Looking for a childcare solution that allows you to balance your work and personal life? We have good news for you. if you have a spare bedroom, hiring an au pair can be a cost-effective childcare option, and potentially exactly what you need! While daycares and nannies usually work for a limited time, an au pair can work up to 45 hours weekly to help you with your child whenever you need them. Gone are the days when an au pair was unaffordable!
An au pair is a woman, typically within the age range of 18 to 26 years, who is unmarried and does not have children of her own. Au pairing allows them to embark on a cultural exchange journey to improve their foreign language skills and better understand different cultures around the world. Au pairs can participate in the cultural exchange programme before or after completing their study, hoping to use their newly acquired skills and language fluency to succeed in their future endeavours.
An au pair lives with a host family and participates, just like any other family member, in their regular activities. These live-in nannies are responsible for assisting you with childcare. They learn a lot about the culture and practises of the family hosting them by participating in family activities. In addition to that, they also try to educate the host family about their own native language and culture.
We all want the best for our children. While au pairs can be the perfect childcare option for many struggling to maintain a work-life balance, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you look for an au pair agency. Below, we have prepared a step-by-step guide for hiring an au pair:
Each au pair agency offers different services or experiences for various price ranges. Thus, plan out how much you can afford to spend on childcare to determine whether or not an au pair fits within your budget.
Since an au pair will live with your family for a somewhat extended period of time, it is of the utmost importance to do thorough research before hiring one, considering you and your child’s safety. Go through the reviews for each agency and read about the services they provide in detail to get a clear idea. In addition to that, also ask for a background check for the au pair you wish to appoint. If you are looking for a reputable au pair agency in London, Sunflower Au Pair can provide a safe and appropriate au pair as per your childcare needs. We always do our very best to ensure the perfect match for your family!
Some au pair agencies (though not all) offer free registration for host families. To register as a host family, you will need to fill out a family profile, including photos, descriptions of household members, and information such as daily schedules, childcare needs, and activities. Based on the information you provide, the agency will conduct a search to find your perfect match.
After finding a reputable agency, ask them to recommend candidates who they think would fit your family’s profile. The research option is often free, but once you conduct matchmaking, payment can then become necessary. Contact us today for more detail on how we workx and the costs involved.
Interviews for hiring au pairs are typically conducted via online video conferencing. To hire the best one for your child, you need to prepare a list of questions for the interview beforehand. Also, enquire about each candidate’s experience, desired workload, and qualities they are looking for in a host family.
The final step in appointing an au pair is signing the contract. It may include various details such as the au pair’s work hours, your expectations as a host family, the au pair and au pair agency’s expectations, an agreement regarding the au pair’s weekly stipend, and a background check for all the adults in the host family.
Once you have found the best au pair as per your childcare needs and signed the contract, you are all set to host your au pair. Prepare a private room in your home with all amenities as per your contract, and also prepare a list of daily work schedules along with your household rules (if any). Inform your children about the au pair and the changes that are going to take place to make them comfortable around the service provider. Depending on the au pair agency, your au pair may be required to complete childcare training such as CPR and First Aid before joining your household.
Flexible Schedule: Most au pairs work a maximum of 45 hours per week, but since they live with your family, those hours can be arranged however it seems convenient to you. Remember, every au pair requires rest. They can sometimes need one and a half days off in a row every week and two one-week vacations during their 12-month term. All breaks are discussed in advance, so they work for you too.
Check-ins Are Built In: When required, the au pair and host family will meet with someone from the au pair agency. This gives both the au pair and the family a chance to be open and honest about how things are going, work out any issues either of you may be facing, and, if necessary, find a new match for your family. This happens very rarely, but of course, it is possible.
Cultural interaction: While nannies and daycares can teach your children about different cultures or languages worldwide, it is an indispensable part of an au pair’s experience and a major reason why many au pairs and host families choose to participate in the programme.
Sunflower Au Pair Agency is a UK-based au pair agency where we take time to find the perfect match for your family. We also guide you through the procedure to ensure that you get the exact kind of assistance you are looking for. We can provide a fully tailored service to meet your demands and also carry out thorough checks and provide full references to avoid any future complications. Many families trust us as the most dependable au pair agency in Ireland and London, and we have successfully served different families for the last 25 years. If you want to hire an au pair to help you with your childcare, contact us for a discussion today!