Does it make any sense to show a list of au pairs to a host family containing au pairs with a nationality which doesn’t allow to participate in the au pair program? Or show a list of host families to an au pair in countries, for which the au pair won’t be granted a visa because of age or nationality?
But only if due to registration some basic data like nationality or age are known, the right and relevant information can be shown automatically.
As a host family you can test all of our services for 14 days – with full functionality, free of charge and without any obligations. And eventually you even already find your future au pair during this time…
Only if after this test period you’re convinced of our services and want to go on using them, you decide to continue with a membership with costs.
If you like to support other families and au pairs with helpful posts in our communities, can convince other families to use our services or do some viral marketing for us on Facebook, your membership even stays free of charge - learn more in the next FAQ below.
connectAuPair doesn't offer any free basic memberships.
Because a basic membership - like other matching sites offer it - is actually pretty useless and only leads to a lot of non-active members. (With a basic membership for free one can normally only search and quite often also get in contact via standardized messages, but it’s not possible to write or answer „real“ messages. And as quite often it’s not even indicated who’s a basic member and who’s “premium” member, the other doesn’t know why (s)he doesn’t get an answer….)
Apart from statistics, which show impressive numbers of members, no one profits from this kind of membership – it only leads to frustration if you don’t get an answer and don’t know why.
As an au pair you can enjoy all our services for free – also those, which are premium elsewhere!
As a family, you can test all of our services for 14 days – with full functionality, free of charge and without any obligations. And eventually you even already find your future au pair during this time…
Besides an advanced matching algorithm, our system offers you several helpful functions like filtering for status, assigning favorites or adding notes and reminders to help you keep overview and find your perfectMatch even faster.
In our multi-lingual community you can exchange information, seek help, get support, stay connected and find friends – therefore you should also join connectAuPair if you already are a host family or au pair!
As host family and au pair are going to spend a lot of time together and looking after children is a highly responsible task, it’s very important that host family and au pair really match.
While opposites attract in certain areas of life, this will not be the case when it comes to fundamental questions of living together and how to bring up the children - if au pair and host family don't share the same principals there, conflicts will be inevitable.
If the au pair doesn’t speak the language of the host country well (B2 level) and the family doesn’t speak the mother language of the au pair, it’s absolutely necessary to have another language (mostly English) which both sides speak well (at least B2), so that also problems and critical topics can be addressed in this language.
Although most countries only require language proficiency level A1 to get an au pair visa, we highly recommend that au pairs have at least A2, better B1 knowledge of the local language - most (but not all) kids are very patient if the au pair doesn't understand them too well in the beginning, but just think of an emergency case (children getting hurt on the playground,…) with no-one around speaking English…
If you have a common language to discuss everything, and you are a very tolerant and relaxed person, you might not need to restrict your search criteria any further.
All other might think of the following…
If an au pair was brought up with an anti-authoritarian parenting style and thinks this is the only right parenting style, it will be hard for him or her to support a very authoritarian parenting style of the host family - and the other way round.
Preferences regarding food and special diets are another important factor for a harmonic living together – an au pair being used to eating meat three times a day will probably not be happy in a host family on a vegetarian diet.
What someone eats is often also influenced by religious rules – with some tolerance and curiosity every “pairing” of religions will be possible – but a devoutly religious host family of one religion and a devoutly religious au pair of another religion are probably a rather disadvantageous pairing…
Unlike other matching sites in the internet we think that choosing an au pair / a host family from a big internet based database and personal, local agency support don't exclude each other but go together very well.
Agency support is still in the start-up phase, but you can already indicate in your profile if you are interested in it - this will help us to recruit reputable agencies as partners.
Depending on how experienced you are, how much time you have to take care of all formalities on your own and how much money you're ready to invest, we will soon be able to offer you different agency support options to choose from.
If all questions are answered, the contract can be signed (you find a model contract in links & downloads in the country information) and exchanged by mail, telefax or e-mail so that au pair and family have a copy with both signatures.
Conditions different to those in the model contract are generally only permitted, if they are more favourable for the au pair (e.g. paying for travel costs, less working time, more holidays, higher pocket money, paying for the language course,...) and should in any case be put down in written form.
