Lots of young people dream of traveling the world, learning a new language, and experiencing amazing new cultures, but it can be quite daunting to do this on your own.
A great way to see the world, learn a language, and yet still be safe and within a family environment, is to become an au pair.
So, what exactly is an au pair?
Au pairs are usually foreign young people aged between 18 and 26 who want to provide childcare for a family and experiencing a completely different culture and language while living in a host family’s home.
If au pairs are savvy, they will have gone through an au pair agency who will screen them, train them and pair them with a like-minded, suitable host family.
One of the essential things for au pairs is that they love children!
So, in exchange for room, board, and weekly pocket money, they can work up to 45 hours a week, helping you keep your children safe and light domestic duties.
Ten easy steps to becoming an au pair
It’s not hard to find families looking for au pairs, but you’ll want to make sure you’re familiar with au pair requirements, so it’s worthwhile taking the time to research and plan appropriately.
Some high starter points are as follows:
2. Decide whether you want to use an agency – they are great but will charge you for their services.
3. If you are going independently or via an agency, write a resume of yourself and any childcare experience you have had to date – if you haven’t had much, now’s the time to start babysitting!
4. If you are going to register online as an au pair, you’ll need to create a profile along with your resume, with texts, photos, references, and what kind of family you’d like to live with and, most importantly, where.
5. You’ll need to start viewing matched profiles – these will be based on the search criteria defined during your registration. Follow your gut and check out properly what they are asking of their au pair before you speak to them…
6. Contact any families who interest you – you can chat on Skype, email, or phone and make sure you clarify all the essential details such as tasks expected of you, insurance, holidays, working hours, pocket money, travel costs, and a language course…
7. Sign an au pair contract once you’ve agreed all the finer details – make sure both parties sign.
8. You and your host family will need to sort out your visa if you even need one – make sure you have help with all the necessary documents.
9. Make sure you have clear expectations of them and they of you, for when you arrive – there’s no point thinking you’re going to be working for 30 hours a week if, in reality, they expect 40…
10. Live-in or out – most au pairs live in, and it’s hard not to feel like you’re on-call, if you don’t establish some ground rules before you start.
Communication is the key, and if you’ve planned your adventure as well as you can in advance, you should have a fantastic experience, one you’ll never forget and, hopefully, some lifelong friends into the bargain!
For more great life tips, check out the other blogs on Cyber Parent.