Stay safe on the net – how to be a smart au pair
Becoming an au pair is an exciting new chapter in your life. You are moving to a new country, you will get to know a new family and will certainly meet new friends. When arriving at the host family you might feel a little bit lost but will gradually get familiar with the new environment. What you can do limit the insecurity is to be smart in the matching process and make preparations for your arrival in the new country and family.
It is very enjoyable to look around for great host families and always nice to be contacted by families who are interested in you as their new au pair. When you have applied to a host family they can view your contact details (e-mail and phone number) and thyey can contact you directly. Remember only families you have chosen to apply to can view these details.
When judging if a family is a good family match for you, listen to your gut feeling AND follow advice and checklists. Make sure you and your own family feels a 100% confident about the new host family by following this check list.
Safety online check list:
- Firstly keep contact per e-mail to get to know the family a little bit more. Ask them more questions about the au pair job and the children.
- Have a first interview by phone or use Skype. When using Skype, ask the family to use a web camera and make sure you meet the whole family. Let your own parents have a talk with the host family.
- Ask the family for contact details to their previous au pairs. The au pair can then tell you more about the family, maybe they are Scandinavian too!
- Don’t stress booking a flight to the family; make sure you know the family well first!
- Never send personal data as bank details.
- If a family has put their e-mail adress directly in their message or ad and are asking you to write to them, do not write to them directly. Sites can then not track the contact between the au pair and the family in case of a scam.
Preparation check list:
- Ask the family about the surroundings in their area, for example are there any language schools nearby or any Scandinavian organisation in the area (for eg. The Swedish church).
- Collect as much information as possible about your new town or city.
- Ask the family if they know other families with au pairs, get in contact with them in advance.
- Meet new friends on a chat forum for au pairs from your country.
Skype is a communication tool on the Internet. It is very useful when talking to people all over the world and it is great to have a web camera so you can see each other. You can down load Skype here, it’s for free.
We are checking each family and au pair on the site to make sure only serious families and au pairs are registered members. But if anything feels suspicious about a family on the site, please contact us on email@example.com and we will act immediately.
» Techniques when interviewing au pair candidates