Au pair program is a cultural exchange program where candidates are living with a host family, take care of their children and help with the housework in exchange for board, lodging and pocket money. Candidates have the chance to improve their language skills, get to know the country and make friends. The regulation of the au pair program is different in each country. (You can find the regulations of the countries HERE.)
The host family fnterview is the first step of the matching process. We think it is important to get to know the family and the expectations as thoroughly as possible. Besides the documents we have an interview with the families in person, on the phone or via Skype before we start searching for au pairs.
Your application must include:
- an application form – you can download it from HERE
- a „Dear Au Pair” letter – describing your family, your expectations, a typical workday and what the Au Pair can expect to experience living with your family, information about your home and neighborhood – you can download an example from HERE
- some photos – pictures of the kids, parents, home, pets, and the Au Pair’s bedroom
- an agreement – contains the cooperation policy between the Au-pair Hungary Ltd. and the host family
The letter is about one or two pages long. It has a nice, friendly tone and contains the following:
- describing your family, your expectations, a typical workday and what the Au Pair can expect to experience living with your family, information about your home
You can download an example from HERE:
Yes, au pairs can take care of children of any age. (0-17 years)
If you are looking for an au pair with special education or of a certain age, the matching process might take longer. It is advisable to add the preferences as a priority but do not exclude other potential applicats, either. In many cases the personality of the au pair is prior to the education or the age.
If you feel that the fixed working hours do not suit your expectations, please get in touch with us. Most of the candidates are willing to do extra hours for extra benefits of course (higher amount of pocket money, other perks).
Many of our candidates have experience with children who need special attention (like authism, ADHD). We often meet au pairs who are inexperienced though they have the patience to live up to the expectations. Since the matching process is likely to take some weeks in tese cases, please bear in mind to contact us in good time before the starting date. Please do not hide the fact that your child(ren) needs special care!
Yes, naturally. We have plenty of candidates who only wish to stay for the summer. (1-3 months)
It usually takes 1-4 weeks.
We meet every au pair in person, after that they provide us with the following documents:
- application form
- Dear Family letter
- references (child care and character)
- medical information
- criminal record
It depends on a lot of different elements how many candidates we can show to a family. Some example:
Unfortunately we cannot offer many applicants for Germany because German language knowledge is not very common and the au pair regulation is not too attractive (lower pocket money).
Belgium provides a lot of extras to the au pairs (higher pocket money, language school, plane tickets) that maked the matching process faster for the families who live in Belgium.
If your family has high language knowledge standards or you are looking for an au pair with speacial education, the matching process will be slower and more difficult.
The candidates send their applications to us first, then we meet them in person, so we can have a personal impression, too. After that we forward the application documents to the family and if you think you would like to get in touch we give you the au pair’s contact details. We kindy ask you to inform us about the conversation with the au pair. The decision is yours but we are happy to help you by giving advice.
Different rules apply to different countries, so you need to contact your local authorities.
In the following countries families must pay the insurance of the au pairs: the USA, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. In the other countries of the European Union the European Health Insurance Card is enough. (Au pairs can apply for this card for free but they must pay insurance in Hungary.)
Usually au pairs intend to stay for a year (this is the most beneficial for both parties), but in some cases they happen to stay only for 6 months or only for the summer holiday.
- an own room to have privacy for the au pair
- own bathroom if possible (not a must but it eases the cooperation)
- full board in case of sickness or holidays too
- to have the chance to go to language school
An au pair’s primary role is childcare, light household choires can be a lesser part of duties.
List of housework tasks accepted as light housework:
- Washing dishes, including loading and unloading dishwasher
- Preparing simple meals for children
- Keeping kitchen tidy and clean, including sweeping and mopping floors
- Loading and unloading laundry into washing machine
- Ironing for children
- Putting washed clothes away
- Making and changing children’s beds
- Cleaning children’s bathroom
- Everything to do with keeping their own room/bathroom clean and tidy
- Light shopping (not the entire household shopping)
- Walking and feeding pets
- Emptying bins
List of tasks considered unsuitable for an Au Pair:
- Window cleaning
- Spring cleaning
- Cleaning the oven, other than simple wiping out
- Washing carpets
- Washing the car
- Weekly shopping
- Pet training
- Clearing up after untrained pets
- Making parents beds
- Ironing for parents
- Cleaning parents’ en-suite bathroom
- Polishing silver and brassware
- Cooking the family meal, unless the Au Pair enjoys cooking and has chosen to do this for the family
It is not suggested to ask the au pair to be the only responible person for the pet. We suggest you inform the au pair in advance concerning the pet. It should be her decision whether it is acceptable for her or not.
