Results from our Au Pair Survey are in!

A member of the Smartaupairs team contacts every au pair in the very early stages of their placement to see how they are settling in. As the majority of our au pairs begin their placements in August/September, we also sent out a survey to all of them this year. The survey had some additional questions for the au pairs and allowed them to give us more specific feedback. We wanted to share the results with you…

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Firstly, a huge 94% of au pairs said that they are getting along either fantastically or very well with their new host family.

We asked our au pairs how they felt about the location of their host family and accommodation in their home. 86% of au pairs were happy with the location and 99% with their accommodation.

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Improving English is an incredibly important factor for the majority of our European au pairs. 88% said that they had already seen an improvement in their English level in the first two weeks of their placement.

As an agency, one of the most common questions we receive from au pairs already placed with their host family is how they can find friends in the area. This is something we are able to offer plenty of assistance with. In our survey, 86% of au pairs said that they had already found friends locally during their first two weeks in the UK. The other 14% were given lots of guidance as to how they can meet other people in their area!

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Finally, we asked the au pairs if they are satisfied with Smartaupairs. We are very proud that 99% of them replied that yes, they are very satisfied.

We are glad to hear that our au pairs are so happy with the program and remind them that we are here to offer support/answer questions whenever they need us!

Au Pair Feedback

It’s that lovely time of year again when we hear from au pairs and families about how their placements have started off. Here are the stories from two au pairs who have recently started their placements in the UK.

Firstly, we wanted to share with you the full PowerPoint presentation created by Dutch au pair Maartje, one of the winners of our recent competition.

The following slides cover the first month of her placement in Kingston upon Thames in Surrey.

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Alex from France is currently placed in Penn, Buckinghamshire. Here is what she has to say about her placement so far:

All is perfect!!!!! I am really happy here. I have a lovely hostfamily, I found a news friends, I take english courses and I improve my english: the paradise!!!! Thank you for all.

Alex also shared these lovely photos of her time in the UK to date:

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After all of the hard work that goes into the search process and organisation for the au pair’s arrival, by our agency, the host family and the au pair herself, it is great to hear wonderful success stories like these.

Please continue to send us feedback on your placements 🙂

Host Family With Single Dad

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For any au pairs who are hesitant to consider a single father family, please read the feedback below from two au pairs, who had a very positive experience with a single father family who ensured the aupair received a warm welcome as a true member of the family.

From Carolin – Germany.

I felt totally at home, the minute I entered “The Boathouse”, no, actually even already when I got into David’s car at Heathrow airport. When he and his then 15 year old daughter Robyn picked me up, I immediately felt comfortable and although we had, apart from some telephone calls and webcam conversations, just met for the first time, we talked during the whole 2 hour drive from the airport to their home in Stamford.

When we arrived, my first impression was very good, I liked the family (I met Guy shortly afterwards), the house and the town very much and I didn’t have the slightest feeling of homesickness, which might otherwise have been quite likely.

My host father took me around the house and showed me were everything was and told me, that from now on, everything that belonged to the family would belong to me as well, as I was part of the family. I was introduced to everybody at once, relatives and family friends, and I felt as if I had been with them for much longer.

I really liked the atmosphere within the family; after what happened to them, you would not expect to see such a happy family full of humour about nearly everything. They are very close and affectionate to each other, and I loved having meals with them in the evening, when everyone was telling about their day and we were all having a laugh most of the time. It reminded me a lot of my own family which made me very happy.

Furthermore, I was very overwhelmed by the amount of trust I got from the family, especially the father. He gave me guidelines on what I had to do when he had to go off to work again for 2-4 days, for example when to send the kids to bed, but he told me that, after all, whenever he was away, I would “be the boss” and could make my own decisions.

He would also leave money for me in the kitchen, but didn’t insist on me leaving any receipts.

I knew how much responsibility I had caring for the children while he was away for days, but the whole family made it so easy for me and I never thought of it as a burden or weight on my shoulders.

I also enjoyed the time being alone with the children, it gave me much time to get to know them better, and as the three of us have very similar interests, it always worked out very well. I didn’t feel as if I had to be a strict au pair, I was rather like a bigger sister having a good time with the younger ones. As Robyn and Guy are both already quite old and independent, I didn’t have to be around all the time, but it was always a lot of fun just hanging around with them. They were always very kind and polite and offered their help ever so often.

For me, it never occurred as a problem, that I would be staying with a single father, as David sounded really nice when I first spoke to him on the telephone. He also offered me and my parents to speak to his sister and a female friend of the family apart from only talking to him, as he knew that it might be harder for a girl to stay just with a male adult. But looking back, my experience could not have been better with a single woman or even a couple. I had so much fun with my host dad and he reminded me so much of my own father.

It was clear from the beginning that I would have a lot more free time than other au pairs, not only because, as a pilot, David didn’t have normal working hours from Monday until Friday, but also because even when he was away, Robyn and Guy would always be at school from 8:30-16:00. David was quite worried, that I might get bored very quickly, as I didn’t take classes at any of the language colleges and it was therefore not as easy to make friends. So he asked at the school for me, whether there were any foreign language assistants, and found out the telephone number of a German girl in my age, living only two minutes away from our place. I’m very thankful for that, because otherwise I might not have found anybody to go sightseeing and shopping with and I might not have met other friends either.

He also helped me setting up my own bank account and went with me to the medical centre so that I could register myself there.

When I went home over Christmas, we still kept in contact by having webcam conversations, and it was really nice to see them on the screen. Even though I hadn’t been away for that long I already missed them quite a lot.

Shortly after, my sister was allowed to come over for a week and she really enjoyed her time with the family and felt as if she had been with us for much longer.

