. If the au pair seems excited about the program and the opportunity to work with your family, they’re more likely to enjoy their experience abroad.
Ask the au pair questions about their personal lives. If they seem to be coming abroad for the wrong reasons (like getting away from a bad relationship), they’re less likely to be committed to their year in your home. Also, ask how they plan to deal with homesickness. This will give you a better idea of whether or not they’ll be resilient when the going gets tough.
Look for Communication Skills
Finally, you want to find an au pair with good communication skills. This will help you discuss any issues that may arise during your family’s time together and ensure that both parties understand one another.
For example, if your au pair doesn’t like to work in front of children, you should talk about this during your live video interview so that she can express her concerns. It is also essential to communicate effectively when giving and receiving feedback.
Remember that your au pair lives with you, so you must balance working and having fun together. Nagging your au pair excessively about minor problems won’t help, so resolve them constructively.