This website uses cookies
We request permissions to obtain statistics of your browser navigation. If your keep browsing, we consider that you accept the use of cookies
x
---

RESOURCES FOR THE EXPERIENCE

Spain

Why be an Au Pair in Spain?

Spain is a country that offers a lot of possibilities, including learning the second most spoken language in the world.

Spain has a population over 48 million inhabitants; it has always been one of the favourite touristic places not only within Europe but also at a worldwide level.

Its capital city, Madrid, as well as Barcelona, are the two cities that receive the biggest number of tourists per year, and many tourists visit La Alhambra, in Granada, the City of Arts and Sciences, in Valencia, the Great Mosque of Córdoba, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, and small, beautiful cities like Toledo or Segovia.

Apart from the wide cultural variety you may find in Spain, there is its incomparable cuisine and a sunny weather, which will allow you to enjoy its beautiful beaches (Ibiza, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Barcelona, San Sebastián, Cíes Islands, Valencia, Alicante).

And, as if that weren't enough, do not forget the so popular festivals such as Las Fallas of Valencia or the festival of San Fermín in Pamplona, as well as the nightlife, together with the good mood of its people, which makes it a funny and friendly destination.

The main Spanish cities are:

Cities

Inhabitants

Madrid

3,255,944

Barcelona

1,621,537

Valencia

814,208

Seville

703,206

Zaragoza

674,317

 

 

Main conditions of the Au Pair programme in Spain:

  • Range of accepted age: 18-30 years old
  • Working hours: 30 hours per week, which may be extended or reduced as agreed upon with the host family and according to the weekly pay established.
  • Holidays and free days: the Au Pair shall have a holiday week every six months. The Au Pair must have at least one free day, always including Sundays. 
  • Ticket expenses: the Au Pair will bear any expenses involved in her/his trip, unless the family are willing to pay such expenses, either in whole or in part.
  • Insurance: if the Au Pair belongs to a member state of the European Union, the Au Pair must request the European Health Card, which is valid in Spain. Furthermore, it is advisable that the host family hire an accident and liability insurance policy during the Au Pair's stay .
    If the Au Pair does not come from the European Union, the Au Pair must hire an appropriate health insurance which must be paid by the Au Pair and the host family equally, unless otherwise stated in the agreement executed with the host family.
  • Language: you do not need any basic Spanish level at all; however, in order for the Au Pair to be integrated as soon as possible into the family life and Spanish culture, we recommend that the Au Pair have a basic Spanish level.
  • Weekly pay: EUR 60-90, USD 65-95, GBP 45-65

 

Visa:

EU or EFTA countries:

Citizens of the European Union or EFTA do not need any visa to be an Au Pair in Spain. They only need a valid passport, an agreement executed with the family, and register upon arrival in Spain for long time periods with the Registry of Inhabitants, and request a Registration Certificate of European Union citizen.

 

Countries having a Working Holiday visa agreement with Spain: 

Australia, Canada and New Zealand have a Working Holiday agreement with Spain, therefore citizens from these countries may request this type of visa.

To that effect, they must contact the Spanish embassy in the source country in order to check requirements, expected number of visas they will need for a year and file their request. 

 

Other countries:

Any Au Pairs not included in the foregoing list will need to request an Au Pair visa for Spain.

If your stay as an Au Pair will last less than three months, you must check if your country is exempt from requesting a visa, otherwise, you must request a short-term or a student visa.

If your stay as an Au Pair will last more than 3 months, the best option to obtain a visa is through the student visa. To that effect, you must register, before requesting the visa, with a Spanish language course, university or any course to obtain a master's degree.

In the case of the Spanish language course, to obtain the visa you must sign up for the course and submit the pertinent registration with a school supported by the Cervantes Institute and the course must last at least 20 weekly hours.

 

Essential links:  

Spanish embassies around the world

http://www.exteriores.gob.es/portal/es/serviciosalciudadano/paginas/embajadasconsulados.aspx

Information from the Government of Spain to foreigners

http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Portal/es/ServiciosAlCiudadano/InformacionParaExtranjeros/Paginas/Inicio.aspx

Cervantes Institute

http://www.cervantes.es/default.htm

 

Au Pair Agreement

European health card

http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=559&langId=en

Given the particular regulations of each country as regards the visa and any changes that may occur as to the process to obtain it, Needaupair.com is not responsible for the information, opinions, and advice expressed on this website and, in every case, it recommends that users get information on these topics in each reference country.

 

KIDS&US Offer

Do you like children and have a native proficiency in English?

On behalf of NeedAuPair, we wish to give you the amazing opportunity to be part of the team of the English Academies for children most renowned in Spain for the next academic year, from September 2017 until June 2018. Kids&Us are currently looking for Au Pairs to teach English to their students and enjoy the experience in Barcelona, Catalunya, a place where the sun shines every day.

The Kids&Us team is young and warm and you would definitely feel welcome. Their methodology inspires children to learn English naturally, in a friendly and stimulating environment.

All the schools are located around Barcelona: Kids&Us Sant Cugat, Kids&Us Terrassa Centre, Kids&Us Terrassa Nord, Kids&Us Terrassa Vallparadís and Kids&Us Castellar del Vallès. Students come to class during the afternoons, once or twice a week, from Monday to Friday. They are immersed in an English-speaking environment full of colours, fun activities and interaction in English.

Au Pairs are expected to teach an average of 3,5 hours daily from around 4 to 7:30 PM. Accommodation is included in the same city where your school is located. You would share the flat with 2-3 teachers. The meals are not included. Kids&Us also offer to the Au Pairs the possibility to attend a Spanish course.

