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  /  Au Pairs   /  What does it take to become an Au Pair?
Become an au pair

What does it take to become an Au Pair?

It is widely known that early childhood development sets the foundation for lifelong learning, health and behaviour. The fundamental experiences a youngster has during their childhood shapes their capacity to learn, understand and respond to the world around them, and as such it is vital that they are cared for, nurtured and encouraged to be the best versions of themselves they can be. Being an au pair comes with great responsibility, and also requires a great deal of trust between the families and au pairs. This is why it is essential that one has the right experience and qualifications for the job. Here, we discuss the basic requirements needed in order to become an au pair.

Formal Requirements

  • Drivers Licence
  • Matric Certificate
  • Reliable Car
  • Previous Childcare Experience (Formal)
  • Contactable References
  • A Clear Criminal Record

Characteristics and Personality Traits of an Au Pair

Beyond the formal requirements for becoming an au pair, it is essential that you possess the important characteristics needed to guarantee your successful placement and positive experience. Here at SA Cares, we are committed to providing families with au pairs that are not only well-suited to their children, but also engender our values of compassion, care and dedication to excellence.

Passion for children – Here at SA Cares, we consider child care an avenue to fulfil one’s passion for working with children, and not merely a form of income. Along these lines, it is essential that, as an au pair, you cultivate a positive and compassionate attitude towards children. It is a necessity that you provide children with a kind and nurturing environment; a space that stimulates them through functional play and learning, and provides them with a feeling of security in order to support their proper development.

Punctuality and Reliability – First and foremost, being punctual demonstrates professionalism and gives off a good impression. However more importantly, it is vital to create a sense of stability and security for the children, and to make sure they are always at their appointments, activities and goings-on when expected. As such, when you become an au pair, it is essential that you practise regular punctuality and reliability. This will also strengthen one’s relationship with the children and their families.

Consistency – Consistency means purposefully choosing how you are going to engage with, and respond to a child. This creates a sense of security for the children, and helps them to recognise boundaries that have been put in place. When you become an au pair, it is essential that your behaviour and attitude towards the children does not vary over time. Consistency in every day routines, structures and rules also helps children organise and integrate their external environment, thus assisting them in gaining a richer understanding of what behaviour is considered acceptable and appropriate.

Communication – When you become an au pair, it is vital that you are entirely transparent and open to communication, both with the children and their families. Clear communication helps build appropriate foundations of trust and familiarity between you and the family and also helps avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings, confusion or unwanted tension. Along these lines, it is important to never assume anything. Instead, be verbal and ask questions in order to fully understand a situation or circumstance.

Creativity – Caring for children requires a great deal of inspired thinking. It is important to keep children captivated in everything they do, in order to cultivate valuable learning environments. Whether it is to entertain the children, teach them a lesson or enhance their imaginations, one should have the ability to think outside the box. In addition to this, creative learning is fundamental for the formal development of a child as it encourages the building of knowledge and skills development through creative techniques.

Friendly – Caring for children can become tiresome at times, and may cause a great deal of frustration in difficult situations or circumstances. It is important that you maintain a positive, upbeat energy and attitude. Everyone needs someone they can vent experiences, problems, thoughts and feelings to, even at a young age. Maintaining a friendly and approachable nature will ensure you build a trustful and sincere relationship with the children, where they feel they can approach you with anything that bothers them.

To find out more about how to become a successful au pair, get in touch with SA Cares today. We are a leading provider of quality childcare solutions within South Africa and would love to have you join our team.