The idea of welcoming an au pair into your home can be both exciting and scary. The first few weeks of getting to know each other personally and professionally is a very important time. Here are some tips for getting things off on the right foot and continuing to keep you, your au pair and your children happy!
1. Create a written list of rules/expectations.
Give the au pair clear direction on your childcare practices and your house rules. The handbook should contain everything from what to do with the kids (e.g., what they can eat, washing hands, how much screen time) to house rules (e.g., no shoes in the house, dishes should be washed after a meal).
2. Help with communication.
One of the biggest challenges with an au pair can be the language barrier. Take her to a local language school and help her enroll in classes. Teach her how to use apps like Munchkin Report and have her log children’s activities throughout the day. This is super helpful because it eliminates any confusion on what took place during the day.
3. Make sure she is comfortable with the area.
Take her around the local area so she can see where the kids can play (parks, playgrounds) and where she might like to go during her time off (coffee shops, movie theaters).
4. Include you au pair in family activities.
This will help her feel comfortable around you and the kids. It also gives her a chance to see how you interact with as a family.
5. Provide feedback.
Set time so you can provide feedback on what is going well and what areas might need attention. This is critical in the early days when you are still getting to know each other. You might start with weekly meetings and then move to monthly as you get more comfortable with each other.
What are some challenges you’ve faced hiring or onboarding your au pairs? Leave a comment below!