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How to become an au pair or professional nanny

How to become an Au pair

Au pairing in South Africa is more than a bit of a fun way to earn a living while studying, it can become a serious occupation, if you want it to. The trick is, that like any other industry, you need to constantly aim to  improve your skills and experience range. For that you need a serious passion for working with children. By becoming an au pair you are making a commitment to the families who are trusting you with their children. The most precious thing in the world to anyone, is their children and au pairing is often underestimated as an easy role.  It is a role of responsibility and always setting the example, of being a good role model while encouraging positive growth in another human being.


A good place to start is to decide with which age range you would like to work with. Once that is decided, consider, what you need to know in order to assist families with children in this range. For any age the bare minimum is first aid, and that is only the start of your studying options. Consider which courses to do and how you can gain the most experience working with this age range.

The type of work you will receive from clients is generally dependent on your experience. If you have only 1 year of experience working with 9 year olds, you will probably not be considered by clients for working with infants and toddlers, this means you will more likely find an afternoon position rather than a full day position. It is always good to try to have as wide a range of experience as possible. Volunteer in a children’s hospital, or an orphanage , become a youth group leader, learn to give swimming lessons, develop your skills to be patient and kind, loving and fun but firm. 

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