Disagreements during the au pair stay: FAQs

Problems and disagreements can also occuring during an au pair stay. Here you'll find our FAQs on this subject and of course suggestions for solving problems and managing disagreements during the au pair stay.

Rematch

  • Is it possible to find a new match (rematch) during an au pair stay?

    Due to the high number of users on the AuPairWorld platform, it is generally possible to find another host family or au pair at short notice. AuPairWorld urges both au pairs and families to deal with disagreements openly and in a positive manner when they do occur. AuPairWorld also offers support via telephone and email for such cases.

  • How can I change host families?

    First of all, ask yourself if you really want to make a change. Are you feeling homesick? Are you not getting along with the family? Do you have different expectations regarding the au pair stay? Before you make a decision, talk with your host family. Many problems can be solved more quickly and simply than you might imagine when you first begin to talk about them.

    If insurmountable disagreements remain between you and your current family, then the best solution is usually to change families. This is not as complicated as it might seem at first. The following information can help in organising your rematch if you do decide that you want to change families.

    1. Prepare your family for the fact that you would like to terminate your au pair contract. In the best case, you can organise the change together with your family.
       
    2. Stick to the termination notice period that was agreed in your contract. In most countries this period is around two weeks. You will need this time to find a new family. And your current host family will also need time to search for a new au pair.
       
    3. Once you have discussed this change with each other, you can start searching for another host family on AuPairWorld. To do this, either reactivate your old AuPairWorld account or register again. Remember that you need to enter the current start date into your profile and also the country where you are currently located. You should also write in the texts on your profile that you are already in the host country. By putting in the correct start date, you will appear in the EasyFind of host families that are looking for au pairs at this moment in time. Of course, suitable host families will also begin to appear in your EasyFind for you to review.
       
    4. Before you start contacting new families, ask yourself honestly why it didn't work out with the last family: What exactly was missing? What should it be different next time? Make sure you know what your expectations are and take about them openly with new families that you are thinking about working with. Living together with a family will only work well if your mutual expectations are clear and in basic agreement.  

      If you are searching for a family that lives in the host country that you are currently in, you may be able to get to know your new host family personally before starting the au pair stay. In general, however, changing families in the EU as a whole can often be relatively quick and easy for European au pairs. Since you don't need a visa, you can organise travel to another EU country fairly easily. Let the immigration authorities know that you have changed families so that you can be sure to stay in the country legally. This is particularly the case if you have a visa to be in the hosts country.
       
    5. As soon as you have found a new family and you have discussed all of the important aspects of the move, you can arrange your departure from your current family.

    Your host family has forced you to leave without giving you any notice? For this case, we have prepared an action plan for you. And don't forget: When you have problems you can always contact us for help.  

  • Changing au pairs – What is to be done?

    Before you do anything, ask yourself why things aren't working out with your current au pair: Are they not carrying out their tasks correctly? Do they not speak your language well enough? Are you just not suited to one another? Before you make a final decision, have a talk with your au pair. Most problems can be sorted out more simply than it seems at first.

    If insurmountable disagreements remain between you and your current au pair, then the best solution is usually to look for a new au pair. This is not as complicated as it might seem at first. If your au pair has told you that they want to end the au pair stay earlier than planned, try not to react too emotionally. Of course this isn't an easy situation for you, but try to remember that many of the young people who become au pairs have never been so far away from home for so long.

    The following tips will make it easier to organise a rematch for a new au pair:

    1. If you are going to dismiss your au pair, proceed with this course of action carefully and as kindly as possible. If possible, work together with the current au pair in arranging their change to another host family or in planning the au pair's trip back to the home country.
       
    2. Stick to the period of notice agreed to in the au pair contract. In most countries, this is around two weeks. You will need this time to find a new au pair. And your current au pair will also need time to search for a new family.
       
    3. Once you have discussed the change with your au pair, you can start searching for a new au pair on AuPairWorld. To do this, either reactivate your old AuPairWorld account or register again. Your search will proceed most quickly if you become a Premium Member directly so that you can start writing personal messages to au pairs straight away. You need to make sure that the start date on your profile is the current date. You should also write in your texts that you are looking for an au pair to start as soon as possible. By putting the correct start date, you will appear in the EasyFind of au pairs who are looking for a host family right now. You can also check in your own EasyFind which au pairs are available who fit for your family.
       
