The person you chose will become your Au Pair, and will probably have a different cultural background from yours, in some cases a very different one. You have to try to be open-minded and try to understand the Au Pair’s country culture. That way you will also learn about the Au Pair’s country.
Of course the main goal of the Au Pair is to learn the language and the culture of the host country, your country. Try to help the Au Pair with cultural differences, and be patient when teaching your culture or way of living.
We all know that the Au Pair program could be an amazing opportunity to discover new cultures, gain a temporary family member and find an affordable childcare solution. Hosting an Au Pair can be fascinating too: it lets you discover the new perspectives that the new member of the family brings into your house. Hosting an almost unknown person from a different country is a great step forward for every family - there is simply no better way to show your children diversity and open their minds.
Share with us your story about your experience as a Host Family. We will read them all and publish the most amazing ones. If your story gets published, we’ll send you an access code to a Babbel’s language course of any language you choose or get you a free Premium Membership at AuPair.com! Have fun writing!
Try to learn things from the Au Pair’s culture like a typical dish from her/his homeland, music etc. It is a good way of making the Au Pair feel more at home and also of expanding your personal knowledge.
Try to be respectful, maybe your religion is different from the one of the Au Pair. Some Au Pairs can be very devoted so try to understand them and be open-minded about people having different beliefs than yours.
Remember that an Au Pair is not an employee, but someone who will be part of your family for a long time, so the more you learn from each other, the better both your and the Au Pair’s experience will be.
Screening the Au Pairs
Finding an Au Pair that matches what you’re looking for might be more difficult than it seems. There are some things you should keep in mind when you’re screening the Au Pairs’ profiles.
Have a look at the profiles of your prospective Au Pairs and try to get to know them a bit. Check the descriptions - this might be the most important part for you. Au Pairs with short and dull descriptions won’t tell you anything about their personality, so try to look for more complete descriptions.
It is important that you pay attention to things like the Au Pair’s experience with kids. An Au Pair who has taken care of his/her little siblings or cousins can be a good candidate, given that the Au Pair has already worked with kids. While checking the profiles, you can make notes of all the things which you would like to clarify during the video-interview with your prospective Au Pair.
Another fact to consider is if the Au Pair has hobbies or likes sports. Knowing about the Au Pair’s hobbies will give you a wide picture of the things that your kids would like of the Au Pair. For example, an Au Pair who likes playing soccer might be a good candidate if your kids like playing soccer too and so on. And even if your kids are not big fans of outdoors, maybe a sporty Au Pair will get them interested in some kind of physical activity!
Depending on where you live, it is important for the Au Pair to have a driving license. Some Au Pairs are used to live in the city, and taking the bus or the subway is for them as easy as breathing. However sometimes having a driving license can make things easier. Au Pairs who can drive are a plus in your Au Pair searching.
Look also at the answer rate - on the Au Pair’s profile there are three circles. One of the circles contains a number with a percentage. This indicates the answer rate of the Au Pair. If the answer rate is high, it’s a good sign of the Au Pair’s commitment.
Lastly, Au Pairs who have already been abroad are used to live far from home, so you don’t have to worry about the Au Pair getting homesick or sad while living with you. Also Au Pairs who are currently learning the language of your country are showing their interest for your culture and language, so they will probably be more open to fit in the family and the country.
Nonetheless, always remember to arrange a video-call with your Au Pair to get to know her/him better, and decide if the first impression based on the profile was adequate. If you can speak for hours that’s a good match. You won’t get bored of each other!
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