All applicants must undergo a multi-step screening process before being accepted as an au pair with Cultural Care, and every step of this process is managed by full-time staff in our own offices. As a host family, you can review available candidates knowing they have all been personally interviewed and evaluated for English proficiency, and have submitted references (checked by our staff), a criminal background check, health record and personality profile. Only 10% of applicants who express interest in becoming au pairs are selected.
The au pair screening process
In order to be accepted onto our program, all of our au pair candidates must complete the following steps:
1. Complete an au pair profile
Each applicant is required to complete an extensive online profile including details about their childcare experience, family life, education, special skill and interests. They must also include references—each of which is verified by a Cultural Care representative—photos and a personal letter to their future host family.
2. Attend an informational meeting
To be considered as an au pair, applicants must attend an info meeting in their home country. At this meeting, Cultural Care representatives review program requirements and expectations in detail and answer questions applicants have. An au pair who has recently returned from their year with an American host family is often invited to speak about their experiences.
3. Pass an interview and English evaluation
After the info meeting, our staff schedules time for personal interviews with au pair candidates. During each interview, Cultural Care representatives perform an English evaluation and get to know au pairs on a personal level. Notes on the interview are included in an au pair’s profile.
4. Submit a personality profile and background check
All au pair candidates must submit a personality profile (the results of which are included in their online profile) and a criminal background check. For each applicant, our staff also collects and verifies a valid driver’s license and certificate of health.
5. Pass a thorough review by Cultural Care staff
Once the above steps have been completed, our staff members conduct a thorough review of each candidate’s profile to determine suitability for acceptance onto the program.
Watch our ‘how are our au pairs screened and trained?’ video
Learn more about how we screen and train our au pairs.
‘How are our au pairs screened and trained?’ video transcript
One thing that I love about hosting au pairs is that Cultural Care Au Pair does all of the initial screening and training for me! I know that au pairs I’m interviewing have already been thoroughly vetted and that once they arrive to the U.S., they’ll go through a great training program.
An au pair’s screening actually begins in her home country, where Cultural Care Au Pair has an office and dedicated staff members. When someone applies to become an au pair, she’ll be invited to an info meeting and asked to submit an au pair application including her contact info, family background, childcare experience, interests, personality profile, a personal letter, photos and even a video.
All au pairs have an in-person interview with a Cultural Care staff member who will evaluate their English level and motivation for being an au pair. Potential au pairs are given a very realistic picture of what it means to be an au pair so they know the full scope of their role once they get here.
The next thing that happens is a review of the au pair’s application to make sure she has at least 200 hours of childcare experience. Cultural Care staff will also verify her references personally. At that point, the applicant is officially accepted or rejected. Au pairs who are accepted will be asked to submit additional documents, including a criminal background check and a doctor-issued health certificate.
Cultural Care also provides training for new au pairs, in the form of online assignments that au pairs complete before they leave home and then a five-day stay at the Cultural Care Training School when they first arrive to the United States. At the Training School, au pairs review child development and safety, and are certified in adult and pediatric CPR and First Aid from American Heart Association instructors.
I’ve always felt that once my au pairs arrives at my home, they are well prepared so that I can focus all of those first couple of days on training them on my own household needs and the needs of my family.
Au pair training & preparation
Read more about how we train and prepare our au pairs before they arrive to host families.