…a young person who lives in a host family in a foreign country to improve language skills and get to know the country and its people and culture.
The host family provides free board and lodging and also pays a certain pocket money, in return the au pair looks after the host family’s children for some hours a day and also supports with light housework.
Register for free to see detailed information valid for your country, nationality, age,…
Especially in comparison to fixed opening hours of a day care center, an au pair offers unmatched flexibility in distributing the child care times over the day and week.
But the family has to bear in mind, that (depending on country – the exact figures for each country can be found in the country information) an au pair is only allowed to work between 20 – 30 hours per week (only in the USA it’s up to 45 hours) so it’s definitely no full time child care option.
Additionally the au pair needs to have the opportunity to participate in language classes which might interfere with the times when the family actually needs the au pair to look after the kids.
An au pair provides live-in care, which e.g. means that in case of emergency the au pair will normally be available to immediately look after the kids.
But of course this also means that the family needs to have a spare room which can be used as the au pair’s room (and if this was the guest room before, the family might not be able to accommodate guests anymore…)
Au pairs normally don’t have professional child care experience, they have usually just done some babysitting or have younger brothers and sisters.
So the family will have to spend some time to get the au pair acquainted to all the necessary routines and also their discipline methods.
The family might see this as a disadvantage, as they can’t expect professional knowledge and advice – or as advantage, as the au pair will normally fully support their parenting style, feeding habits,…
That's an interesting advantage especially for babies: As their immune system isn't working at full capacity yet, being in contact with other (ill) kids (as it is the case especially in day care), will lead to frequent illness meaning that the baby will stay at home and need to be looked after at home - and often it also passes on the illness to the whole family.
As au pairs are only allowed to stay for a certain time span (in most countries one year), kids have to get used to comperatively frequent change of their care giver / attachment figure. If this is positive or negative to the development of the child very much depends on the character of the child and also how close the bonding with the au pair is.
Scammers are fake host families or fake au pairs, who try to misuse the au pair programme to their advantage. Most of them ask au pairs or host families to transfer money to them, but there are even reports about au pairs being forced into prostitution.
To identify scammers as soon as possible, we automatically screen (by some software algorithm) all profiles and messages for certain patterns and unusual activities. If we identify a scammer, we immediately block him / her and inform all users who this scammer has already contacted via our messaging system.
There are some typical patterns scammers use - if you spot any case as described below, better not reply to any messages from the user and immediately report the user to us (you can do so by clicking on "report" in the top right corner in the user's profile)!
Fake host families
The first message of the family already contains contact details and the au pair is asked to write an email or skype message instead of using the messaging system
The au pair is asked to send her/his CV and pictures to an email address right away
The family refuses to make a live video call
The au pair is contacted by a host family from an English speaking country, although this country is not on the list of wished host countries (as English speaking countries are very popular among au pairs, scammers mostly pretend to live in one of these countries)
The family offers help with travel arrangements at a special low rate - but the au pair has to transfer some money in advance
The family offers much higher pocket money than defined by law / than usual
The family offers the au pair to provide accomodation in a different place (a nearby flat or house) and they will cover the cost, but first the au pair has to contact the real estate agent and pay the rent
The family, situated in the USA, asks the au pair to get in contact with a specific au pair agency, which is not on the list of designated J-1 visa sponsors (check out the USA country info for more details!)
The family sends forged checks (e.g. as support to cover the travel cost), then they inform the au pair, that an awful accident happend and they don't need an au pair anymore and the au pair should transfer back the money. Shortly after, the check will bounce and the money is lost for the au pair.
The au pair is contacted by the lawyer of the family who offers help with formalities - if the au pair transfers a certain amount of money.
Fake au pairs
The first message of the au pair already contains contact details and the family is asked to write an email or skype message instead of using the messaging system
The au pair claims to be an English native speaker (as many families are searching for English native speakers), but (due to being not) only sends standard messages
The au pair is absolutly perfect in all aspects (too good to be true), but can't afford e.g. the ticket to travel to the host country or the insurance and asks the host family to ransfer money to her / him in advance
The au pair claims (s)he got stuck at the air port (due to some accident) and needs money to buy a new ticket as the old one isn't valid anymore
The au pair refuses to make a live video call (due to technical problems, not having a good internet connection,...)