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What are the qualities of a great au pair?

by | Mar 12, 2021 | Babysitting

You may have heard about it from a family member, or you may have discovered it on your own while looking for a language stay. After all, if you want to study French, being an au pair in France is a great opportunity. But what does it take to be an au pair? Are you suitable? That's a lot of questions, isn't it? Kidlee will answer them to help you see more clearly.

What is an au pair?

An au pair joins the host family to look after the children and help with household chores, provided this is stipulated in the contract. Yes, there's a contract to sign for your social security, among other things. So if you think this is going to be a free vacation, we'd say it's off to a bad start. In fact, the au pair will have to look after the children from the moment they wake up until around 8pm. You'll have to dress them, prepare breakfast, take them to school, bathe them and help them with their homework, in exchange for accommodation and pocket money or an income set by the family. The rest of the time, you're free to use your time as you see fit. There are also two evenings of childcare per week.

What does it take to be an au pair?

For a trouble-free au pair stay, you will have to check the conditions of reception. They can vary from one host country to another. For France, here is the list:

  • Be between 18 and 30 years old.
  • A good command of the language.
  • A clean criminal record.
  • Be single and childless.
  • Have a medical certificate of less than three months.
  • The stay lasts between 6 and 9 - 12 months, but can be renewed.
  • The language courses and travel costs remain the responsibility of the girl.
  • Have significant experience in childcare.
  • Having a driver's license is a plus.
  • Not being a smoker is a plus.

How to find a host family? 

First of all, you should know that it is possible to become an au pair without going through an agency. You just have to find a host family by your own means. But be careful, you must be vigilant. If you go through an agency, you have to check that it is part of theUfaap (French Union of au pair agencies).

What are the qualities of a great au pair?

Now let's get to the heart of the matter. If you have decided to join one of the au pair programs, you will have to check that you have all the qualities listed below.
You have a sense of responsibility
Parents are looking for a person to whom they can delegate the care of their children. Therefore, they will need to be sure that their children are in good hands.

You are outgoing by nature

The family is looking to host an au pair who cares for the children and is easy to talk to. This way, the communication will be more fluid in both directions.

You love children

You'll be spending a lot of time with them, so it's important to enjoy the little ones. Also, you will need to have imagination and patience.

You can make an omelette 

That is, you have some basic cooking skills to prepare food for children. Of course, the French omelette is a classic, but an omelette for 365 days is likely to break.

You are able to take up this challenge

Going to a foreign country is a real challenge for all au pairs. Except that a great au pair does not give up, she adapts. Even in front of the administrative steps!

You're a motivated au pair

Motivation is the secret to success. 12 months may seem like a long time, but if you are motivated, you will succeed.