Amazing Au Pairs, Candidates

Why You Should Host a Younger Au Pair

Looking for the Perfect Addition for Your Family? Why You Should Host a Younger Au Pair

Ana Babcinetchi (3)Hosting an au pair is a fantastic childcare option for many families because it is more cost-efficient than daycare and allows host families to participate in a cultural exchange with a young man or woman from another country. Whether you have hosted an au pair previously or are new to the program, you may be wondering what qualities would work best for your family in an au pair candidate. Younger au pairs are a great option for families who would like to add a valuable new member to their household, who can act as both a mother’s helper and a big brother or sister to the children. Hosting a younger au pair is a great option for many host families, and here’s why:

Younger au pairs are energetic: One of the best qualities that younger au pairs possess is great energy and excitement. They enjoy caring for children of all ages and have the stamina to keep up with busy schedules, sports activities, tidying up, and playing games.

 

Age does not reflect maturity: Although younger au pairs may seem inexperienced by American standards, most of the younger candidates who apply for the program have extensive hours from a variety of previous childcare experiences. Most of the candidates also come from large families and have spent years caring for their younger siblings and cousins. They may only be 18 or 19-years old, but they have developed great maturity from their work and personal experience. The important thing to remember is that an 18-year-old au pair candidate from abroad, is quite different than an 18-year-old American high school graduate.

They are coachable: Since younger candidates are still growing and learning themselves, they have a willingness to experience new things and learn about childcare from their host family. Younger au pairs are still forming how they best relate to children and thus are more willing to accept advice and tips from their host parents.

Although hosting a younger au pair might not be your first choice as a host family, it may very well turn out to be your best choice. One of our current host families, the Notos, explained that age was not a deciding factor at all and they encourage new host families to look for an au pair whose personality and interests best matched with their own family instead. They went on to say that “they would recommend a younger au pair a million percent, because their younger au pair became like a daughter to them, was always excited and willing to play with the kids, and faced every new challenge with determination.”

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If you would like to learn more about our available younger au pair candidates or have questions about the au pair program, contact us today!

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Amazing Au Pairs, Candidates, Cultural Journey

10 Reasons Why Ukrainian Candidates Make the Best Au Pairs

Au pairs are a great option for most families with small children. Before choosing the right candidate, you will want to learn more about the cultural differences and lifestyle of your au pair’s home country first.

Ukraineflag

As an au pair, Ukrainians have several advantages you might be surprised to learn:

  1. Family values: Each Ukrainian family is rich with customs and traditions, which are passed down from generation to generation,creating cohesion and warm relations between parents and their children. Au pair participants from Ukraine would love to share these same values with their American family.
  2. Food and culinary skills: In Ukraine, people like to cook and eat delicious meals. You will be delighted with the national Ukrainian cuisine. In addition, home food is healthy because it is cooked with natural products and ingredients. Your au pair may teach you how to cook borsch or cook vareniki with your children; it is fun and enjoyable!
  3. Sports: In Ukraine, every child is fond of sports from an early
    age, so your au pair will be physically active. Many young men and woman have experience doing gymnastics, dancing, and playing tennis.
  4. Experience working with children: On an average, Ukrainian families have two or three children. Older ones take responsibility for caring and educating younger siblings, so your au pair already has priceless experience from babysitting in their own family.
  5. Needlework: In Ukrainian schools, there are particular classes, where kids learn to draw, sew, sculpt, and knit. Au pairs will teach your kids to make interesting handmade arts and crafts, and share their unique hobbies with them.
  6. Music: In Ukraine, most of the children attend music schools and usually can play at least one instrument. Your au pair may share these skills with your children too.
  7. Swimming: Almost every Ukrainian au pair can swim well: some visit the pool, others improve their skills while traveling to the sea or river. These skills may be useful during a vacation with children.
  8. Driving: Ukrainian au pairs are cautious and responsible drivers. To get a driving license in Ukraine, you need to pass a written test and a driving test. Ukrainian girls are extremely cautious. They have driving experience on imperfect roads and in traffic congestion in large cities. That’s why parents who are really worried about the safety of their child, should consider choosing a Ukrainian au pair.
  9. Diligence: In Ukrainian families, from early childhood, kids are taught to be independent and help their mothers with chores around the house. A Ukrainian au pair will help you maintain the cleanliness and comfort of your home.
  10. Initiative: Ukrainian parents always encourage their children to keep busy. They practice active leisure, trips, and excursions, which allow their children to develop and reach new horizons. In addition, au pairs take initiative and always care about a variety of pastimes. Ukrainian au pairs easily get along with children of any age. They treat them as their own kids-with care, attention, and love, so your children will always enjoy themselves around their au pair.

heartNow you understand why Ukrainian au pairs are appreciated not only in the USA, but all over the world. They will provide you and your kids with diligence and will have a responsible attitude towards their duties. You will definitely not regret hosting a Ukrainian candidate as your au pair!

