If you need to find an Au Pair urgently – maybe because your job situation changes, your present child care arrangement suddenly comes to an unforeseen ending or anything else – the easiest way is probably to get in contact with candidates who are already in the UK.
Lots of Au Pairs try to change Host Families which does not automatically mean that something must be wrong with them. Sometimes, the family does not treat the Au Pair very nice, sometimes it just does not fit from both sides. Also the location of the previous Host Family could not provide enough variety and excitement for the Au Pair and makes her/him wanting to leave. Additionally, you may find Au Pairs which are no longer needed because the Host Family is moving abroad or their work schedule changed.
If we personally were in the position that we need to find an Au Pair from one second to the other, the most logical step is to first search for Au Pairs who are already based in the UK and who are looking for a Host Family on Facebook or online notice boards like Gumtree.
How to find an Au Pair in UK on Facebook?
There are thousands of locale Facebook groups where Au Pairs look for Host Families all the time. They either want to swap families or want to start working as an Au Pair. You also find lots of candidates who are looking for becoming an Au Pair only for one-two months over the summer.
In these Facebook Groups you can also advertise that you are looking for an Au Pair. For London, there are two big Facebook Groups which are also well managed by the admin to ban scammers:
This groups are private groups and the admin or anyone in the group will need to grant you access to the group. As these groups are meant to help find an Au Pair there shouldn’t be a problem to become a member if you join the group. There is at least one UK-wide Au Pair Facebook group where you can advertise your job, and it’s an open group, so you can easily join this group:
Besides these mentioned groups, there will be lots of locale Facebook Groups for other cities in the UK and there are new groups started all the time. We would recommend to join groups with a few thousand members as this just increases the visibility of your job ad.
What are the advantages of the Au Pair search on Facebook?
The interesting part about getting to know Au Pair candidates through Facebook is, that you can check their Facebook profile immediately and form an opinion about this person based on what you see on Facebook. It’s surely quite common that these young people upload pictures from parties where they drink and celebrate wildly. Haven’t we all done the same things when we were at that age?
But other things you can see on the Facebook profile may be bothering you and it’s definitely worth it to have a look through the profile, also to fine-tune your questions for the Au Pair interview
What are the disadvantages of using Facebook for the Au Pair search?
Compared to Au Pair matching website or an Au Pair agency where the Au Pairs have normally created an application or profile, you may not get this information from a candidate you meet on Facebook.
As a matter of fact, Facebook is a social media channel and most “chats” that you have are somehow random and non-binding. So if you chat with a person who says she/he is looking for a Host Family, you can’t be one hundred percent sure if that really is the case or maybe just a mood after eg a difficult conversation with the current Host Family. The chances that you end up hiring a candidate you found on Facebook seems smaller than ending up hiring an Au Pair you found through an Au Pair matching website and way smaller as if an Au Pair agency forwarded this contact.
How to find out about the background of an Au Pair candidate found on Facebook?
Additionally to skyping with the Au Pair candidate you can always ask to provide references. If she/he has worked with children before, like babysitting, tutoring, volunteering at church, holiday camps or sport clubs, there will be people who are willing to write a letter of reference, if they believe the Au Pair candidate is suitable for this job.
If the Au Pair candidate is already in the country, we would highly recommend to invite her/him for a personal meeting. This is the best way to find out whether you will fit together because certain things are hardly noticeable while skyping, but could make living together complicated, .
What can we do to evaluate a candidate who is currently with another family?
If the candidate is not looking for a new family because the old one didn’t treat her/him nice and other reasons lead to this decision, you can always ask if you can talk to the current Host Parents. They can give you the best information about living with this Au Pair, how she/he gets along the children or handles household duties etc.
If a bad relationship is the reason for the Au Pair to leave, we doubt that neither the Au Pair will be happy to provide the details of the Host Family, nor will them be happy to chat about the leaving Au Pair with you. In this case, you should try to understand the roots of the problem. Otherwise, you may end up having the same problems with this Au Pair as she/he just may have a different understanding or expectations towards the Au Pair arrangement.
Listen to the Au Pair’s story about why she/he wants to leave the current family and you will get a good understanding on how “bad” the circumstances really are which made her/him quit or got fired. However, it is quite hard to say what to believe as every story has two views and not being able to speak with the previous Host Family makes it hard to verify the Au Pair’s reasons for leaving sometimes.