I am a mother, traveler, and experienced au pair. I love sharing my experiences with readers online.
Having personally used GreatAuPair to find a job as an au pair, I highly recommend it. To learn more about this site and why I think it’s a fantastic resource for both au pairs and parents alike, read on
What Is GreatAuPair?
GreatAuPair is an online agency that matches care providers with families and families with care providers. Though GreatAuPair started out only offering an avenue for au pairs and nannies, its service now extends to include pet sitters, tutors, housekeepers, senior care, and personal assistants.
What Is an Au Pair?
Some of you might be wondering, what is the difference between an au pair and a nanny? The biggest difference between an au pair and a nanny is that an au pair is seeking a cultural exchange and is generally not interested in making childcare a long-term career, whereas a nanny typically has more childcare experience and is seeking a more long-term career through childcare.
GreatAuPair: Services and Costs
It is free to sign up and create a profile at GreatAuPair. It is also free to search profiles for both families and care providers, and if a family or caregiver reaches out and emails you, it is free for you to respond to them, as long as they are paying customers. So, it's possible that you could get a job through GreatAuPair without having to pay anything at all.
Usually, families seeking care providers will purchase a subscription because a subscription is required to email candidates, receive and view photo and video galleries, perform interviews, and receive background checks. GreatAuPair provides four subscription packages:
- Free: You can create a profile, view profiles, and respond to emails for free.
- $45 for 1 Month: With this subscription, you can email and interview candidates, view photo and video galleries, and also receive a free background check for U.S. national care providers.
- $99 for 3 Months: This subscription provides all the same services as the 1-month subscription except you get a discounted price.
- $162 for 6 Months: The 6-month subscription plan gives a deeper discount and provides all the services offered in the 1- and 3-month plans, in addition to GreatAuPair.com's "Hiring Success Guarantee."
Paying subscribers may receive free care provider background checks. These background checks include: U.S. State criminal, Federal Sex Offender, and SSN background checks for U.S. national care providers. GreatAuPair also provides the following background checks for a fee:
- Motor Vehicle Report: $45 U.S. State, $85 Canadian national
- Reference Checks: $85, U.S. or Canada, up to three references
- International Records Search: price varies by country
6 Pros About GreatAuPair
As an experienced user of GreatAuPair, I have made a list of the things I found particularly great about the site.
1. Organized and User-Friendly
GreatAuPair is a well-organized website. There is a lot of information on their site, which, fortunately, is organized well. Though there is a large amount of content to navigate, I have found the website to be user-friendly and easy to understand.
2. Wide Reach of Opportunities
If you are an au pair seeking an international experience, you can find a job anywhere in the entire world you might wish you go through GreatAuPair. There are all types of families and care providers, who all have different needs and requirements, so there is sure to be someone to meet your specific needs (e.g. part-time, full-time, live in or out, duties required, duration of employment, salary requirements, etc.). For families who are seeking care providers, there are tons of qualified candidates to choose from.
That is, depending on the service that you choose. It's free to post, free to search and free background checks are provided for subscribers. Many care providers can find work through GreatAuPair without paying anything, as it is free to respond to emails that are sent to you by paying subscribers.
4. Childcare Resources
The website is full of useful information, some of which includes:
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- How to find a nanny or babysitter
- Interview questions
- Nanny and au pair contracts
- Immigration services
- Child care salary calculator, and more!
5. Thorough Background Checks for Families
When searching for someone to help take care of the people you love, it is especially important to check backgrounds and references. GreatAuPair offers a variety of options to ensure you make the best decision for you and your family.
GreatAuPair works hard to protect your privacy and provides many tools on its website to help you and your family stay safe while searching for jobs and/or care providers online. They also provide you with articles to help you learn how to identify and avoid scams and identity theft.
4 Cons About GreatAuPair
Like every service, GreatAuPair does have some downsides. Here are four things about the program that some could consider problematic.
Though sometimes you can find jobs or caregivers through GreatAuPair without paying, some people may find the subscription cost too expensive. Personally, I feel that it is worth it to pay for a subscription because you are given all the tools necessary to make a good hiring decision, which is worth it in long the run.
Of course, there is always a risk when dealing with people online. GreatAuPair has some great articles on how to avoid scams and identity theft while searching for care providers or jobs. There is also the risk of hiring someone who ends up not being a good fit, but this is a challenge in any dynamic between an employee and employer.
For this reason, make sure you spend the time to get to know your candidate(s) and thoroughly check their backgrounds and references.
3. Free Background Checks for U.S. Nationals Only
You can order international record checks; however, they are far more expensive. This may make it more difficult for international au pairs wishing to find jobs, as well as more of a financial burden on families interested in hiring someone from abroad.
Subscriptions are auto-renewed unless canceled. This is pretty typical of subscription services, but it can be frustrating to pay an extra month or more just because you forgot to cancel on time. Make a note in your calendar to remind yourself to cancel the subscription before the auto-renewal happens.
My Personal Review of GreatAuPair
I personally used GreatAuPair a few years back and found the opportunity to be an au pair in Italy. I had just graduated from high school and it was the perfect time for me to take a little break and explore the world.
Being an au pair was something that I had never considered, until my sister, who had used GreatAuPair to find a job in New Zealand, recommended the site to me. I decided to sign up just for fun, because it was free and I thought it might be interesting to see where I could go.
Within a few weeks, I had received initial contact from several different families. When I received the email from the family in Italy, I knew in my gut that I should take that opportunity.
