Au pairs are child care professionals from foreign countries who work for and stay with a host family for a definite period of time. They assist such families with taking care of their kids and performing light household chores, alongside learning the culture and language of the host country.
In this era of globalization, children need exposure to different cultures without fail, and this is where au pairs enter the picture. If you also want to become an au pair but don’t know how to get this job, this guide is for you. We provide you with resume-writing tips to help you get your dream job.
Let’s look at the three standard resume formats to begin with:
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Job Duties of an Au Pair
An au pair is considered a part of the host family, albeit a temporary one. Au pairs predominantly take care of the child but also do light housework. As they are foreign child care workers, they are also in charge of teaching the child their culture or language.
Some of the most common duties of an au pair are as follows:
Waking up the child/children and getting them ready for school.
Preparing easy and healthy meals/snacks.
Dropping/picking the kid/kids to and from school and the playground(s).
Playing with the child/children while taking safety measures, such as wearing a helmet while riding a bike.,
Assisting the child/children in homework and academics.
Maintaining child’s/children’s hygiene.
Laundering, ironing, folding, cleaning up the area after playtime.
Educating the kid/kids in your home language, culture, and cuisine.
Caring for the child/children in sickness.
Being trained in emergency safety procedures such as CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and first-aid.
Au Pair Median Salary
According to AuPair.com, an au pair agency, you will receive at least $195.75 a week as compensation in the U.S. The pay also depends on what agency you work with or which country you choose to work in.
Some agencies and governments require the host family to cover the au pair’s educational expenses up to a certain amount.
Top Skills for Au Pairs
As an au pair, you will primarily handle and deal with children that may require special care, patience and a lot of attention. You will also be consistently mediating different kinds of situations as you attempt to enrich their education. As such, au pairs require a defined set of skills focused on caring for and educating children./p>
These are some of the top skills you will want to have in your resume if you are searching for a position as an au pair:
- Adaptability and receptivity: As an au pair, you will be required to step out of your comfort zone, and even your own country, to work with children and families from different ethnicities, backgrounds, and values. This will challenge your lifestyle, eating habits and culture itself, and you must be ready to accept these changes with an open mind and willingness to learn. Try to see this position as a new experience and enjoy every moment of it.
- Effective tutoring skills: One of the primary duties of an au pair is to assist children in their academics and make sure they excel in their studies. You can take small steps to excel at this, such as regularly checking if they have completed their homework on time and using individualized teaching plans. You must also look for any learning challenges to address while reviewing their lessons and explaining key concepts in simple terms.
- Creativity: Having a creative mindset is an essential component of an au pair’s daily job. Children have keen minds and, as such, are prone to boredom easily. You must keep children engaged and entertained through plenty of fun activities to ensure their continued development. You can take them for zoo outings or library time, engage them in sports, and even help them with crafts. Along with these, you should come up with other original ideas to solve everyday problems. For instance, if they are reluctant to study, you can integrate puzzles and games into their learning process and make it exciting for them.
- Emotional intelligence: Raising children involves modifying their behavior when required. Every child is different; some may learn and respond to things instantly, whereas others may take a comparatively longer time. You must engage with them to better understand them and their necessities while at the same time correcting their outbursts calmly and patiently. Comprehensive knowledge of behavior modification and child psychology is helpful as it allows you to maneuver challenging situations and deal with them healthily. There exist online courses which can further educate you in this field.
- Good communicator: As an au pair, you will need to regularly inform the parents of their child’s/children’s academic performance and behavior. Moreover, you need to work in tandem with the parents to address any situations that may arise with them. This calls for superior communicative abilities. You should be articulate and clear while talking to employer families. If you have any concerns or doubts about your work, you should discuss them with the parents without hesitation. Similarly, you must understand and perfectly communicate with children on their level. Through these relationships, you can create a harmonious environment for your success.
- Adept at offering household support: Although providing child care is the prime purpose of an au pair’s job, managing household chores is crucial. You help parents with cleaning, preparing meals, laundry, and preparing children’s beds and keeping their room tidy. At times, you may also be required to go grocery shopping and look after pets. To manage all these tasks efficiently, you need to have great organization.
Au pair education and certifications
The age requirement to become an au pair varies from country to country. As a general rule of thumb, you need to be above 18 years of age and not more than 30. Although some countries also allow au pairs to be 17 years of age.
These are some other requirements to keep in mind when seeking a job as an au pair:
DegreeA high school diploma or its equivalent, such as a GED (General Educational Development), is a must for this job. Candidates also need to have basic skills in English or any language spoken in the host country. While not necessary, an associate degree in Early Childhood Education, as offered by the GoodWin University and Charter Oak State College, might prove helpful to fully grasp educational concepts employed in the position while at the same time receiving hands-on experience in child care.
During an au pair’s stay in a host country, they must complete six credits at a post-secondary institution. These credits may be restricted to a course in the host country’s language or other subjects.
Apart from these, host families also prefer au pairs to have previous child care experience, for example- babysitting or working at a kindergarten.
Licensure, certification, and trainingAu pairs require a driving license valid in the host country for driving their wards or in case of any emergency. Upon arrival, they can either have an international driving license from their home country or apply for the host country’s license.
In the United States, some jurisdictions require you to have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid certification. You can earn these certifications through the Child and Babysitting Safety Training from the local YMCA. This program will train you in providing optimum care and supervision for both children and infants.
Some states may demand the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential provided by the Council for Professional Recognition. Earning it, you can showcase yourself as a competent au pair who has a broad understanding of kids’ physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development.
Au pair resume-writing tips
Every job offer demands different skills of its candidates. Therefore, you need to modify your resume every time you apply at a different place.
Here are the top tips for writing your resume:
- Always include keywords Every host family requires different things for their au pair. Some might need you to focus on their ward(s)’ academics. While others might only want to take care of their child/children. Try to include the relevant keywords in your resume to show that you meet their demands.
- Incorporate the recommendations of past employers. Previous child care experience is a must to be an au pair, which means you’re bound to have past employers. Include recommendations and references of past employers or host families. This gives you credibility and helps you come off as dependable.
- Quantify your tutoring achievements, if any. Provide facts and figures wherever necessary. If you have helped a child better their score in the past, write it in your resume without fail. Did your help lead to a 20% increase in the child’s GPA? Add it to your resume!
- Explicitly mention your previous duties as an au pair. This applies only to au pairs with a work history in this field. The key here is to be as detailed as possible without writing a story. Specify your past duties as it tells your prospective employer what you can do.
- Don’t forget to insert your safety certifications. Being an au pair means you have to take all safety precautions and respond rapidly in an emergency. If you have any safety certifications, make sure that you add them to your resume to provide an extra safety net for your host family. Or, if you’ve taken any additional courses such as child development or nutrition, let your prospective employers know.
What is the duration of stay in another country as an au pair?
The maximum time an au pair can stay in a country varies for each nation. The most common amount of time they spend in a country is usually a year. Though, one can apply for an extension. But this extension depends on the completion of the post-secondary education requirement.
Are there any additional requirements to be an au pair?
Yes. Apart from the age requirement, some countries require the au pair not to have children or be married. Depending on the country, you might also need to have a certain amount of money.
Sweden, in particular, asks for the au pairs to show an interest in Swedish culture. Sweden also doesn’t have any language requirements.
What are some no-nos of this job?
We’ve mentioned the duties of an au pair. But there are certain things you should not do. For example, an au pair should not work past 30 to 45 hours a week. The job isn’t of a housekeeper or a full-time caretaker. Thus, they shouldn’t do the housework of the whole family.
Other restrictions include not using a device while caring for the ward(s) and being a non-smoker.