Team Member

HOST FAMILIES

An Au Pair is foreign person who lives with a host family in order to learn their language and experience their culture. The Au Pair looks after the children and does light housework, is offered full board accommodation in a private room and receives weekly pocket money. The Au Pair lives with the family as a member of it.

The concept was born in the 18th century when the wealthy Swiss families used to send their young daughters to live with another family in order to learn a new language in return to looking after their children. The purpose of the experience was to learn a new language and to experience a different culture.

The word Au Pair started to be used in France in the 19th century. At that time, some French families used to host British girls to teach English to their children. In exchange, the British girls learnt French. These girls were called “Au Pair”, which is French for “equal to”, meaning they were considered equally part of the family.

The role of the Au Pair is to share the responsibility of childcare and housework, while both parties have the opportunity to learn about the other’s culture and language.

The role of the family and the Au Pair should be mutually beneficial. Both parties give and receive. This is the key to success in this experience.

The Au Pair programme is a cultural exchange programme. The family and the Au Pair will sign a written agreement to establish the terms and conditions of the exchange. There are also European regulations on the Au Pair exchange programme. Here is a link to the European Agreement to Au Pair Placement.

A host family takes in a young person for a certain period of time. This person looks after the children and speaks English (or another language) with them.

In exchange, the Au Pair learns Spanish and receives full board accommodation and weekly pocket money.

The Au Pair lives with the host family to learn or improve Spanish and to have a unique experience of cultural exchange.

For the duration of the stay the Au Pair will be taken in as a member of the family, and will not be treated as an employee.

It is really important that the host family is open-minded in order to welcome the new person in their house. The estrange sensation of the beginning will disappear after a few weeks and most of the times the ties and relationship with the Au Pair last forever.

The Au Pair programme must have a positive result for both parties. “Au pair” is French for “equal to”, meaning both parties give and receive.

The host family must help the Au Pair learn the Spanish language and experience the Spanish culture.

The Au Pair will soon meet new friends and make plans with them. Good communication and strong ties with the Au Pair will be essential for a perfect family coexistence.

Is it difficult for you to harmonise your working hours with your children’s school hours and holidays? Would you like to out for dinner with your husband/wife some time? Would you like your children to learn English (or another language) while playing? An Au Pair can give you all these things.

The Au Pair will look after your children for a maximum of 30 hours per week and babysit 1 or 2 nights per week. After a few weeks your children will consider the Au Pair an older brother/sister, and will enjoy spending time together. The Au Pair will give you a hand taking the children to school and the afterschool activities, giving them the afternoon snack, helping them with their homework, bringing them to the park, giving a hand with the shower, helping the children clean their room, and reading them a story.

The Au Pair will also bring a new culture into your house, and the whole family will benefit.

Reasons to have an Au Pair:

• If your children attend an international or bilingual school, the Au Pair can help them do their homework and quickly improve their English (or other language).
• Your children will learn a new language at a very young age, without even noticing.
• If you have Au Pairs for a few years, your children might become bilingual.
• It is an economical and effective solution.
• Au pairs come to Spain to have a good experience and therefore they have a positive approach. They wil probably be cheerful and transmit this positivity to your children.
• It is a rewarding experience for both parties.
• It helps you balance work and family life.
• The Au Pair programme is inexpensive. Other than the processing fee, you will only spend 70-80 euro weekly on pocket money.

• Being open-minded.
• Offering the Au Pair a private room with a comfortable bed, a private storage space, heating...
• Spanish language must be spoken at home. At least one of the two parents must be Spanish native speaker.
• Being committed to teach the Spanish language and culture to the Au Pair.
• Being flexible, to adapt to a new member in the family.
• Having clear that the Au Pair is not to be treated as an employee.

• Offering the Au Pair full board accommodation, also during the weekends if the Au Pair is at home.
• Accepting the Au Pair as a new member of the family.
• Allowing and facilitating the attendance to a Spanish course. Do not forget that the main purpose of the Au Pair is to learn or improve Spanish.
• Giving the Au Pair 70-80 euro weekly pocket money.
• Giving the Au Pair at least 1,5 days off. At least one of them during the weekend.
• Giving the Au Pair 1-week holidays for every 6 months stay.

• Looking after the children on a part-time basis, for a maximum of 30 hours per week.
• 1 or 2 nights of babysitting per week.
• Helping with light housework.
• Going to Spanish lessons.

They will vary according to the family needs, but the following are the most common regarding the children:

• Prepare and/or give breakfast to children.
• Get them dressed.
• Drop them and take them from school.
• Give them lunch.
• Take them to afterschool activities.
• Take them to the park.
• Prepare and/or give the afternoon snack to children.
• Play with them.
• Do crafts.
• Check their homework.
• Read tales.
• Help them shower.
• Change the nappies.
• Give the baby’s bottle.
• Prepare and/or give dinner to children.
• Arrange the children’s room.
• Stay home with the children when they are sick.
• Babysit one or two nights per week.

