Au pair qualifications: What is required to become an au pair?

May 29, 2013

In my video series, Au Pair Answer Mom, I answer  families’ frequently asked questions about au pair childcare such as, “What are the qualifications for becoming an au pair?”

Because the au pair program is regulated by the Department of State, there are rules regarding au pair qualifications. Au pair candidates must be between the ages of 18 and 26 years old and they have to have completed secondary school in their home country. They have to be proficient in English and they must submit a police record check and a current health certificate.

Au pairs also submit an extensive application and this includes things like their educational background and their family back ground. Of course, it also includes their childcare experience – t he children they have taken care of and in what capacity for how many hours. Three non-family references are also submitted with the application.

The au pair candidates write a letter to the host family that talks about their motivation for becoming an au pair. They also have to submit photos or a photo collage and these are great. They have pictures of the au pairs with their family and friends and with the children they have taken care of which also gives us a chance to know a little more about the au pair.

In addition to the application, the au pairs also undergo an intensive interview process. They come for an initial meeting and then, with Cultural Care Au Pair, they are interviewed by a member of our own staff both in English and in their own language. This gives us a chance to evaluate their English and to learn from them what their motivation is for becoming an au pair. We feel that, in addition to all the qualifications required by the Department of State, maturity, motivation and the au pair’s personality are also very important qualifications.

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