We are often asked what attributes or characteristics make for a good Au Pair. The truth is, it is impossible to generalise. Everyone is different and most people have different strengths, but whether these strengths are recognised is largely down to what characteristics are valued by the family themselves. Of course, at a minimum, using an agency like Rainbow Au Pairs, will ensure that the most unsuitable candidates are removed before families see them. But beyond this, what constitutes a good Au Pair is a matter of taste.
That said, we have had the opportunity to assess a great many candidates, and to stand back and see which types of Au Pair are seemingly more successful in settling in with their families. What follows is not definitive, and any candidate can still be successful without all these attributes. Remember, no candidate can have all these attributes without being super human!
Personality Smiley, happy, bubbly Au Pairs usually are well appreciated.
Maturity Mature and confident enough to resolve issues by themselves with the family.
Humour Someone who can laugh and not be phased by the British way of life!
Adaptable Being adaptable to changing requirements, but also to family life, including the food they eat.
Deal with Kids Being able to understand kids on their level, to communicate with them and not be phased by them when they are difficult.
Multi tasking Being able to deal with the kids, cleaning and household duties interchangeably.
Self Improvement Someone who appreciates and genuinely wants to be here, and to improve themselves. Having an interest in childcare as a potential career is a definite advantage although certainly not essential.
Extroverts People who make friends easily, wherever they are generally settle into their environment much more quickly.
Patience with Kids This is essential, although not easy. The more successful Au Pairs find a way to get through to irritable and disobedient children without resorting to shouting. Good Au Pairs will learn to play and discipline children in the way parents are most comfortable.
Altruistic Someone who really values the opportunities to fit become part of a welcoming family and is not just here to earn some money!
Intelligent Profiling of Au Pairs Rainbow Au Pairs assesses all our candidates prior to recommending them to our families. Where possible, we ask candidates to complete a personality test which informs our decision to represent them. Our assessment also includes understanding the type of Au Pair role they are most suited to.