An Au Pair will never do the housemaid work. However he/she is expected to help with basic housework, like any other member of the family:

• Keep his/her room tidy and clean.
• Same for the common spaces in the house.
• Cook simple meals.
• Full or empty the dishwasher.
• Do the laundry.
• Settle the table.
• Do little shopping for the house.

It is a good thing to inform the Au Pair in writing on the tasks he/she is expected to have.

Au pairs are usually young people aged 18-30 with some experience in childcare. Most Au Pairs are girls, but nowadays also boys enrol the Au Pair programme.

They are young and lively people. The Au Pair will be like an older sibling for your children, who plays and speaks English (or another language) with them.

The Au Pair will also give you a hand with some basic work at home and will collaborate like any other member of the family. Remember that the Au Pair is not a housemaid and is not expected to do that type of work.

We basically find the Au Pair that best fits in your family. It is very important to us that both parties fit in, as this is the key point to the success of the Au Pair programme.

We inform you of the basis of the program, as we do with the Au Pair candidates, so both parties know what to expect from each other.

Some families choose to use web platforms to search for an Au Pair. By our own experience, we know that very often candidates enrol the programme, get in touch with a family, maintain correspondence for a while, and then suddenly disappear and the family must start the search again from the beginning. This is because it is very easy for candidates to register in these platforms, (...) but not all of them are really motivated. Some of them are only thinking about having an Au Pair experience. On top of that, in these platforms nobody explains to the Au Pair the basis of the programme. It is essential that both parts know how the programme works.

Bluesky offers:

• Customized advice to the family and the Au Pair before the placing.
• Customized advice, if needed, during the Au Pair’s stay.
• Au pair change with no additional charge during the first month, in case the Au Pair does not fit in the family.
• If required, we will prepare the agreement to be signed between the family and the Au Pair.
• We will help the Au Pair with the travel arrangements.

Au pair in Madrid processing fee for more than 3-month stay

290 euro (+ VAT)

365 euro (+ VAT) for English native speaker Au Pairs

It includes all processing from the research of the ideal candidate to the signature of the agreement and the following up of the stay.
The possibility to change Au Pair once is included, in the case of problems arising, which cannot be solved.
Changes during the 1st month will have no extra charge. If a replacement is not found 100 % of the processing fee will be returned.
Changes during the 2nd or 3rd month will have no extra charge. If a replacement is not found 25% of the processing fee will be returned.
Changes after the 3rd month will have no extra charge. The processing fee will not be returned in this case, even if a replacement is not found.

Au pair in Madrid processing fee for 1 to 3-month stay

170 euro (+ VAT)

245 euro (+ VAT) for English native speaker Au Pairs

It includes all processing from the research of the ideal candidate to the signature of the agreement and the following up of the stay.
Bluesky Au Pairs will not be responsible if the Au Pair decides to interrupt his/her stay. In this case, if the family requires another Au Pair, Bluesky will do their best to find one for them. However, the policy for 1 to 3-month stay Au Pairs is that no money will be returned and no replacement can be guaranteed.

Method of payment

A 50-euro deposit will be required to start the processing work. The balance will be paid once both parties have signed the agreement, and in any case at least 10 days prior to the Au Pair’s arrival to Madrid.
Payment will be made to the following bank account:
SWIFT: MMXXX IBAN: ES35 0182 5753 39 0201591727
A payment receipt is to be sent to info@blueskyaupairs.com
The 50-euro deposit will not be returned if the family quit the programme during the research process.

Guarantee

In spite of our effort and dedication, Bluesky cannot guarantee the success of the research process 100% of the times. In the case of the agreement not being signed or the Au Pair cancelling his/her stay, Bluesky will not be responsible for the expenses.

Au Pair in a foreign country

Ask us.

Do you have an Au Pair candidate and you need help with the arrangements?

60 euro (+ VAT)

We offer a service of advice and processing and Au Pair stay organization, tailor made for those families who have already found an Au Pair, but need to contract all the other services of the agency.
Also the Au Pair will benefit from this service. We will offer:
• Help with their travel arrangements.
• Advice on the agreement between family and Au Pair.
• Advice on the planning of the Au Pair’s duties.
• Help obtaining the public transport card.
• Contact with other Au Pairs in the area.
• Invitation to participate in the Au Pairs’ meetings that we regularly organize.

Advice

20 euro (+VAT)

We offer this service to non-Bluesky families.
Do you have an Au Pair at home and need a hand with the planning of his/her duties? Does your housemaid have trouble accepting the Au Pair?
We offer customized advice and help you make the right decisions.

1º Request of information to info@blueskyaupairs.com
2º Family interview to explain all details of the programme. We will check whether you fulfil all requirements to be a host family.
3º We will send you the family form and the Bluesky family agreement. The family form will help us create your profile and find the best candidate for you. All data supplied will be confidential.
4º You will send us the following documents:
• The family form, completed.
• The family agreement, duly signed.
• A presentation letter in Spanish and English.
5º Deposit payment of 50 euro to the following bank account:
SWIFT: MMXXX IBAN: ES35 0182 5753 39 0201591727
Please send payment receipt to info@blueskyaupairs.com
6º Searching process.
7º Candidates will be proposed. You can contact them via Skype.
8º If you and Au Pair agree on the terms of the stay, you will sign the written agreement. Bluesky can send you a model of this document, if requested.
9º When making the travel arrangements with the Au Pair, please inform Bluesky of the arrival date.
10º The family will pick up the Au Pair at the airport.

