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Educational Consumer Tips

Au Pair Services

Author: Rachel Gelb
Category: Service

Deciding to hire an au pair to be apart of your family and help take care of your children can be an extreme change.  For this reason it is important to feel 100% comfortable with the person coming to live in your home.  The key step to making this process smooth and stress-free is to carefully do all your research with various au pair agencies before settling with one.

Tip For Hiring Au Pair Services:

Thoroughly Research Different Agencies.  Find out all the specifics about the agency.  Larger agencies can offer a larger variety of au pairs to choose from, while smaller agencies are more involved with the matching process.  But regardless of the size, the agency should take responsibility of conducting background checks, setting up the contract, and securing visas and work permits.  Check with the Clearinghouse for reviews on a variety of agencies.  

Look into Different Countries.  Explore the different countries and cultures of the au pairs.  Part of the experience is to exchange knowledge about the two cultures, but it is important to choose a culture that can ensure the best match for your family and allow the au pair to feel welcomed.  

Carefully Evaluate the Au Pairs.  For any au pair being considered, check for references, experience, and their interview with the agency.  This information will be helpful when trying to hire an au pair that you feel comfortable with and that suits your families needs.

Conduct a Phone or Skype Interview.  While interviewing the prospective au pairs make sure to ask about their previous child care experiences as well as why they became an au pair.  It is also important to ask about language and driving skills to be prepared for when they come to stay if you should hire them.  The more you talk and question the au pair the easier you will be able to tell if they are a good fit for your family.  

Be Prepared.  Once you have hired an au pair, make plans for their arrival and organize the space where they will be staying.  Make sure to educate your children on the situation and teach them a little bit about the au pair’s culture before they arrive.  Make sure to share the rules and guidelines of the house with the au pair so everyone will know what to expect during the stay.  

About the Author: Rachel Gelb is Communications and Marketing Manager for BBB serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. Find Rachel on Google +.

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