The hardest part done – making the decision to get an Au Pair, I was now on the hunt.
Thankfully I knew a couple of other mums with Au Pairs, and they were able to share with me their mountain of advice, including which agency to use.
Can I just say – what a fantastic experience. Sooo user friendly. They don’t overwhelm you with too much information at the beginning, but are always checking in to see if you are going ok and explain the next step.
The first step was to register as a ‘family’ which included writing a letter to the ‘Au Pair’ telling them all about our family, from who everyone is to what a typical day looks like (never the same I explained) .. ha ha.
You also provide a number of photos.
These are all uploaded onto the Smart Aupairs website – but can only be viewed by registered Au Pairs who have been ‘matched’ to your profile.
Once you have completed all of the paperwork the agency will chat with you to reconfirm your requirements.
There are different skill levels to choose from, which include how well the potential Au Pair speaks English to their child care capabilities. You can also choose which country you would like your Au Pair to come from.
After your chat, and a check of your ID, the agency will load around 5-6 Au Pair applications that they feel will match your families requirements into your ‘account’ so that you can view them online.
Each applicant has also written a letter to potential families about themselves and provides photos and a CV of sorts.
I wasn’t that excited by the Au Pairs that were listed initially, but I chose 2 to interview and I asked the agency for some further matches. Feeling inspired with the new listings, I chose another 2 to interview.
To arrange an interview you simply email the Au Pair and arrange a suitable time.
I interviewed all 4 of mine via Skype over the weekend, and made a decision the same day. Although I would have been happy with a couple of them, there was one stand out to me.
I emailed the Au Pair to ask her if she would like to join our family, and she did. Hooray.
From here our Au Pair was sent instructions on booking flights and applying for visa’s, and we were sent instructions on ‘getting ready for our Au Pair to arrive’…and on that note, it’s time for me to start getting ready for her.
I would have to say that when I was first told the process, even just the thought of writing a family letter and getting photos together seemed like too much effort! But the whole process from when I first filled in the application online to confirming offering the role to my Au Pair was around one week. I could have done it quicker, as Smart Aupairs are very very efficient, but I just had to fit in the process around our schedule. Still – I was very happy with the week.
Read more about Smart Au Pairs online at www.smartaupairs.com.au
Next post: #3 Meet Anouk
Image credits www.avatargeneration.com (pretty cool if your kids like science)