Places are limited so please, if you are interested in working with Kids&Us and enjoy this unique experience, send your CV and cover letter to coordinacio.general@kidsandus.es and Kids&Us will get back to you shortly.

 

Pieces of advice

Pieces of advice

 

Avoiding fraud

Choosing your ideal Au Pair/Family

Getting an attractive profile

How to make your self-introduction video a success

How to make your videoconference a success

         List of questions for Au Pairs

         List of questions for host families

Preparation of the Au Pair Programme

          Au Pair: procedure and suitcase

          Family: procedure and preparation to receive the Au Pair

How to achieve a happy Au Pair Programme

           Host Families

           Au Pairs

What if problems arise

What are the most usual problems and how to resolve them

          Au Pairs

          Families

The Au Pair's daily life

          Au Pair's tasks 

          Free time

 

Avoiding fraud

For the purpose of avoiding fraud upon our users by third parties, Needaupair.com recommends that you always follow, throughout the Au Pair search process, these guidelines:

  1. Never carry out a transfer or shipment of money abroad: families and au pairs must never request money before commencement of the Au Pair programme. In order to avoid any risk of fraud, Needaupair.com recommends that in case the family pay the Au Pair's flight ticket or any other expenses in advance, they should do it after arrival of the Au Pair in the host family's house.

  2. Always check the addressee's identity, preferably in person: in case you receive e-mails requesting money from any kind of agency, lawyer, embassy, etc., with which you have executed no agreement on a previous basis, ignore them.

  3. Never send your password on the Internet: Needaupair.com will never request your password through e-mail. Be extremely careful of false requests of password verifications, through which fraudsters may replace your identity on the web page.

  4. Never send information on your bank account through e-mail. Likewise, if you are required, through an e-mail, to provide any information on your address, ID or passport number, do not send such information if the e-mail comes from an unknown sender.

  5. Do not trust too generous offers: families offering an extremely high weekly pay and requesting that you send them money in advance, or Au Pairs who cannot pay their travelling expenses and ask the family for an advance, should avoid these situations and never send money.

  6. Do not trust messages received through Facebook or other social networks: many of such messages come from fraudsters. In any case, always verify their identity through a videoconference.

  7. Before executing an agreement, there should be at least a videoconference between the Au Pair and the host family: by means of this, apart from being able to get to know each other better, you will avoid fraud and be able to check the existence of the other person from whom you will receive e-mails.

For more security and to avoid fraud in relation to the Au Pair's stay, we recommend our interpretation services provided by the Needaupair.com team. 


 

Choosing your ideal Au Pair/Family

Au Pairs

Choosing a host family that adapts to your criteria, personality, tastes and with whom you share similarities is very important, since you will live with them for a long time.

Therefore, Needaupair.com makes the following recommendations for you to be guided and take the best possible decision:

  • First of all, define the purpose of your stay in the Au Pair programme, since depending on whether your purpose is to learn a language, culture, or simply live this experience, you should filter your search by the family's country, family's nationality, or kind of destination of your family.  

  • Be objective as regards tasks to be performed, both with respect to the tasks you may carry out (driving, cooking, cleaning, etc.) and to those you desire to undertake (number of kids, kids' ages, tasks to be developed). It is very important to  be honest as regards your skills, and to take this into account when searching a family that adapt to your criteria.

  • If you have any special needs regarding your diet, if you are a vegetarian, smoke, have any allergies, or health problems, you should tell your potential family any significant details, so that it will not be a problem when living together.

  • The more flexible you are in your options regarding the host family, the more possibilities you will have of finding your ideal family and the quicker it will occur.

  • Do not rush; before choosing your family, you should compare it at least with three other families.

  • Check that the area where the family live matches your tastes and needs, so that your stay will be as happy as possible.

  • Carry out at least a videoconference with the family, and ask as many questions as you want. If after the videoconference you have more questions, do not hesitate to ask them through e-mail or through a new videoconference.

  • Once you have carried out the videoconference, compared the family with other families, and made your decision (if you still have any doubts, it may not be your ideal family), then you have chosen your family.

  • Needaupair.com recommends that you always make your decision according to your criteria and the “feeling” you have perceived in the videoconferences with your potential family, other factors having less importance (which does not mean that they shouldn't be considered), such as the area where the family live or the weekly pay you will receive.

For more security and to avoid fraud in relation to the Au Pair's stay, we recommend our interpretation services provided by the Needaupair.com team.

 

Families

  • First of all, define the purpose of the Au Pair programme. For the purposes of searching for your ideal Au Pair, it is important that you have defined the purpose of the Au Pair programme for your family and, pursuant to it, carry out the search of your Au Pair (it is not the same if the purpose is that children will learn a language than if it is that you get help to take care of a baby, in which case you should look for a profile with experience in  baby care).

  • Furthermore, it is very important that you define the tasks the Au Pair should perform with the kids and in the house, given that perhaps not all Au Pairs comply with your expectations.

  • Be as flexible as possible regarding your search criteria in order to choose among a wide range of Au Pairs, always considering any possible limitations to visas. If your purpose is, for instance, that the children will learn English, do not ignore non-English-speaking nationalities, since in many countries Au Pairs may have a bilingual English level.

  • When it comes to defining the weekly pay you will pay to the Au Pair, you should, if your country permits so and provided that you find your ideal Au Pair, offer her/him a slightly higher weekly pay than the average pay in your country, so that the weekly pay will not be an obstacle to hire the ideal Au Pair.

