There are multiple ways to find an Au Pair. Which way to take depends mainly on two factors: Time and money. The more affordable and more time consuming ways to find an Au Pair are through Au Pair matching websites or even completely for free through websites like Facebook or free online notice boards. A less time consuming alternative are Au Pair agencies, which are taking care of most of the hassle in the Au Pair search, but they charge for their service of course.
How long in advance should we start our Au Pair search?
If you would like your Au Pair to start at the beginning of the new school year in September, which is the “regular” Au Pair cycle, you should start the Au Pair search in May. Even June will still be ok. During those two month school graduates are normally either done with their exams or about to finish them. That’s the time when they start to look for a Host Family. You have higher chances to receive a lot of interest than at another time of the year.
How can we find an Au Pair online?
Searching online for an Au Pair is a good start. There are thousands of Facebook groups which are normally private, but access is easily granted by the group administrators. You can post your job advert there and ask candidates to submit a CV or general information about themselves.
We find Au Pairs especially interesting if we get the feeling that they are really committed to the idea of becoming an Au Pair and put in lots of effort into the communication with us. These candidates are the first we would ask for a Skype interview.
In addition to Facebook you will be able to find an Au Pair through online notice boards. To find an Au Pair in the UK, Gumtree is a good website to start your search. However, be aware that there is no controls on many online notice boards so scammers could be advertising as well.
What agency services can we use to find an Au Pair?
There are many Au Pair agencies who advertise their service to find an Au Pair. Some are more locale and you can even visit their office and speak to the agents. Others operate across the UK and may not necessarily have an office in your area.
We highly recommend to look for reviews before signing up an agency. Most of them are really professional, but we also heard about agencies who have not been able to find a decent candidate or struggled to provide a replacement after the first one was not tolerable by the Host Family.
Apart from professional Au Pair Agencies, you may come across other independent agents, who may have started to look for Host Families for acquaintances at some point and ended up doing it for many more candidates or families. These agents best can be found via word-of-mouth. Talking to other Host Families is usually a good starting point to inform you about Au Pair agencies, independent Au Pair agents, or Au Pairs who might want to extend their stay in the host country.