Hosting an au pair can be an affordable and convenient childcare option for your family. If you use an Australian au pair agency to find an au pair you will be given some guidelines about how the process works but sometimes potential host families can express a few common concerns about hosting an au pair.
Let’s take a look at these and help you feel more confident when it comes to hosting an au pair.
1. What if things don’t work out between us and the au pair?
If you are having difficulties with your au pair, the first step is to talk to them. Sometimes you might need to clarify your expectations and ensure that there are no misunderstandings between you.
If you still cannot sort things out, the next step would be to contact your au pair agency. This is one of the benefits of finding your au pair through an agency. They can provide assistance and talk to both you and your au pair. They may have suggestions that you had not thought of because they have dealt with similar situations in the past.
As a last resort, if the situation cannot be resolved, an au pair agency will look at the option of matching you up with a different au pair.
2. What happens if my au pair is sick?
Au pairs do not get sick leave like someone does when they are employed because au pairing is regarded as a cultural exchange. You do still need to give your au pair pocket money if they are sick.
You will need to arrange alternative child care if your au pair is unwell and able to perform their regular duties. However, if your au pair is unable to assist for any length of time, you may need to discuss options with the au pair agency that you used to find your au pair.
3. What do I need to pay towards my au pair’s travel costs?
Most agencies require au pairs to pay for their flights to Australia, their visa and also travel insurance.
As a host family, you will need to pay for travel from the time they arrive in the country. This could mean fetching them at the airport (or arranging transport from the airport to your home), or a connecting flight for the au pair, if it is necessary for them to fly on from the international airport at which they originally arrived. This is particularly for families that live in remote locations which require additional travel within Australia.
Similarly, when your au pair leaves to return home you are responsible for the domestic travel to the international airport from which they will depart.
4. Won’t we lose our privacy with someone living in our house?
This concern is raised by many host. It does take some getting used to, and couples may choose to have more regular date nights, for example, to give yourself more privacy. However, you will hopefully also form a great relationship with your au pair who is intended to become part of your family.
Most families find that the help they receive from the au pair makes up for the inconvenience of having an additional person in the house.
5. How do we avoid having an au pair who uses excessive amounts of internet data and has lots of guests over on a regular basis?
Some families are concerned that internet bills may be end up being exorbitant due to the au pair’s usage, that they will have noisy guests over or that they will sit on their phone rather than being focused on the kids.
The best way to deal with this in advance of any issues occurring is to have clear rules right from the start. If you find your au pair through a reputable au pair agency, they will talk you through how best to approach this. However, the most important thing is that you write out your rules and talk through them with your au pair when they first arrive. If you have concerns that your rules are not being followed, then this should be addressed immediately before the problem escalates.
To speak to a respected au pair agency in Australia about any concerns that you have about hosting an au pair, or to chat about how an au pair can make childcare easier for your family, contact Smart Au Pairs today.