Many questions have been entered into the Swedish Palm over the last year.
One of the most popular questions is the one about finding an au-pair address.
Perhaps it is time to shed a little time over this option and to hand over a few ideas and advices.
The minimum things you should know
It is unfair to us men here, however many parents prefer a female au-pair. Mothers rely on the mother instinct in another woman to keep their children safe.
In Sweden you can only succeed if you can properly speak English, it is even better if you speak Swedish. There are a lot more positions available for Swedish speaking au-pairs. However Sweden also has a lot of foreign IT, so they often accept English speaking au-pairs.
Here in Sweden the position is often ‘barnvakt’ (baby-sitter) or ‘au-pair’.
Many positions include pocket money and a place to sleep. The last one they especially prefer, because children must often wake up early for school. Many of these addresses are not in the city.
So, here are the 4 things you can expect. Now there is the thing about finding the right address.
You have 2 options to do this. Let’s look at the possibilities.
1. You go to an agency.
This is the easiest method. Thousands of girls have done this too. Register, getting the paperwork in order and then waiting, and waiting, and waiting for an address. This actually doesn’t always work in Sweden. (I will explain this later).
2. You do the work yourself.
This option has many benefits. One of them is that you get more opportunities, and better choice. You only need a friend in Sweden, where you can stay to find a position. This is of course a little gamble, but it works out in two ways. If the Swedish couple know that you have a friend in Sweden, you are less likely to be a risk (if you are forced to go back, they face a lot of paperwork). For you it is easy as you will have more choice, and if you are treated unfair, then you can find another position and leave.
There are agencies dealing with au-pairs. They have advantages and minuses. The advantage is that you are often better protected. Parents must apply to an agency and certain rules are set out. With an agency you have a better legal protection. Disadvantage here is that the good places always go to ‘friends’, so the nice places are always gone.
Parents advertise at times to find local babysitter. No paperwork, easy arranged. Often it is also that lately both parents must work, so more babysitters are needed. There are places where this is advertised. However let’s take a look at the steps you must take to get this done.
a. Place to stay
When looking for a babysitter position, you will need a place to stay. Hotels are too expensive. So you need a friend here. Take in account that you need at least a month to find something. So start this before March, also think of the vacation in august. Many Swedes go away then. Will you have a place to stay?
You can apply for an au-pair visa in 2 ways.
1. Apply for an au-pair permit with an invitation from the au-pair couple
2. Apply for a visitor permit to your friend, and after a few weeks apply for the au-pair visa.
Both are an option, and will work. It is important to understand that these rules are ONLY there to make sure that you will not be a burden for the Swedish government in drawing financial aid. When you understand that, the rest is relatively simple.
You can find info in the following places:
Where to find the job? Well, many papers are a good place, but they cost money. This link should help you find a first alternative.(This search gave me over 200 options.)
When you want to go on with this:
1. Get all the facts and papers together
2. Start the procedure
3. Come to Sweden and enjoy this culture.