  • Being a Gold, Platinum or Diamond member will allow you to contact all the Au Pairs you wish, whether through customised e-mails, online chat, or videoconferences, as well as to access our chat rooms.

  • Carry out at least a videoconference with the Au Pair, and ask as many questions as you want. If after the videoconference you have more questions, do not hesitate to ask them through e-mail or to schedule a new videoconference.

  • Needaupair.com recommends that Au Pairs compare at least three families and in the case of host families, if they believe they have found their ideal Au Pair, given the high demand of Au Pairs worldwide, take a decision and communicate it to your Au Pair as soon as possible.

  • Needaupair.com recommends that you always make your decision according to your criteria and the “feeling” you have perceived in the videoconferences with your potential Au Pair.

 

Getting an attractive profile:  

In order for your profile to look attractive and be visited by as many Au Pairs/host families as possible, we recommend the following guidelines:

  • In the first place, Needaupair.com recommends that any information stated in your form be real, in order to avoid any future problem with the host family or Au Pair, and to avoid any waste of time, since misinformation is usually discovered when the parties live together.

  • Complete the information required upon registration as an Au Pair or host family, and include as much additional information as possible by means of a letter of presentation, self-introduction video or pictures of the family and house.

  • In the additional information, especially in the letter of presentation, or in the self-introduction video, try to use simple language and be as accurate and concise as possible, and, if possible, prepare them in several languages, including English.

  • It is very positive to add pictures, in the case of Au Pairs, provided that the parents have given their consent, and in the case of host families, pictures of the family and house, in particular of the Au Pair's bedroom. In the event the family, for privacy reasons, do not like to upload pictures of their family or house, we recommend that you add pictures describing your family, or pictures of your neighbourhood, environment or even landscapes.

  • Needaupair.com gives you the opportunity to include a self-introduction video of 1 minute at most, with a brief self-presentation. This option is usually very appreciated by users and it enriches your profile. You may find some pieces of advices so that your video is successful. Although you may record a self-introduction video, Needaupair.com always recommends that before executing an agreement with an Au Pair or host family, you should carry at least one videoconference with them.

  • Being a Gold, Platinum or Diamond member will allow you to contact all the Au Pairs/Host Families you wish, whether through customised e-mails, online chat, or videoconferences and to add additional services, such as − in the case of Au Pairs − the interpretation service which will be very useful throughout the search and development of the Au Pair programme. 

  • Throughout the search process, be active. This will allow you to appear in the first positions on the page according to your activity level.

 

How to make your self-introduction video a success

The self-introduction video is an optional tool offered by Needaupair.com to be included in the host families' and in the Au Pairs' profiles, as an actual first impression of the other party.

However, Needaupair.com recommends that you, even if you have a self- introduction video in your host family's or Au Pair's profile, carry out a videoconference before executing any agreement with the family and the Au Pair.

This self-introduction video should last 1-3 minutes. Here we suggest some guidelines, mainly addressed to Au Pairs, for their videos to be successful:

  • Before recording your self-introduction video, prepare what you would like to tell the host family about yourself.

  • As main points to be included, you should do a brief presentation of yourself, tell your age, describe your city and country, state why you want to become an Au Pair, your hobbies and interests, any experience you have in childcare and finally why you believe you are the Au Pair the host family should choose.

  • Do a video in the host country's language. Do not worry if your language level is not so good, since the main purpose of being an Au Pair is to improve a language. Nevertheless, if you are good at English, you may record the video in English, since this language is spoken by most host families participating in the Au Pair programme.

  • Try to keep eye contact with the camera. Regardless of where or how you record your video, try to make it a direct contact with the family and make sure there is not much noise around.

  • Take care of your clothes and try to offer a tidy image of the place where you are recording your video.

  • Do not include images of kids without the previous consent of their parents.

In the case of a host family, if you prefer not to include images of your kids, you may do a brief presentation of them and include a brief description of your family, the place where you live, your hobbies and interests, and what you expect from the Au Pair. The goal of the host family's presentation video is to reach as many Au Pairs as possible, so you should record it in English or in the language you are looking for in an Au Pair.

 

How to make your videoconference a success

Once contact between the Au Pair and the host family has been established, before reaching an agreement, it is essential that a videoconference be carried out between them, so that apart from avoiding any potential fraud, both parties may obtain more information on each other which will allow them to take a decision as to whether or not they may be compatible.

For this videoconference to take place, it is necessary to take into account the following aspects:

  • Time difference: before agreeing on the time for the videoconference, you must consider that the host family and the Au Pair may be in different time zones, so it is necessary to check this issue before agreeing on a time for the Videoconference.
  • Both parties must make sure that their Internet connection is good enough for the  Videoconference. Should the connection not be good enough, look for another place from where to carry out the videoconference.
  • The place to carry out the Videoconference must be quiet and with no excessive noise, so both the Au Pair and the host family can listen to each other appropriately and without interruptions of any kind.
  • Establish the language in which the Videoconference will take place. Videoconferences are in the language of the host family's country; however, if agreed upon by the parties, the Videoconference can take place in English.
  • You should have previously read the Au Pair's or the host family's profile.
  • The Au Pair and the host family should establish the questions they would like to ask each other. In our advice section, you may find a list of questions for Au Pairs, as well as a list of questions for host families
  • It is important that both parties be honest, because if you finally reach an agreement sooner or later the other party will realise truth was not told, so it is better to tell the truth even if you think the other party will not like it.

