By Mariza Halliday
It is never easy entrusting your child’s wellbeing in the hands of someone else. There is so much to take into consideration when hiring an au pair, and if you are not prepared, it can turn into a full-time job quite quickly. While the search is not always easy, we’re sure you agree it’s worth it to find the ideal companion for your little ones. Here are some of the top tips to make sure you find the perfect au pair.
ALWAYS CHECK REFERENCES, ESPECIALLY THE FAKE ONES
When you call a reference, don’t reveal the au pair’s name from the start. Ask the person to give the name of the au pair who worked for them in the date range that was provided, if they say the correct name, ask them for more details like “How did you find her? How old were your kids back then? How long did this au pair stay with you? Why did she leave you?” Once you feel that the story checks out, start asking your questions about her capabilities, reliability, etc. Another thing you can do is go look the au pair up on Facebook, see if the listed
references are friends with them on Facebook, what their relationship with them is (if they are).
CHECK THEIR DRIVING RECORD & SKILLS
If driving is required, make sure that you inquire about their driving record. Ask direct questions about practical
experience and past accidents. You are placing the lives of your children into the hands of an au pair every time they step behind the wheel… make sure you feel comfortable with the person you choose.
SAVE YOURSELF THE HASSLE AND USE AN AGENCY
Use a reputable agency to source some good, reliable candidates. Try and avoid sourcing candidates using just the internet or a job-recruitment website. Security comes first! A good agency will also complete any necessary background checks and be able to match you up with candidates that are best suited for you.
A MOTHER’S INTUITION
Our intuition is the most accurate and powerful tool we have in our arsenal. Moms, you just KNOW when something is not right. You are not going crazy, you are hearing your intuition, and nothing beats it. Don’t
doubt yourself when you feel alarm bells ringing. When this happens, it’s done, close the book, don’t ask
questions, the person wasn’t right, move on. Your intuition is right. Every. Single. Time. Even when all the reference and background checks are free of alarming incidences.
Always remember that there are many good candidates out there and you should never have to settle. Rather be safe than sorry.