Become a host family
Becoming a host family for an au pair is almost like getting a new family member – an older more responsible sister or brother to your family who will contribute to creating a happy home environment allowing the parents to balance home life with the demands of a career more effectively.
An au pair will not only take good care of your home, he or she will also create cultural diversity enabling your children to experience new things. This creates opportunities to make them into open and tolerant people. Many people who have grown up with au pairs have good memories from their experiences.
Since the au pair will become a part of your family, they should be treated as a family member. A great way of getting to know you’re au pair is by inviting them to family activities!
Becoming an au pair is for the majority of girls, the very first time after their studies that they are away from home for a long period. This in combination with coming to a new country, culture and family is not the easiest task and therefore you as a family will need to be understanding and supportive. Having a good relationship with your au pair will be a very important factor for everyone’s happiness. For many families and au pairs they keep in contact even after they’ve gone home.
How to become a good host family for your au pair
A host family should provide the au pair with food, housing and pocket money. Have a look into the country guides to find a good wage rate. Preferably you should provide a separate room for you au pair.
The main reasons why people become au pairs are to experience - living abroad, being independent, speaking a new language and getting to know your culture. This means that you need to give your au pair enough spare time as well as helping them with your language. It’s great if you introduce them to your culture by taking them to traditional celebrations. The working hours per day should not exceed more than 5 hours a day.
It’s a nice gesture if you pay for the au pairs travel costs to come to your country and also for her language studies. We recommend you to write to contract with your au pair before she arrives. In the contract you should specify yours as well as their rights and duties. You can find a template here.
What are the duties of an au pair?
Au pairs duties are firstly and mainly to take care of your children. An au pair needs to be reliable, tolerant, responsible and loving. They will be treated with respect and in return will provide valuable help for your family and create a good atmosphere.
How to choose the right au pair
Checking references of your potential au pair is a perfect way of getting to know them from the perspective of others. Make sure that your candidates have references and ask them how the candidate deals with different situations.
Interests in common
Having the same interests in common as your au pair can make life easier and be more fun. As a good example, if your family loves sports make sure your au pairs main interests aren’t watching TV.
Other important factors
Remember that your au pair may come from a different background than you.
If you have children under three years old or babies the au pair should have experience for that age range.