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How to Prepare for an Au Pair?
When Your Au Pair Arrives
If you’re preparing to welcome an au pair into your home, you may be wondering what you should do to be ready for the moment she arrives. If you’re curious about how to prepare, you can rest assured that getting ready for your au pair is a fun process you and your children can experience together.
How to Prepare for Your Au Pair: Ask Questions
Preparing for the arrival of an au pair begins long before the child care provider shows up on your doorstep. Because an au pair is joining your family for a year, it’s important that you and your children get to know your au pair before she arrives at your location. Getting to know your au pair will show her that you care about her, and it will also enable you to create a living environment your au pair will be comfortable in.
To get to know your au pair, use Skype or another platform that enables you and your kids to see your au pair as she talks. Schedule regular talks in the months and weeks leading up to your au pair’s arrival.
During your talks, ask your au pair questions that will help you become familiar with her personality, her likes and dislikes and her child care experience. Here are some questions you may want to ask:
- What expectations do you have for your experience as an au pair?
- What would you like to do and see during your stay with us?
- Are you comfortable driving the car provided for transportation (SUV, Mini Van, Etc)?
- What find of food do you like to eat?
- Do you have allergies?
- Do you like pets?
- How old were the children you’ve cared for in the past and what activities did you enjoy doing with them?
- What hobbies interest you?
- Would you like to be heavily involved in our family activities, or do you enjoy having a lot of time to yourself?
Additional Steps to Get Ready for Your Au Pair
In addition to getting to know your au pair, some additional steps to get ready for her arrival include:
1. Prepare her space: Prepare your au pair’s room, so she’ll be comfortable in the space. To make your au pair feel extra special when she arrives, consider putting some pictures of her homeland along with some pictures of your children and a few handmade drawings from your children in her room.
2. Create a schedule: The schedule should include the hours she’ll provide child care and her down time.
3. Get information from local colleges and universities: Since your au pair will have to complete coursework during her stay, pick up literature from nearby colleges and universities: Leave it in your au pair’s room, so she can review it after she settles in.
4. Collect necessary information for transportation: Many au pairs do have an international driver’s license. However, if yours doesn’t, consider collecting information about driving courses if you want your au pair to drive your children to various locations during her stay. Public transit information may also be useful. As an au pair may not have access to a car during her free time, you may want to provide local maps of the area and public transportation schedules for her convenience.
5. Be available during the first couple of weeks: You might consider being available to spend time with your au pair during the first week or two she’s with your family. This will give you the chance to introduce her to the area and show her the places she’ll visit most often — e.g. your children’s schools, playing fields, etc.
6. Ensure adequate Internet access: Make sure your au pair will have a secure Internet connection at your home. With this in mind, make sure your data plan is generous enough to allow your au pair to have internet access during her free time.
7. Have a working cell phone ready: If you’re going to provide a cell phone for your au pair, pick one up and unlock it before she arrives. You can pre-program your numbers and information for your emergency contacts, so your au pair will have that information available at her fingertips whenever she needs it.
If you’d like more information about how you should prepare for the arrival of your au pair, contact EurAupair. For more than 30 years, we’ve been providing personalized services to host families and au pairs to ensure everyone has an unforgettable experience.
Give us a call or contact us online for more tips about what to do when your au pair arrives.