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cant find an au pair, help me widen the search criteria

(14 Posts)
Happydutchmummy Fri 18-Jul-14 09:21:02

We are searching for an au pair on au pair world. Last year I was innundated with hundreds of applications, this year I've had 8 applications from au pairs who are all not quite what I was looking for.

So I need to widen my search criteria. My definite requirements are a very good level of spoken English, sporty and reliable. Which countries should I add to my search? (So far I only have English speaking countries)

Misspilly88 Fri 18-Jul-14 09:22:24

I've heard better things about French au pairs than Spanish, although there's so many Spanish ounces you'd have more to choose from!

Misspilly88 Fri 18-Jul-14 09:22:36


weatherall Fri 18-Jul-14 09:29:20

Isn't the point of au pairs that they come here to learn English?

Surely a good point of having an au pair is to expose your DCs to another language?

And what does 'sporty' have to do with being a good au pair? Do you just want someone skinny who doesn't cost you much in food?

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 18-Jul-14 09:34:48

Lots of people in Scandinavian countries have very good English.

Could you just open it to everybody and then gague the quality of their English when they apply.

meadowquark Fri 18-Jul-14 10:55:19

How does being sporty relates with au pair duties? Playing sports with your kids? Then you'd better say "likes playing football" or something like that.

PhoebeMcPeePee Fri 18-Jul-14 11:49:47

I agree that saying someone is sporty might be off-putting. I'm far from sporty but happily go out on my bike with the kids, will have a kick-around with a ball in the park & we go on long walk & regular swimming. I'd specify someone active who is happy to join in a game of football, take the kids swimming or out on bikes etc. I know good (& bad) au pairs from Spain (some with basic English but enough to manage day-to-day with older kids but not do homework), Germany & Scandinavia

SouthLakes1 Fri 18-Jul-14 13:23:33

We have a Spanish Au Pair with us at present and her English is great (though she's just finished her first year doing an English degree).

I agree though that you need to define "sporty". Are you looking for an athletic type or just someone who enjoys a kickabout and being outdoors with the kids?

Most of the applicants i had were Spanish and their English was on the whole good, i think many countries, Spain especially, have English as a core subject at school and is a requirement for a lot of jobs.

bonjourlondon Fri 18-Jul-14 14:39:00

I would remove the "sporty" criteria, I find it misleading and potentially frightening instead of attracting the right person and I would absolutely open to more languages/nations than only the English speaking ones. The point of the job for an Au Pair is to learn a language and experience a different culture.

Happydutchmummy Fri 18-Jul-14 18:30:25

Ok, i will remove the sporty requirement. Its just that we are quite an active family and ts nice to have an au pair that enjoys the bike rides, swimming, windsurfing, etc. Our last au pair described herself as very sporty and she was fantastic, so i am looking for someone similar.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 18-Jul-14 18:51:21

My Spanish au pair is just doing her masters degree in French and English so her English is better than mine.
I have had French au pairs before and although their English has been a little stilted at the start by the end of the first month their running.
Looking forward to next years language carousel for DD having her own in house Spanish and French teacher is going to be really helpfulgrin.

MezleyM Sat 19-Jul-14 07:59:01

Have you considered a male au pair? We have just had a lovely Spanish girl, and as I have 2 DS's, we have a 'sporty' Spanish boy starting in September. Had over 200 applicants on au pair world (we are Home Counties, nothing special), mainly Spanish boys, but plenty of others as well...

SouthLakes1 Sat 19-Jul-14 10:32:17

I would just put that you're an active family that enjoy bike rides, swimming and windsurfing and you require an au pair that enjoys similar pursuits and an ourdoor lifestyle.

If i read that you wanted someone sporty i would think you meant someone who played sports and was a gym/fitness person regularly and it would rule me out of contacting you. In reality we spend alot of time doing outdoor pursuits and sports.

OvertiredandConfused Sat 19-Jul-14 21:51:50

I'd include Germany and Sweden. What about the age profile? And date range for starting and finishing? Might help.

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