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Should I Host an Au Pair?

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Considering an au pair? Read these common questions and answers.

Thinking about live-in child care? Read our common questions and answers for families considering an au pair. 

How does the process work?

First, register with an agency or even several agenices. Jaclyn Perovich, a former au pair, current hostmom and Cultural Care childcare consultant, notes that it’s perfectly fine if you need a placement quickly, down the road or if you are just exploring the option of au pair care.

Once you’re registered, you can start looking at au pair resumes and even email them for interviews. A Placement Manager will then call within 24-48 hours to help go through the au pair’s applications, narrow down your family’s specific needs such as if a family has twins or triplets, and share the selection deadlines needed to secure a particular au pair. This is important because the au pairs travel will be determined by your start date.

At Cultural Care, in addition to the agency Placement Manager, a Local Childcare Consultant (LCC) will contact you as well. This is the person in your geographical area who will be your local support throughout the year. The LCC also conducts in-home interviews with families and also provides orientation for both the family and au pair upon arrival.

What happens if the arrangement isn’t working out? 

If things aren’t working out with the host family and Au pair then the local consultant will conduct a mediation. If the relationship does not improve then they go into “Rematch”. The host family finds a new Au pair and the Au pair has 2 weeks to find a new host family.

Au Pair Care recommends that parents set clear expectations and even over-communicate their needs before the au-pair begins to set the placement up for success.  After talkng with the au pair, it’s recomended to follow up with an email before the au pair arrives and then leave a hard copy of instructions in the home.  

When can the au pair work?

An au pair will work up to 45 hours of childcare per week, scheduled around your families needs.

Can an au pair work with newborns?

Au pairs can provide newborn care, however, they can NOT be the sole caregiver for children under 12 weeks. They are typically more of a “mother’s helper” for babies under 12 weeks.

How can families be sure their au pair is trained properly?

Reputable au pair agencies provide safety and child care training for caregivers.  Cultural Care Au Pairs for example, conducts four day reviews of child safety and development at the company’s training school in New York. They also require a classroom course on driver’s safety taught by the Red Cross and the Red Cross Full Service Training in adult and pediatric CPR/AED and First Aid. 

Other agencies such as Au Pair Care have “Au Pair Academy” where caregivers can choose specialized curriculum such as infant care or toddler based learning, in addition to basic safety and childcare trainings. 

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