It has been five years since I started recruiting Japanese nationals to the U.S. Au Pair program. Over the years, I have realized more Japanese nationals, especial girls, are experiencing study or work abroad before applying for the au pair in the U.S.
Popular program is, of course, Working Holiday program in Australia or Canada. Participants live, study and work during the program for one year, and they learn to speak in English. Growing number of Japanese nationals are those who are currently in outside Japan, or just returned back from those countries.
I found out people who already experienced studying or living overseas tend to have successful au pair life in the U.S. It maybe because they have already overcome homesickness, and learned how to deal with issues with people from different backgrounds. Language ability is always a plus to understand each other.
I understand the longer the childcare experience is, the better, in general.
BUT, please take a look at an au pair’s profile with less childcare hours compare to those who have thousands of childcare hours. Do not hesitate to start communication and see if the au pair is a good fit for your family.
Some au pairs have experienced homestay in other countries, and associated with host children. They know what does it mean by living with a host family.
Even though, one may not have formal childcare hours, BUT if she/he has younger siblings, they tend to be a good at taking care of children, because they are getting used to playing with siblings for years.
So, please start conversation with Japanese au pairs!