To search for available Ukrainian au pairs, please visit the following link and type the search term “Ukraine”. Search For Au Pairs

Amazing Au Pairs, Candidates

Why You Should Choose An Italian Au Pair

Hosting an au pair is a great childcare option for many families. As you begin considering this cultural exchange program, you may be wondering what country you would like to learn more about. If you are looking for an au pair, you really should consider choosing an Italian girl for the following reasons:

SENSE OF FAMILY

In Italy, family time is very important and all family members spend a lot of time together. Usually Italian girls help their mothers with house duties. Moreover, their experience as babysitters starts very early, because in Italian families it’s common for older siblings to take care of younger siblings and cousins. Of course, this is just a starting point through which they develop their passion for children, and later on they may end up working as babysitters, educational entertainers (in summer camps, church, etc.) and as homework helpers.

FUN AND CREATIVE

Your kids will definitely have a good time with an Italian au pair because they are funny and creative. They have a good imagination and know how to capture children’s attention with original activities. They usually organize arts and crafts, and enjoy playing games in English.

CARE AND AFFECTION

Italian au pairs are really sweet and caring. Children become fond of them fast, as they play the role of a bigger sister, and treat them with kindness like a family member.

RESPONSIBLE DRIVING

To obtain a standard driving license in Italy, applicants must be at least 18, as well as provide a medical certificate for eyesight, mental health, and physical condition. Obtaining a driver’s license in Italy is very expensive and includes a written test and a driving exam. Italians consider themselves to be good drivers, as they must learn to drive in difficult conditions, including driving on crowded main roads and dealing with traffic jams.

GOOD MEALS

Last but certainly not least, if you like Italian food you don’t need to go out to eat at Italian restaurants anymore, because you will have your own personal chef at home! Besides preparing excellent meals for your kids, they can teach you how to make an excellent tiramisù or a homemade lasagna!

If you’re ready to welcome an au pair into your home, consider hosting an Italian candidate! We promise you won’t be disappointed! From the beautiful language to fascinating culture, hosting an Italian au pair will be a great experience for your family.

To see a list of the Italian candidates we currently have available to match, please visit our candidates page and type in the search term “Italy”!

 

Candidates, Host Family Questions, The Matching Process

3 Tips for Finding the Right Au Pair

The most common question I get from prospective host families is “How will I know which au pair is right for me?”  Good question.  We have au pairs from all over the world, who speak many different languages and have many different experiences.  Some families can narrow the field because they have a certain language or nationality they want their children to learn about, but most just want a kind and compassionate person who will love their children and give them the care they need.  Here are some tips to make the search for the right au pair for your family easier.

Yada from Thailand
Yada from Thailand
Ntombezonke  from South Africa
Ntombezonke from S. Africa
Glenda from Guatemala
Glenda from Guatemala

#1 Be Honest!

The first mistake many potential host parents make is trying to “sell” their family to the au pair candidates.  They want the au pair to like them so they gloss over the less-than-perfect stuff.  These families might get their first choice, but that doesn’t mean that they will get the right au pair for their family.

Be upfront and honest about what your family is like and what your needs are.  If you have a strict no TV rule, make sure to tell the candidates that.  If you have a child that’s a hitter, let the au pair know.  If you are conservative about dress and appearance, mention what standards you would like observed in your home.  If you have special diets or allergies, again, let the au pair know.  Now, I’m not saying the first thing you do is send an email stating all the negative things about your family, but you should carefully consider what makes your family unique (both good and bad) and during the matching process make sure your au pair has an accurate picture of your family.

This goes for the area you live, too.  Some au pairs want to live in a big city; others are good with a quiet suburb.  We have even had some au pairs request a rural setting.  If you live 10 miles from the closest grocery store and the next big city is 20 miles beyond that, you need to let your potential au pairs know this.  On the flip side, if you live in an area where traffic is crazy and there are people everywhere, you should probably mention that, too.