Why hiring Bluesky and not using the web platforms?

Some families decide to use web platforms to find an Au Pair. These platforms are only huge databases with no filters. Everybody can register (...) and then leave without notice or consequences. We know by experience that very often a family contacts the Au Pair and after some time being in touch with each other and planning the details of the stay, the Au Pair disappears and the family must start the process from the beginning. It is also very important for the success of the Au Pair experience that both parties are well advised and informed on the basis of the programme, and this does not happen when using a web platform.
Bluesky offers you:
• Customized advice to both the family and the Au Pair before the placement.
• Customized advice, if necessary, during the stay of the Au Pair.
• Au pair replacement during the first month in the case the first candidate does not fit in the family.
• If requested, we provide the written agreement to be signed between the family and the Au Pair.
• We help the Au Pair with the travel arrangements.

How fast will Bluesky find an Au Pair for us?

It is impossible to know. We receive applications from Au Pairs any time of the year. Most of them are received during spring for the following school year. The best thing is that you send us your request as soon as you decide to take in an Au Pair.

We also have last minute applications from Au Pairs that are already in Madrid and wish to change family. In this type of situation a quick decision is to be taken, but the advantage is that you can have a face-to-face interview with the Au Pair.

What happens if we do not have a private room for the Au Pair?

For long stays it might be a problem. It is important that the Au Pair has privacy and can rest. For summer stays and short-term stays, having to share the room with the children is not a problem for most Au Pairs. The most important thing is that you inform the Au Pair in advance, giving them the possibility to decide if your option is acceptable for them.

Will our Au Pair have previous Spanish skills?

Not necessarily. Some Au Pairs do and some others do not. If this is and important issue for you, please let us know and we will take it into account in the selection process.

When shall we send our application form and documents?

Send your application as soon as you have decided to have an Au Pair.

Will our Au Pair have medical insurance coverage?

Yes, he/she will. European Au Pairs must obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). We also advice them to take out a comprehensive travel insurance that will cover travel, liability and medical costs, but this is not compulsory. Non-European Au Pairs will need to take out a private insurance.

Which costs will we have to bear?

Other than the agency fee, the family will bear the costs of the full board accommodation and the weekly pocket money for the Au Pair.

The Au Pair will hold the travel expenses, the language school fees and the public transport monthly pass expenses.

Will the Au Pair have a driver’s license?

If this is important for you please indicate it in your family form. We will find a candidate according to your needs.

What happens if the Au Pair gets sick?

If the Au Pair gets sick during the stay for a short period, he/she will receive the pocket money the same.

If the situation gets serious, the best thing to do is to find the best solution for both the family and the Au Pair.

The host family must help the Au Pair in looking for doctors, appointments, and also bringing the Au Pair to the doctor or the hospital if necessary.

How shall we organize the Au Pair’s working hours?

It depends on each family’s needs. Au pairs usually work 5 or 6 hours a day, usually in one shift and not split, so that they can do things in their free time. It is very important to be very clear from the beginning about the hours and the duties, otherwise the Au Pair might decide to leave before the end of the stay. Their working hours must allow them to follow a language course.

What happens if we do not like or do not feel comfortable with the Au Pair?

Every family and every Au Pair need some time to get adapted to the new situation. During this time it is important that both parts make an effort to overcome the difficulties. Usually, after a few weeks everybody feels comfortable. If any problem comes up, the family and the Au Pair will have to solve it. Good communication is essential for the family coexistence.

Bluesky offers a one-month trial period. If unsolvable problems arise, we will replace the Au Pair at no additional cost. For other situations, please check the return policies in the above section “Prices and Services”.

Which language will the Au Pair speak at home?

The Au Pair will speak his/her native language (English or other) with the children. When the Au Pair is not working with the children, the family will have to speak Spanish and encourage the Au Pair to speak Spanish. Do not forget that the aim of the Au Pair is to learn Spanish and experience our culture.

Where do Au Pairs come from?

Au pairs coming to Spain for a long period usually come from European countries, such as Germany, Ireland, England, Denmark, Finland or France, amongst others.

Non-European residents need a visa for a more than 3 months stay, and these visas are expensive. This is why people coming from the USA, Canada or Australia normally choose the short-term stays and during the summer.

Can I request a male Au Pair?

Of course you can!! Even though most candidates are female, also boys enrol the programme nowadays.

Why do we have to send you some personal information?

Our job as an agency is to find the most adequate Au Pair for your family. The one that best fits in your house with your needs. The more detailed information we have the more filters we can apply on the candidates’ research. As a result, the candidates we present will respond to your necessities.

All data sent to Bluesky will be extremely confidential. The pictures and information included in your family form will only be sent to candidates with whom you are interested in contacting.