do you want to be an Au Pair in the United States? It isn’t so difficult as you think. Since February 2018, I’m an Au Pair in the Washington State. At the beginning I wasn’t sure if I can do that. Going away from home and live a different life somewhere else. But it was the best decision that I made in my life yet. I highly recommend it. For people that would like to improve their English skills, see the world, become confident, don’t know what to do after school, need a break from school and so on, their are so many reasons for an au pair year. Let’s check if you fulfill everything. 😉
- Your age is between 18 to 26 years
- Minimum 200 hours of practical experience with child care
- Knowledge of English
- School graduation
- Driver license
- Background check
- Childless and not marriage
- Willing to live 12 months or longer with an American host family
I know it seem a lot what you must have but don’t worry, I’ll explain you what I did. Step up step.
So the first point is clear. I would like to add that girls and boys can be Au Pairs and you can apply when you’re 17 years old but when you leave your country you must be 18 years old.
I’ll continue with the second one, I didn’t had the 200 hours of child care experience, like other people before I apply. What I did, when I knew that I would like to become an Au Pair, is that I apply for an internship in a kindergarten for four weeks and I took care of children in a family for months. An advise to you, try to take internships in different age groups and start early to collect the hours. You really want to learn how to handle kids, so please looking for a babysitter job. With that you get experience and some money, win win! Maybe you ask yourself, where else you could get your experience hours. Of course there is more to do, like, give tutoring lessons, take care of children in a summer camp, sport group, church or you work in a youth center. It’s your decision. Please let prove your work with a document of your employer. The agencies will checking it. What I forget on the list is, you need three references of people who are not related to you. How is your character, why are you the right one to become an au pair and so one.
The third one is about your English knowledge. Don’t worry, you don’t have to speak English fluently. A lot of people become an Au Pair to improve their English skills, like me. I really like the language but I wasn’t good in the school, now I’m much better but still I have some trouble with it. That’s normal, don’t stress yourself. At the beginning it’s important that you understand the main and speak basis things. You will learn so much in the year in America.
The next (fifth) one is about your school graduation. It’s good when you graduate after high school (12. class). In the past years, the programs changes. Now, you can become an au pair in difference levels of your education. The system is in each country different, so please inform yourself what you need in your country and ask your agency.
The topic “driver license” and the “background check” are the sixth one on the list, so you need a driver license because the family want that you drive the kids to their day activities. When you apply for the program you can still do your driving license but be ready when your adventure start. Try to drive so often as you can in your country. So that you feel safe to drive in every situation. I did my driving license before and I was happy that I don’t had the pressure. The background check is only the criminal record certificate, it must be impeccable. Back then I got my certificate in my town hall, I had to pay like 16 euros and after one week I got a mail with it.
The seventh one is “childless”, “not marriage” and “healthy”. Childless is clear but I don’t exactly know why you can’t be marriage to be an au Pair but it makes sense, right? Let’s talk about health. Of course health is important, you will get a document of your agency that you must fill it up with your doctor. My doctor didn’t understood English, so I translates everything that the Document wanted. You will be ask after your vaccinations and if you are currently on medication and so on.
Eighth and the last point, willing to live with a host family 12 months, if it doesn’t work you can go in rematch but that is a different topic. I know 12 months sounds a long time but the time goes by so fast. You will travel, make friends from different countries and live the American life. How cool is that? Later you can decided if you want to extend your adventure as an au pair, like me. 🙂 You have the choice 6,9,12 more months.
I’ll write a second part about the agency. Stay tunes 😉
Important: Some things that I told you, may be different depending on the agency. Maybe you need only two references or the healthy check is not so big. I applied to Cultural Care Au Pair almost two years ago and things have may change.