If after the Videoconference both parties deem they are compatible to initiate the Au Pair programme, we recommend that you keep in direct contact until the start date whether though Videoconferences, e-mails, or Whatsapp messages, to get to know each other better. 

We remind you that Needaupair.com offers an interpretation service, which has been especially thought for those Au Pairs that do not have a sufficient knowledge of the language to carry out a successful conversation with the other part, so that they will count with an interpreter who will translate everything they don't understand or don't know how to say on their own.

 

List of questions for Au Pairs:

In order for you not to forget a question, here you may find the main questions you should ask the host family, being grouped in five blocks to guide you better:

1. Questions about the family in general

Parents' age, personality, why they want to have an Au Pair, whether they have had an Au Pair before, their jobs, whether they work from home, their working timetables, their daily routine, their weekend routine, their activities, whether they play some sports, their religion, what kind of food they usually eat, whether they have a dietary restriction, what they do on holidays, whether they have animals, etc.

 

2. Questions about the kids

As main questions regarding the children, we suggest: ages, names, personality, whether they go to school or nursery, their timetables, extracurricular activities, the education they receive, sports they play, habits, what they like to do in their free time, allergies or health problems, if they accept the new Au Pair easily, languages they usually speak, etc.

 

3. Questions about the house and neighbourhood

Address, house description, neighbourhood description, recreation areas, distance to places of your interest, public transportation in the area, activities that may be carried out in the neighbourhood, languages centre, whether they know other Au Pairs living in the neighbourhood, the Au Pair's bedroom, whether she/he will have her/his private bathroom, whether there is Wi-Fi in the house. 

 

4. Questions about your tasks

It is very important that this point is very well defined so that there is no misunderstanding, and that all your tasks and timetables are stated in the agreement and weekly planning. During the videoconference you should ask anything related to your tasks and make any doubt you may have clear.

Among other questions you may ask, we suggest the following: tasks you should perform with the children, house tasks, your timetable, your free days, your holidays, a description of a normal day, what they expect from you as an Au Pair, whether you need a driving license, what language you need to speak with the kids, whether you should help them with homework, whether you should babysit, in case the family have animals, whether you should take care of them, and, although it is something delicate, it is important that you confirm your weekly pay to avoid any future misunderstanding.

 

5. Questions about house rules and your free time

How much free time you will have, weekends, whether you may travel during your free time or spend the night in friends' houses, if you may go out the night prior to your free day, times at which you may arrive home, house rules, in case you smoke, whether you may smoke inside the house, TV, computer, kitchen, washing machine use, etc. 

We remind you that Needaupair.com offers an interpretation service so that if you do not speak the family language well, our team will be present during the videoconference to translate everything you do not understand or do not know how to say. To access this service, consisting in two translations of half an hour each and to be carried out in a maximum of 90 days, it is necessary to subscribe as Diamond Member.

 

List of questions for host families:

In order for you not to forget any question, here you may find a list of main questions you should ask the Au Pair. Likewise, we also include essential topics you should talk about in the videoconference:

 

1. General questions about the Au Pair

Age, personality, why she/he wants to be an Au Pair, whether she/he has previously been an Au Pair, whether she/he has previously lived abroad, her/his studies, whether she/he has previously worked, which languages she/he speaks, what she/he excepts from the family, her/his religion, what type of food she/he likes, whether she/he has any dietary restriction, her/his hobbies, whether she/he likes sports, what she/he likes doing in her/his free time, whether she/he would like to be integrated into the family life during her/his free time or whether she/he would like to have her/his own space, whether she/he would like to attend language classes, whether she/he likes animals, what she/he thinks a normal day with your family will be like, whether she/he smokes or drinks, whether she/he has any allergies or health problems, about her/his family, etc.

 

2. Questions about experience with kids and skills

Previous experience in childcare, whether she/he has any training related to childcare, what children's ages she prefers, whether she/he has previously taken care of children, experience in first aid, what languages she/he could speak with children, whether she/he could help them with their homework, whether she/he swims or does any other sport that are of interest for your family, whether she/he can drive, her/his driving experience, etc.

 

3. Tasks, responsibilities and other topics to be dealt with

Tasks related to kids and to the house that the Au Pair is willing to undertake, timetable she/he could have, maximum number of hours per day, whether she/he would speak and teach her/his language to kids, whether she/he could babysit, whether she/he would join you during holidays, her/his free days, etc.

It is very important that this point is very well defined so that there is no misunderstanding, and that all your tasks and timetables are stated in the agreement and weekly planning. During the videoconference you should ask anything related to your tasks and timetable.

Finally, it is also very important that during the videoconference you explain the house rules related to the use of the Internet, telephone, TV, kitchen, as well as to any others affecting the Au Pair, such as whether she/he may smoke inside the house, if during the Au Pair's free time she/he may travel or spend the night in some friends' house, time she/he must arrive home at night, etc. 

 

Preparation of the Au Pair programme

Au Pair: procedure and suitcase

Once you have executed an agreement with the host family, you must gather every document required to be sent to the host family and embassies (in case a visa is necessary), obtain your European health card or private health insurance, buy your flight tickets and, finally, prepare your suitcase, so Needaupair.com provides you with a general summary and pieces of advice on the procedure you must follow.

Documents, among others, that may be required by the host family or embassy:

  • Agreement and letter of invitation executed by the host family.

  • ID and passport in force, as well as driving license, if any, and a copy of these documents.

  • Health certificate issued by a certified doctor indicating that you are healthy.