    4. Before you start contacting new au pairs, ask yourself why it didn't work out with the last au pair: What was missing? What should be done differently with the new au pair? Make sure you know what your own expectations are, communicate these clearly to the new au pair and also find out in detail what the new au pair is expecting. Only when you and your au pair have communicated your mutual expectations clearly and openly do you have a good chance to develop a successful partnership in the au pair stay.

      If you are searching for an au pair that already is in your country of residence, you may be able to get to meet each other personally before you start with an au pair placement. But this doesn't mean that you necessarily have to search for an au pair who is already in your country. Au pairs from other EU countries can become an au pair inside the EU very quickly. Since these au pairs don't need a visa, they can organise travel to another EU country fairly easily and quickly. Au pairs that are already in your country must also stick to their notice period. Make sure that you inform the authorities of the change of au pairs so that the au pair can stay legally in your country. This is especially important if the au pair needs a visa to be in the country.
       
    5. As soon as you have found a new au pair and have discussed the important details with them, you can arrange the departure of your current au pair and the arrival of your new au pair.

    Has your au pair suddenly announced that they are leaving you tomorrow? We have created an action plan specifically for these situations. Keep in mind that you can always ask us for advice.  

  • Our au pair has suddenly left us without giving notice – What can we do?

    1. Please re-activate your profile on AuPairWorld or, if necessary, begin the process by registering as a family. If your Premium Membership has already expired, you should renew it now as you will need to exchange personal messages with au pairs, e.g. to swap your telephone numbers or to ask them if they are ready to start as soon as possible.
       
    2. You should also update your profile. Be sure to check the start date and adjust it if necessary. If you live in the EU, it is probably best to search for a European au pair. In most EU countries, these au pairs will not need a visa/ work permit so they can start within a couple of days.
       
    3. Take a look in your EasyFind. There you will see all of the au pair profiles that fit with you search criteria. If you are interested in any of these profiles, send a personal message to the au pairs.
       
    4. If you have any concerns or misgivings about the au pair that has left you, please feel free to share them with AuPairWorld. For this you can use our contact form or the function "Report profile" in the profile of the au pair.
  • My family has just shown me the door – What can I do now?

    First off, you need to think about what exactly you want to do in this situation: Do you want to stay in the host country that you are in and find a new host family there? Do you want to try living with another family in another host country? Or would you rather go back home?

    I want to find a new host family:

    1. First of all, stay calm. You'll be able to manage this. Think about your options: Could you stay over at a friend's house for the next couple of nights? If not, use the Internet to search for a hostel. Call there to see if they have any rooms available and confirm where they are located. Pack your luggage and take a taxi or bus there.  
       
    2. When you've collected yourself, you can start your search for a new host family. For this, log in to your profile on AuPairWorld, or if you're no longer registered, register again. Enter the start date in your profile and also the country where you are currently located. You should also indicate in your profile texts that you are already in the host country and so can start very quickly with a new host family.  

      Take a look in your EasyFind. There you will see all of the host family profiles that fit with you search criteria. If you are interested in any of these profiles, send a personal message to the families.
       
    3. If you had to get a visa to enter the country, you will need to contact the Immigration Office. Inform them that your au pair contract has been terminated and that you're searching for another host family. Don't be afraid to notify the authorities of your situation. You have a right to change host families if you are unhappy. They will tell you what steps you need to follow. For example, they will explain to you how to handle the registration with your new family with the authorities.
       
    4. Once you have found a new family, you can report any misgivings you may have had about your previous family to AuPairWorld. For this you can use our contact form or the function "Report profile" in the profile of the host family.

    I want to return home:

    Go on the internet and check prices of flights, buses, trains etc. back to your home country. If you need to stay in your host country for the next couple of days, see if you can stay with a friend or search the internet for a hostel. f you don't have enough money to buy a return ticket, you should contact your embassy in the host country. They are obliged to help you. You can ask them if they can lend you the money to return home.  

    Tip from AuPairWorld: Whatever your decision ends up being, you should not feel about it. Quite often the second time around is better than the first - just take a look at some of our au pair stories! In any case, you will be opening up a new chapter in your life. Keep in mind: Falling down is not so bad (it happens to everybody). What counts is getting up and continuing and learning from what's happened! 

Possible disagreements that au pairs report

Possible disagreements that host families often report

  • The au pair doesn't take her (his) work seriously. What can we do?

