Au pair is an English term that loosely translates to “house companion.” Au pairs are often young people from other countries who live with host families and assist them with childcare in exchange for room and board. Many au pairs also receive a small stipend for personal expenses. Au pair programs have been around for almost 100 years, but they’ve become increasingly popular in the last decade or so. In fact, au pair has even been highlighted as one of the top 10 fastest-growing jobs of the 21st century! If you’re interested in becoming an au pair, read on to learn everything you need to know…
What Does an Au Pair Do?
Depending on your host family and the country you’re in, your job description will vary. That said, almost all au pairs are expected to assist with childcare in some capacity. This means you’ll be helping with meal preparation, household chores, and taking care of the children in your host family. Beyond childcare, au pairs may also be expected to help host families with language tutoring, cultural exchange, and even driving children to activities and school. Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines and won’t apply to every au pair program. Your host family might have very specific expectations for what you’ll do while living in their home. So it’s important to have a clear idea of what the job entails before you apply.
How to Become an Au Pair?
As we said, au pair programs have been around for almost 100 years. The first program was developed in France and focused on providing childcare for single mothers. Since then, au pair programs have spread throughout Europe and many other parts of the world. In the United States, au pair programs have been around since 1956. And while they’ve existed for decades, au pair has recently become a trendy and “in” way to travel and experience life in a new country. As a result, many au pair programs have become extremely competitive. Becoming an au pair years ago was relatively easy and could be done without experience or much effort. Due to growing demand (and the rise of social media), opportunities have become much more competitive. Au pairs are now expected to have a strong online presence, a high level of cultural competency, and a very specific skill set. And because au pair is such a competitive job, you’ll need to be strategic about your approach and make sure you have everything in place before applying.
Pros and Cons of Being an Au Pair
Pros – Growing demand for au pair services means there’s a large network of agencies that make it easy to find host families. – Au pair agencies provide all the necessary paperwork, visa assistance, and insurance coverage. – Being an au pair is an excellent way to gain valuable experience and references. – It’s an affordable and flexible way to travel and see the world. Cons – It’s competitive. There are many people looking for these positions and you’ll need to stand out. – You’ll need to have a clean criminal record. Some countries even require you to be vaccinated for certain diseases! – You’ll be expected to work more than 40 hours per week.
Agency for Au Pair
This may be a no-brainer, but the best au pair agency for live child care is the one that has a great reputation, is easy to get in touch with, and matches you with the right host family. It’s important to find a reputable agency that will help you navigate the application process and choose the best host family for you. Ideally, the agency should have a dedicated support team that can walk you through the process and answers your questions. They should also have a comprehensive FAQ section with helpful resources. It’s best to find an agency that has a robust online presence so you can learn as much as you can before applying. You should also look for agencies that have been in business for a long time. This is important so you can be sure they provide high-quality services and have a proven track record. Ideally, you’ll want to find an agency that has been in business for at least 10 years. This will give you the highest chance of success.