Do I qualify for being an au pair?

Question of the week (issue 53). Elena from France wishes to work abroad as an au pair for one year prior to starting her language studies. She wishes to know which conditions and qualifications she needs to bear in mind in this context.

, in Archive

Dear AuPairWorld Team,

I have just taken my A-levels and would like to go abroad for a year before I start on my studies. As I wish to study languages (Spanish and English) I am thinking about a one-year au pair placement. However, I am not quite sure: do I even qualify for being an au pair? Which qualifications should I bring along? Which are the most important criteria I must meet in this context?

Elena from France, Chamonix

Reply of the AuPairWorld Support Team

Dear Elena,

there are „hard“ and „soft“ criteria which must be met when it comes to the au pair placement. If you wish to know if you can formally be admitted for the au pair placement, you need to have a look at our site, clicking on the „Quick Check for Au Pairs“ for your relevant host country. In your case, this would either be the UK or Spain.

If you pass, you can continue to check the „soft“ criteria mentioned below:      

  • Your prerequisite is: you like children very much, are patient and prepared to spend a lot of time with them.
  • This means precisely: you help them wash, get dressed, eat and drink, do their homework, play, you take them to nursery school, the after-school care club school or you pick them up. You help with light housework and can prepare simple meals. Are these tasks you like?
  • You can communicate in your host familiy's language? Your knowledge suffices to caution the children about hot cooking plates or other sources of danger, to call the (emergency) doctor, go shopping on your own,  enrol in a language course, make phone calls or contact the authorities?
  • Can you imagine giving a hand to your host family as their older daughter for a determined period of time from three months to two years in all aspects of daily life and do you wish to learn more about the family's genuine culture and language?

Furthermore, being able to frankly talk about conflicts is equally helpful. Should you be able to answer most questions with „Yes“, you can immediately start creating your profile and sending applications to the corresponding host families. We wish you good luck on your search!

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