What happens once I apply online to the Au Pair in America program? In order to walk you through the next steps in the process of hosting an au pair, we sat down with Natalie Dellinger, one of our excellent Placement Coordinators who work with families to better understand their child care needs, explain the au pair program in more detail, and assist in the au pair matching process. Read on to learn more about the placement process and for Natalie’s tips and advice!
After Submitting the Online Application
Once you’ve applied, you can begin looking at au pair profiles on the online matching system. These profiles are filled with information about each au pair, including photos, videos, background information, work/child care experience, recommendations, a personal essay, etc. This is usually an exciting part of the process for host families, as they can search profiles according to their specific criteria and learn a lot about their potential au pairs. At this point families can also submit more of their application materials, including their essay and photos. Natalie recommends that families include in the essay information about the children’s hobbies and interests, the family’s general lifestyle, the region and things to do in the local area, and family photos to give au pairs a glimpse into the family’s life.
Consultation with Your Placement Coordinator
Shortly after applying, families will also receive a call from the Placement Coordinator for their region, who will review the program regulations with them to ensure that the au pair program is a good fit for the family. As Natalie explained, she likes to highlight the cultural exchange aspect of the program and make sure that families understand the government regulations regarding the au pair’s working hours, the educational component of the program, the visa process, and more. She also likes to clarify any misconceptions that prospective host families might have about the program. “I make sure that my families’ expectations are realistic and that they understand the program regulations, as well as the cultural exchange aspect of the program.”
Interviewing Au Pairs
Once a family has found an au pair they are interested in, they can set up a Skype or phone interview to learn more about the au pair’s background and approach to child care. (You also have the option of Au Pair in America setting up the interview for you.) We encourage families to ask au pairs questions regarding child care experience, lifestyle and interests, driving experience, etc. Natalie’s advice regarding the interview is simple: get a feel for the au pair’s personality. She says, “If you feel a strong connection with the au pair right away and like her personality, that’s a great sign that it’s a good match.”
I am from Norwalk, Connecticut, and I am passionate about cultural exchange because it has impacted my life many ways. During my time studying abroad in Chile and Peru, I stayed with 6 different host families! I love helping hosting families find au pairs because it gives the family and the au pair a new global perspective. Besides travel, my hobbies include yoga, listening to podcasts, journaling and hiking with friends. I was also a collegiate swimmer, so I love being in the water in the summer!
Ready to get started with Au Pair in America? Visit our website today to register and begin looking at au pair profiles! You can also schedule a phone consultation to learn more about the au pair program.