- Who picks me up from the airport?
- This will vary depending on which country you travel to. Typically you will either be picked up by your Host Family or a representative from our overseas partner agency. Some Au Pair OE programmes offer an orientation course upon your arrival - you will be picked up by the local agency and go straight into an orientation course.
- Do I need to drive as an Au Pair overseas?
It is preferred that you have a driver’s license, since some Host Families require you to drive the children to school and activities. Having a full drivers licence is compulsory for our programmes in the United States and Australia. Please keep in mind that most countries in Europe drive on the right side of the road. You can prepare yourselves by learning the rules before you depart or get some local driving lessons once there.
Coupled with the above points, when you arrive in your chosen country you will most likely be jet-lagged. Therefore, it is important for you to drive with your Host Family at first to help you become familiar with the local driving conditions and rules.
- Where will I live as an Au Pair overseas?
An Au Pair is a live-in form of childcare. You will live together with your Host Family and have your own private bedroom in their home. You could be living in the city or rurally depending on the destination and the country you choose. Most countries have reliable public transportation, so it won’t be too difficult to travel without a car. However, many Host Families will provide you will access to a car as part of your role as an Au Pair.
- What are my responsibilities as an Au Pair?
The primary duty of an Au Pair is to care for the child or children of your Host Family. You may be in sole charge of the children or in a non sole charge or “mothers help” position. Au Pair responsibilities can include:
- Waking the children in the morning and helping them to get dressed
- Preparing meals for the children
- Helping the children take care of their belongings and tidy their room
- Cleaning general communal areas such as the kitchen, living room, hall way, play room, children’s room and bathroom
- Taking the children to day-care, kindergarten, school and other activities such as sport
- Playing, reading and encouraging the children with their homework as well as maintaining family rules (such as limited TV watching, bedtimes etc)
- Babysitting in the evenings
- Helping with the household grocery shopping
- Washing and organising the child’s clothes and bedding
As an Au Pair you are generally not responsible for housework that does not relate to the children or communal living areas (that are kept tidy by all family members). Your primary duty is to take care of the children in the home of your Host Family and help with light housework relating to the children.
- What skills etc do I need to qualify as an Au Pair?
As an Au Pair you must be flexible and willing to dedicate your time to your Host Family and their children – often becoming a significant part of their lives and family.
Specific Au Pair requirements are as follows:
You must be between 18 and 30 years old
Have a clean police record
Have a valid driver’s license (compulsory in the United States and Australia)
Have a minimum of 100 hours of documented childcare experience
Willing to commit to the full Au Pair programme placement term (minimum term varies per country).
Some countries have additional or specific requirements – for further information see the country options (e.g. USA, China etc) in this section of our website. If you don’t have enough experience working with children we recommend that you volunteer at a local day care to gain extra experience.
- How do I book my flights, organise my Visa and arrange insurance?
To book your flights with Au Pair Link simply download and complete our Travel Booking Form. Once you have completed the Travel Booking Form follow the instructions on the form itself and email it directly to Au Pair Link at firstname.lastname@example.org: The Au Pair Link Travel Booking From must be completed for all countries other than the United States of America (where our partner agency will organise your flight instead).
If insurance is not included as part of the Au Pair OE programme and package (i.e. paid for by the Host Family or the country specific partner agency) then medical/travel/personal liability insurance will be the individual responsibility of the Au Pair. The countries/programmes where travel insurance is included in the package cost i.e. no additional cost to the Au Pair are as follows:
Please contact Au Pair Link directly for all advice concerning insurance and your working holiday visa application (in some instances medical insurance is required as a visa condition).
- How do I calculate my Au Pair wage etc into New Zealand dollars?
- All Au Pair wages are given in the currency of the specific country. To convert RMB, Euros, US Dollars, Australian Dollars or English Pounds into New Zealand dollars (or vice versa) - just go to www.xe.com (the world's favourite currency conversion site).
- How do I know what Host Family is most suitable for me?