Yuri from South Korea
Yuri from South Korea
Jelena from Serbia
Jelena from Serbia
Renuka from Nepal
Renuka from Nepal

#2 Interview, Interview, Interview

So many families see only a couple files or videos of au pairs, fall in love with one of them, have one interview and ask them to be their au pair.  You might get lucky and have matched with the perfect au pair for you, but chances are both you and your au pair are going to be surprised when you actually start living together.  The better plan: interview many, interview often, and interview all.

Interview many – Meaning start off with a good amount of potential candidates and send an introductory email to them.  I would say 5 to 8 au pairs.  Even if you think their file is light on content, give them a chance to tell you about themselves.  Then narrow it down to about half that you want to Skype with (if you are not familiar with Skype, I would recommend getting comfortable with it.  This is how the vast majority of au pairs communicate with potential host families).  Then narrow it down again to 2 or 3 that are your favorites.

Interview often – Most of the time one video chat or phone call is not going to cut it.  You need to send emails back and forth and plan on Skyping several times.  This is the time to be honest about your family and expectations.  Evaluate your needs and make sure you ask questions to see if he or she will meet those needs.  If you need a driver, make sure to ask lots of questions about their driving experience.  If you have a 3-year-old, ask what types of activities she/he likes to do with that age child.  If you need someone who cooks, ask what they like to cook.  Don’t ask a bunch of yes or no questions, but more questions that start with “How would you handle…”  “Tell me about a time you…” This way you can see how they would react in a difficult situation.

Interview all – Make sure that all the members of your family have a chance to Skype with your favorite au pairs.  You can even introduce your babies or pets and tell the au pairs a little about them.  This will help your potential au pair to understand your family a little more.  You might even want to consider talking with the au pair’s family to get a better understanding of him/her.

Ling from China
Ling from China
Julia from France
Julia from France
Teresa from Spain
Teresa from Spain

#3 Understand your part

Remember, this is not a job interview; this is a cultural exchange program.  You are not hiring a nanny, but agreeing to participate in a program where the au pair will live in your home like a member of the family and take care of your kids.  Be sure you understand what you are agreeing to by hosting an au pair.

There are no guarantees that any match will be perfect, but by following these tips you and your au pair will understand each other better and hopefully be a great fit.

Top 7 Unexpected Reasons to get an Au Pair

The pictures in this post are of au pairs that currently available.  If you would like to see their full profile, click on their picture. This post is a update from a post from September 2012.
Amazing Au Pairs, Candidates, Learning is Fun

May 9th is Europe Day

What is Europe Day?

“Europe Day (9 May) celebrates peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historical ‘Schuman declaration‘. At a speech in Paris in 1950, the French foreign minister, Robert Schuman, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable.

His vision was to create a European institution that would pool and manage coal and steel production. A treaty creating such a body was signed just under a year later. Schuman’s proposal is considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union.” Source Europa.eu

The original founding nations were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany.  Now the EU has 27 members: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Teach kids more about Europe day and the European Union:

Play an online matching game with all the flags of the EU.

Learn more about the European Union with this fun quiz.

Collect Euros in the fun online game.

In honor of Europe Day we are highlighting some of our Au Pairs from the countries that make up the EU.

Andreja from Slovenia

AndrejaCrnic3After a successful first year with a family of four children, Andreja is looking forward to spending more time in the USA. She is confident driving on US roads and has a 7 year driving record in Slovenia. Before becoming an au pair, She has excellent English, is knowledgeable in First Aid, CPR, and Water Safety. She also holds a degree as a swimming instructor.

 

 

Soraya from Spain:

SorayaOrtega3Soraya is 26 years of age with 5300 childcare hours.  She has 3100 hours from caring for children under the age of 2.  Soraya gained her childcare abilities from babysitting several children over the years.  In addition, she has experience teaching dance to children after school.  Soraya is an excellent swimmer and certified in CPR and First Aid.  Check out her video.

Interested in a Spanish au pair?  See the others we have available.

 

Carolin from Germany:

CarolinHCarolin has 2000 hours of childcare experience and has been driving for a period of 3.5 years.  She gained her childcare knowledge from working in a daycare center caring for children ages 2-6. Carolin has experience with children that have minor physical and learning disabilities and is currently studying to become a nursery nurse.  She describes herself to be a responsible, warm and creative caregiver.

See our other German candidates.