When I finally decided about going home again, Dave was really supportive and could understand completely that I could not stay longer. I think we are all a bit sad that my time here ends soon, and I will miss the life with them here so much, but I am absolutely sure that we will keep in touch afterwards, they have already offered me that I could come back any time I want, and I definitely will. But I hope that they might come and visit me and my family in Germany as well, it would really make me happy.

My time as an au pair in a single dad family:

I am Natasja from Belgium and since 6 months I am an au pair for two girls in a single dad family. I have to admit that some of my friends and family would have preferred me to go to a “normal” family, but I can’t think of any reason why I shouldn’t have gone. My host dad is a really nice guy, sometimes he is a bit of a workaholic but that is his only fault, if you can call it a fault. One time when he thought he was actually sick enough to take a day of, he was still walking around the house asking me if there wasn’t anything he could do. He is really well organised. He is not the kind of guy that will call you up during the day because he suddenly remembered something else that has to be done. When he is not at home I am the boss, he doesn’t try to check on me the whole time.

I can organise my own time as long as the children are picked up from school in time. I also have a lot of free time. The only downside is that I am sometimes alone with the children for a few days because the father has to go on a busyness trip. I actually don’t really mind that because the rest of the time, he is really careful not to give me too much work. The grandparents also are a great help, to take care of the children one time a week, and try to stay around whenever the father is on a busyness trip. And if they’re not there I have a list of at least ten other people I can call if something goes wrong.

The children are great, they are not perfect of course, but I never really mind looking after them because they’re fun to be with. I never really have the feeling I am working when I am with them.

I have a lot of friends who are also au pair and they always laugh with me because “I don’t have to work”. I really get the feeling I have the best job. It is sometimes even annoying when they are complaining about their hard work, or overprotective host mother I can’t really join in… I would recommend every-one to become an au pair in a single dad family, especially mine.

Natasja Lammens

NOTES FROM SMARTAUPAIRS on family ‘screening’. We speak in detail with every new family who would like to host an au pair. This way we get to know our families and have a chance to ensure they understand that the au pair experience is a cultural exchange program. It is important to ensure every au pair receives a warm welcome as a family member and has a change to learn from the experience through maximum exposure to the children rather than being overloaded with (boring!) housework.

We ask all new host families if any future au pair may contact their current au pair for further information and an ‘insight’ from an outsider!

In case of a single father family we always need this re-assurance. We want to give a prospective au pair (and her ‘real’ family) the maximum comfort prior to departure. We therefore ask the father to involve a female referee who is close to the family to be contactable by future au pair and parents of au pair. This female referee can ideally be a current au pair or babysitter, or a close family friend or relative for example.

Photo Source: MessyCreation/Deviantart

Au Pair Feedback

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We ask our au pairs to give us feedback towards the end of their stay with the host family. We are proud to share some to our recent au pair testimonials.

Feedback from our Au Pairs:

“I signed up for smartaupairs, and I got a call the same evening by Someone that spoke my own language! She helped me with my profile. And she found me a very nice family. I’ve been here for 2 months now, and I am really happy!” Adrienne – the Netherlands

“Dear Nicole,
Thank you for all you have done for me especially for calling the embassy to vouch for me.I was relieved when I got the visa.
And I would also like to thank you for all the information you’ve been sending me.” With kind regards Ivana

“Hi Nicole, It is really nice to see something from the country and I met a lot of new people in Cambridge. I met a Norwegian and a Czech au pair too and they were really nice I enjoyed the trip very much. I go to the English classes twice a week and I like it too. The teacher is really nice. I will go shopping tomorrow morning. I like the fashion here.“Thank you for everything. Britta from Germany

“Thanks for your work and your interest for me. I am really satisfied with your agency and with my Scottish family too. I wish you nice day…”Many thanks Maria from Slovakia

“I had a great time and learned a lot. I’m glad, that I was brave enough to do it.Thanks to the smartaupairs-team!”  Anna from Germany

“I am happy I found this agency when i decided to be an au pair because everybody does their job…….all the girls I been talking with are so nice, helpfull, honest and trustfull!! I must say I felt more confident to come to England through this agency…..i felt like protected…..I m sure I couldn t make it alone! Being au pair is exciteing is all the time something new…..but it s hard and not all the time nice moments…..but being a bit lucky and with some help it turns into a great experience!

I will never regret I came here, I changed myself a lot…I met new people, I have new friends, i saw lots of wonderfull places and for all of that I must say thank you to the agency…..the first step is always the hardest!!!!
Thank you for everything you done for me and keep going because you are good!!!” Laura from Romania

“I wish to thank all members of smartaupairs, especially Nicole Kofin, for your kindness an great support. I was really happy to have such a friendly and organized agency.” Angelina from Germany

“I was very happy with the family and I would like to thank you for your help. It was a great experience!”  Josephine from Germany
“The au pair adventure is a beautiful experience which brings you a lot and makes you grow up. I loved living with an English family and discovering their culture. There are tough moments that I think you can’t avoid, like feeling homesick and lonely ; however knowing that you have the support of smartaupairs and that you can talk to them if anything is wrong is reassuring. It helped me a lot to know that I went to England thanks to an agency which really cares about the people they help.Thanks Smartaupairs.” Fanny M. from France


“I’m happy to have found this family. Thank you very much for your help and your patience! You’re a very serious agency; I’ll surely speak good of you! Have a nice week end!” Barbara from Italy


Hey! So far I really love to be here! The UK is wonderful (as far as I got to know it..) and I think I couldn’t have found a family where I would be happier. Well, thanks to you as you “gave” me this family! And I love the people here in general, so much nicer and friendlier than I am used to, I really enjoy living here and I’m looking forward to doing some certain things I have planned for the next months in the UK. I hope you are well!! Annika from Germany

Photo Source:Alison_Dakota/Deviantart