We cannot be more thorough when it comes to choosing a person to look after our kids.
Luckily there are some great tried and tested ways to ensure that you find the right person.
Here are some things to look out for when you start the process of finding your au pair:
1. We hope a CV is honest, but many times, this is not the case.
Sometimes you get these amazing CV’s of candidates with exceptional experience and qualifications, and you think “wow, ok, this girl is amazing, I will probably hire her”. The problem here is you get excited to meet her based on her CV and this mindset can blind you from the truth. Often, candidates can put childcare experience relating to family and friends on their CV; which looks impressive but really isn’t. Additionally, they can say they have an Early Childhood Development Qualification when they haven’t completed it (we have seen this more times than we can count). Make sure that the au pair gives you copies of all their certificates, along with the originals.
A CV without any backing documents should not be accepted. PLEASE parents, check, double check, and triple check CV’s!
2. Fake References – how can you tell?
This is very tricky, but it can be done. When you call a reference, don’t reveal the au pair’s name off the bat. Ask the person to give the name of the au pair who worked for them in e.g. 2013, if they say the correct name, ask them for more details e.g. How did you find her? How old were your kids back then? How long did this au pair stay with you? Why did she leave you? Once you feel that the story checks out, start asking your questions about her capabilities, reliability etc. You can also request this person to email you a written reference on a letterhead, or from a business email address. Another thing you can do is go look the au pair up on Facebook, see if the listed references are friends with them on Facebook, what their relationship with them is (if they are), check their walls for comments from listed references.
So much is revealed on Social Media- a very handy tool discussed in more detail below.
3. Social Media – a good old fashioned Facebook stalking exercise can reveal many truths.
Without a doubt, one of the most important (and sometimes not as obvious) things to do when selecting your au pair is to check out their social media accounts. Now parents, be reasonable. Most of these girls and guys are young students and they are likely to have a social life- if you see a picture of them with a cocktail in their hand, it doesn’t always mean they are unsuitable au pairs. In this case, a drink in the hand is not worth two in a bush!
Aspects to look out for are thing like excessive partying, and the kinds of parties they are attending. Please make sure that you look on their Facebook wall, and Instagram account to see what kind of things they are posting. It really does give you at least some kind of insight to who this person is.
4. Finally – Mother’s intuition
This one isn’t really an agency secret, but worth a mention.
Our intuition is the most accurate and powerful tool we have in our arsenal. Moms, you just KNOW when something is not right. You are not going crazy, you are hearing your intuition and nothing beats it.
Don’t doubt yourself when you feel alarm bells ringing. When this happens, it’s done, close the book, don’t ask questions, the person wasn’t right, move on. Your intuition is right. Every. Single. Time.
Trust yourself, you know what to do. This much we can guarantee. Happy hunting
If you feel that you would rather having the backing of a professional agency, then you have come to the right place. View our “Information for families – Hiring an Au Pair page”
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