Things to remember when changing host families

It’s that time of year where a lot of new au pairs are starting their job. And others are changing their host families. Because sometimes, things just don’t work out – and you’re not quite ready to go back to your own country yet. After talking to your current family, you start looking for a new one.

Changing host families is an emotional rollercoaster, no matter how easy or difficult it is. These are some important things you have to keep in mind when changing host families.

1. Make sure you choose a better family

Write down all the things you like and don’t like about your current (or last) host family. There’s a reason for why you’re looking for a new one. Why would you go through all that trouble only to end up in a similar situation?

You learn from every experience. It might be that you’ve been looking after kids that go to school but have learned that you’d much rather spend your time looking after a baby. Or the other way around. Write down exactly what you want. And then start looking.

2. You don’t have to tell your new family what happened

If you’re already an au pair, they might ask you why you are leaving your current host family. If they do, just tell them that things didn’t work out and that it wasn’t a good match. Don’t go into details about what you or the family did wrong. Just be brief. And then move on.

3. Ask other au pairs for help

In Europe, you can find au pairs in every country. They know what you’re going through. Some have gone through the process of changing host families and others are currently in a similar situation. And even if they aren’t, au pairs are incredibly helpful and welcoming. More than willing to help you out if you’re in trouble. See if you can make friends who will let you sleep over at their house while you get your life back on track.

The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t feel guilty about leaving a family when they need you! Always try to give them a few weeks notice but if you really don’t feel safe in your current situation, leave.



  1. 17 January 2019 / 6:20 pm

    It is so interesting reading about your experience as an au pair. It can be strange yet so exciting. Hope to read more posts

  2. Fatima D Torres
    17 January 2019 / 4:00 pm

    It’s not always easy to find the right host family. I know a handful of mamas looking for an au pair but not everyone knows how to value their work.

    • maartjevansandwijk
      17 January 2019 / 9:37 pm

      That is definitely true! I know a lot of au pairs that are just doing this as an easy way to live in a different country and party. You just have to find the good ones!

  3. simplysensationalfood
    17 January 2019 / 1:25 pm

    It must be hard to find a family that you will get on with but strong recommendation is always a plus.

  4. 17 January 2019 / 5:11 am

    Great tips! Your post is really insightful and helpful. I got to learn more about au pair today through your blog.

  5. 17 January 2019 / 4:56 am

    Oh what an interesting topic! We don’t really have those here in the US but sounds definitely like an experience!

  6. 17 January 2019 / 2:59 am

    I’ve learned something new I’ve heard of an au pair, but in the US it’s not something that is discussed at all. This is a very informative post and it’s nice that if you need help. Another au pair will be happy to help you. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Catherine Santiago Jose
    17 January 2019 / 2:12 am

    Au pair is something that you wouldn’t hear in our country and I became interested when I first time to hear about this job. I agree with all the information you’ve shared with us and I know it will be a great help to all au pairs that are planning to look for a new host family.

  8. 17 January 2019 / 1:45 am

    That is a very interesting life style, great points you made tho!! Good luck with your search if you are looking to get a new family by the way.

  9. 16 January 2019 / 10:18 pm

    I’ve always been fascinated by the au pair lifestyle. I read a lot about them. Like you emtiomede, changing families comes with its roller coaster. The attachment to the kids and families. Every au pair deserves the best, nonetheless. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips.

  10. 16 January 2019 / 9:54 pm

    thanks for sharing this as I am not aware of host families, very informative & I have learnt more. cheers, siennylovesdrawing

  11. worldlytreat
    16 January 2019 / 8:32 pm

    Pretty good information for those looking to host. This is popular in Europe. My brother is currently hosting 2 students.

  12. 16 January 2019 / 8:09 pm

    Awesome informative post. Thanks for sharing some insightful tips.

  13. 16 January 2019 / 3:17 pm

    This is really an informative post, I didn’t have any idea about the whole process. Your blog is very helpful for all the au pair who wants a wants a new host family. This is something new for me, thanks a lot for sharing this blog.

  14. 16 January 2019 / 1:17 pm

    Being in the US an au pair isn’t something that you hear about very often. I love the European culture so this was great insight!

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