Of course the reality could not be further apart. Needless to say we do recommend that you check any au pair’s references carefully, whether male or female, before taking them on and also that you insist on a police check. But a correctly vetted male au pair is a wonderful addition to any household, particularly one with boys. A good male au pair will actively engage with the children, keeping both boys and girls happy for hours on end with all kinds of sports and outdoor activities, as well as often proving to be a Mrs Doubtfire around the house. In the mould of men who have taken on traditionally female dominated professions such as cooks, nurses and restaurant waiters, a male au pair will often undertake the au pair role with maximum gusto, striving to achieve the highest level of competency in both childcare and housework and determined to give maximum satisfaction to his host family.
In many ways a good male au pair will make his female counterparts pale in comparison. Strangely, there have been years when male au pairs have been more popular than in others. 2012 was a poor year for male au pair placements for example, whereas a few years before they reached the height of their popularity. The problem is that it only takes word to get around of a few bad experiences with male au pairs to erase and supecede in one fell swoop the achievements of all the successful and amazingly good ones. Yet only a few years back the International Au Pair Association awarded its prestigious Au Pair of the Year award to a male au pair.