  • Criminal record certificate issued by the competent authority in your country.

  • Studies' and languages' degrees or certificates.

  • References, in case you have taken care of children previously.

  • Personal reference letter.

  • Passport-sized photographies.

  • Health insurance, either through the European health card or a private health insurance.

  • In case a student visa is required, evidence of signing up for a language course, university, etc.

  • In some countries it is necessary to obtain a residence or work permit in order to obtain a visa.

In case you must request a visa, time elapsed between the request and its issuance may vary depending on the country, from one to four months, that is why Needaupair.com recommends that you contact the embassy of your target country located in your country to obtain further information on procedures and conditions to obtain a visa.

Once you have executed an agreement with the host family, have made sure you can obtain every document required by the host family, and have obtained, if applicable, a visa by the embassy of the target country, then it is time for you to buy your flight tickets (means of transport usually used to travel to your destination country).

We recommend that you do not buy your flight tickets, if you need to obtain a visa, until such visa has been issued, because although the sooner you buy your ticket, the cheaper it will be, you run the risk that the visa will not be issued and you will lose the money spent on the ticket. Likewise, Needaupair.com recommends that, unless you and the host family have determined a return date or unless you will go back to your country for holidays, you don´t buy the return ticket.

In addition to the foregoing procedures, Needaupair.com recommends that, for greater security reasons, you have some Emergency Savings. The main purpose of this fund is that, in case of unexpected events in your destination country, whether due to differences with the host family, you have the possibility of staying in a hotel until you find a new host family, or buying a return ticket.

If you have already gathered all the necessary documents, obtained a visa, if applicable, have emergency savings, and bought your tickets, you will need the following pieces of advice on how to prepare your suitcase for your stay as an Au Pair.

If you will have a long-term stay, take into account that on holidays you'll probably travel back home, so divide your suitcase into winter/summer according to your holidays and start of your stay as an Au Pair.

Before preparing your suitcase, based on the flight ticket you bought, check the size and weight rules of the airline with which you bought the ticket, to avoid any extra payment. Check, as many times as necessary, your suitcase's size and weight.

Have in mind that you will probably buy some clothes and other stuff in your destination country.

As regards your suitcase, here are some essential details:

  • Do not forget your documentation: ID, passport, European health card, driving license, if any, and visa, if necessary.

  • Take with you the host family's telephone numbers (home phone number, parents' mobile numbers).

  • Some cash in your destination country's currency, to be able to bear any extra expenses upon arrival.

  • Credit card, which you may use in shops, supermarkets, restaurants, etc., for which transactions no charges would be imposed.

  • If you go to the United Kingdom, plug adapters.

  • Electronic devices: mobile phone, laptop, Ipad, MP3/MP4/Ipod, notebook, camera, and their respective battery chargers.

  • As regards clothes, we recommend that you choose them according to the weather of the destination country and to the size of your suitcase. In rainy countries, you must take a waterproof jacket, and in cold countries, you must take a coat, gloves, a scarf, etc. Do not forget to carry comfortable shoes, such as slippers, or training shoes. In the case of female Au Pairs, do not forget your make-up and beauty products, provided that you cannot find such products in your destination country.

  • We recommend that you do not take any products that, due to their size or weight, may carry an extra payment exceeding their cost, such as bed sheets, blankets, and towels (these will be provided by the host family), hair dryer, hair iron, bath robe, rain boots, shower gel, shampoo, etc.

  • At the time of preparing your suitcase, take into account your target country's weather, if your destination is cold and your country is especially hot, include clothes that will protect you from cold.

  • It is not mandatory, although advisable, that in order to have a nice relationship with the host family you buy some present, especially for children or something typical of your country for the family's parents, trying that such presents do not need much space in your suitcase.

For more security and to avoid fraud in relation to the Au Pair's stay, we recommend our interpretation services provided by the Needaupair.com team.

 

Family: procedure and preparation to receive the Au Pair

Once you have reached an agreement with an Au Pair, and made sure you comply with the host family's obligations, you should consider the following items:

  • Send your Au Pair the signed agreement, letter of invitation, weekly planning, and, if necessary, request a work or residence permit, as well as any other document or procedure under your charge as a host family.

  • Help your Au Pair with any document required to the Au Pair, and, in particular, with those required by the embassy for the Au Pair to obtain a visa.

  • Help and inform your Au Pair about language centres, health centres covered by her/his health card or health insurance, provide her/him with information on your city and activities; if other families have Au Pairs, facilitate contact between them, etc.

  • Have her/his bedroom ready, with bed, towels, bed sheets, blankets, wardrobe, desk, etc.

  • Inform the Au Pair on your house rules, and ask her/him to give you details as regards her/his food tastes so that you may have food available upon her/his arrival.

  • Mentally prepare kids for the Au Pair's arrival so that the whole family gives her/him a warm welcome.

  • Pick the Au Pair up upon arrival. 

 

How to achieve a happy Au Pair programme

The main goal of the Au Pair programme is that it is an enriching experience both for host families and Au Pairs, so Needaupair.com provides you with some pieces of advice to reach this goal.

Host families

Our first advice to families is that you state all the tasks corresponding to the Au Pair in the agreement as clearly as possible. Likewise, we recommend that you attach a weekly planning to the agreement, including timetables and tasks to be carried out by the Au Pair.

