The Pebbles Philisophy
At Pebbles we are proud of the hard work we do to ensure successful placements. We have high standards for both our au pairs and our host families. We ask our families to commit to The Pebbles Philosophy.
Hosting an au pair is a rewarding experience. You will witness first hand your Au Pair adapting to a new lifestyle in a new country. This is often an Au Pair’s first time living abroad. You will see them progress in English and discover a new country as well as seeing your children learn about a different culture.
A NEW FAMILY MEMBER, NOT AN EMPLOYEE
You gain a new member of the family, insight into a different culture and language and hopefully a lifelong friendship.This entails fully understanding that an Au Pair is not a nanny, but something so much more. You will build up a personal relationship with your Au Pair, spend time with them when they’re “off duty”, help them settle in, learn English.
They will take part in your family life, get to know your friends and family, get involved in family events like birthdays, surprises etc. If you prefer a more professional relationship with less personal interaction, you may prefer to consider a live out child-carer.
IT’S A CULTURAL EXCHANGE – NOT A JOB
Welcoming an au pair into your home is a cultural exchange.We ask you to share your culture with your Au Pair. Cook typical meals, invite them along for traditional events such as Guy Fawkes night or a cricket match! Show them how to make scones or an English breakfast. Ask them about their country, what do they eat in the mornings? How do they celebrate Christmas? Ask them to teach some of their language and customs to the children.
SUPPORTING YOUR AU PAIR – YOU’RE THEIR ADOPTED FAMILY
This is likely your Au Pair’s first time living and working abroad, as a Pebbles host family, you will need to have some time to show your Au Pair the ropes. This applies both in your house (washing machine, oven, tv etc) but also outside of the home. They will need assistance registering at the doctors, finding a language school, opening a bank account and finding their way around your local area as well as with any other challenges they might have – they’re arriving in a new country with a language they’re coming to learn.
Your Au Pair may not know anyone in the country, whilst Pebbles will provide them with all sorts of tools for making friends, they’ll take time to create their own social life. They will naturally miss their friends and family and need some support.
TRAINING YOUR AU PAIR – HELP THEM HELP YOU
It is very important that families understand the role of the Au Pair. They are not trained qualified nannies or childminders. They haven’t had the crash course in parenting that comes with having our own children. They will have some experience with kids, maybe putting them to bed when they parents go out or collecting them from school. This isn’t the same as making sure 3 children leave the house on time, dressed for school with their lunch box and gym kit and satchel etc….
It will take a few weeks before they start to mange this process well. To begin with they will need help with managing the children and gaining their respect, you will need to help them with this transition – explain to the children that the Au Pair is in charge. Try not to undermine them in front of the kids – if the Au Pair said no sweets until homework is done, back them up in front of the kids.
PREPARING FOR YOUR AU PAIR’S ARRIVAL
Finally, we want our host families to have fully thought about whether they are prepared to welcome a young male or female into their home for a long period of time and to be confident that their family is prepared for this. You would need to explain to your children why the Au Pair is coming, what her role her
MANAGING YOUR AU PAIR’S EXPECTATIONS AND MOTIVATION
As with anyone who has responsibilities and duties, your Au Pair needs to feel valued, respected and motivated. Avoid going over the requested hours, make sure you pay them on time, every time. Put yourself in their shoes – they’re here to learn English, visit the country, make friends – are you able to make this happen for them?
BE PREPARED FOR UPS AND DOWNS….
You may experience some difficulties during the placement, Au Pairs may make mistakes, lose motivation, get homesick. We would encourage you to dealt with this situations with diplomacy and tact in a mature and civilized manner. Should problems arise we expect our families to sit down and discuss the issue and how to overcome it, negative feedback should not be given by text but instead through dialogue, helping the Au Pair to improve.
Your agency is available throughout your placement to assist with any mediation and advise you on tricky situations.
…..AND UNFORESEEN EVENTS
Your Au Pair will be living far from home – this is not just a day job to them, they’re leaving their whole world behind them. Unforeseen events can lead an Au Pair having to return home earlier than initially planned. We would encourage you to always bear this in mind, avoid lending your Au Pair money, paying for any membership or language schools up front or reserving flights for them. If childcare is crucial to your family and you have no backup network, you may be advised to seek more professional live out solution with emergency childcare cover.
By committing to The Pebbles Philosophy we are sure that your family will have a positive Au Pair experience.