A Little About Us


Where It All Started

Caroline Joyce the founder established Cara International as she had to leave her job due to lack of available childcare to cover her shift work. In the past, people generally knew the people who would be minding their children from the local area. Caroline previous job included minding children in care who experienced neglect, sexual and physical abuse. It was really important to her to set up a vetting Au Pair Agency and she did so by developing a network of partner agency to support this process. Vetting includes police checks, references, medical checks, a detailed application form etc.

How things have changed

The Au Pair programme was previously known as a cultural exchange programme. The au pairs where paid pocket money in exchange for their help and cultural exchange experience. Sadly, the move away from traditional au pair agency to the growth of social media and online matching sites resulted in the watered-down in the treatment and vetting of Au Pairs. This resulted in a legal challenge in which a Host Families have had to pay up to €9,000 fines and back pay to their online au pairs Read Cara International Blog For more information. 

Cara International has also had reports from families who had au pairs stopped on entry to Ireland by Customs officials, as the family didn’t know it was illegal, when sourced online.

Even more shockingly, today, it is not unusual to see people, post pictures of their children, their names and address for anyone to mind them or indeed find them!


Lobby for in-home childcare tax credits

Cara International feels strongly that there should be tax credits for families employing people in the home. We are calling on companies and families to lobby their local elective representatives on this and we show you how here

Why Cara International is different

Cara International is Ireland’s longest established Au Pair agency is twenty years hosting, placing and training Au Pairs. Caroline Joyce the founder of Cara International is a holder of a BA in Social Care and a Masters in Family Support. In addition, Caroline holds a FETAC Level Six Distinction in Coaching Leadership. As part of her BA, Caroline has completed extensively researched the area of Au Pairs. Caroline knows parental challenges. As a single parent, Caroline has hosted au pair for her own children for several years. As a Family Support specialist and parent, Caroline will explore your families child needs including affordability options. She will explore the Au Pairs’ expectations from the host family and cultural homestay experience.

Cara International provides the correct advice, so you make the right choice, at an affordable price. We don’t want you breaking the law and paying a much more expensive price. This advice we give is based on extensive education and experience.


Compliance and Training

We agree on pre-arrival contracts with both parties. The Au Pairs are also provided with up to twelve months of online training during their stay. Training modules including Paediatric First Aid, Child Safety, Food Safety, Children’s First, Tips on cooking and cleaning etc. You have the support of the agency to advise and deal with any issues that arise.

For More Information

Host Families for more information complete our Query Form and we will be in touch soon for a chat or alternatively contact us here

Au Pairs

Our Au Pair programme is completely free for Au Pairs. Contact us so we can learn about you and send you our vetting forms. We’re eager to hear from Au Pairs who love children and have a legal right to work in Ireland, such as EU applicants and people who are eligible to work on the Working Holiday Visa to Ireland

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