Working abroad as an au pair automatically means not seeing your family as much as you used to anymore. The family you will work for and the
kids you’re taking care of will be your new family. So of course you want to find the perfect family to start your adventure with.
There are many different ways on how to find this perfect family.
If you have a european passport and want to stay within Europe you could either go with an organisation or find a family yourself through a varies of websites like aupairworld.com or aupair.com these are both independent websites who have both au-pairs and host families on profile so you can select your family and contact them right away.
An other common option is to use one of many au-pair organisations like travelactive, activity international, cultural care au pair or if you’re Dutch like me, you can make use of bonapa.nl which is a website with host families from a lot of the separate agency’s.
I personally used aupairworld.com as in the first place I wanted to work in Switzerland as an au-pair since I have worked in Switzerland before including part-time childcare.
As my wish to go to the USA popped back into my mind every time I found a swiss family which would possibly be a match I decided to change my search criteria from only Switzerland to Switzerland and USA and there I found a lovely Belgium family who were about to move to the US and as their kids are still quite young and they’ve always had a lot of help from family and friends they wanted an au pair to support them with the kids and as well have someone for the kids to be there as it’s quite a big step for them as well.
As you would have to live with your host family for usually a year, it is very important that you get along with all members of the family. Therefore it is better to focus on the family itself then on the rest like where does your family live, will I have a big room with own bathroom, what are my chores, can I travel a lot? As these things are all subject to talk about once you’ve found your perfect family.
Try to think for yourself with what age categories of kids you would like to work with as baby’s would need help in a complete different way than a 10-year-old.
If you have found a family you think you like just contact them by sending a message that you liked their profile and maybe even what attracted you the most in their profile.
Getting along with the kids is very important as you would be their big sister and someone they should be able to rely on. But even more important than getting along with the kids is getting along with your host parents as you live in their house and take care of their children. If you get along well with the host parents it would be way easier to discuss something if you feel something is not going the way you envisioned. This can be that you are required to do way more housework than agreed on, or that you have to work a lot more hours without any compensation (either extra money or some extra hours of another day). Of course in every family it can happen that you would be required to work some extra hours which you didn’t expect. If this is just occasionally I wouldn’t say too much about it, if it would happen more often it is always better to discuss the situation with your host parents first rather than asking an organisation for help.