An Au Pair means on par or equal to.

People are often confused about the word Au Pair. The Google search for the word “au pair” shows that people often misspell  this world  as “au par”, “au paire”, “opair”, “au per”

Many people think that au pair means a nanny.  An Au Pair doesn’t mean a nanny at all.

The word au pair is a French term, which means “on par” or “equal to, “ denoting living on an equal basis in a reciprocal, caring relationship between the host family and the children. An au pair will typically be a young woman and sometimes a young man from a foreign country who chooses to help look after the children of a host family and provide light housekeeping. The au pair is given room and board and is typically paid a weekly “pocket-money” salary. Au pairs generally stay with their host family for one year.
 Go Au Pair recruits Au Pairs from over 60 different countries, and very popular in the USA are Argentine,  Brazilian, Chinese, Colombian, French, South Korean, Mexican, Russian, Salvadorian, South African, Thai and Ukrainian Au Pairs.

According to Wikipedia , an au pair (plural: au pairs) is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working for, and living as part of, a host family. Typically, au pairs take on a share of the family’s responsibility for childcare as well as some housework, and receive a small monetary allowance for personal use. Au pair schemes are subject to government restrictions which specify an age range usually from late teens to mid to late twenties.

Every year thousands of young people from all over the world consider becoming au pairs.  These enthusiastic unique individuals come to the United States  leaving behind the familiarity of their homeland, their parents, siblings and close friends. They start a special journey in their young  years and become a part of a host family as an equal member of the family helping with childcare , studying and traveling. Usually it is very far away from their real home.

Welcome party for new Au Pair Phila!

A new Au Pair Phila from South Africa joined Go Au Pair Philadelphia, Bucks County and close NJ cluster last week.

Her host parents Burke and Nicole, who are with Go Au Pair seven years already, hosted a huge welcome party for Phila.

They invited a whole family, neighbors and Au Pairs from Phila’s cluster.

The welcome party was really welcoming and warm with a lot of smiles and wishes. Nicole, the host mom, cooked delicious homemade dishes and ordered a yummy cake for Phila.

The family had Au pairs from many countries, five Au Pairs were from Thailand. Now they welcome to their house a new Au Pair from South Africa. Their two kids loved Phila right away and the whole family is looking forward to a new family member and a friend for life!

Welcome to the family and to the cluster!

The Au Pair program is a wonderful cultural exchange experience for the host families and an affordable, flexible live-in childcare option.

Which country is the best au pair from?

From an Au Pair mom.

(Anna T., a host mother and an author of articles about hosting an au pair: How to hire an au pairHow to save money on an au pair programHow to welcome your new au pair.)

Does it matter which country is an au pair from?

 Go Au Pair recruits Au Pairs from over 60 different countries, and very popular are Argentine,  Brazilian, Chinese, Colombian, French, South Korean, Mexican, Russian, Salvadorian, South African, Thai and Ukrainian Au Pairs.

Faced with so many choices of au pair candidates, it is only natural for a host family to look for a way to narrow the search down. A question many au pair agency staff and local counselors hear from host families is, tell us

which countries the best au pairs come from.

 The real answer is – it depends. The best au pair for one family can be a bad fit for another family. A lot depends on the personality and experience of the individual au pair. But there are also some common traits and cultural values that shape candidates from different countries

Cultural differences, not to be confused with stereotypes, are the result of an upbringing in a different country, with its own culture, religion and values. For example, au pairs from many Latin American countries typically have close family relationships, and are very affectionate and loving with children, and believe in God. Au pairs from Asia take their job extremely seriously, and value education.

There are also differences shaped by the living conditions in a country, that are not cultural. For example, in some Asian countries it might not be common for young women to drive or own a car, so au pairs from those countries might be not very experienced drivers.

In some countries the economic divide between rich and poor is so great, that every middle class family has a maid, so an au pair from such a country might not have a clue about simple domestic tasks (but might be perfectly willing and excited to learn!).

In more prosperous countries it might be easier for a high school graduate to pay for applying to the au pair program, and less lucrative to do so for a college graduate – so the candidate pool from such countries might be considerably younger.

Another factor in family country preference is personal experience, or experience of others.
For experienced host families, their preference for a certain country might be shaped by their personal experience with the au pair program. After an unsuccessful match, it is natural to avoid candidates from the same area of the world, for the next few years, or forever.

Or conversely, after good luck with candidates from a certain country, it is natural to look to repeat the same experience. Ease, difficulty or speed of obtaining au pair visas also varies from country to country. This factor can also dictate country choice for au pair host families.

Au pair agencies keep statistics of the percentage of au pairs from each country who drive, who are under two qualified, who are college graduates, who obtain visas. If a family wants to narrow down the choice of countries, it can be helpful to speak to the agency representative when trying to figure out candidates from which countries might be the best fit for the family childcare needs.

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