Hey everyone and welcome back! Today we will be talking about the actual application of being an Au Pair. I will just be discussing the application specific to Au Pair in America as I have recently completed my second time application. I will also be giving you some tips and tricks when it comes to specific things.
Your application is broken down into specific sections and each section is broken up again.
- Application Form
So this is just the part where it gives you space to fill out basic information such as name; age; birth date. It also asks you about your hobbies; family life etc. This is a large chunk of your application so my suggestion is take it slow and answer the questions truthfully and in as much detail as you can.
- Childcare Experience:
This is when you suck up to everyone whose children you looked after. It says that you should have 2 references, but my suggestion is to have more than that. Family does not count so what I did was have 3-5 references and one of them was family. You can add as many childcare hours as you want (as long as they are not made up) and add a reference where applicable. The more diverse your childcare hours are, the better the applications look when it comes to a family’s perspective.
- Dear Host Family Letter:
This was probably the hardest part of the application for me. In the beginning it was because I didn’t like essays, now it’s like ugh, I have done this so many times, do I REALLY HAVE to do this?? The answer is simple: Yes. This gives the family an a front seat into your head and to see what you expect from them and what your real reason is for going to America. Is it to travel? Is it to sit in bed and watch Netflix everyday? Obviously you will not say that to them but they can judge you by the way your letter is written, which is why this is the scary part for me.
“This is what the agency says when it comes to writing the essay:
This should be more than 600 words long. Things to include are:
- Who you are (your family and friends)
- What your hobbies and interests are
- Discuss your childcare experience and the children you cared for. Explain why and how you enjoyed the experience and what you learned from it.
- Tell them what you hope to gain from your experience on the program. What interests you about American families, children and culture?
This is your chance to show off your personality. so make it something you can be proud of.”
If you want to read my various letters (I have a bunch) comment and I will do a separate blog post on them 🙂 I also think it is super important to always redo your letters once a year or whenever you apply because you change so much over the year, especially since you look after kids; your preferences might change and that is okay. Just be open and honest.
Fun Fact: The last letter I just did, I had to do TWICE because the first one did not save and my laptop crashed midway. I was in a cafe and I literally threw my phone down and gave up. That essay was 1000 words so yeah, I was not happy.
The agency always suggests loading about 4 photo’s. None of them should be posed. Action shots are the best shots when you are with kids and it shows that you are interactive with them and not actually just posing with them.
1- Family photo
2 + 3- You with some kids
4- You with friends.
This is an important one: Look at your social media. Does it have photos of you drinking? Wasted? Doing something that doesn’t seem too good? You should probably delete it. Before you get angry and tell me that ‘everyone drinks;’ ‘everyone has a crazy night sometimes.’
Yes, this is true. Look at it from the parents view though, would you be happy with someone who is drunk a lot and proudly shows it off on social media looking after your kids? Would you be okay with someone who smokes, look after your kid? It seems a bit judgemental but there have been cases where parents actually ask for a rematch because they saw their AuPairs getting completely wasted on social media.
At the end of the day, don’t friend your host family on social media when you are there and clean up your social media. People look at it and that is actually how my current family found me, by going on my social media and reading my blogs.
Yes, having a video is an actual thing and it is vital you ACTUALLY have one for a lot of agencies. I can’t say much more on it, but basically what I did was talk about the same points that I had in my “Dear Host Family Letter.” This is what APiA says about it:
“Your video clip should be 1-2 minutes long. IMPORTANT: Please DO NOT exceed 3 minutes. If your video is more than 3 minutes, it will be rejected. Use your video to tell host families something about yourself, such as details about your childcare experience, what you like doing in your free time, or why you can’t wait to be an Au Pair in America.”
- Other Documents:
There are some other things that you need that do not really fit into anything else.
1- Character Reference: You need someone to basically tell everyone that you are actually a decent person and would be good to look after their kids. You cannot have a family member do this so the best is probably a friend or someone at work/a teacher.
2- Criminal Record: This is fairly simple, you have to go to the police and take your finger prints. They will then send you a certificate saying ‘yay, you are not a criminal’ and that will be that. If you have a criminal record for any reason, you will NOT be considered into the program.
3- Drivers License: You need a valid license to be able to AuPair as most of America runs on driving cars from A to B
4- Medical Report: You need to go to the Dr to be cleared and viewed as fit to AuPair. It is fairly simple and the Dr just has to sign some stuff and you will be on your way.
That is about it when it comes to your application. It seems like a lot and in all honesty, it is but fairly simple to get done quickly which is great!
If you have any questions about it or are currently doing your application, feel free to message me and I will be able to help where I can! Also, check out my last post here. It talks about all the LEGAL agencies!