 

Ieva from Latvia:

Slide 1Ieva is 23 years old with 5300 childcare hours, 1600 of which are from caring for children under the age of 2.  She gained her childcare experience from being a nanny, volunteering in daycare centers, and working as an au pair in Greece. Ieva is fluent in three languages and has excellent English.

 

 

Jessica from Italy:

Name:  Jessica Tiziani                              Age: 25Jessica is 25 years of age with 1600 hours of childcare experience from babysitting and being an au pair.  Jessica has very good English and has been driving for 5 years.  She describes herself to be a patient and responsible caregiver who is knowledgeable in First Aid.  Jessica is willing to care for children with both physical and learning disabilities.

 

Stephanie from the Netherlands:

StephanieMentink3Stephanie is a Professional Au Pair with over 8000 childcare hours, 4000 of which is from working with children under the age of 2.   Stephanie has excellent English and Swimming abilities and is knowledgeable in First Aid.  She loves to plan activities for children and get them excited to be involved!

Check out our other Dutch au pairs.

 

Lemonia from Greece:

LemoniaB1

Lemonia (Leni) gained her experience in childcare from working in a daycare center, babysitting, and caring for younger family members. She is 25 years old with very good English skills and a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry/Biotechnology.  Leni describes herself to be a patient and trustworthy multi-tasker.

Interested in Greek candidates?  Here are some others.

 

Julia from France:

JuliaFranceJulia has good English and speaks a total of 4 languages.  In addition, she is an excellent swimmer and has been driving for 2 years.  Her references describe her to be a patient and responsible caregiver that has many ideas to keep children occupied.  In addition, they say she has experience helping with homework and preparing meals for their children.

 

Rodica from Romania:

RodicaPaduraru1Rodica is 23 years of age and has been driving for a period of 5 years. Rodica has very good English and enjoys playing interactive games with the children she cares for.  She feels that the au pair program is a chance to combine two of her passions: travelling and childcare.

Check out our other Romanian candidates.

 

Jennifer from Sweden:

JenniferHiltunen1Jennifer has over 1000 hours of childcare experience from babysitting and interning in a primary school.  She describes herself to be a caring, sensitive, and creative caregiver that has a high capacity to manage stressful situations.  Jennifer is 23 years old with excellent English.

Candidates, Day to Day

Top 7 Unexpected Reasons to get an Au Pair

The typical reason for getting an au pair is “I go to work and need someone to care for my kids” and sometimes “I want my kids to learn a certain language”.  While these are great reasons that people get an au pair, there are some other benefits that people don’t always think about.

study

1. Your au pair can move with you.  One of the hardest things about moving is finding new childcare for your children, especially if you work odd hours.  We have several families who move a couple of times per year or have several houses that they split their time between.  They love that they can bring their au pair from location to location and have consistent, loving childcare.

2. Your au pair can travel with you.  If you go on lots of business trips or family vacations, you can bring your au pair with you so you don’t have to be away from your children or try to find childcare along the way.

3. Your au pair can tutor your children.  Many families get au pairs to teach their children a new language, but most of our au pairs have some college and a lot of au pairs have graduated with degrees in things like Economics, Physiotherapy, Law, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Political Science, Social Work,  Tourism Management, Environmental Science, Advertising Design, Medical Assisting, or Business Administration.  These au pairs have a lot of knowledge that they can pass on to your children.

4. Your au pair can coach your children in different skills and hobbies.  Many au pairs are experienced in different activities such as  violin, painting, tennis, dance, guitar, baking, piano, swimming, aerobics, and yoga.  Wouldn’t it be great to get a childcare provider and piano teacher in one?  Or maybe your au pair can teach you whole family about yoga or some other activity.  Most au pairs have many skills that they would love to share with your family.

swim baby

5. Your au pair can be a taxi driver.  Some families don’t need childcare as much as a taxi driver, especially if they have older children.  Whether it’s running kids to school, activities or appointments, au pairs can take over those responsibilities so you can focus on your responsibilities.

6. Your au pair can be the night nanny. Some families choose to have their au pair take the night shift so they can spend more quality time with the children during the day.

7. Your au pair can be a nurse.  Some of our au pairs are trained as nurses (Aliona, DeuRe) or speech therapists (Ju Yeon).  Others have experience with special needs children (Anna, Karen, and Thandeka).  If you have a child that has special needs, many au pairs are uniquely qualified to give your child the one-on-one attention that will help your child learn and grow.  Also, all au pairs can care for your children when they are sick so you don’t have to miss work.
What are some different reasons that you would like to have an au pair?