1. Au pair Definition?
An au pair considers being a single person in the age of 18-30, preferable female, who will be living in a host family in a foreign country during a period, which is mentioned in au-pair agreement between participant and receiving family. The period can vary but not longer than 12 months. Normally, au-pair helps with light household tasks or looking and caring for kids whilst receiving pocket money, accommodation and meals in exchange.
2. Why choose TM Connect Abroad Corporation?
Our main goal is to match au pair perfectly find a suitable family, to create an unforgettable year for both: au pair and host family. Our staff was previously ex-au pairs, that is why we have experience behind us where we are knowledgeable in providing necessary information and advices for how to be a successful au pair. Our staff is always ready to consult once any questions or problems occur. Our great benefit is that TM Connect Abroad Corporation is the member of International Au Pair Association (IAPA - www.iapa.org) – worldwide known organization. We follow its rules, guidelines and codes of conduct. Meanwhile, our partners inform and check all host families intensively. And of course we can also give you a helping-hand if you are facing some difficult situations, while you are abroad. Our partners provide contact support numbers, in case of emergency or should you have troubles or misunderstanding with your receiving family.
3. Benefits of being an au pair
It is well known to everyone, that au-pair program is purely a cultural exchange program. You can have an amazing opportunity to improve a foreign language, to immerse into foreign culture, to understand better traditions and habits of families who live in the country not of your origin. You can experience it all only with your own eyes. No doubt, as an au pair you'll have a wonderful time living and travelling around country. Other benefits are the following:
- Mastering your English
- Getting acquainted with new friends and travelling in your leisure time
- Gaining independence, confidence and maturity
- Receiving international childcare experience
- Teaching host family about your traditions, culture, language and learning about its in return
- Learning other foreign language(s)
4. Duties, tasks and responsibilities of au pair
The main task or duty is to provide childcare for your family's kids and to do light household. It is clear that every receiving family is different, so your duties and responsibilities can vary depending on age of your host children and in case the parents do not work at home. Usually, a family consists of 3 or more children including babies. Some families have four kids. Future au pair girls receive a training manual from TM Connect Abroad Corporation to prepare themselves for 1 year in the country as an au pair. You will receive a weekly plan from host family. This plan will show you what is supposed to be done by you. Your possible responsibilities as au pair can be the following:
- Provide qualified child care to your receiving family
- Commit to exclusively working with your host family for a minimum of 12 months (no additional employment allowed)
- Complete household chores related to children. Exercise common sense – if a toy is on the ground, pick it up!
- Respect and follow your host family’s rules
- Be flexible!
- Communicate openly with your Host Family
- Communicate any problems to our partner agency
- Follow and comply with mediation and conflict resolution process, if needed
- Inform host family of where you are going and when you will come back home
- Abide by a reasonable curfew for returning home at night
- Maintain a positive attitude and be an active member of the family
- Do not monopolize phone or computer
- Request your family’s permission before inviting friends to the house
5. How to find an Au Pair
There are criteria that an au pair has to meet to follow aupair world programs as below:
You have to speak English on an intermediate – high level. Furthermore, if you can also speak another foreign language next to English such as Dutch, German, Spanish, or French (for EU), this will give you an added value to your profile.
Since the service oriented of this program is childcare, elderly care or domestic, an au pair should have at least 500 hours experience (last 2 years) in field of support. More experience you have, better your profile is! If you are interested to be an au pair for childcare, you must really love children and enjoy playing and caring for them. Also you have to be aware that the parents leave the most precious they have in your hands. Keeping them healthy and save is a huge responsibility. Host families are busy and the children are different (almost equal as adults, opinion of their own, very active) than children in your country.
Not everybody is suitable to be an au pair. Therefore we value your personality as an important selection criteria. Besides filling out all application forms, we will ask you to do a Psychometric test. As an au pair you should be an active, sociable, creative, and mature person. Moreover, you also have to be independent and easily adapt to new situations. In addition to that, you have to be well organized, reliable and responsible. Please take your time to think if your personality would allow you to have a nice time in a foreign country.
6. How to find a host family
Our partner agency is responsible to find an au pair a family. All host families are screened thoroughly. It means that all members of family are physically and mentally tested. Moreover, they are checked by police.
Screened au pairs and host families move to matching process. Host families will review au pairs’ online application profiles and select those who they want to interview on phone. It is important for an au pair’s application to be neat, clean, easy to read, and include pleasant photos of applicant, so that prospective host families are encouraged to select an applicant to move on to the next hiring step.
If a host family is interested in moving forward with an applicant, host parents will call potential au pair. Our partner agency provides host families with the applicants’ suggested date and time to call; however, some host families may choose to call outside of these hours due to time differences and the host parents’ busy work schedules.
Most host families will call more than one au pair applicant. Majority of au pair applicants will receive interview calls from more than one host family. A host family must interview an au pair at least two times before making decision to offer au pair a match.
Each applicant should also prepare a list of questions to ask future host family (e.g. about children, their interests, activities, and a typical day’s schedule, etc.).
It is very important that au pair must be completely honest during phone interview to ensure that he or she and host family are a good match. Au pair should keep in mind that he or she will be living with this family for 12 months, and changing to a new host family is typically very difficult. For example, if the applicant smokes occasionally, it is far better to acknowledge this on the au pair application and through the phone interview. In the past, au pairs have lied about smoking thinking that they would have a better chance of being placed with a host family as a non-smoker. When the au pair arrived and started smoking, the host family felt that the au pair had lied, and the trust between the au pair and host family was damaged. A small lie like this can lead to numerous other problems and even dismissal from the program. Honesty is always the best policy!
If a host family is interested in an applicant after the second interview, they may offer the position as au pair with their family. If an au pair accepts a placement with a host family, he or she must not accept other interviews. If another host family does contact this au pair, the applicant should decline the interview or tell the host family that he or she has already accepted a placement.
If applicant is unsure about match, he or she should not reject placement on phone with host family. Applicant should tell host family that he or she will consider the offer and then discuss concerns about host family with Connect Abroad Corporation. Applicants should not decline placement with a host family only due to geographic location. If an applicant declines a host family due to location, he or she may not receive another offer.