Host Families should always weigh up whether an Au Pair candidate fits into their family. We summarized a few criteria that you can consider during your selection process and if you have to choose between a few candidates.
Host Families should always invest enough time in the search process of their Au Pair in order to make sure both parties will have a pleasant intercultural exchange. Having a good preparation will eventually prevent future problems that you could get with your new family member.
First of all, Host families should obtain basic information from their Au Pair, for example their childcare experience and with which children’s age groups they are familiar.
Later, it is important to check whether the personality, values and interests match those of the family.
Below, you can find information about the most important aspects of the selection process for your Au Pair.
Basic information about the Au Pair
- Area of residence: From which area is the Au Pair? Did he/she grow up in a city or village? In which area do you live and would it fit to the Au Pair’s expectation?
- Children’s Age: It is beneficial choosing an Au Pair for your family who already has experience in working with the age group of your children. However, a good training of the Au pair can also help him or her to become familiar with the needs of your children.
- Single parents: If you are a single parent it is important to clarify with the candidate whether he/ she is comfortable with living with a single parent and the additional responsibilities that will fall on him or her
- Children with disabilities: As not all Au Pairs are confident or have the necessary skills to supervise children with disabilities, this should also be discussed with the candidate before the stay.
- The Au Pair’s gender: Have you already decided on your Au Pair’s gender? Depending on your own or your children’s needs it could beneficial hosting a male Au Pair.
- Foreign language: In many countries it is a main requirement for Au Pairs to at least speak a basic level of the Host Country’s language. Besides, you should determine which language level is appropriate for your needs. Also note that an Au Pair is not there to teach your children a foreign language. A language tutor would be a more convenient option in this case.
- Driving a car: Always make sure that you can only be contacted by candidates who own a driving license if you require the Au Pair to drive your children to school, hobbies etc. The same applies to cycling.
- Pets: You own a dog or cat? Then it might be beneficial for you hosting an Au Pair who already has experience in living with pets or who is willing to take care of them.
- Food: As a future Host Family you should always inform yourself about the candidate’s diet and if it is compatible with your family’s diet.
The Au Pair's character
As soon as you have clarified all general questions with your Au Pair, you should feel out whether the following characteristics of the Au Pair suit you and your family:
- The candidate’s character
- Basic Values ( e.g. creativity, honesty, structure)
- Will your children get along with the Au Pair and feel trusted with him/her?
In order to answer all the aforementioned questions it is very important to have several video interviews with each candidate. It could be helpful to involve your children in these conversations and ask them about their opinion.
We hope that this article will help many future Host Family’s in finding a suitable Au Pair!