Oct. 5, 2010
-- Edina Stone, Aupair Clearing House owner and author of ‘Edina’s Blog’ constantly reviews the au pair scene to provide impartial appraisals for American host families. On writing about VideoAuPair.com she observed ‘…the great things about these videos is they are made by the au pairs themselves. They are raw, personal and enable parents to peek inside the au pair's bedroom (the 5 videos I saw took place in bedrooms) and her personality. I viewed shy au pairs, sporty and outgoing au pairs, clean and well-organized bedrooms ("neat" au pairs) and some messy bedrooms too!’
The written profiles that accompany what are usually still photographs on most au pair finder websites often resort to the same phrases. ‘Love children, travel and want to improve my language study’ is a formula it is hard for young hopefuls to break. Yet speaking to camera, the individuality the au pair comes through quite clearly.
Website owner Jane Kind was particularly pleased that genuine nature of the candidate videos was spotted in the write up.
“We only launched in the spring of this year, so it will be a small site for a while. But all the trends are in the right direction. For me, the most important thing is the individual quality of the videos and Aupair Clearing House seemed to spot that right away.”
Though VideoAuPair is designed to serve countries within Europe, American host families can use it to identify a candidate to put forward to one of the 13 Department of State au pair agencies, and comply with the Federal regulations. Within the EU, administration is easier. At most borders genuine au pairs simply need good health, some ability in the host country language, a formal written job offer and a passport that exceeds the return date plus a time margin of three months. Age limits apply, typically around the late twenties. Au pairs should have no dependents of their own.
The Au pair scheme necessitates that there is usually hundreds of miles between candidates and hirers. Video technology helps the host family see more of the prospective au pair, and draw up a more informed shortlist before the telephone or Skype interview stage.
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Video au pair introductions impress host families. Parents and children can see more of the au pair's character and hear them speak the host country language. The extra effort of making a video reassures parents with a demonstration of commitment.