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Yes I said it: Don't become an au pair! And do I mean it? Nope! Not really; hang on, though, you’ll see where I’m coming from as you read through this page. Now that I have your undivided attention, this is what I really meant to say, "Don't apply to work as an au pair, don't become an au pair IF..."

Children? Uurgh! You just cannot stand them! Children? Uurgh! You just cannot stand them!

Obvious right? But it has to be said. If you have a profound dislike for children, then for the sake of all involved (especially the children!), do not become an au pair! If on the other hand yours if simply a case of not knowing how to interact with and care for children and you do not dislike children, then you may not be "beyond salvation".

You nevertheless have to be open to acquiring the necessary childcare experience through some of the ways already discussed under point 1 of "Road map to au pairing" (Reflect on your child care experience or get some!).

You're expecting to become a millionaire from your au pair remuneration... You're expecting to become a millionaire from your au pair remuneration...

...which by the way, is in many countries considered to be au pair "pocket money" and not an au pair salary. And au pair pocket money it is! While living and working in France, I received about 60 euros a week as au pair pocket money. It is important to note that if you are going to attend language school (as I did), then the bulk of your au pair pocket money, if not all of it, will go to catering for your language training fees.

Of course many au pairs are able to negotiate with their host families, who accept to pay for the au pair's language training fees in one instalment, and to then deduct a given amount from the au pair's weekly pocket money.

For most au pair destination countries, au pair enrolment for language training is not an option. It is mandatory,and failure to enrol yourself for language training may lead to you having your application for a residence permit rejected.
So, don't become an au pair if you are just into it for the pocket money!

You have an SSPI (Serious Secret Personal Issue) that is bound to come to light eventually... You have an SSPI (Serious Secret Personal Issue) that is bound to come to light eventually...

That would be a super risky venture that is likely to play havoc with your au pair life and/or your plans for becoming an au pair.

As an example, here's a happening I would like to share with you. In my first year as an au pair, I was acquainted with an expectant au pair who was obliged to return to her home country barely a month after beginning her stay with her au pair host family. A fortnight after our first meeting, she told me that she was a little over twelve weeks pregnant. I asked her why she had chosen to become an au pair even after finding out that she was pregnant, and she explained that she was hoping to convince her au pair host family to let her bring up her future newborn alongside the family's one-year old son, whom she was genuinely devoted to.

She felt that becoming an au pair, maintaining her au pair life and au pair plans, was the only way she could guarantee a decent future for her child. Unfortunately, when she disclosed her situation to her au pair host family, they did not at all appreciate the fact that she had chosen to keep this information from them during the contract signing period. They immediately terminated the au pair contract and literally ejected her out of their home.

Unfortunately (again), both of us being very new to the region where we lived, neither of us had any idea where to seek legal and social support for her. In a sad turn of events, there being no hopes of her signing another au pair contract, she flew back to her home country within a week of disclosing her pregnancy to he host family.

I sincerely sympathise(d) with her since she had clearly invested a lot of time, money, and home country family support, in this short-lived au pair project. In conclusion, I would recommend to you the following two points: Firstly, be realistic about the expectations you have of your au pair project and au pair life. Secondly, be as up front as possible about yourself and your personal situation. Avoid concealing information that might have a disastrous outcome on your au pair life and au pair project in general. Observing these two points would save you and your au pair host family a lot of heart ache and disappointment. Heck, if you have a third eye behind your head, ;-) tell it to them at the right time!

You have a low opinion of Care and Domestic work... You have a low opinion of Care and Domestic work...

I hope this one does not apply to you :-) Anyway, you are here reading the content of this website, so I presume that as someone who is looking into becoming an au pair, you agree that domestic and care work, such as that done by au pairs, nannies, parents, you and I, is indeed WORK!

Do remember that as an au pair, you will not only look after children, but you will most likely also be expected to do a minimum amount of household chores. This may include cooking, doing the children's laundry and ironing, some light cleaning and tidying up of parts of the house...Also, bear in mind that no host family wants a “Princess Au Pair” ! Lastly, don't forget that all responsibilities and duties expected of you would normally be stipulated in your au pair contract.

Now that you are thinking about the future, there's no time like the present to think about what direction to take once your au pairing period comes to an end.:-) Read on... Life After Au pairing; think about it now!

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