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Hiring An Au Pair? - Top Tips for New Host Parents

New Host Families - What Are the First Steps in Hosting an Au Pair?

The first thing you need to do is research all the U.S.A. au pair agencies and compare costs, program features, location and customer service ratings.   After you choose an au pair agency, you need to consider choice of country, among other considerations.  The following expert au pair advice articles will help you with the basics: 

  • Research Agenciessize agency, such as goAUPAIR or EurAuPair, or maybe you to choose from a number of smaller, "boutique" programs, Au Pair Foundation, CHI Au Pair or Agent Au Pair?  Smaller au pair agencies often give more hands-on service during the matching process; however larger agencies have more au pairs to choose from and offer more resources.  You can read all the newly revised and updated  agency reviews on the Clearinghouse.
  • Research Countries:  Do your homework on the different cultures and nationalities.  What culture seems interesting to you and your family?  What characteristics seem to match or fit your family's personality?  South American au pairs are great for large, active families, Japanese au pairs are patient and great with low-key, quiet families and most Germans fit with most American families.

  • Screening Au Pairs Once you choose an au pair agency, you will need to screen each au pair applicant carefully.  Look closely at each profile and the paperwork that will include references, the agency face-to-face interview, au pair letter to the host family, documented experience, etc.  Try to pick an au pair that "fits" your family's style, not the opposite. 
  • How to Conduct Phone Interviews:  Now that you chose a few prospective au pairs, you are ready to call them and interview them.  Some agencies are now using Skype in their agents' offices.  Ask your agency if they have this available before you call.  The phone interview should cover basic information, such as childcare experience, driving skills, and reasons for becoming an au pair.  Don't forget to allow the au pair to interview you too! Review Matching Tips written by Cultural Care expert and LCC, Deborah Schwarz
  • Get on the Same Page:  Once you have decided to match with the au pair, do not forget to ask her if she would like the position!  Many new host families forget to ask this question directly - at the time you offer the position to the au pair, make plans for when she will arrive.  Make sure there are no surprises and that you are both on the same page regarding your job description and what time you will need her.
  • Get Au Pair's Room Ready:  Now you have a few weeks until she gets her visa, to prepare for your au pair's arrival.  Make sure you spend time on her room and make it cozy, clean and organized.  What do au pairs expect?  Nice matching linens on a comfortable bed, a dresser and desk, an empty closet (do not store your seasonal clothes in her space) and freshly painted walls. Cable TV and computer is now basic for hosting an au pair. 
  • What Else?  Don't forget to arrange to add your new au pair on your car insurance and purchase her a cell phone.  When your au pair has her own phone, you will be able to contact her at anytime (and your children if they are with her). Review what Culture Shock is and what to do if the problem doesn't go away! 
  • Enjoy:  Make sure your children are prepared for your au pair's arrival.  Spend a little time teaching them where their au pair lives and what language she speaks. Teaching them a few words, such as "hello" and "welcome" will be much appreciated by your au pair!  Enjoy your au pair and the relationship that will develop between her and your family - it can be a very enriching experience!

Read All of Our Top Tips You Need to Know

Before You Host an Au Pair

Host Family Tips Section

We review how to interview your prospective au pairs, how to find an agency that makes it their business to only recruit well-screened au pairs, how to make your counselor your expert au pair advisor and which agencies have the highest ratings by host parents.  

Read all host family tips NOW

Au Pair Tips Section

Ensure that your au pair will have a safe and healthy year with your family.  Top Ten Safe Driving Tips, How to Avoid Weight Gain, and more!

Read and print out these important tips for your au pair NOW

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