Many two-income families hire an au pair to help them with care for their children on a daily basis. By definition, an au pair comes from another country, and can stay with their host family no longer than one year. In most situations, the au pair helps getting children to and from school and other activities, prepares some meals, helps with homework, does some light housekeeping, and engages in learning activities with the children. When searching for an au pair, there are many steps you should take to ensure you have chosen the right person for your family.
- One of the best places to find an au pair is to sign up with a site on the Internet that is dedicated to matching au pairs with families. There are a great many of these, and you may want to sign up with more than one so you can keep your options open. Decide if you want a male or a female, or if either one will do, and set up a profile on each site. You can also find agencies locally that will help you find an au pair. You have to use the option you feel will work best for you.
- Next, search through the profiles of au pairs looking for families. You will find that certain profiles stand out as promising, and these are the ones you should concentrate on. You know what you are looking for in an au pair, and not every hopeful will fill your needs.
- Once you have found some applicants you would like to talk to, go ahead and send them an email. Let them know a little about yourself and your family, and ask them to tell you about themselves. You might want to know about their education, their hobbies and interests, and their reasons for wanting to be an au pair.
- Take some time when communicating with people you are interested in. It will take more than a few emails to decide if someone is right for you and your family. Remember that this is a person who will be living in your home for a year, and you want to find someone who will be helpful, as well as someone who will fit in with your family and lifestyle.
- When you have found someone you would like to bring into your home, you need to do background checks. You want to make sure the person you are thinking of bringing into your home is who they say they are. You should do as many checks as you can, as well as ask for character references. The fees involved with hiring an au pair can be hefty, and there is no sense spending this money on someone who you may wish to be rid of in a matter of weeks. Your agency should help you with this, or may have taken care of it for you.
- Once you have had lengthy communications with a few applicants you are interested in, and have done the proper background and character checks, it is time to choose the au pair you feel will be right for your family. This should be something you do as a family. Get input from everyone who is old enough to voice an opinion. This person will be in your home for a year, and you want everyone to be happy with the final selection.
- After the final selection has been made, you must then pay the required fees. These will vary depending on how you found your au pair, and what their personal requirements may be. Arrangements for travel, visas, passports, and other necessary documents must be made. In most cases, the agency or website you went through to find your au pair can help you with each of these things.