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How to Attract an Au Pair to Your Family

By: Helena Stratford - Updated: 12 Feb 2013 | comments*Discuss
How To Attract An Au Pair To Your Family

When it comes to getting a good au pair, there are many things you can do to attract the best ones to your family. Here we give you tips from the experts who see both sides of the selection process!

The Secret Ingredient

Imagine the situation: Two new families register with the same au pair agency with similar requirements for an au pair.

Details of both families are sent to appropriate candidates to consider but one family receives no interest, whereas the other is flooded with eager responses. So what’s their secret?

Promoting your Family

Families who appear attractive to au pairs are ones who have completed the application form with care, imagination, and attention to detail - including photographs, a full description of their life and adding a little warmth and humour for good measure.

Describe your Family

Au pairs are looking for a family whom they feel they already ‘know’ after having read just the initial application. They are trying to get a feel for what the family is like, the things they enjoy doing, a sense that they are fun, safe, and loving. A paragraph about the character of the children, pets, work, and overall lifestyle also goes down very well.

Merely one line such as ‘A professional, two-parent family with 2 children of 4 and 6’, tells the au pair nothing about you and more importantly doesn’t distinguish you from the many other applications they will receive.

Describe your Location

Most au pairs will not have heard of where you live. Unless you live in a major city or well-known location, you will be lucky if they have even heard of the nearest large town - after all, how many of us know the town where the au pair is from?

For this reason, it is important for you to promote the place where you live. State whereabouts in the country you are and don’t lie and say it’s big and exciting if it’s really quiet and rural just to attract an au pair who wants a busy location – but tell them what you love about the area and why it is you live there. List some of the places they could visit or mention the ease of transport links to reach interesting places during their days.

Another good tip is to include some general pictures of the area or add in a link to a tourist information website which will tell the au pair more.

Describe what’s on Offer

Similarly, describe what the location – and your family - has to offer. Are there good pubs, traditional crafts, National Trust properties, museums, shops, bars, rolling countryside…? Can you offer a gym membership, a bus pass; help with language tuition, wire-free Internet access? It all helps to create a welcoming feel.

Describe how you will Treat your Au Pair

Most au pairs - and their families – will be specifically looking for a host family who state that they wish to include their au pair in their family as an extra member or ‘big sister’ to their children. This is in the spirit of the au pair scheme but which sometimes gets lost as families look for cheap ‘help’ around the house.

If you wish to attract good applicants, you must be prepared to include your au pair at family mealtimes, trips out, leisure activities - and say so on your application form.

Include Photographs!

All au pairs want to see photos. An applicant will disregard a family just on the basis that there are no photos for them to have a look at. Agents understand that you may not wish to send photos of your children, but you could include unidentifiable photos of the area you live, your home and yourselves rather than put the au pair off.

Say What you Need

Also take the time to think what you want from an au pair. Is the majority of the work childcare or cleaning? Which is more important to you? Is a driver essential, and do you really need someone who can speak English fluently? If you know what you want, put it on the form and you will have more chance of finding someone who is ‘right’ for your family.

Above all, try to stay relaxed and open-minded. Prepare to be flexible in your requirements and treat the process as an adventure (similar to embarking on a blind date), rather than a series of job interviews - because a host family and au pair enter into a relationship rather than an employer/employee contract.

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Thanks for the tips. Thanks for sharing essential information on how to attract an Au Pair to the family. Very nice article.
Anne - 12-Feb-13 @ 8:11 AM
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