An Interview with a family

Article reviewed: 2013/01/17 | Next review due: 2014/08/05

A young mother of three children, Leonora and her family hire the services of au pairs to help care for her children. She recounts her experiences as a host family:

What is your name and profession?

My name is Leonora, I am a housewife and I have three children.

Can you explain how you found your au pair? Did you go through an agency and how does it work?

The first time we hired someone, we went through an agency. I can not remember their name (International Au Pair, I think). The agency was very efficient, but the au pair, however, was not very good. I decided not to employ an au pair without meeting them in person. After that, we used gumtree. The au pair was excellent and work for us for a year, we all cried when she left! The other two times we used the site – and excellent site. It's very easy to find an au pair but it was difficult for us to replace our previous au pairs. Now we no longer need au pair.

With Gumtree, we just placed an ad on the site and the au pair answered directly, without any intermediaries. It's very simple and fast, as long as you receive responses.

With Aupairsuk, you must pay 100 euros for unlimited searches on their database. It takes a little longer to find the right person because they are often already employed elsewhere.

How many people live in your family? What ages are your children?

We are 5 in total: my husband, myself and my three children ages 7, 4 and 2 years.

Why did you choose to have an au pair to care for your children?

Because I stay home most of the time and I needed extra help to care for my baby when he was little.

What about your experience with your different au pairs? What did having an au pair bring to your family?

A good au pair can bring so much to a family like ours. Our children get more attention than I can give just by myself, and we get the opportunity to get out more. It is also very interesting to learn new things about other countries.

Who would be the perfect au pair for you?

Well, we've had her! Her name is Ines and she’s from Poland. She was very cheerful and happy and we were never made to feel that we made mistakes with our children. She was very quiet but was an integral part of the family. She was also studying at university so she still had time to de her own things. That's why she left, to start her new career.

If you had a bad experience with an au pair, can you tell us what happened and why?

Our first au pair came because I'd just broken my leg and I have an 18-month old baby. She was a nice girl who had previously been an au pair, but she could not adjust to our family. Then she got sick, so we decided she had better go home.


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