If you have decided to host an Au Pair, you have definitely made a wonderful decisision! By hosting an Au Pair you will participate in a cultural exchange program that will bring you unforgettable moments. You will be soon recommending this amazing experience to all of your friends.
Although some families seem to be a bit sceptical about it at the beginning, it has become very common for families to host an Au Pair.
Hosting an Au Pair: Should I?
You have probably heard a lot of different stories about hosting an Au Pair and have been told you are crazy when sharing with your friends your idea of hosting an Au Pair ("are you sure that you want to let someone live in your place?", "would you trust your children to an stranger?", "what if you don't happen to communicate with each other?"). But everyone seems to forget the main idea behind this program: a stay on equal terms. You should not forget the Au Pair will not only land in a different family but also in a completely different environment with a new language and culture and it is your family's mission to help the Au Pair to adapt and be able to develope great skills to survive it!
Hosting an Au Pair has several advantages that we have summarized:
1. An Au Pair provides your family with flexible and trustworthy childcare where your children will not need to leave their environment. By living in, the Au Pair will get used to the children in no time and the children will quickly trust the Au Pair, whom they will probably soon considered part of the family.
2. You will be participating in a cultural exchange program where both Au Pair and Host Family will be sharing their cultures; this will give your children a different perspective and will help them to open their minds to a completely new world they might love.
3. The Au Pair will not only be a nanny but also a big sister and a friend at the same time. The Au Pair will share time with the Host Family, colaborate in the everyday duties and become part of the family.
4. Your Au Pair will be integrated into your everyday life and will, hence, know your daily routine perfectly.
Can I Host an Au Pair?
In order to host an Au Pair, you need to meet certain general requirements that inlclude providing your Au Pair with a suitable room for private use, full board during the whole stay and a weekly/monthly pocket money amount.
Furthermore, depending on the country you are living in, you will be required to meet some additional requirements.
Prepare for Your First Au Pair!
Be a great Host Family by welcoming your Au Pair with open arms and make sure he/she feels gets a great first impression in real life!
In order to help your Au Pair to feel self-confident and comfortable with the new environment, we recommend to take time off from work, if possible, to show him/her around and get familiar with the place.
Make sure that you have the room for your Au Pair ready for him or her to move into and that the Au Pair knows what his/her tasks are, where to find everything and how s/he gets to wherever s/he needs to go (for example the kids' school, kindergarten etc.).
It is also a good idea to leave your emergency contact and important telephone numbers with your Au Pair so that he or she knows how to reach you in the case of an emergency. Apart from that, make sure that you get to know your Au Pair before he/she arrives. You will find that knowing your Au Pair well before his or her arrival makes everything a lot easier for both sides.
Since your children will be spending a lot of time with your Au Pair, it is important that they are well ready for your Au Pair's arrival. Tell your children ahead of time that you are expecting an Au Pair and ensure that your children and your Au Pair get to know each other well before you leave them alone at home for the first time.
Following, you can find a list with things you can do in order to prepare for your first Au Pair:
- Take time off from work to show your Au Pair around and make him/her familiar with everything
- Leave an emergency contact and important telephone numbers (your cell phone number, work number etc.)
- Make sure your Au Pair is familiar with his or her tasks. If necessary, leave him/her a notebook in which you keep descriptions of his/her tasks and routines and all relevant information for your Au Pair
- Get to know your Au Pair before s/he arrives (find out the best tips on questions to ask your Au Pair during the Skype interview).
- Prepare your children for the arrival of the Au Pair
- Have your Au Pair's room ready to be moved into