How to Start an Au Pair Recruiting Business

by Vanessa Cross; Updated September 26, 2017
Portrait of a childcare professional and child

Au pair is a title for a person from another country who provides child and domestic care services in exchange for pay and housing in the host country. It is an international exchange opportunity where a family has the chance to expand their cultural exposure and obtain nanny services. An au pair recruitment service pairs interested host families with au pairs. The au pair recruiter identifies au pair candidates and host families and facilitates the exchange of information between the two. The recruitment company does not typically monitor placements after the au pair and host family are paired.

Step 1

Create a business plan. In the plan, list international resources for identifying au pair recruits and U.S. host families. Also, identify competitor au pair recruiting companies. The business plan is also the place where a calculation of a cost budget for the business can be performed.

Step 2

Locate au pairs seeking U.S. host families. Contact cultural exchange organizations in foreign countries and establish partnerships with foreign au pair agencies to exchange au pair candidates. Join organizations such as the International Au Pair Association (IAPA). Additionally, set up a website where applications can be submitted online by potential au pairs.

Step 3

Conduct screenings of au pairs by examining the candidate’s resume and conduct background and reference checks. Check criminal records, credit and driving reports, and education and job histories. Contract with an agency in the au pair’s home country to have drug and alcohol testing and fingerprinting performed. Check profiles on social network sites and blogs to gain further insight into a potential au pair’s character. Alternatively, use background check and prescreening agencies that specialize in the au pair industry such as Great Au Pair.

Step 4

Locate families who seek au pair services. Advertise services in parent and culture exchange publications. Also, conduct background checks on the parents seeking an au pair to insure that they are qualified, honest, and able to properly accommodate the au pair and pay for services upon her arrival to the U.S.

Step 5

Assist the au pair with obtaining the necessary temporary visa for the U.S. stay. This important step is technical in nature and involves knowledge of immigration law. It may be outsourced to a qualified agency that processes temporary visas for such cultural exchanges.

Tips

  • Check the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs for federal regulations, qualification, and registry requirements for au pairs.

Warnings

  • Obtain business insurance coverage.

    Privacy and consumer protection laws apply to employment screening procedures. .

About the Author

Vanessa Cross has practiced law in Tennessee and lectured as an adjunct professor on law and business topics. She has also contributed as a business writer to news publications such as the "Chicago Tribune" and published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Cross holds a B.A. in journalism, a Juris Doctor and an LL.M. in international business law.

Photo Credits

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