Though the Au Pair Program’s duration is predefined, sometimes plans can change. Au Pairs might change Host Families if they are interested to extend their experience and stay abroad.
On the other hand, Host Families and Au Pairs might terminate their cooperation earlier due to irreconcilable differences. If despite every effort the relationship between the Au Pair and the Host Family does not work, continuing the program together does not make any sense.
There might be some cultural problems, differences between expectations and reality and many others.
After you have found an Au Pair or a Host Family at AuPair.com, you can deactivate your profile, but don't delete it. This way you will be able to easily activate it anytime you need to start a new search.
Whatever your reasons to terminate the cooperation are, it’s important to remain friendly toward the other party and try your best to help each other. Talking things through may help you, if not to continue the Au Pair program, then at least to go through this difficult time.
Once you decide that the Au Pair stay will be terminated earlier, we would suggest the following plan of action.
Discuss the situation
Discuss the situation together in details and clarify your view. Inform the other party as soon as possible. Be honest with each other about your feelings and the problems you face. Take the feedback on your behavior and actions to help prevent this situation in future.
Respect the contract
Both parties should respect the notice period discussed earlier and written in the Au Pair contract. In most countries the notice period is around two weeks.
If it’s possible, try to help each other finding a new match. The Au Pair can look for a replacement to help the family out, and viceversa. Be flexible and understanding, there is no point in making each other’s life difficult.
Before you decide to change Host Family, you need to think through the whole situation. Try to figure out what’s wrong this time:
Are you missing home and can’t adapt to the new reality?
Have you encountered some irreconcilable differences and can’t talk it through with the host family?
Has your Au Pair program with this family come to an end and you can no longer stay with them?
Try to think of your reasoning to avoid troubles in the future. If you are homesick, looking for another Host Family won’t be a valid solution and you may only cause more inconveniences to you and the new family.
The last 2 reasons are valid causes to look for another Host Family. We sincerely wish you the last one, as it won’t leave you with any bitter aftertaste. Anyway, if you need to change the Host Family, consider the following steps:
1. Inform the Host Family about your decision
Speak with your Host Family and explain them your point of view. Try to be understanding and don’t lose your temper. In 99% of the cases, the family will be compassionate and will help you with further arrangements.
Speaking of the remaining 1%... in case of any objection from the family’s side, remember: you are a free person and no one can force you to do anything. You should respect the Au Pair contract and the given termination period, but if you find it impossible, you can leave whenever you feel it’s necessary. Although such extreme situations are very rare, some Au Pairs feel threatened or endangered in the family’s house. In such case you should not wait for the escalation of the conflict, take further steps immediately.
1.1. You need to move out immediately?
You need to ask yourself a question: do you want to stay in the host country?
If your answer is no - you need to book the ticket to your homeland and leave immediately. If you need to wait some days for a flight, you need to stay in a hotel or hostel. Don’t wander around alone and look for a safe place to spend the night.
If you don’t have any money, contact the embassy - they will help you make it safely back to your country.
Whatever you eventually decide, don’t worry - it wasn’t a waste of time if you learned something.
2. Clarify organizational details
If you are an Au Pair, ensure that you are allowed to stay in the host country despite changing the Host Family. If you need a visa for your Au Pair stay, ask for all visa related information at the embassy.
3. Look for a new match
If you have found a Host Family through a local organization, you will need to ask for a replacement. The agency will search for a new Host Family for you. Take into consideration that it may take some time until they find you a new one. Meanwhile, you can reactivate your account or register again at AuPair.com.
3.1. Update your profile
If you are looking for a new family at AuPair.com, make sure that you have updated your profile and the start date and current place of residence match your case. Being already in the Host Country will help you a lot in finding a new family, since you can start as soon as possible and you don’t need to arrange travelling to the Host Country. It’s a great advantage over other candidates for the majority of the families.
What’s also important, being in the Host Country you can easily arrange a face-to-face meeting with your new family. This way you can make sure that you feel comfortable in their company.
4. Start a new experience
You already know what to expect from the Au Pair program and what to avoid to keep the friendly atmosphere alive. Your next experience is going to be great!
Remember also that you can take a part in our contest and share with us your experiences, even the bad ones. Let the world know your story - no worries, we won’t mention your or your Host Family’s surnames!
If you have any other questions, you can always check our FAQ or Au Pair WIKI for more information.
If your family has just found out that the Au Pair you have hosted is going to leave, you need to take some precautions before her / his departure.
Firstly - try to speak about it. Communication is key to every working relationship. If it doesn’t help and the Au Pair sticks to her / his decision, you need to think of a plan B.
In case you have to look for another Au Pair, consider the following steps:
Drop us a message - if you still have your Premium Membership active, we will extend it to speed up your search process and help you out. You can also submit your Au Pair story - we will most likely grant you for that a month of free Premium Membership!
Update your profile, change the start date and description of your family situation. You may find another Au Pair relatively quickly, although you may need to lower your expectations a bit. Choose an Au Pair who doesn’t need to apply for a visa or an Au Pair who is already in your country - this way you will be able to start a new program almost the next day.
You can have a look around and look for a temporary childminder or babysitter. It’s not going to be a replacement for an Au Pair, but it may help you go through this difficult time.
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