Our second advice has to do with the importance of communication between the host family and the Au Pair. If you have a good communication with the Au Pair, in a friendly and respectful manner, there is a 90% probability that the programme will be successful for both parties. To that effect, you should, on a weekly basis and within a relaxed environment, talk for at least half an hour with your Au Pair about how she/he feels living with your family, in your country and about the week your children had. Such weekly chats may detect and allow you to prevent any potential problems that may arise during the Au Pair programme, resolving them before they take place and creating a relationship of trust and confidence that will allow you to have a happy experience. Listen carefully to the other party, avoiding there is only one party talking and always avoid direct reproaches.

Moreover, here we offer some pieces of advice for the programme to be as happy as possible to everyone:

  • Be patient with the Au Pair so that she/he gets used to your family, children, country and tasks to be developed. In most cases, you must take into account that Au Pairs may have no experience in childcare or house tasks, so apart from being patient, you should instruct her/him on how to perform such tasks.

  • Always respect the adaptation period that is usually of one month and talk with your kids so that they help and respect the Au Pair as another family member.

  • If language is a sort of barrier between your family and the Au Pair, we recommend that you be patient and try to express yourselves clearly and simply, repeating phrases or words as many times as necessary, so that the Au Pair can understand you.

  • Provided that the Au Pair is willing to join in family activities, try to organize, on a weekly basis, activities such as tours, cultural visits, going to the mountain, playing sports, etc., since this will allow for a fast integration of the Au Pair into your family.

  • Share with your Au Pair the education methods you use with your kids, teaching her/him how she/he must act in different instances (tantrum, if they don't want to eat, jealousy, etc.)

  • Apart from not exceeding the limits referred to the house tasks to be developed by the Au Pair (no heavy tasks), it is very important that you respect the weekly hours agreed in your agreement and according to your country's conditions. In case you may need, as an exception, more hours in a certain week, you should talk to the Au Pair so that she/he may determine if she/he is able.

  • Always respect your Au Pair's privacy. Her/his bedroom is her/his private space, where you must not access with no authorization. Neither you nor your children should invade her/his privacy without her/his consent.

  • Never make hurried decisions. Before making a decision, take some time to think about it, except in case of serious situations requiring immediate decisions.

 

For Au Pairs:

Our first advice to Au Pairs is that you state all the tasks you will carry out as an Au Pair in the agreement as clearly as possible. Likewise, we recommend that you attach a weekly planning to the agreement, including timetables and tasks to be carried out by you as an Au Pair.

Our second advice has to do with the importance of communication between the host family and the Au Pair. If you have a good communication with the host family, in a friendly and respectful manner, there is a 90% probability that the programme will be successful for both parties. To that effect, you should, on a weekly basis and within a relaxed environment, talk for at least half an hour with your host family about how you feel living with your family, in their country and about the week their children had. Such weekly chats may detect and allow you to prevent any potential problems that may arise during the Au Pair programme, resolving them before they take place and creating a relationship of trust and confidence that will allow you to have a happy experience. Listen carefully to the other party, avoiding there is only one party talking and always avoid direct reproaches.

Moreover, here we offer some pieces of advice for the programme to be as happy as possible to everyone:

  • It is very important that you respect the host family's rules, both in relation to the education of their kids, and to the house rules.

  • Respect the family schedule as regards meals and arrival at home and, if for any reason you will occasionally be late let them know, since some families worry very much.

  • It is also very important that you respect the family's privacy, especially the parents', not entering into their bedroom without their authorization, and, if you perceive there is some kind of conflict between them, let them resolve it privately without being present.  

  • It is important that you be patient as regards the host family's habits, lifestyle, and customs; the purpose is that you integrate and adapt as much as possible to their habits, so as to take the greatest advantage of this cultural exchange.

  • If language is a sort of barrier between you and your host family, we recommend that you be patient and try to express yourself clearly and simply, repeating phrases or words as many times as necessary, so that your host family can understand you.

  • Provided that the family invites you to participate in family activities, try to join, since apart from the fact that you will probably enjoy them, this will allow you to adapt more quickly to the family.

  • Get interested in the education methods the family employ with their children and, apart from respecting them, try to carry them out as the parents do.

  • Perform the tasks and comply with the weekly hours agreed upon in the agreement you executed with the host family.

  • Never make hurried decisions. Before making a decision, take some time to think about it, except in case of serious situations requiring immediate decisions.

For more security and to avoid fraud in relation to the Au Pair's stay, we recommend our interpretation services provided by the Needaupair.com team.

 

What if problems arise

The first thing is to advise you that the most usual thing is that some problems may arise during the Au Pair programme or in the Au Pair/host family relationship. But don't worry, it doesn't mean you are doing something wrong; it is something logical when people live together.

  • Here are some pieces of advice so that in case a problem arise between you, you may solve it satisfactorily.

  • In the first place, you must analyse the problem, why it is occurring and who is responsible for it in order to face the situation in the best possible way.

  • Once you have identified the foregoing items, the next step is to look for potential solutions. Needaupair.com provides a list of the most usual problems and how to resolve them.

  • Once you have identified the problem and a possible solution, it is time for the host family and the Au Pair to find the appropriate moment to talk about it, since avoiding it will only make it worse and create more problems, thus complicating your programme.

  • When the right moment arrives, the conversation must be respectful, the parties must try not to make any reproaches. Do not forget that the goal is to resolve the problem, so try to soften the problem and say positive things of the other party.

  • Never make hurried decisions. Before making a decision, take some time to think about it, except in case of serious situations requiring immediate decisions.

  • §  If, although you have talked about your problems and taken measures to resolve them, they remain unresolved, and depending on the problem, then there may be some incompatibility between you two, and the best solution is to look for a second opportunity for both parties, without it meaning that the programme has failed, but that you are not compatible.

