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Au Pair Link - New Zealand

About

Au Pair Link is New Zealand's leading and largest Au Pair agency, and one of the largest Au Pair agencies in the world. We have flexible programmes tailored to the preferences and experience of our candidates, including Au Pair Whiz for qualified or highly experienced applicants. Our programmes are also licensed by the New Zealand Ministry of Education, and our au pairs receive support from our team of qualified Early Childhood Education teachers, as well as weekly playgroups, activities and events.

We provide a three day orientation course, giving you the opportunity to meet with other au pairs as soon as you touch down. We also organise au pair events and activities around the country to ensure your time away is as enjoyable as possible.

With Au Pair Link, you'll have the adventure of a lifetime - find yourself in New Zealand!

Founded
2006
Headquarters

4 Nikau Street
Eden Terrace
Auckland 1021
New Zealand

Reviews

Bailey
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Pros:
I enjoyed working in NZ as an Au Pair and would probably do it again. I'm also really happy that for my first time au pairing I went through an agency. Au Pair Link is a great agency and they do their best to help you out, they also generally make sure that you'll be going into a safe environment. The people working at Au Pair link were very kind and supportive, and they did their best to match me with a family, and they have a great re-matching process if you need it. If you choose to do this, you'll probably end up getting really close with your program manager and I totally recommend it! Especially if you're like me and do it at 18, it's really a Godsend to have someone who has your back. Kiwi culture is one of the warmest and most welcoming you could ever ask to experience! The kids were amazing in both of my host families! Also, New Zealand in general is full of lovely amazing people that will change your life! Host families can be hit or miss but most of my friends had really wonderful experiences (So I would say the odds are in your favour!). Besides the job aspect, NZ is full of so many fantastic outdoor and community opportunities if you have the chance to go, GO! :)

Cons:
I would say some of the only downsides about Au Pair Link is that they didn't really inform au pairs about how taxes/tax refunds in NZ worked, and they weren't really checking to make sure that if a host family was paying their au pair in cash that the family was paying the au pair's taxes (personally this ended up causing a massive dramatic scene with my first host family). Another factor of privacy is they didn't really require a host family to have a lock on their au pair's room door for privacy/safety (my first host dad (when intoxicated) would occasionally push my door open at night and ask me questions and my second host mum would go through my room on the weekends when I was gone). If those things are a concern to you, check with your host family before accepting a contract. However, my biggest con was that my program manager tried talking me into staying with my second host family even though they were treating me poorly. I would say just make sure you know what is best for you and really stand by it, even if your program manager might try and say otherwise (and even if you're scared of what could happen if you quit).

TIPS:
I would also ask your host family how much cleaning is involved because it may end up surprising you.
>Also I would recommenced that if you choose to do this, do at least 2-3 skype interviews and have questions prepared before each interview with your possible host family/ies.
>Read your contract and know what you're entitled to as an au pair!
>Also be aware that about half of your paycheck IS going to your host family for room and board so don't feel bad if you have dietary requirements and need to ask for specific foods! (though you should defo inform them of this prior to accepting a contract).

I wish you the best of luck!

What would you improve about this program?
I would have au pair link really makes sure their host families are paying the taxes of their au pairs.
I would also want au pair link to be more understanding and supportive if an au pair is not happy in their situation. I would never want another au pair to have to go through what I did with my second host family because she/he let their program manager talk them into staying rather than quitting.
I would also really ask that au pair link make sure that the bedrooms of the au pairs maybe have a lock on it? I don't know if there's a rule against it or anything but I had my drunk host dad push my door open a couple times and it terrified me.
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Josie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

At first I thought it was pretty pricey but I'm so glad that I went for it! It is so worth it. It is my first time being away from home and so it is very comforting to have someone always there when you need them. The families are all screened, as well as the au pairs. My family is awesome, just take time to pick one! You each have a family programme manager who you meet with monthly and they give you a bag of themed books and toys for your kids under five. Also just checks that everything is going okay with your family and checks in with your host parents as well. There are also weekly coffee groups you can go to to meet people. And au pair events during each month! Overall it is so worth the money just to have that security that if something did go wrong you have support!

What would you improve about this program?
Make the au pair trips more frequent.
Read my full story
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Nora
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The beginning is always hard. I was in a new family and in a new city. I was alone and I missed my friends. But when the kids come for the first time to cuddle you you know you've done everything right. And even if not everything is perfect they love you and you love them too. :) Beeing an Au Pair is more than just a Job. It's about becoming a member of a second family.

What would you improve about this program?
More support in the first few weeks when everything is new and you don't know anyone around. It would be good to have someone that helps a little bit more at the beginning.
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Emelie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

From day one I knew that I had chosen the right thing to do. I left my safety zone in Sweden to go over 17000km away, to New Zealand.

I was going to take care of three boys, and how was I supposed to manage that? I'm only 19 (20 now). But after a few weeks with these boys I fell in love. They are so caring and they have been giving me everything I wanted. They have made me grow as a person.

How are you supposed to leave such a great family, that has given you everything. They have given me a new way to see life, they have given me a woundeful friendship and a reason to come back here. I can't believe that a year ago I was stuck in my little hometown just dreaming about going overseas and here I am, I'm overseas with an amazing family that has made my time here so worth it.

If anyone ever had a chance to go overseas, I just want to say this -TAKE IT. Because it will change your life forever.