    Sometimes host families also have the feeling that their au pair isn't fulfilling the responsibilities of the job properly when the au pair doesn't show the necessary care and attention and responsibility for the kids that is required of every au pair. Au pairs need to think in advance if taking care of children in a foreign country is really the right thing for them. Also here it is important to discuss in advance all the aspects of the au pair stay: What do the host parents want in the way of childcare? Which tasks will the au pair need to fulfill? To get off to a good start, it is very helpful if the host parents can take one or two weeks free to get the au pair started in the job.

  • Driving licence? Yes. But no experience driving. What should we do?

    In such a case, it may be that the host family has asked about the driving licence but not about the practic experience as a driver. And this is the ability that really counts. For this reason: Carefully note everything that is important to you as a host family and ask au pair candidates specifically about these points. The same is true for au pairs in reverse. We have put together the most important questions to ask host families and themost important questions to ask au pairs .

  • Our au pair behaves badly and is not respectful towards us. What should we do?

    Before the au pair stay begins, the exact tasks, rules and working times should be clarified so that disagreements don't arise and both parties know what they are getting into. Both host families and au pairs need to think carefully in advance if the au pair adventure is the right thing for them. If you take one or two weeks to familiarise the au pair with what's required, this can help to get off to a good start with the cooperation. If the personal differences cannot be overcome and if things also do not improve with a serious discussion of the differences, then it is time to think about changing au pairs. If the au pair's behaviour is completely unacceptable, please also contact AuPairWorld.

  • The au pair has another idea of what au pairing means and seems to think this is just a holiday. What should we do?

    Host families can feel used, too. Once again clear communication can help here. Please make sure to accurately define the exact tasks and hours the au pair should look after the children in the au pair contract. This makes it clear when the au pair's working hours are and when they have free time.  A weekly schedule also helps. You can download an example of ourau pair schedule here.

  • Our au pair has just cancelled the stay one day before she was supposed to arrive. What can we do now?

    This really is a big problem for host families when the au pair doesn't turn up on arrival day, giving only poor excuses or sometimes not even getting in contact at all. Au pairs need to look at this from the family's point of view: they've taken out insurance for the au pair, rearranged their working hours, and perhaps even taken holiday to accomodate the au pair's needs. And then the au pair doesn't turn up and they have to start their search all over again.  

    Our message to everyone in this situation is to stick to the agreement you have with your au pair/host family. If something changes let them know, if not then carry out the au pair stay as agreed.  It is better to make sure in advance that the host family is the right one for you, and to either invest in a trip to get to know each other, or skype with them, before agreeing to anything. However, if the parties realise during the au pair stay that it really isn't working out between the au pair and host family, then steps can still be taken to make a change. And if pulling out really is unavoidable, then please get in touch with the other party right away, and not the day before, or worse, on the planned day of arrival.  

  • The au pair seems to have no interest in our family life. Can we change that?

    Try to talk with your au pair and to find out if she or he is missing something from home. It can be that the au pair is simply feeling uncertain and doesn't know so well how to become integrated in your family life. Often things improve when you take action: Do something together with the au pair and your children or cook something from the au pair's home country. Always make an effort to talk with your au pair about problems and to find solutions together.

  • We are a family living in a rural area and are having trouble finding an au pair. What could we do differently?

General disagreements 

  • The language barriers are too big. What can be done?

    Try to think of creative ways to overcome language and communication difficulties. Perhaps you can cut out pictures for a shopping list, for example. Of course, the au pair should be attending a language course in the host country in such a case to overcome language barriers as quickly as possible. Finding friends in the host country with whom the au pair can speak the host country language can also be very helpful.  

  • Unexpected family problems - what should be done?

    Family problems can occur in any family. No family and no au pair is perfect. One has to expect some disagreements. But if one finds a way to solve these problems, then the relationship can become closer and better. Having support for the children in such situations is also very important. If possible, confront the problems together and help each other as best you can.

  • The cultural differences are very large. Can one solve this problem?

    Cultural differences are an integral part of the au pair stay and mostly they are experienced as an enrichment. It can be difficult sometimes when these differences make helping in the household or with meal preparation difficult. Sometimes simply preparing a meal from the au pair's home country together can help with this. Or cook some of your family's favourite meals together with your au pair. This is also a form of cultural exchange.  A clear talk about the au pair's daily tasks with childcare and in the household should take place before the au pair stay begins, and most definitely right at the beginning of the stay as well.

  • The children don't accept the au pair. What can we do?

    The children must also get used to the new au pair at the beginning of the stay. As parents you should show clearly that you support the au pair and the au pair's role vis-a-vis the kids. To break the ice at the beginning of the stay, doing things together can be very helpful.

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