If you are thinking about embarking on the enormous adventure of becoming an au pair, take time to choose a good Agency that you will be able to rely on for backup should you need it. Millennium Au Pairs offers excellent positions with host families all over the UK but especially in London & the South East and the Home Counties.
Make sure that you go overseas under the protection of a reputable agency. It is far too risky to accept a family on the internet without even knowing the first thing about them. If you do not register with an Agency before leaving home, you could find yourself alone and unhappy in a foreign country. It will then be very hard for an overseas agency to assist you without any references & without being able to make the normal checks on your background and experience at home. Many good agencies will be forced to turn you away because you are not already registered with them.
Problems often can and do arise between an au pair and her host family. If you are registered with an agency in your home country, their UK partner will be on hand for confidential advice and support. And, if things go badly wrong, you will be moved to a new host family. Millennium Au Pairs is a member of the International Au Pair Agency Association (IAPA) and a founder member of the British Au Pair Agencies Association (BAPAA). We work with a large network of sending agencies based in the home countries and together with them we aim to ensure that you have the best possible experience.
If you would like to register through one of our overseas partner agents, please contact us for details by phone or email. We will be happy to put you in touch with them. Once they have registered you, they will send your file through to us for placement.
What can you expect from being an aupair? Make no mistake - being an aupair is not easy! You need to be prepared to take on certain everyday household tasks, involving on average 1-2 hours each day 5 days a week. You will also need to take responsibility for the family's children when required, a job which can be challenging at the beginning as the children learn to adapt to someone new & you learn their weekly routine. You will need to show them that you are committed to their well-being so that they feel safe and happy in your care. Make sure that you have quality time with the children everyday by allocating a time when you can give them your full attention. During this time do a fun activity with them that they really enjoy (bake a cake, draw, paint, make something, play outdoors, cycling, go to the park etc) As you do something fun together everyday they will quickly begin to enjoy your company and you will naturally develop a close and lasting friendship with them. Never make personal phone calls or email your friends when you are alone with the children: this sends out the message to the children that you are not interested in them and they are likely to behave badly as a result!
In exchange for helping the host family with their housework and children you can expect to have a rewarding and life-changing experience. Life in the UK is lively and fun, so get out as much as possible in your free time and visit. On arrival in the UK you will receive a Welcome Pack from our agency with telephone numbers for other aupairs in your area. Your host family will also direct you to the nearest language school where you can enrol to study English as a Foreign Language for around 4-6 hours per week with homework assignments in between. You will meet lots of other au pairs and young people at the language school so it is well worth attending. The cost of classes varies a good deal, so it is worth comparing schools. State funded schools offer free classes to nationals of the European Union.
For more advice on being a successful au pair please contact the agency.
INTERN OPPORTUNITIES: We are looking for a foreign student/intern to work at the agency in July-September 2010 and gain valuable work experience. Please contact Jackie Gallacher for more details.