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Finding and Inviting an Au Pair

On this site Universal Au Pairs offers you the opportunity to search for a suitable au pair yourself, at minimal cost, and tries to give you as much assistance and information as possible to enable you to do this.

You can read what other families have said about our site in our Testimonials and Survey Results


Why do you want an au pair?

Au Pair at Home

Inviting an unknown au pair to live in your house as a part of your family for an extended period of time is not an easy thing to get right, so using our experience we have put some notes together to help you to make the right decision about whether you should have an au pair, and if you do, how you make sure the au pair experience is positive from all sides.

Make some notes about why you want an au pair and the duties you expect to be undertaken, and calculate the amount of time these duties will take an au pair to complete. We also recommend that you take reference from friends or colleagues who have been through the au pair experience, and also that all relevant members of the household are involved in the au pair selection process from the earliest stage.

Check the number of hours an au pair is expected to help in the home against the current home office guidelines, and decide how much pocket money you are prepared to pay the au pair each week. See our sections A Guide to Living with an Au Pair and Useful information for links to relevant websites.

The Accommodation

Having an au pair live with you full time will inevitably impact both on your daily routine, and also on your privacy. Think this through carefully as the au pair is coming to live with you as a part of your family. The au pair should have his or her own bedroom, and you need to think how the au pair is likely to spend free time when in the house ? perhaps joining the family, or spending private time studying. There will also be a need for the au pair to share the family bathroom facilities unless a room with en suite is available.

Where do I find an Au Pair?

There are several ways of finding an au pair, from advertising yourself to using au pair agencies providing a fully managed service. We believe that for most families Universal Au Pairs provides a cost effective flexible solution where you can contact an unlimited number of potential au pairs and find the right au pair for you. It will take an amount of time and effort to find the right au pair. It will pay to be organised before you start your au pair search and then to move quickly through the relevant short-list and interview stages in order that you can invite the au pair of your choice. Please check with the relevant authorities that the au pair you have chosen is able to visit your home country and that all legal and visa requirements are met. There is further helpful information available on this site under Useful Information.

Au Pair Welcome

Choosing an Au Pair

We provide some useful templates on this site to help you take your potential au pairs through a structured process so that you have the best chance of finding a good match.

  • Start by studying your notes and completing the Universal Au Pairs Family membership form. We suggest that you think carefully about the timetable (we have an Example Timetable available) and make the form as informative as possible including photographs of you and your family. You can also compose a Dear Au Pair Letter setting out the terms of your proposed invitation to prospective au pairs, which you can add to your membership form.
  • Study the details of available au pairs and make a short-list of those that appear to match your criteria
  • Make contact with your short-listed au pairs to see if they are still available and interested in your family. This is an opportunity to have a casual conversation and to get to know the au pair.
  • From your revised short-list take each au pair through a telephone interview to ensure that all expectations are explained from both sides. We have an Au Pair Interview Form available, which you may find helpful as a starting point.
  • We recommend that you follow up on both a character and a childcare reference, as appropriate, to try to ensure that you are inviting the right person in to your home. You will need to see whether the referees speak English, or if not, seek assistance from a local language school or an au pair known to you who speaks the language required.

What documents should I check?

This will depend amongst other things upon the au pairs nationality and duties required. Here is a list of documents where you may wish to see copies prior to the Letter of Invitation being issued.

  • Police Check
  • Doctors Medical Certificate
  • Dear Family letter
  • Photographs of the au pair with children
  • Visa and/or work permit if required
  • Passport
  • Driving licence and international permit if required

Inviting the Au Pair

Satisfy yourself that you know enough about the au pair, and that the au pair accepts the terms of your invitation, before finally agreeing to issue the Letter of Invitation confirming your offer.

Ask the au pair to book and pay for travel and ask for copies of the travel details and a mobile telephone number if available.

We strongly advise that you keep in regular contact with the au pair prior to arrival with you in order to further progress the relationship that is developing between you. This can be by both telephone and email. There will be other useful work that can be undertaken prior to arrival such as

  • researching suitable language courses that the au pair may attend
  • obtaining contact details of other au pairs living locally
  • sorting out car insurance if the au pair is to drive your car
  • preparing the bedroom and the rest of the house for the au pair's arrival

For further information please read our Guide to Living With an Au Pair