I worked as a live-in au pair, which means I lived with the family and all of my expenses except personal costs were covered. Staying with the family gave me a much nicer place to stay than I could have afforded on my own. On top of it all, I was earning money. Not a lot, but enough to happily explore the Italian countryside during my time off and thoroughly enjoy my time spent there.
It was through GreatAuPair that I found this amazing opportunity, and I would highly recommend this site to anyone seeking caregiving jobs, especially au pairs seeking to travel abroad.
Tips for Using GreatAuPair
- If you don't want to pay for a subscription, be patient. Make sure you have completed your profile fully. Create a video and post a lot of pictures. Be honest about yourself, your expectations, and what you like and don't like. Many times, a paying subscriber will reach out to you.
- ALWAYS complete the background and reference checks.
- If you hire an au pair or nanny that needs help with travel expenses, use a trusted travel agency or agree to reimburse them once they get there to help avoid scams.
- Be sure to spend some time interviewing and getting to know families and/or candidates before you hire them. Create a nanny/au pair/babysitter contract to protect yourself.
- Good luck and have fun!
I give GreatAuPair a 5-star rating. I believe the benefits outweigh the negatives discussed above. In addition, I had a great experience using GreatAuPair, as did my sister. I highly recommend this site for families and care providers alike. I especially recommend this site to anyone interested in traveling and working abroad for a period of time.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
host parents on July 06, 2020:
Don't use Great AuPair. It is one of the smallest agencies and they are completely unhelpful.
Irene Palapuz on June 20, 2020:
I am a Filipino, i hope someone could help me i am seeking a job long time, i apply here too..i wish someone get i am hardworking and dedicated to my work i will love you and serve you as do my responsibilities..i love taking care children and old ages..i finished my education too but its hard for me to travel because i dont have enough cash for these..i wish someone could have a good heart
Edwina Koch on April 03, 2020:
Au PAiring has brought an amazing cultural exchange to our family. We use to have a nanny but through inviting French Au Pairs with the help of the Agency Au Pair Butrfly https://www.aupairbutrfly.com/en/host-an-aupair our kids have been able to learn French!
Greataupair on November 05, 2019:
Is a total scam
Ndam Aichetou on September 05, 2019:
Hi, I'm in Cameroon searching for an aupair or nanny job in Germany, USA, Belgium or Italy. Please help me out,
hubbie711 on June 24, 2019:
I agree with Cheriefelos that GreatAuPair is a scam.
We paid almost five thousand of dollars up front to GreatAuPairUSA, which they claimed they would use to help the au pair get a visa. In actuality, GreatAuPairUSA pocketed the money and did nothing to help the au pair get her visa. Our au pair candidate told us that many times she tried to ask them for help with her visa application, and they wouldn't even answer the phone. In the end, she never got a visa and we never got an au pair.
We asked GreatAuPair for a refund of the money we gave them, since they did not do what they promised. They delayed and delayed. Eventually, after we threatened to dispute it via our credit card, they agreed to refund us minus a $500 fee. That refund still hasn't arrived--I think they are just trying to run out the clock so they can avoid refunding.
There are tons of reputable and honest au pair agencies out there, but GreatAuPair isn't one. Learn from us and choose somebody else.
Alicia on August 17, 2018:
Do they do background checks for people who live in England
Cheriefelos on January 05, 2018:
I believe that the website, GreatAuPair, is largely a scam. I believe they have posted people as candidates that are really not that and they are really not looking for jobs. Having been in contact with some of them I would say that it would be so easy to make up these kinds of people and have families pay for subscriptions ....
Rosemarie on October 23, 2017:
I am a Filipino, is there any possibilities that i will be hire?
alpha on August 24, 2015:
hi i'm looking for a job pls help me im here in belgium 28 years old.
Jenna Estefan (author) from Seattle, WA on September 15, 2013:
Hi Karima. Unless you are a US resident, you have to be between the ages of 18-26 to be eligible for the J-1 AuPair visa in the US. You can consider getting a student visa and attending some classes in New York, though I'm unsure of the specific requirements for international students wanting to study in the US. Maybe consider other countries to work in as we'll. There are some amazing countries that are much easier to get visas for.
KARIMA on September 13, 2013:
hello i would like to know if i can be a au pair in new york im 28years orld with no degre but with good reference as a au pair and a nanny
Jenna Estefan (author) from Seattle, WA on February 27, 2013:
Good question, Leela. GreatAuPair has some really helpful information on their website about obtaining visas. They have partner agencies around the world that can help with the visa process. I found that usually the families would take care of the visas, although getting a visa for the US is a little more complicated than in other countries. I would to the website a have a look in the immigration services section for more information regarding visas.
Leela on February 26, 2013:
Hi, thanks for the post. I was an Au-pair for two years in california. But, another agency, which was pretty low paid and the agency used 50% of your salary. But the families were great. And, the agency paid my trip to the USA and the Visa was all right up set. So, my question is, if you know what happens if yu want to be an au pair in the US? What about the visa? Who is dealing that?
Jenna Estefan (author) from Seattle, WA on November 10, 2012:
Thanks L.L.! If I didn't have my own little munchkin to worry about, I would do it again in a heartbeat.
L.L. Woodard from Oklahoma City on November 08, 2012:
I'm glad to learn your experience as an au pair was a positive one. The site sounds like a useful tool for providers and families alike.
Voted up and Shared.