Questions

How do I organise my flights, visa and insurance for travelling to New Zealand?

Once you've matched with your Kiwi host family, we'll send you a Travel Booking Form that you need to download, complete and upload to your online profile.  From there, we'll book the best flights to New Zealand send you an itinerary.

You'll also need to apply for your working holiday visa.  We can provide assistance, however it is your responsibility to register for Immigration New Zealand's Online Services.  Payment of $208.00NZD is made directly to Immigration New Zealand.

Please note, if you're a US citizen applying for a working holiday visa, there is no charge.

Who picks me up from the airport when I arrive in Auckland, New Zealand?

Our orientation course is located at the Auckland Airport Holiday Inn - very close to the international terminal.  You can catch a free airport shuttle to the Holiday Inn - which only takes around five minutes.  Alternatively, if your host family would like to pick you up this is also an option.

Is there any support available to help me get used to driving in New Zealand?

Our orientation course includes a theoretical driving lesson conducted by FleetSafe NZ.  Before you arrive in New Zealand, we recommend downloading a copy of the New Zealand Road Code here.  If you are still nervous about driving in New Zealand, we run a monthly au pair driving boot camp or alternatively are able to help you book a practical driving lesson so you feel more confident on the road.

Why do I need to complete so much paper work?

As an au pair you'll be taking care of your host family's most treasured - their children - so it's very important that we screen our au pairs thoroughly (including police and medical records).  It's also important for us to understand your background and requirements so that we can place you in a suitable host family, i.e. we'll only ever match you in with a host family that requires a candidate with your level of experience.

I’ve already completed a CPR/First Aid course, why do I need to do a second one in New Zealand?

Because we're licensed by the New Zealand Ministry of Education, our au pairs need to hold a current Child First Aid certificate.  Completing the course while at orientation ensures we are compliant in this area.

What is Early Childhood Education?

Early Childhood Education (ECE) is for children between zero and five years of age. The ECE curriculum in New Zealand is called Te Whāriki and focusses on the well-being, belonging, contribution, communication and exploration of children.  As part of our ECE programme, we organise local weekly playgroups, educational outings and activities and childcare training.  Please see our Te Whāriki page for more information on how our early learning programmes work.

Can my friends and family visit me while I’m working as an au pair in New Zealand?

Absolutely!  We do recommend that your family come and visit you after you've been in New Zealand for six months.  The reason for this is that it's quite common for au pairs to feel homesick when their family leaves, whereas after six months you'll be well-adjusted in your new surroundings.  You'll also need to speak with your host family about when your friends and family visit to make sure you can get time off, etc.

Is it possible for me to explore New Zealand while I’m an au pair?

Of course!  We recommend reading about New Zealand before you arrive so you know what you'd like to do during your time off.  You'll get two days off each week to explore your local area as well as up to four weeks paid holiday so you can head off and see what New Zealand has to offer.  We even organise travel discounts and road trips for our au pairs through our exclusive partnership with STA Travel.

I don’t have enough experience caring for children, how can I become an Au Pair?

You'll need to have a minimum of 100 hours of documented childcare experience to qualify to become an au pair in New Zealand.  Our most popular programme, Au Pair 123, requires that you have a minimum of 200 hours of documented childcare experience.  Looking after children full-time is a challenge, however by building your experience before you arrive - we feel confident in placing you with a host family.  If you do need to increase your hours of experience, we recommend volunteering at a local daycare or kindergarten.

Why do you only receive candidates between the ages of 18 – 30?

The age limitation on our programmes are due to New Zealand's working holiday visa scheme only being available to candidates between the ages of 18 -30.

I want to become an au pair in New Zealand in about a year’s time, can I still apply now?

Yes!  As well as getting your paperwork sorted in advance, applying now also means you'll be able to build your childcare experience hours.  Many host families start looking for an au pair about six months prior to arrival, so it's a definite advantage to apply early.

Can Au Pair Link provide me with a certificate or reference when I have completed my placement term?

Yes, we provide all au pairs that have completed their full placement term with an Au Pair Link certificate. For any personal references regarding your daily duties and performance, we recommend that you speak to your host family.

Why do I need to provide you with a police record, medical and birth certificate, etc?

It's important that we make sure all au pair candidates are suitable to be caring for children.  If there are any issues which arise out of your background check, e.g. you have a criminal record - we will review your record and see if we can still place you with a host family.  If we decide that you are not a suitable candidate, we will decline your application.  All information provided to us is kept entirely private and confidential in accordance with our terms and conditions and the The Privacy Act.

How long does it take to match with a host family?

It can take anywhere between two and six weeks to match with a host families. The time taken depends on the number of host families who are looking for an au pair, the time of year, your preferred arrival date, your childcare experience, etc.

I’m scared that I won’t have any friends in New Zealand!

You don't need to worry!  As part of the Au Pair Link family, you'll:

  • Meet other au pairs at orientation when you arrive
  • Be part of our nationwide au pair network
  • Be provided with a contact list for all of our au pairs currently in New Zealand
  • Have 24/7 support from your Family & Programme Manager
  • Participate in monthly outings, coffee groups and activities run by Au Pair Link
  • Have access to weekly playgroups to meet other local au pairs and their children

It really won't be a problem!  We certainly recommend taking a pro-active approach to meeting people outside the network, so you can really get a feel for our country and people.

Can I contact my “real” family back home while I’m in New Zealand?

Of course!  Most host families have internet access and you can usually email your parents or even call them on Skype when you have time.  If you do use your host family's home phone to call overseas, make sure you clear this with them first, or purchase a phone card.

What happens if I feel uncomfortable with my host family?

The best way to ensure an enjoyable year as an au pair is to communicate, communicate, communicate!  You're also able to speak with your Family & Programme Manager if you have any problems with your host family.  We are able to facilitate a mediation session to help resolve any problems, however we encourage you to speak with your host family directly as this can often mean a better outcome for both parties.  If all else fails, we offer a re-match service free of charge (guaranteeing your Au Pair placement).  That means if things don't work out, we'll provide you with up to five days of free accommodation while we find you a new host family.