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Hiring an au pair is a big decision to make! It means leaving your little ones in the hands of a complete stranger and trusting them to “do right” in your absence. Trusting your little ones with a complete stranger, in your home, without you there, goes against human instinct. We seek to protect our young and electing to leave them with someone we don’t know doesn’t really seem like much “protection”… does it?

Unfortunately, the reality is that more and more households need au pairs for a variety of reasons such as both parents have to work, there is a single parent who needs help, there are siblings with conflicting schedules, granny can no longer cope and so on.

The guilt that goes with electing to hire an au pair instead of looking after your children on your own is also a very big internal issue to overcome.

So now that you have gone through the arduous process of deciding you need to hire an au pair, and you have wrestled with your inner demons about the situation, the how to hire an au pair is the next step to take into consideration.

Firstly, having been in the au pair industry, owning an au pair agency for 15 years, and having heard all the scary stories, I would highly recommend going through a reputable agency and not doing this privately. The success rate of using a good agency versus going it solo, or using a bad one is very much in the favour of using a reputable au pair agency:

Tips on Finding a Reputable Au Pair Agency:
Ensure the agency has been in business for at least 5 to 10 years – anything less and you simply will not get the support you need
Ensure the owner of the business handles your placement
The agency should conduct face-to-face interviews with their candidates
Ensure the agency has a predominantly good reputation in the industry
Ask your child’s school if they know of one to recommend
Ask the parents in your child’s class if they know of one to recommend
Ensure the agency carries out criminal checks and reference checks
Generally the good agencies charge registration fees – they know their worth and they aren’t trying to reign you in with”freebies”
Ensure the agency has a 90 day replacement guarantee – anything less and you should question the faith they have in their candidates
The owner should have her own children over the age of 8 so that she can relate to babies, toddlers, children, homework, siblings etc.
The owner should have employed au pairs for her own children – otherwise how does she know what it is like to employ an au pair?
The owner should have been an actual au pair herself at some point in her life
The owner should have sound knowledge of South African labour law to assist you post placement with various queries etc.

If You Can’t Afford an Au Pair Agency and Need to Minimise the Risk:
Advertise your position on Gumtree and Indeed – you will get a lot of rubbish but you may find a gem
Do reference checks – further tips below…
Employ someone who has a MINIMUM of 2 years au pair or teaching experience
Employ someone who is 24 years or older
Employ someone who lives within a 10km radius of your area
Have an interview that is at least an hour long
Arrange a trial after the initial interview (if you like her) which lasts about 3 to 4 hours where the children are present and you can watch them
If your children say no, or they are unsure, or they don’t have a good feeling… RUN! Children have very good instincts so follow them
Check their Facebook profile out – this is VERY indicative of who they are
Look at the layout of their CV and the spelling etc.

Once you have elected to employ someone you need to issue them with a contract of employment. Upon commencement, you need to give them their job functions and take about a week to show them the ropes. Please remember it takes about 6 to 8 weeks for the au pair to settle down and for the children to really get to know her. If there are any issues during employment please sit down with her and go through the issues, communication is key!

An au pair generally stays with a family for about 1 year to 18 months. It is very rare that an au pair commits for longer.

We wish you all the best!

“Upon Electing to Use Our Services…”

Upon electing to use our services , we will send you an Interview & Information Guide which contains the following information:

  • Proposed questions for your interviews with prospective au pairs, tutors, governesses, home school teachers or school facilitators
  • Guidelines on employing a candidate in terms of South African labour law
  • Guidelines on dealing with employee performance related issues in terms of South African labour law
  • Tips on how to maintain a long-lasting relationship with your new au pair, tutor, governess, home school teacher or school facilitator
Simply Contact Us for Further Assistance!

If you wish to have direct human contact please call 063 742 7122 for further assistance

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We place the following types of positions:
Au Pairs
Child Minders
School Facilitators
Home School Teachers