At this point, we recommend that you notify the other party in advance if you will end the programme, which notice is usually given 14 days before.

 

What are the most usual problems and how to resolve them

Au Pairs

Although in most cases it is not usual that there are serious problems between the Au Pair and the host family, in case some problems arise. Needaupair.com offers a list of the most common problems that may arise in your relationship with the host family so that you know how to resolve them and prevent them from happening.  

They exceed the tasks or the timetable set forth in the agreement

Usually, host families have had this experience before and are very respectful regarding the conditions established in the Au Pair programme as regards the tasks to be developed by and the timetable established for the Au Pair. However, on some extraordinary occasions, maybe due to the lack of knowledge by families on how the Au Pair programme works, or due to situations in which although they know how the programme works, the families tend to exceed the tasks to be carried out by the Au Pair and the hours established in the agreement. Never accept this type of abuse on the part of a family, either due to lack of knowledge or because the family tries to abuse wilfully.  To prevent such situations from happening it is very important to state in the agreement and weekly planning your tasks and timetable, with some flexibility on both parties. Likewise, we recommend that you state in the agreement the house tasks the Au Pair will carry out and the weekly planning to avoid any potential abuse.

 

They don't respect your privacy

Your bedroom is your sacred place and must be respected by the host family, both by parents and children. This doesn't mean you may keep your bedroom dirty and/or untidy, but it is your private place and it must be respected. In case the children do not respect it, you should talk about it with the parents friendly and, if the situation remains the same, you could hang a "Don't pass" sign on the door, and even you may require the parents to install a lock in your bedroom.

 

They invade your free time

The agreement must clearly state your rights regarding your free time during working and free days, being able to dedicate this time to resting, going to a language centre, travelling, going out or whatever you want, provided that you comply with the host family's house rules.

So, in case your host family don't respect your free time and establish tasks to be developed during such free time, it is very important that from the first moment, in a respectful and educated manner, you talk this with them, either directly or indirectly by showing them your weekly planning and asking them to confirm if it is correct.

 

Languages

In case the language spoken by the family is totally new for the Au Pair, and there is no secondary language in which the family and the Au Pair can understand each other, there may be communication problems that will be resolved as time goes by. However, during this time it is important for the family and the Au Pair to try to explain things as clearly and simply as possible, explaining things as many times as necessary and even getting help from dictionaries to communicate with each other.

 

Insignificant discussions

It is completely normal that during the daily routine of the Au Pair and the host family there may be misunderstandings and insignificant discussions related to the family's house rules and the different personalities. 

Such situations may be more common upon commencement of the stay, so both parties must be patient, adapt to the other party and be as flexible as possible. However, these situations are common, such as it may occur with your own children or parents, and it is important not to give them more significance than the one they deserve; talk about them and resolve them so that they do not happen again.

 

They make you responsible for their children's behaviour

Some kids have a rebellious, ill-mannered behaviour, or are just too active and in some cases parents could attribute some responsibility to you. 

Therefore, and taking into account that you aren't the children's professor or the person in charge of their behaviour in a direct manner, we recommend that you talk about it with the parents to keep the same rules they follow in the behaviour and education of their children, so that they cannot make you responsible for the children's behaviour. If you have any doubt as to how to act with the children, don't hesitate to ask the parents how to do it.

 

They don't buy you any food or you don't like the food they buy

One of your rights as an Au Pair is that the host family must provide you with food (breakfast, lunch and dinner), even in your free days. If you have any dietary restrictions or you are a vegetarian, it is very important that you let the family know about such fact before signing an agreement so that they may consider such situation.

The family are not obliged to cook for you, but only provide you with food.

In order to resolve a situation in which the family don't provide you with enough food, you should talk it with the family and remind them that all meals are included under the Au Pair agreement, and let them known indirectly that you are hungry. If the problem is derived from the lack of time on the part of the family to go to the supermarket, a good solution is that you offer to do the shopping.

Furthermore, try not to waste food and choose cheap brands instead of the most expensive ones and, if you don't like the meals cooked by the family talk about it with the family in an educated manner, referring to the difference in meals in your country and suggest, as a solution, cooking your own meals.

 

Mistreatment

Any mistreatment suffered by the Au Pair from the family, either oral, physical or psychological, must not be accepted at all, such mistreatment constituting a serious fault involving the cancellation of the Au Pair programme without prior notice, apart from any pertinent legal actions.

 

For more security and to avoid fraud in relation to the Au Pair's stay, we recommend our interpretation services provided by the Needaupair.com team.

 

Families

Families must take into account that many times it is the first time the Au Pair leaves home, takes care of children or even that she/he misses her/his family and friends, so it is very important that you be patient and communicate with your Au Pair.

Among the most common problems that may arise between you and your Au Pair and the solutions for them are the following:

 

The Au Pair does not adapt

Under the Au Pair programme, the Au Pair is the most exposed person to changes in her/his life, since she/he must adapt to a new culture, new schedules, a different kind of food, new obligations and, of course, a new family.

So it is normal if it is not easy for the Au Pair to adapt, which problem may be resolved with the support of the family and being patient until the problem is resolved itself.

 

Languages

In case the language spoken by the family is totally new for the Au Pair, and there is no secondary language in which the family and the Au Pair can understand each other, there may be communication problems that will be resolved as time goes by. However, during this time it is important for the family and the Au Pair to try to explain things as clearly and simply as possible, explaining things as many times as necessary and even getting help from dictionaries to communicate with each other.

