Buckinghamshire – Au Pair & Host Mums Meeting!

“12 au pairs and 10 host mums met last night at the welcome meeting. Most were Smart au pairs families. We had a great time. I hope you enjoy the pictures! Lindsey”

Lindsey has been a smartaupairs host mum for several years now and is among many host families we currently have in Buckinghamshire!

We think it is a great idea to get the other host mums and au pairs together – see the pictures from the event below:

Buckinghamshire host families
Buckinghamshire host families
Buckinghamshire au pairs
Buckinghamshire au pairs

How to register your au pair with Ofsted

A number of our host families have enquired about registering their au pair with Ofsted in order to make use of childcare vouchers.

There are many different stages to Ofsted registration and it can be a fairly lengthy process (usually 12-14 weeks). Please note that the process cannot begin until your au pair has arrived in the UK.

break for fruits

Current guidance on the subject from the British Au Pair Agencies Association (BAPAA) is as follows:

  • The au pair or nanny should call Ofsted and tell them that they want to become registered under the voluntary Ofsted registration scheme for home-based childcare.
  • Ofsted will send out a form in the post to be filled in.
  • The form must be returned with a valid Paediatric First Aid Certificate (further information below).
  • Ofsted will carry out a police check (even if the au pair already has a CRB).
  • If the person has lived in the UK for less than 5 years, then he/she will have to get a ‘good conduct letter/ certificate’ from his/her embassy which needs to be written in English or translated into English by an authorised translator. This depends on the country of origin of the au pair or nanny, so check with Ofsted first. Ofsted confirm that it is also acceptable for the au pair or nanny to get a police check from their country of origin and send it to Ofsted, but it must be an official document, on letter-headed paper, stamped and translated into English by an authorised translator.
  • Ofsted will then send through another form (called a verify form) that must be taken to the post office, together with a form of ID (eg passport) so that their identity can be checked.
  • The application fee, currently £103, must be paid.
  • Annually, on the anniversary of the registration with Ofsted, the fee becomes payable again, as long as the au pair wants to remain Ofsted-registered.
  • The au pair also needs a childcare (or similar) qualification from their home country, or from the UK, which is equivalent to level 2, or they must enrol on a Common Core Skills and Knowledge course (further information below).
  • The au pair is also required to have personal public liability insurance, most households have an insurance which would not cover the au pair if she has an accident so she would need to acquire on of her own.

Smartaupairs recommends Babyem’s Ofsted compliant courses:

Common Core Skills and Knowledge Training


The common core skills course is accredited at level 3 through Open College Network, providing au pairs registering with Ofsted with an official childcare qualification and covers the 6 common core skills areas required by Ofsted.

These areas are:

  • Communicating with children, young people, their parents and carers
  • Child and young person development
  • Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child
  • Supporting transitions
  • Multi-agency working
  • Sharing information

Ofsted compliant Paediatric First Aid


The paediatric first aid course covers all the necessary requirements for registration with Ofsted. Course content is as follows:

  • Planning for first aid
  • Dealing with Emergencies
  • Resuscitation of babies and children
  • Recognising and dealing with shock
  • Anaphylactic shock/Electric Shock
  • Bleeding, burns and scalds
  • Choking
  • Fractures

What every host mum needs to know!

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10 top tips to au pair success

With so many people discovering the benefits of hosting an au pair, we thought we would help with our simple Top 10 tips for au pair success.

1 Be realistic; she is not supernanny…

Your au pair will try her best but it she is not a childcare expert. Don’t expect perfection from day one. Prepare a handbook and guide her with your know-how.

2 Saving time makes sense

The number one benefit of having an extra paid of hands in your home is saving time; enjoy gaining more quality time with your family and maybe even with your partner.

3 Why mums love the au pair program

Hosting an au pair generally costs at least 50% less than any other help with childcare or light housework. In exchange, she may need some extra time to get familiar with her duties.

4 Don’t make assumptions

Give clear and specific instructions; use to-do lists, timetables and ‘how-to’ guides for more complex tasks. Why not take pictures of the full school uniform and the perfect lunch box?

5 Invest time in training & developing

Prepare a handbook. Talk her through it page by page, then show her task by task. Talk about safety with the help of our Child Safety Guide.

6 Split and share your tasks = teamwork

Treat your au pair as a member of the family. Split and share light housework & cooking to avoid au pair overload (and maybe get a cleaner for the ‘heavy duty’ stuff)

7 Build trust & show interest

Build up trust and try not to micro-manage. Build a relationship through regular communication. Ask about her day with the kids, the friends she has made and her plans for the weekend.

8 Give praise for a job well done

Receiving praise will make your au pair feel valued and help her gain confidence. It will strengthen your relationship and make her want to go the extra mile…

9 Always pay on time

Paying your au pair on time every week will help her budget for her personal time, away fro the family. Free time is critical to re-charge her batteries to start the next week with a smile J

10 Have fun and learn from each other

Have fun and enjoy time with your au pair. Ask about her family, home, hobbies, studies and her future plans. Most au pairs have inspiring ambitions and a gap year is only the beginning!

Are you thinking of getting an au pair to help in your family?

UK families can register here for au au pair

Australian families can register here for an au pair

How to Find, Train and Keep the Best Au Pair for Your Family by Nicole Kofkin

Au Pair success
Pocket Guide to Au Pair Success

Our book is nearly finished, the editor has finished the first 2 parts and part 3 and 4 have been promised by tomorrow 🙂

Is this au pair book right for me??

This introductory guide is written with first-time host families in mind. If you are new to au pair hosting or what you know is only from “a friend of a friend,” this guide is for you. It includes step-by-step instructions on how to get started and get it right. After reading it, you will know if au pair hosting is the right childcare solution for your family and how to go about finding the right au pair.

 The book will be an e-book in an easy to print A5 format. It has been designed to be easy to read ‘on-the-go’ on your phone or ipad. Cant wait to hear your feedback. As soon as we have the book, we will let you know how you can get your free copy.

Are you thinking of getting an au pair to help in your family?

UK families can register here for au au pair

Australian families can register here for an au pair