Here we go again, the time has arrived for me to start looking for an au pair to come with us this summer and play with the Almighty C., my 5 year old boy.

Choosing somebody supposed to live 24/7 with yourself and your family is nothing easy, particularly if you consider that she’s (we have not yet considered the option of a male, even though I think we should… 🤔 why not?) supposed to get on well with the Almighty C. who – at least in the beginning – is not the most welcoming little boy I’ve ever met, being, on the contrary, kind of wary… 

So where do you find a nice au pair having all the features you require? Online of course. A few years ago I discovered http://www.greataupair.com/, which proved to be quite an effective way to find what you’re looking for… Provided, of course, that you know what you want.  

Applying is easy peasy. Basically you have to fill in a form with all your data and indicating the parameters to apply in the search of the person you want to hire. The breadth of the available parameters is mind numbing… Nationality, language, citizenship, distance from one specific place, food preferences, life habits and so on… You can almost sort the candidates based on their political orientation! 😄  

Last year I found the loveliest girl a mother could dream to give custody of her child to. The Almighty C. spent the first week telling her he didn’t want her at his place and inviting her to go back home, but patiently she won him over… When she left, after 2 months, we all missed her so badly. And we still do! I just told the kid she can’t come back this year (we kept in contact) and he’s a wreck. You may wonder how I did. Very well, these are my guidelines to succeed in finding a candidate who can be a good match for you through greataupair.com.

You can enroll for free. You’ll have your ad online and will be able to go through the candidates’ profiles and add those you like to your favourites. At this stage you will be able to exchange mail with paying subscribers candidates only on condition that they write you first, but won’t be able to get in contact with anybody yourself unless you subscribe. That is to say that if you are lucky enough to be contacted by a subscriber candidate who you like and hire her, the whole operation will come at no costs for you. Otherwise you’ll have to pay the subscription fee (60 one month-120 three months – 175 six months as per the table below).

As far as your ad, I would recommend that you:

  1. complete the form in every part, including the options that you may not consider being important (for instance let’s assume you want your kids to speak German with their au pair, you ask for a native speaker, but maybe you prefer her to come from Germany instead of Austria or Switzerland and possibly from Berlin instead of from Bavaria, to mention one);
  2. write a complete job description giving the candidate a honest description of who you are are what you expect her to do (don’t sugar the pill);
  3. Then, if anybody applies,  provide her with a more accurate job description possibly giving her a picture that is far worse than how it actually is. If she comes anyway at least she will be motivated;
  4. If she still wants to come ask her all the questions that cross your mind IN WRITING and see whether she’s patient enough to answer without giving signs of intolerance (if she’s easy to get bored guess how she will react to your children’s tantrums);
  5. Finally once you choose, my suggestion is that you should not buy a return ticket. Once she’s there the two of you will be able to decide whether or not she’s staying and how long… Just in case you don’t get on well with one another and after one week she begs you to allow her to go home or you want to send her home and never see her again…

No candidates under 18 (you don’t want to be legally responsible for them, do you?), but consider that very young candidates usually are less demanding and still childish enough to spend a lot of time playing with your kids without getting bored so easily, so 19 and 20 year olds can make a very good choice. No need to say that a boyfriend at home is a possible major turnish on your au pair’s curriculum, especially if she’s very young, but of course this is nothing you can openly ask, unless of a remarkable cheek, that is.
 
And good luck! If you need some more tips write me an e-mail, I’ll be happy to be of some help!