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4 Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Choosing Au Pairs for Families


Choosing an au pair for your family can be rather challenging. Our children are precious to us and we want their needs and safety to be taken care of as best as possible during the times when we, their parents, are unable to carry out these duties. We need to have confidence in the care of au pairs and trust that they will be able to nurture, educate, counsel, and keep a routine to ensure that our children are comfortable at all times. When choosing au pairs for families, however, there are some common mistakes that people make. These include the following:


  1. Not spending enough time on the selection process: It is vital to spend time checking out the au pairs that are recommended by your agency. Usually, the agencies will interview the au pairs, and check out their references, qualifications, and experience. But, only you can make a decision about the most suitable person for your children. Interview all the au pairs on the list and ensure that you take your time when deciding. Make a list of questions beforehand on a checklist and score the candidates on the checklist to compare later. This will help you make a more informed decision.


  1. Not stating your needs honestly: It is important that the au pair knows exactly what your needs are and understands your family environment. Don’t be shy to explain your shortcomings and be honest at all times. Discuss what your family is currently like, not what or how you want it to be. If you have children that need a lot of attention, an older person living in the home who can be critical, or kids that are very fussy eaters, make sure that you let the au pair know about this, in order to ascertain if he or she can deal with the family dynamics. Honest communication from the start is vital.


  1. Only looking at qualifications and experience: Sometimes, the personalities of au pairs can outweigh their qualifications or experience. You can always teach someone how to cook or how to change a nappy, but if the personality of the au pair is not suited to your family environment and internal dynamics, there could be a mismatch.


  1. Not involving the family: It is best that the whole family is involved in the selection process. If you have a current au pair, he or she can help to interview au pairs for your family because they will have a clear understanding of what the job entails. Your kids should also be present in at least one of the interviews, so that you can gauge the interaction between the candidate au pair and the kids.


Remember that there is no such thing as a perfect au pair. Nobody is perfect, but it is possible to find au pairs that are perfect for certain families! If you need an au pair for your family, contact our team at AuPair Extraordinaire today.