July 22, 2014

Why host an au pair from Czech Republic?

3 minutes
About au pairs

The next country in our series of spotlights on Cultural Care’s au pair recruitment countries is Czech Republic! Again, while we always recommend that families be open to hosting the best au pair for their needs—regardless of her nationality—it can be helpful to learn about how an au pair’s home country can affect her personality and skill sets.

Czech au pairs are great because…
They make great au pairs because they are very flexible and open, always ready to help the family with anything.  They are mostly older, which means they tend to be more mature and know what to expect of the au pair program. 

Describe Czech au pairs in 5 words:
Helpful, active, dedicated, adaptable, productive

Top 3 reasons Czechs want to become au pairs:

  1. To better their English
  2. To travel the U.S.
  3. To better their job prospects once home

Cultural differences that are positive:
They are very responsible and dedicated to their job. Czechs are raised to be hard working, and they are very grateful for getting the chance to work abroad and to gain new experiences. They look to be a true friend of the family and the children, and to really feel that they are appreciated.

Cultural differences that could prove challenging:
Czechs are can be shy and unsure in unknown environments, so they may need some encouraging in the beginning. They are also not used to complaining about things, even if they don’t like something, so it is helpful to check in with them on a regular basis. Also, Czechs commonly underestimate themselves (even though they have the experience or skills for something), so take the time to show them that you trust them and that you think they will be great in whatever they do.

How do au pairs from Czech Republic typically learn English, and what are their strengths and weaknesses regarding written and oral mastery of the language?
In Czech Republic, children learn two foreign languages as a part of their education starting at age 10. They can choose which languages, but English is the most common one. Any English films and TV programs are usually dubbed, so there is not much exposure to the English language in this way. However, Czechs are very quick to improve their English once in the U.S..

Typically au pairs start driving around age: 

Au pairs in your country can obtain a driver’s license at the age of:

What are the steps involved in obtaining a driver’s license? 
It takes usually 2 months to get a driver’s license in Czech Republic. It involves theoretical as well as practical tests. Applicants has to go to a licensed “driving school”, where they can practice their driving skills  with professional driving instructors. In total, 28 lessons of driving are compulsory before being allowed to take the final exam. The final exam contains a practical part, theoretical part and technical part (meaning, the applicant has to be able to identify if the car has a problem and knows how to solve it).

What types of vehicles and in what conditions do au pairs from have experience driving?
Czechs typically drive smaller cars. Also, they can drive in all weather conditions (rain, snow, ice) because they have 4 seasons.

Typically, au pairs from Czech Republic have experience:
Driving smaller vehicles, driving in the snow, driving on highways, driving on country roads, driving alone and driving with children.

Typically, au pairs from Czech Republic do not have much experience:
Driving larger vehicles

Au pairs from Czech Republic typically get their childcare experience by: babysitting younger siblings, babysitting extended family members, babysitting children of family friends/neighbors, working in a kindergarten or daycare center, coaching children’s sports teams, working as a camp counselor. Also, it is common for au pair candidates to gain childcare experience while working or having an internship in a school with children as a part of their studies.

In Czech Republic school is mandatory from ages 6-15 years. There is primary, secondary and tertiary level. Primary and secondary are common throughout the country and are mostly public. Tertiary consists of universities and further education schools – private or public. There are 2 semesters in an academic year, first starting by the end of September/beginning October, second starting in February. Most young people want to travel as au pairs during their time at university, or after finishing the university studies.

The typical family has 2 children. Though Czechs are family oriented, it’s common to move out or move away from your the parents after finishing the high school studies, usually due to university or a job. Czechs stay in contact with their families a lot, especially because Czech Republic is a small county and it is easy to come home without spending much time and money.

The majority of Czech au pairs have daily use of a computer and have their own cell phone.