The babysitting means evening child care when parents go to a restaurant, theatre, cinema etc. This is not included in the working hours. Parents can usually ask for babysitting twice a week. It does not mean overnight absence!
Au pairs are treated as members of the family, not employees. Organising programs together, getting emotional support from the family can ease the adjusment process for them. You can show her the local facilities (gym, library etc.) and sights. You can help her find friends by introducing the au pair to your friends who also have au pairs. It is a nice gesture to invite the au pair to dine together.
Yes during 12 months every au pair gets at least 2 weeks of paid holidays. (You can read the regulations of the countries HERE.)
Attending a language course is part of the au pair program, families must give enough free time to the au pairs to take part in a language course. In some countries (like the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland) familes pay for the cost of the course, in other countries (like Germany or Austria) families only contribute to the costs.
Honest communication is the key to every problem. You need to be precise regarding the expectations and duties of the au pair. We suggest that you have a weekly meeting (at the end or at the beginning of the week) where both you and the au pair can discuss the week’s events (problems, difficulties, compliments, next week’s schedule) It is also important to give a postive feedback so the au pair can be aware of what she does well.
We also ask for a feedback from you (from the very start) to make sure that everything is on the right track. The au pair should regarded as family so if any problem arises it should be discussed honestly and possibly work out a solution together. If this fails, we offer our kind assistance. If the problem cannot be solved, we can help you find a new au pair.
Depending on the evaluation of the agency, we will provide a one-time guarantee of 3 months which consists of us choosing a different suitable au-pair free of charge in case the family and the au pair fail to co-operate. (The family has only 1 option to replace.) If the family does not adhere to regulations concerning au-pairs of the country of destination, that family will not be able to enforce the guarantee.
If the au pair leaves the family after a period of 3-6 months, and if you requires such services, we will look for a new suitable candidate for the amount of 200 EUR. This fee is to be paid if we manage to find another au pair suitable for you.
If the au pair leaves the family after a period of 6 months, we will look for a new suitable candidate for the original fee of 400 EUR. This fee is to be paid if we manage to find another au pair suitable for you.
The Agency is entitled to receive 400 EUR if it has managed to find and au pair suitable for the family.
We inform the family about the criteria of the program for foreign au pairs, as well as providing the family with the appropriate forms that are needed for the application.
We will contact and inform you personally and/or via telephone, e-mail or Skype about the details of the au-pair program, as well as getting to know the expectations and standards of the family.
We will use our best judgement and professional knowledge when searching for the suitable au pair, and we always take the expectations of the family into account, as well as the language skills, professional experience of the potential au-pair. However, we will not and under no circumstances can guarantee that the chosen au pair will, in every aspect meet all the expectations raised by the family, and is not liable for these complaints or claims in any way.
We will aid you when choosing an au pair, and will provide adequate counsel and support if needed. However, the final decision regarding the person of the au pair is to be decided by you. We shall not be liable for the decisions made by you. This decisions must be made based on your personal and professional impressions.
We will meet the potential au pairs in person, where the candidates will hand over the necessary documents (applicaton form, references, medical certificate, letter of introduction, images and crimal record) then forward them to you via e-mail.
We will make the already prepared official letter of invitation or the original copy of the contract available after the au pair has been chosen and the agreement has been signed, if the chosen country of destination requires it from the au-pair in order to participate in the program.
The family is required to pay this fee to us before the au pair’s travel arrangements (before booking the flight ticket). If you fail to perform the required payment, we will not submit the necessary documents (official letter of invitation or the copy of the original contract) and the travel of the au pair will fail and not take place. This fee can not be re-claimed under any circumstance.
Do you have any other questions?
Please write your question to us!
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