 

Insignificant discussions

It is completely normal that during the daily routine of the Au Pair and the host family there may be misunderstandings and insignificant discussions related to the family's house rules and the different personalities.

Such situations may be more common upon commencement of the stay, so both parties must be patient, adapt to the other party and be as flexible as possible. However, these situations are common, such as it may occur with your own children or parents, and it is important not to give them more significance than the one they deserve; talk about them and resolve them so that they do not happen again.

 

Your Au Pair is not what you expected

It just may happen that your expectations about the Au Pair were higher to reality, due to very high demands from you or because the Au Pair has not been totally honest in her/his profile.

In any of the cases mentioned above, it is advisable that before making any decision you analyse what the Au Pair is contributing and you will probably see that, although she/he does not totally comply with your expectations, she/he is still a very positive figure for your family.

We further recommend that, in case you consider the Au Pair doesn't meet your expectations, you evaluate different solutions to correct such situation and if even doing so the necessary conditions are not present due to incompatibility or lack of skills, maybe the best solution is to look for another Au Pair, always giving prior notice to the Au Pair (14-day prior notice), and to the extent possible, extend this period so that the Au Pair may find a new family who adapt to her/his personality.

 

Lack of performance in the Au Pair's work

These situations are usually derived from three main factors:

  • Excess of work: in most cases Au Pairs are young people who have just completed their studies and have no job experience at all so it is important, in order to prevent this situation from occurring, that you do not give the Au Pair too many daily tasks, adjusting them to her/his skills and being flexible, giving her/him time to get used and allocating different responsibilities gradually. Many of them are students or have just finished school and are not used to performing the tasks of an Au Pair. Give them time and make them carry out their tasks gradually.  

Frequent distractions in their working hours: the use of mobile phones today or of the Internet during working hours may be a big distraction for Au Pairs. That is why it is convenient to remind them that during their working hours they must be aware of the importance and high responsibility involved in taking care of children, and ask them to use such devices as little as possible and reasonably while they are performing their tasks.

  • Tiredness because they went out the previous night: it is convenient to remind Au Pairs of the importance of their tasks; tell them that if they are going to work the following day they should go out until a reasonable hour so they feel well to develop their functions the next day, giving them flexibility so that they go out the night before their free day.

 

The Au Pair applies her/his own education methods with our children

You must state clearly that main education is vested upon you and that is why you must indicate the Au Pair how to behave with your children in different situations that may be faced by the Au Pair, since you are the ones that best know your kids, their ways to act, and how to behave with them, especially in situations that may be difficult for your Au Pair.

 

Noncompliance with basic hygiene and cleaning standards

Sometimes, given that the Au Pair is not used to carrying out tasks related to cleaning and hygiene, or due to different cultures, there may be some differences that should be resolved from the first moment to avoid unpleasant situations; you should establish a series of hygiene standards including her/his bedroom and bathroom.

 

Mistreatment

Any mistreatment suffered by the children from the Au Pair, either oral, physical or psychological, must not be accepted at all, such mistreatment constituting a serious fault involving the cancellation of the Au Pair programme without prior notice, apart from any pertinent legal actions.

 

The Au Pair's daily life 

Your daily life as an Au Pair will be mainly based on the fulfilment of your tasks and free time; for this experience to be as satisfactory as possible, we offer you some pieces of advice.

Au Pair's tasks

It is essential that you carry out the tasks established in the agreement executed with your host family and that you do so taking into account that a great part of such functions are related to childcare, which requires a great responsibility on our part and the best possible performance.

As regards childcare, you should first realise how important your job is and appreciate how lucky you are for being able to carry it out since from the first day you will realise how wonderful it is to deal with children, there being no day in which you learn something with them.

However, not all days will be wonderful and quiet, since they are kids and they will have tantrums, irritation, tiredness or in which they will be ill.

That is why you must undertake the importance of your work, acting many times as a mother, a nurse, a cook, a teacher, a friend, a professor, and many other things, so you will not have a single profession, you'll have thousands of them, but it is worth it.

Another task you'll have to carry out and which you may not like are the house tasks agreed upon with the host family under the Au Pair agreement; we remind you that such tasks must be daily tasks performed by any member in any family, never involving heavy tasks such as ironing the family's clothes, cleaning the entire house or bathrooms, etc.

 

Free time

Needaupair.com recommends that you make the most out of your free time during your stay since there are not so many opportunities to enjoy the advantages involved for an Au Pair as those involved in this Au Pair programme.

We offer you the following pieces of advice for you to enjoy as much as possible your stay during your free time:

  • Sign up for a language course, since apart from learning the language of your destination country, you will be able to make new friends.

  • Don't stay at home during your free time, look for friends in a language centre, carry out group activities, meet other Au Pairs living near your new home, with whom you may share your free time.  

  • Perform group activities, cultural tours, trips to other cities in your destination country, nightlife, etc.

  • Play some sport, it will allow you to disconnect from your daily tasks and keep in shape.

  • Discover the city and country, taking into account the security recommendations.

  • If the country's reality permits, apart from travelling to other cities in your destination country, try to visit neighbouring countries.

  • Enjoy and try the typical food of the country; you will discover new dishes that you may like.

  • Do some shopping if the destination country has typical or special products you cannot find in your own country or which are cheaper there, always being reasonable.

 

For more security and to avoid fraud in relation to the Au Pair's stay, we recommend our interpretation services provided by the Needaupair.com team.