Regarding au pairing, the line between family time and work can get blurry. Your host family must understand that and respects your need for time to relax.
When interviewing with families, always ask about housework duties and driving rules.
What to Expect
Au pairs are legally required to follow host families’ rules and are expected to be treated as a full-fledged family members. This means they will live in the host home and receive room, board, and childcare. Au pairs are encouraged to participate in community activities and educational opportunities to help them better understand American life.
Discussing the family’s expectations with your au pair before they arrive is important. Later shocks will be less likely as a result of this. Your au pair should also have a map of the area and an explanation of local customs, such as traffic rules. Your au pair, for instance, might need to be made aware that it is illegal for her country to pass a stopped school bus.
If you have children, clarifying the family’s childcare requirements like Go Au Pair program is essential. Explain what you expect from her and how she should respond to your children if they misbehave.
It is also a good idea to talk about housework and other chores you expect your au pair to do. For example, you should clarify if you want her to avoid washing your clothes or cleaning the family car.
Preparing for the Arrival
Make sure your household is prepared for the arrival of your au pair. Make sure your kids are aware of her visit, and even if they are too little to communicate, think about having them sketch a picture for her to hang on the fridge. This will make her feel at home right away.
Also, before she comes, establish ground rules with her. She may be responsible for certain house rooms, a cleaning schedule, laundry days, etc. Additionally, this is an ideal time to discuss her pay schedule and vacation regulations.
If you have small children, carefully review expectations for child care and discipline techniques. Methods for disciplining children can vary greatly from culture to culture, so it is important for your family to be clear on your expectations and to communicate clearly with your au pair.
Also, if you have a car, discuss driving policies and the logistics of how she will use it during her first weeks in your home. Have your local coordinator call her within 48 hours of her arrival and visit her during her first two weeks. This will help her feel supported and reassured during this critical time.
Getting to Know Your Host Family
The Au Pair will need time to adjust and learn about the family’s lifestyle and expectations. This is a mutually beneficial experience. The host family gets an additional helper, and the Au Pair gains a lifetime of experiences they will take into their future jobs, relationships and life.
The Au Pair must understand that this is their new family and treat them respectfully and kindly. This includes listening to them and responding to what they say. It’s also important for the Au Pair to not compare their experience with other Au Pairs and their families, as each situation is different.
When getting to know them, it is a good idea for the Au Pair to inquire about the family’s daily schedule and favorite pastimes. What are their favorite meals, for instance, and when do they usually consume them?
The au pair must introduce the family to her culture. This may be accomplished by cooking meals from her native country or bringing up her hometown and native tongue. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the host family to get to know her better and for the au pair to meet others in her new neighborhood.
Getting to Know Your Au Pair
It is crucial to know your au pair, whether you utilized Au Pair to discover or found them independently. Ask them questions throughout the interview to better understand them and their requirements.
Inform the au pair about her expectations for privacy and any areas of your home that you believe to be private. Once she comes, everything will be predictable, thanks to this. It’s crucial to talk about how the home will run, whether you have kids, and how old they are. You and your au pair will need to agree on house rules and a schedule for the work day.
Discuss discipline and safety issues with your au pair if you have children. Any decisions she takes in front of the kids must have your support. Additionally, it is a good idea to discuss why American children behave differently from their classmates in other nations.
Discussing your family’s religious practices and views is also a good idea. Your au pair need to understand your expectations and what will be expected of her regarding your religion.