Our founder, Susan Asay, knows first hand how hard it is to find high quality childcare that fits an individual family’s needs. She started PROaupair after realizing that none of the existing childcare options matched the criteria she had for her family. In PROaupair’s “10 Tips: An Insider’s Guide to Hiring the Right Au Pair for Your Family,” she writes:
“Hiring full time live-in childcare is not as simple as finding a babysitter for a weekend date. This is a life-changing experience and one that can positively influence you and your children’s lives for years to come. Finding the right person, with the right experience and personality, takes time, research, and a good understanding of your family’s needs. I know – I’ve been in your shoes and learned the hard way!”
So - what should you consider when beginning your search for an au pair?
First – consider the level of experience you want from an au pair. Are you comfortable with a teenager caring for your children - or would you prefer someone older with more experience and maturity? At PROaupair, all our au pairs have degrees in childcare-related fields such a pediatric nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, early childhood education, etc. As a result, they are older and more experienced than most au pairs from other agencies.
Second – are you looking for a professional with the training and experience to care for your children, regardless of their needs? Families with special needs require au pairs with special training. PROaupair is the only au pair agency that specializes in au pairs for families with children with special needs. 70% of our host families have children with special needs including autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, epilepsy, ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, and more.
Third – do you trust the screening process of the au pair agency? Some au pairs agencies use partner organizations in various countries to screen their au pairs. At PROaupair, we hand-select our au pairs, meeting each one in person to ensure that they are suited to the role of professional au pair and will be an asset to the host family.
Fourth – consider the personalities of your family members. Not all personalities mesh well with others, so how will you know if your family will get along with your au pair? At PROaupair, we use Dr. Hartman’s Personality Assessment – also known as the “Color Code” – to help you find an au pair that is compatible with your personality.
Fifth – make the most of the interview. Before hiring an au pair, you will have an opportunity to interview him or her, usually via phone or Skype. Be sure to ask the right questions – which usually means open-ended questions that will help you to determine if she or he is the right fit for your family. PROaupair offers prospective host families an “Interview Guide for Host Families” – call us at 844-787-6566 to get a free copy.
The above is just a starting point – but we’re happy to share more information. If you’d like additional information and tips, please download PROaupair’s free “10 Tips: An Insider’s Guide to Hiring the Right Au Pair for Your Family.”