If you’re considering Au Pair childcare, you may be wondering how to find an Au Pair you’ll love. Many American families find the benefits of hosting an Au Pair meet their childcare needs. Particularly attractive are the affordability and flexibility of scheduling, not to mention the cultural benefits.
That sounds great, but how does it work? A good fit is a good start, but it takes commitment, communication, and hard work to finish strong! Read on to find out how to find an Au Pair for your family.
A good fit for your family will be just like your family: unique. He or she (yes, male Au Pairs are fantastic!) will be a great addition to your family with the skills and experience you need.
Your Au Pair will be a role model, a contributing and responsible member of your parenting team. Playmate, teammate, cheerleader, coach, craft partner, big brother or sister, language tutor. You name it, your next Au Pair can be it!
There are many options in our screening process designed to make your experience easy to navigate. Take care not to limit your options too much. We want to help you find an Au Pair you and your kids will love. Your Mutual Match is waiting to interview!
Once you have registered and your basic profile is completed and approved, you are ready to find your Au Pair. Host Families will have the ability to view and screen our available candidates according to each of their needs and preferences.
In addition to accessing profiles, a dedicated Placement Coordinator can educate Host Families about how to find an Au Pair. She can suggest individual candidates, help decide which filters to use, run searches, and answer any questions that arise.
Your Local Area Representative lives within an hour of your family and partners with your Placement Coordinator to provide support throughout the process. Host Families can send their own profile to potential Au Pairs, perform searches on their own, evaluate and rank candidates based on their application details, and even chat live on our new chat feature!
Get ready to interview on Skype, WhatsApp or FaceTime! You know your family and you know what you want in a caregiver. Have a nationality or language in mind? Let that guide you in how to find your perfect Au Pair.
Maybe you have an infant and want a highly experienced candidate to care for your precious baby. Perhaps your kids are older and need more of a taxi-driver, sports partner and big brother or sister. Our search process is designed to help you narrow candidates to your Mutual Match.
How to Find an Au Pair You’ll Love (Start by Screening Candidates)
Log into your account and click on Search Au Pairs.
Host Families can do a Basic Search using filters for broad categories like nationality, language, age group experience, gender, time frame to start and whether or not she or she needs to be a driver.
Choosing too many specifics will tend to eliminate many excellent candidates, so choose only the most important ones at first. Think first about the one or two most important requirements your next Au Pair needs.
For example, families with children under age two cannot match with an Au Pair candidate who has not demonstrated the minimum number of hours (200 hours) to be considered Infant Qualified. Families whose children are under age two should begin every search by selecting “Under 2 yrs old” under Age Group Experience. Other filters can be added to match your needs and preferences.
Other factors you might want to consider when screening Au Pairs…
On the other hand, consider how to find an Au Pair for those other needs. If your dream Au Pair will be driving the kids all over town as part of work, Driver might be your first filter, possibly with a minimum age selected to keep auto insurance rates down. Some families do not have the luxury of time and need their Au Pair to begin work in days, not weeks. If timing is imperative, choose “Start in less than one month” under Time frame to start to show in-country candidates available to start right away. There will be a limited number of candidates here, but you won’t waste precious time waiting for embassy appointments.
Primary Personality Color is an option under the Basic Search, based on the Hartman Personality Test and Profiles. Families can choose to select Au Pair candidates based on their primary color. This provides a general description of an individual’s motivation and personality. Of course, no matter the personality, successful relationships take effort and communication from everyone involved. Be sure to commit time throughout your experience to meet with, speak to, and bond with your Au Pair. Learning how to find an Au Pair also means learning how to live with another personality.
Strategies for Narrowing Down the Candidate Pool
Is there a trick to finding an Au Pair among so many qualified candidates? You may find that you are happy with the number of Au Pair candidates after a basic search. Or, there could be over one hundred candidates who fulfill your basic requirements!
In order to find your dream Au Pair, narrow our huge pool of candidates to a more manageable number. Scroll down to one of five other major categories of options, including Personal Information, Personal Lifestyle, Education Training Skills, Work Experience and Placement Logistics. Our filters have options you may not have considered important before today but could make a difference in your child’s happiness!
How to use search filters to find the best Au Pair for your family…
Choose Personal Information to select options like pet restrictions or type and number of siblings an Au Pair has in their family. Maybe your perfect fit is an only child, just like yours. Maybe they come from a big family with both older and younger siblings.
Host Families can screen Au Pair candidates based on Personal Lifestyle. This allows families to select based on religion, family dynamics, whether or not the Au Pair has lived away from home before, and even hobbies. If your child is obsessed with ping pong or video games and you NEED your Au Pair to play too, here is where you tell us.
Options under Education Training Skills allows families to choose:
- Minimum English proficiency.
- Level of education reached by the Au Pairs.
- Specific skills or training such as CPR, First Aid, swimming, and driving in snow.
All Au Pair candidates have completed a minimum of high school.
Filters found under Work Experience allow Host Families to choose very specific age groups for under age two, to ensure potential candidates have worked with children in the same age group. Families can also choose to screen for candidates who have previous work experience as:
- Au Pairs.
- Care providers for special needs children.
- Care providers for twins or multiples.
Placement Logistics allows Host Families to search for candidates interested in full or part-time options and placements with varying lengths of time.
Interviewing and beyond
Your Placement Coordinator has lots of interview ideas about how to find an Au Pair your family will love. She will provide you with a list of interview questions and topics to cover. Once you share your profile with an Au Pair candidate and arrange a first interview, take notes on each answer because you will forget which candidate gave what answer.
Next, rank each candidate (A, B, C) and enter notes from your interviews on the Go Au Pair Community. Compare results before offering a second interview.
Don’t forget to use common sense and trust your gut. Sometimes we parents overthink what we want in the caregiver in terms of skills and forget about the relationship part of it.
Some families find it helpful to narrow down to a handful of best candidates. After that, let the children interact or “interview” to get a different perspective.
When you interview or communicate again after that, which candidate asks about the kids? Is a candidate more interested in what kind of car she will get to drive and social opportunities than learning about your family?
Some families even try to “meet” extended family members on the interviews. This can help to get a bigger picture of each candidate. To see your Au Pair’s driving skills in action, ask them to have a passenger hold the phone and record them driving. This will give you a better idea of the kind of vehicle, streets, and driving conditions the candidate has experienced. These are just some ideas on how to find an Au Pair that will make a great match.
Preparing yourself to become a Host Family…
After the match, the “work” of a relationship never stops. Each party needs to communicate regularly and honestly. Each should remain committed to the original goal and to what is best for the kids. Host Family and Au Pair should demonstrate continued interest in the friendship and each others’ interests.
Setting expectations is very important. But it’s just as valuable to work on your friendship. Many families name the bond with their Au Pair as the #1 benefit of the program. After all, many of these bonds will last decades!
Finding a good fit in your next Au Pair candidate is a tall order, but it is a reachable goal! Organization and documentation are vital, as much as is flexibility and grace with each other. Each family is different and experience is a great teacher. Good luck in your next search!