What You Need to Start Out as an Au Pair

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Becoming an au pair is a great way to live abroad and gain work experience in your host country. It’s also an excellent opportunity to learn the local language and experience cultural immersion. However, before you get started, there are a few things you’ll need to know. Here are the basics: What you need to get started: 1. A valid passport and visa.

Find a Placement Agency or Program

When many think about the au pair life, they imagine traveling to other countries, looking after children and spending their free time exploring new places. However, once the reality kicks in, several au pairs realize that becoming an au pair is more challenging and exciting than they thought. Au Pairing is hard work, and the childcare responsibilities are serious.

An au pair is a transient family member who provides free housing, free meals, and a weekly stipend in exchange for helping their host with child care and simple home duties. The program is designed to create cultural understanding between the United States and other nations.

Websites like Go Au Pair that enable prospective au pairs and eager host families to publish their online profiles and get in touch with one another have essentially taken over the basic job of connecting them in recent years. Some of these sites also offer user support for a charge. Professional au pairs are motivated by a desire to learn more about the American culture and improve their English skills while living with a host family. They want to make new friends, gain international working experience and develop a global network. They also often strongly desire to become part of the family and form a close bond with their host kids.


An au pair is an exchange visitor in return for room and board and a weekly stipend. They may be responsible for various tasks, including feeding, bathing and dressing children; transporting them to and from school or other activities; preparing meals for the kids; cleaning and doing laundry; and more. The term “au pair” is derived from the French words for on par or equal, and au pairs are often treated as a valued part of the family. The role of an au pair is not for everyone and au couples must choose families with whom they will feel comfortable living and working. It is also important to understand what the job expectations are and whether they are a good match for your personality and lifestyle. It is common for au pairs and their host families to stay in touch beyond their year together and even visit each other outside of the U.S.

A good au pair will have strong communication skills and a clear understanding of safety protocols. They will be able to calm children’s temper tantrums and know how to handle various situations that could arise while caring for the children. A background in education and early childhood development is also helpful, and knowledge of first aid can help you respond quickly to any health-related emergencies. TestGorilla’s pre-employment assessments can be used to identify candidates with these skills and more before they are interviewed.


The interview process can seem daunting to au pairs trying to find a host family. While many families will be hurrying to hire an au pair, taking your time and finding a match that will work well for both parties is important. In addition to asking questions about childcare and household duties, the interview is a great opportunity to learn about an au pair’s personality and interests. During interviews, families should ask questions to assess an au pair’s level of understanding about the job and her ability to meet the family’s expectations. Applicants should be able to talk about how they will handle certain situations, such as working with babies who don’t sleep through the night. The interview is also a good time to talk about what the host family expects an au pair to do and how much work she will be expected to complete each week. During the interview, a family should ask the au pair about her educational and career goals and why she wants to become an au pair. An au pair can provide valuable work experience for someone looking to pursue a career in education or social work, and it is also an excellent opportunity to travel and make friends. In addition, au pairs often have weekends free to explore their new home and surroundings.

Host Families

As an au pair, you will live as a host family member and care for their children. The host family will share their home, culture and language with you. It is a unique opportunity to experience life in a new country! Host families are genuinely interested in cultural exchange and welcome au pairs into their homes to become extended family members. A childcare provider on exchange who stays with a host family and receives lodging, board, and a weekly stipend is known as an au pair. Once you have shortlisted a few host families, you must interview them to determine whether they fit you. It is important to clarify issues such as language spoken at home, family values, house location and how much pocket money they will offer you. It is also a good idea to discuss how often you will be babysitting and their expectations regarding your time off. Each month, the amount of pocket money an au pair receives varies by country. It is a good idea to research beforehand and know they will avoid any surprises down the road.

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