Finding an Au Pair
These days many working parents want a more stable form of child care than the standard daycare centers. If they hire an au pair, then it makes the child care person a part of the family. That’s why they want tips on how to find the best au pair for their children. Here’s some information on how to do it.
What do you want in an Au Pair?
When you consider hiring an au pair, it’s a lot more intense than just hiring a baby sitter. She will be living in your home for at least a year and you want to make sure it’s the right person who will fit into your family. That’s why you need to take down some notes about the kind of person you would like and what duties you would like them to perform other than taking care of your precious children.
You should also talk to people who have gone though the au pair experience and who can give you information on how it went and how they chose the au pair the used. Plus, you and your spouse should both be involved in the process of choosing an au pair. If your children are old enough, you might even involve them to some degree since they will be the ones spending the most time with the au pair.
What do I need to do for an au pair?
First, you need to know how many hours the au pair will be expected to be on duty, how much you want to pay for their services, how much spending money you can afford to give them, and how much it will affect yours and her privacy. After all, the au pair will be living in your house and interacting with the family. She will be eating meals, using the bathroom facilities, etc. It’s not like she is someone you can just send to their room when you don’t need child care.
Where do I get an au pair?
There are agencies where you can choose an au pair, or you can get advice from other families who already have au pairs. It may depend on the country the au pair is from as well as to where you hire one. Be sure to hire one from a reputable company. If may take a while to interview several of them until you find the one perfect for your family. You also have to be sure of the regulations that need to be followed for the au pair to live in your country for the year of service.
Most of the time you will fill out a form to show the potential au pair a little about your family, you can add pictures of you and your children, write a special “help au pair” letter and other things the person will need to know about the terms of service if they accept being your au pair. The average pay for an au pair is around $200 a week, but that doesn’t take into consideration things like her room and board.
Choosing an Au Pair
Next, you have to start narrowing down your potential list of au pairs. You can start with phone interviews so you can narrow it down to the ones you want to meet in person. You should also talk to her previous references or families she has worked for, plus do background checks. You want your children to be safe, so this is vital. Plus, you will want an au pair that is fluent in English so she can communicate with you and your family. You will also want to check their medical history to be sure you won’t be dealing with any big issues. Plus, she should have an international driver’s license too.
Once you have narrowed down you list of choices, you can invite them for a personal interview. Or, if you have satisfied yourself, you can just start the process of bringing your new au pair over to the U.S. An au pair can be a male or a female, but they are usually women. The tasks that they are expected to attend to include taking kids to school, picking them up, cooking, cleaning, helping kids with after school activities or homework, etc. It can also depend on the wants or needs of the host family.
Preparing for the Au Pair
Next, you have to get the au pair’s room ready, plus be sure to have all of their travel arrangements and contact number. Soon you will be meeting your new au pair. All in all, an au pair can be a great addition to your family and the experience of having one in your home will be something you and your children can enjoy. And that’s much better than a day care center because the au pair will be a member of the family.
Where do au pairs come from?
It is possible for Au Pairs to come from places all over the world with the majority coming from places like Germany, France, England, Sweden, Canada, Brazil, or even from the U.S. They just have to be able to get a visa or other permit to work in the U.S. for a year or more. It doesn’t really matter which country your au pair comes from, you mostly want to be sure that they love children and are the type of person you want living with you and your family.
All in all, finding an au pair is a serious process that you shouldn’t take lightly. Be sure to do your research and know exactly what you are doing. Remember, this person will be alone with your precious children and you want the very best for them. That’s why you are choosing an au pair instead of traditional babysitters.