Hosting an au pair can be a very rewarding and positive experience for both your family and the au pair. However, adding a new guest to your household can be challenging, especially if your relationship doesn’t start off on a positive note. To help you get it right from the start, we have compiled a list of our top tips for making au pair hosting a success.
- Set ground rules
Every household has its own rules and most au pairs will find it easier to adapt to living with your family if they have a clear idea of what the basic rules are. You should consider your guidelines carefully and write them down. Take some time to sit down and discuss each rule with your new au pair. Ground rules can minimise future misunderstandings and conflict. Your house rules should include guidelines about the care and safety of your children, your pets, mealtimes and food preparation, telephone and internet use and other aspects such smoking and alcohol, telephone and internet use, and visitors.
- Outline your expectations clearly
One of the first things you should do is to introduce your au pair to the household and to clearly outline their duties. List all their tasks and duties, but remember to also be reasonable with your expectations. This may include:
- – Childcare duties like driving to school, helping with homework and keeping children engaged.
- – Suitable activities for the children and how they can be disciplined.
- – Working hours and off days.
- – Light housework duties such as doing laundry, preparing meals for the children and grocery shopping.
- – Personal expectations regarding your relationship, behaviour and reliability, mutual respect and privacy.
- Be open to suggestions and feedback
Once you have communicated your expectations and ground rules to your au pair, they will likely have their own questions and feedback about it. Give them time to think about their role in your home and your expectations and make it clear that they are welcome to voice any concerns or suggestions that they may have at any time. You may not always agree with their feedback, but keep an open mind and be willing to negotiate or compromise if necessary.
- Communicate regularly
The key to a good relationship with your au pair is regular and open communication, and not just about work! Show a genuine care and interest in their life. Ask her how their day was, talk about their interests and hobbies, and make them feel welcome in your presence. If they feel supported in your home they are also much more likely to share any troubles or concerns they are facing.
- Be reasonable
Mutual respect is the key to a successful working relationship with your au pair. Be kind and patient with your au pair and treat them how you would like to be treated. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for your au pair by asking them to do things that you wouldn’t want to do. Keep in mind that misunderstandings and errors may occur, but that it is also part of the learning experience. Also remember that while your au pair may be helping you look after your children, they are away from home and may need you to take care of them at times too.
Selecting an au pair who fits in well with your family is one of the most important steps in ensuring a successful and smooth au pair hosting experience. The team at Smartaupairs can assist you in every aspect of placing an au pair in Australia. With the backing of candidate agencies from around the world, they will provide you with a choice of hand-picked and screened candidates, assist you with the candidate interviewing process, and help make the au pair’s arrival as smooth as possible. They will exceed your expectations with their helpful arrival pack and by keeping in touch throughout the process. For more information visit their website or contact the Sydney au pair agency at 02 9451 3888 today.