A typical Pebbles Au Pair
All Pebbles’ Au Pairs are fully briefed about the Au Pair program
An Au Pair is a young person from Europe looking to learn English and discover a new culture. Although they will have some babysitting experience, they will not necessarily be looking to work in the childcare industry.
The majority of our host families welcome an Au Pair in September who stays until the following summer. The family tend to ask the Au Pair to stay until the beginning of their holiday and then arrange for their next Au Pair to arrive when they return.
We have candidates available to start all year round with most start dates being in September/October and January. The length of stay varies, but the majority of French applicants aim to finish their placement in the summer so they are back in France to start a new job or degree course in September. The Spanish and Italian candidates tend to be available for 6-12 months at any point during the year.
We always have an excellent selection of Au Pairs available in the summer (June-August).
An Au Pair is not a qualified childcarer and will not have the same level of experience or training as a nanny or a childminder. Although they must have some childcare experience and enjoy looking after children this will mainly be regular babysitting or tutoring. Some candidates may have experience working on holiday camps as an activity leader. A handful of the French applicants with have the BAFA childcare certificate.
Our French Au Pairs
We have found that the most successful placements are with candidates aged 20-24. We accept some 19 year olds who have good childcare and life experience and succeed in convincing us that they are mature enough. Although Au Pairs aged 25+ are obviously more mature and have good initiative, in our experience they can end the placement earlier than planned as they feel it’s time to start their career and find full time work. They can also experience difficulties readapting to living with “parents” even if they’re not their own!
The Au Pairs english tends to be pre-intermediate to intermediate. It’s very rare for our French Au Pairs to have advanced English.
Most Au Pairs tend to leave their country either after high school or after they have finished their studies. The Au Pair program suits school leavers and those who have completed HNC/HND or vocational diplomas (qualifications such as teaching, secretarial, flight attendant, catering, tourism, real estate, customer service etc).
Very academic students from the top universities and business schools tend to apply for programs which are more closely related to the career path they would like to follow. However, these candidates are often interested in summer positions such as the Summer Au Pair programs.
How does the profile differ for the Portuguese, Spanish and Italian Au Pairs?
The German Au Pairs like to take a year out after high school and tend to be younger, usually 18-19. Despite their young age, in our experience their placements are very successful as they speak good English already which allows them to integrate more easily into the family. Some have their driving licence but rarely have enough experience to drive in the UK. They are usually available from September for the school year or just for the summer.
Our Spanish and Italian candidates have very similar profiles. They are usually older, have good childcare experience, drive and are available for 6-12 months throughout the year.
Their English tends to be quite weak, preintermediate at best. They are very family orientated and tend to be very reliable, flexible and mature.