Paula Thiart, Franchise owner of Carla’s Au Pairs Cape Town, grew up in George and completed her B.Com Business Management Sciences degree as well as her honours degree in B.Com Marketing at the Stellenbosch University. After she had finished her studies, she set off on an overseas adventure – a life-changing experience that would broaden her horizons.
Paula decided to take a leap of faith and became an Au Pair in America, where she had the opportunity to live with an amazing host family, meet new friends, and travel the States.
“Being an Au Pair has taught me things I couldn’t learn anywhere else. Knowing that nobody can take that knowledge and independence away from me – is one of my greatest accomplishments. I would love to encourage and inspire young people to dream big, be courageous and experience life abroad,” says Paula.
Tell us more about Carla’s Au Pairs
Carla’s Au Pairs recruit young people for a once in a lifetime experience, being an Au Pair abroad. Carla was an au pair herself in the USA in 2001. She started recruiting au pairs in 2009 on a temporary basis and in 2012 she established her business, Carla’s Au Pairs. Currently Carla’s Au Pairs have 10 offices across South Africa, one in Namibia and have recently launched their first American office.
“Carla Verster, Franchisor of Carla’s Au Pairs has a tremendous passion for cultural exchange and believe that an experience like this will change and enrich a person’s life forever. It is an absolute privilege to make these opportunities a reality for so many young people, and to see how they grow and learn in the process,” says Paula.
In which countries can young people au pair?
Carla’s Au Pairs currently places Au pairs in America, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Italy, China and Germany.
How much does it cost to au pair abroad?
There are certain programme costs involved to au pair abroad, but the au pair programme is probably one of the most affordable “work abroad” programs available. Extra costs include the following: applying for a passport, police clearance and International Driving Permit. Visa costs and programme fees also need to be considered by applicants. These extras will be different for each programme. Some programmes, such as au pairing in America, will include the flight costs.
Explain the requirements?
Applicants need to be 18 – 29 years of age, have a Grade 12 high school qualification, be willing to commit for at least 12 months, be unmarried and have no children of their own, and have some experience with children. Some countries also require an International Driving Permit.
How does Carla’s Au Pairs choose host families?
Carla’s Au Pairs work with amazing partner agencies abroad who are in charge of signing up host families. The selected families are rigorously screened and need to participate in an acceptance process and a home visit. Partner agencies also arrange fun events for the au pairs. This gives the au pairs a chance to meet the international team and make new friends with au pairs from all over the world.
Why should someone Au pair?
Being an Au Pair is a wonderful and affordable way to take a gap year and see more of the world. It’s the chance of a lifetime to work overseas, whilst experiencing the culture of a foreign country, as well as meeting interesting people along the way.
“When you are an au pair, you are not just a normal tourist. You see and experience the lives, cultures and traditions of an international family on a daily basis. You also get to know yourself on a whole different level, and experience so much personal growth during your time abroad,” adds Paula.
What makes Carla’s Au Pairs different from other Au Pair Agencies?
“Personal attention and TLC is our motto. Each Au Pair is an individual, each with her own unique personality, needs and wants. You are not just a number! You are a name, a face, and someone we care about.”
“Carla’s Au Pairs keep personal contact throughout your stay abroad. You will also have back-up support abroad from the overseas agencies, but can always come to us if you need any advice, have questions or concerns, or just need someone to talk to,” Paula explains.
“We truly believe in the power of personal assistance, face to face meetups, and personal interaction. Our training/orientation sessions are more than just education. These sessions will prepare you for your stay abroad, help you to communicate more effectively, and assist you to understand yourself better – a tremendous advantage in preparing you for your year abroad.”
“Wow, ‘AMAZING’ is the word to describe Carla’s Au Pairs! They are so helpful before you go overseas and the whole time that you are there and even after. Carla and her team are professional and remain involved in every girl’s journey. I would highly recommend them! Love this Au Pair agency! Thank you guys, for making my dreams come true,” says Nastasha Vermaak.
“Absolutely the best Au Pair agency! They’re there whenever you need them! It’s truly a Sisterhood. I can recommend them to anyone looking to go Au Pair overseas! You won’t be disappointed. They will help you with everything and that makes everything so much easier! Carla is a wonderful person and all her staff members are just as great! CAP team all the way,” says Bianca Stephens.
If you live in Cape Town and surrounding areas and you’re interested in becoming an Au Pair abroad, contact Paula on Cell: +27 (0) 66 247 1301
Email: or visit www.carlasaupairs.co.za