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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News

Bill Clinton Believes Supporting Tourism Encourages Peace

Bill Clinton. Image by CAPAF
Bill Clinton. Image by CAPAF

“What I have seen is that peace works better than conflict, and one of the best manifestations of it is in travel and tourism,” – Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton was in Abu Dhabi yesterday to speak at the World Travel and Tourism Council summit.  Alex Francis with Cheapflight travel blog says, “Bill Clinton has said that tourism can be a force for good in the world, and has the power to bring peace and change things for the better.”

I personally have seen the truth of this in my work with the Au Pair Exchange Program.  Most people don’t realize that the Au Pair Program was established by the U.S. Department of State to promote peace and understanding throughout the world.  From their website: “Through the Au Pair program, participants and host families take part in a mutually rewarding, intercultural opportunity. Participants can continue their education while experiencing everyday life with an American family, and hosts receive reliable and responsible childcare from individuals who become part of the family.”

Through my work with Au Pair International I have had the opportunity to have women from Japan, Paraguay, Thailand, Germany, China and Moldova come and stay with me and my family.  It has been an amazing experience for my children to learn about these beautiful countries and their rich cultures.  It has instilled in us a desire to see the world and meet different people.

The au pairs also have the opportunity to learn so much.  Many come to the U.S. only knowing what they see in the movies.  They have the unique experience of staying with a family and participating with them like a member of the family.  They come away from this experience having strengthened their English, broadened their global understanding and gained a personal confidence in their own abilities and worth.  Many go on to do amazing things.

So I encourage you to take the opportunity to travel and really experience a different culture and people.  Don’t be afraid to really get to know the people and places you visit.  Share with your children the value of each culture, language and people.  By doing so, you will be helping to promote worldwide peace and understanding.

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Lisa Kempton is the Director of Domestic Programs with Au Pair International. She has been helping families and au pairs in the Au Pair Exchange Program for 5 years. You can follow her on twitter.

Au Pair Advice

Three great ways to meet new people when working as an Au Pair

One of the hardest parts of being an au pair can be meeting people and making friends. Even though you are living with a family, being an au pair can be very lonely, especially at first. Most au pairs who are brand-new to a country don’t know anyone outside of their host family.

Even those who did their homework, asked all the right questions, and landed with a really great host family, getting to know people outside of your new home can still be tough. Especially at first.

For me, I was fine when I first moved to Germany as an au pair. I had a few friends in the country (although none nearby). I also had a great host family who took me out to see the area and introduced me to their family and close circle of friends, which was fantastic and very kind of them. But at some point I was ready to make friends of my own, especially close girlfriends. You may be in a similar situation and wondering how to meet people.

If you are, here are three ways that I made friends as an Au Pair:

  1. Language class – I can’t recommend this enough. My closest friendships were made through my German classes. The courses I signed up for were pretty crappy (my German teacher was actually Russian, if that tells you anything). But I made some great (and lasting) friendships during my classes. Granted, once you make friends you may spend more time skipping class than attending (consider yourself warned!), and you will quite likely have to step out of your comfort zone to meet new people, but language school is a GREAT way to meet other people.
  2. Go to church – Seriously. I met some really great people through a church in Stuttgart and through Bible studies at one of the universities in the city. And believe it or not, some of these people were really cool, and not crazy Bible-thumpers. (For those who do not attend religious services, maybe you could look for groups/meet-ups on things that interest you – either hobbies, sports, or something similar).
  3. Just get out there – Sometimes you just have to get out and talk to people. And although it can be intimidating, you can meet some great people by getting over yourself and talking to strangers. One of my best friends and I made some great friends by going out and talking to people at our favorite hangout. We didn’t have time to wait around to meet people, so we took it upon ourselves to talk to people who looked like fun, and we made good friends this way, even in Germany, where people tend to be a bit more reserved than what we were used to.

(Guest post from Talya at the Best AuPair Guide)

So here’s one au pair’s suggestions, what are yours?  What’s the best way to meet people in a foreign country?