How to make your Au Pair placement a success
The expectations need to be clear from both the host family and the Au Pair’s perspectives. Setting ground rules right from the start, monitoring the situation, having continuous two-way communication and making the Au Pair part of the family (and not a contract worker) is a vital balance to get right.
It seems obvious, but if the family do not show enough consideration towards the Au Pair, they will leave before then end of the agreed completion date. The consequences of this include unnecessary change for the children, more of your time to recruit and train a new person and the cost of a new search.
Training your Au Pair
You need to invest time with your Au Pair. Unlike nannies, Au Pairs will not be fully operational on day one. The more you explain and set expectations for your Au Pair, the better chance of the job b
As well as training them for the job, you will need to help your Au Pair adapt to life in the UK. This will include things like showing them your neighbourhood, the local transport, introducing them to other young people you may know, helping them get their phone working and enrol in a language school/gym etc.
Things to make sure you are able to ensure, including but not limited to :
- Disciplining the children when they are rude or don’t listen to the Au Pair
- Fully supporting her in front of the children thereby ensuring she can have the necessary authority over them
- Making sure they’re learning English – this is their number 1 reason for coming to the UK
- Respecting all the agreed placement conditions including ensuring you pay them on time, not going over the hours and limiting domestic tasks to the bare minimum
- Taking the time to talk to them – ask about their day, how they are getting on, are they happy with their English progression, have they made friends
- Keeping them updated on the family’s plans – are you going away for the weekend (did you leave food and her pocket money before going), letting them know in advance if you need babysitting.
- Treating them as a member of the family – celebrating their birthday, ensuring they have their favourite cereal in the cupboard, inviting them on family days out, sharing your home with them