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Franziska
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Beiing Aupair in New Zealand is one of the best thing you could do in your life. Since I'm here I had met lots of different people and I made lots of new friends. And I also found a second family! It is the best way to travel a new country and to learn something about New Zealands culture.

What would you improve about this program?
More located events in diffrent places
Response from Au Pair Link - New Zealand

We're so glad you enjoyed being part of our programme! Thanks so much for the lovely feedback.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Josie Wilders

Josie is on her gap year travelling Australia and New Zealand for a year. She is going to go on to study nursing back in the UK at The Univerity Of Liverpool. She loves to go on walks, swims, runs and to chill out.

Why did you pick this program?

I picked this program because I wanted to experience what it was like to live with a kiwi family and at the same time be able to explore New Zealand. I chose to go with au pair link because I had read some good reviews about it and I liked the sense of security it would give me and my host family during my time in New Zealand. I felt that this program was very well run and the company were very helpful.

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

Do it! It is such an awesome opportunity to have so when you have the chance just do it, don't wait around! It's life changing, you change and grow as a person. You will go through tough times but those awesome amazing highs will always beat the lows!

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Make sure you take time to look and chat to the families you're thinking of joining because I hear lots of stories where the au pair joins and a few months later wants to leave because it just doesn't work out for various reasons. To minimise the likelihood of this happening to you make sure you take the time to pick the perfect family for you.

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

Ooo that's a tough one as I have so many! Being with kids every day obviously means I hear some pretty funny stories. My favourite moment though was when my host family (the family I am an au pair for) won host family of the month. I nominated them by writing a letter as to why I thought they should win and then au pair link chose the east family and mine won!! It made my day... Or year! They deserved it so much as they've made my time out here awesome!

What's the hardest thing been about travelling?

Being away from friends and family. My first bit of my gap year was with my best friend from back at home so I didn't feel very home sick as I had her. When I flew to New Zealand I was completely on my own with no family or friends. It was quite hard but that is why I loved this program. My host family are now second family who can talk to about anything. Au pair link also arrange coffee groups and au pair trips to help you meet people which is awesome!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

What led you to found Au Pair Link?

Founding Au Pair Link was definitely not a ‘spur of the moment’ decision. I’m originally from Sweden and prior to arriving in New Zealand, I had worked as an Au Pair in Connecticut (USA).

My time in the USA was incredible and made a huge impact on the way I thought about things, and evidently the path I wanted to take in life. Caring for two little girls, I decided that I wanted to enable other young people (and by extension, Host Families) to build the same connection with others around the world.

So in short, my own experience as an Au Pair really began to define my life for those twelve months, and it continues to define and reflect what I am truly passionate about – positive, life-changing experiences.

What have been the most exciting changes since founding the company?

We’ve been around for a while now, so I would say watching the company grow and develop has definitely been an exciting change. Au Pair Link started off as a really small team operating out of my apartment, we’ve now got over 40 staff based throughout New Zealand.

I’ve really enjoyed building the team of passionate and talented young people – we all work together to create something a little bit special, between the people who work at Au Pair Link, and of course between our Au Pairs and their Host Families. It’s been a really rewarding experience.

How has the Au Pair landscape changed over the last several years?

It has been a real challenge (and goal) for Au Pair Link to raise the bar in terms of the kind of support our Au Pairs receive. I’ve experienced first-hand how difficult it can be to arrive in a new country, and heard horror stories from friends about the kind of employment conditions Au Pairs can find themselves in when there is no agency support.

From there, we’ve made some real strides in terms of making sure Au Pairs are safe, are paid fairly, and are able to get the most out of their time in New Zealand. We’ve got a network of around five hundred Au Pairs in the country at any given time, so I think establishing awareness of the concept and making greater steps towards formalising the industry have been the main changes for us.

What do you think is the biggest benefit of an Au Pair program?

In our case, it is without a doubt the educational aspect of our programme. We were the first Au Pair agency in New Zealand to become licensed by the New Zealand Ministry of Education. It means that our Au Pairs come away with world-class childcare skills, and the children they care for receive a tailored educational experience.

We run a variety of local activities and events each week, meaning Au Pairs and children get to socialise together in an environment where they are both well-supported. Every week we receive “warm fuzzies” about what’s happening around the country, and the kind of difference that our Au Pairs make on a daily basis to the lives of families around NZ.

What do you foresee for the Au Pair space over the next decade?

We’ve got some pretty exciting things to look forward to over the next few months at Au Pair Link. Without giving too much away, I’m pretty confident that the trend towards families considering Au Pairs to care for and educate their children will only gain more momentum.

It was recently announced that Auckland has ascended to being one of the world’s top ten tourist destinations according to Lonely Planet, so I think that we’ll see greater interest from candidates around the world who are keen to explore what New Zealand has to offer.

What is your dream for Au Pair Link in ten years?

To be honest, ten years ago I wouldn’t have imagined that we would have come this far! Our commitment will always be to the concept of life-changing experiences – this has really been our guiding principle in terms of what we do.

As I hinted above, we’ve got a few things that we believe are going to radically change the industry even more, so I am looking forward to building on our growth, continuing to provide a personal service, and generally ensuring that we continue to evolve while providing an exciting and dynamic programme for our Au Pairs and families!

More Interviews