- We will present your profile to Host Families that we feel suit your requirements and skill-set based on your application. We recommend you to be open-minded about location and ages of the children - the most important thing is that you relate well to the Host Family. You will also get to email, Skype and speak with each Host Family during the matching process to help ensure that you choose the right Host Family. Remember to prepare in advance and make a list of questions that you would like to ask. If you feel that a Host Family is not suitable for you after speaking with them - please contact Au Pair Link (or your local representative) and advise us/them of why the Host Family is not suitable for you.
- Why do I have to complete so much paper work?
As an Au Pair you will be caring for a Host Family's children - so it is very important that we screen all Au Pairs thoroughly e.g. police and medical records. It is also important that we understand your background and requirements as it will help ensure that you are placed in a suitable Host Family e.g. if you have no experience caring for infants and babies you will not be placed in a Host Family will children under 2 years of age (in a sole charge position). Completing our documentation also shows that you are committed and serious about becoming an Au Pair overseas.
- I want to be an Au Pair in a country where you don't have a programme - can you still help?
Yes! Please email us at email@example.com for a full list of our programmes and country options. We have partners in many countries and we are also members of the International Au Pair Association - so even if we don't have an established Au Pair programme in a specific country we may still be able to help you. However, remember that the relationship that you will forge with your Host Family, not the country, is what will make you time as an Au Pair an unforgettable experience.
- Can I do a CPR course with you in Auckland before I go overseas as an Au Pair OE?
- Yes you can. Please contact us directly for prices, locations, dates and times.
- Can my friends and family come and visit me as an Au Pair overseas?
- Absolutely! We do recommend, however, that your family only comes and visits you once you have been in your destination country for more than 6 months. The reason for this is because it is quite common that Au Pairs become homesick when their family leaves. You will also need to talk with your Host Family about your family coming to visit to ensure that you can have time off etc.
- I want to become an Au Pair in about 1 year, can I still apply now?
- Yes! Start preparing your paper work now. If you want to gain some more experience before you start your year as an Au Pair – now is an excellent opportunity! A lot of our Host Families begin looking for an Au Pair 6 months in advance.
- If I have a problem or concern whilst overseas with my Host Family, will there be someone to help me?
- Yes absolutely. As a member of the International Au Pair Association - Au Pair Link only works with partner agencies who are located in the country you will be going to. One of the key reasons to choose an Au Pair agency (rather than trying to find a Host Family online yourself) is so you will have support and help should anything go wrong during your time as an Au Pair. Many of our partner agencies have local coordinators who provide you with support and organise activities and outings.
- Why do I have to provide you with my police record, a medical certificate etc?
It is important that we make sure all Au Pair applicants are suitable to be caring for children. Also many countries have Visa requirements that state you must have a clean police record and that you have no serious medical conditions - before you can enter the country. Your application will be rejected if you do not have a clean police record. Also such information will be kept private and confidential in accordance with our terms and conditions and the Privacy Act.
- I have completed my year as an Au Pair in New Zealand can I now become an Au Pair OE?
- Yes! But unfortunately you cannot continue your year as an Au Pair in New Zealand. We are happy to make arrangements to place you in one of our partner countries, for example Australia, the USA, China or France.
- How long does it take to match with a Host Family?
- It can take anywhere between 4 to 12 weeks before you get matched with a Host Family. The time taken for a match depends on the number of Host Families looking for an Au Pair, the time of year, your preferred arrival date, your childcare experience etc.
- Can I contact my "real" family back home when I am overseas?
- Becoming an Au Pair overseas does not mean that you can’t stay in touch with your family and friends back home. Most Host Families have internet access and you can usually email your parents or even speak to them on Skype. If you do use your Host Family's home phone to call overseas, make sure that you consult with them prior to making any international phone calls or just purchase a phone card.
- I’m scared that I won’t have any friends overseas!
Being an Au Pair is not always easy and can be hard to make friends – at first. When you arrive you will speak with your local Counsellor and get to meet other Au Pairs in your area. However, you have to understand that the success of your Au Pair experience depends in a large majority on you. That is why we thoroughly encourage you to make friends outside of your Au Pair network and really interact with the locals! This is a great opportunity for you to start a new sport, a new activity or take some extra classes and study. If you are outgoing and open-minded, you'll make plenty of friends!