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Welcoming Your Au Pair

You’ve gone back and forth thinking… is this really the right decision? Do we want to commit to bringing a young au pair from another country into our home? How many candidates should we talk to? Which one should we choose? You’ve finally made the jump and now it’s almost time for your au pair to arrive to your home!

More questions arise… How to prepare for her arrival? Do we get her a gift? What will she expect? Will she be overwhelmed? How do we make sure we open our homes and lives to her from the get-go? Here are answers to some of your questions. We know every family is different and not all suggestions will seem right to you, which is okay.

The first step is to get your au pair from the airport or from the NYC Au Pair Workshop and bring her back to your home. Go to welcome her as a family or at least with the children, and have the kids make a sign to welcome her as she comes out! At home, make sure her room is ready and somewhat decorated, although you want to be sure she can still add her touch and personal style. Why not ask the children to write her a welcome letter and put it on her bed? That’d be such a caring gesture as she discovers her room. You could consider getting a welcome gift for your au pair, nothing big, but a little something will go a long way! And finally, think of a few things to do during her first weekend… although your au pair may be tired after a full week at the au pair workshop, going somewhere for the day or visiting relatives for dinner may help her forget that she just left her whole life, family, and friends! Remember that you (at least one member of your family) should spend the first three days following your au pair’s arrival to your home with her.

Now that she’s made it safe and sound to your home and to her room, it’s time to get her acclimated to your home and routine. Show her around the home: where is the food pantry, where to find the first aid kit, how to use all home appliances (it may be different from what they are used to!). Let your au pair know what the basic house rules are (shoes in the house, turning off lights, etc.); also explain to her what her schedule will be and take a moment to discuss money matters (to avoid your au pair being uncomfortable asking about her stipend arrangements). Lastly, think of a few things your au pair will need to know regarding child care (where are the children’s clothes, toys, any tips if they cry) and give her all phone numbers in case of an emergency (emergency contacts, 911, local doctor, closest hospital, EurAupair toll free line).

And last but not least, don’t forget to show your au pair your neighborhood and community! Let her know how to get by (any transportation? How to use the car?) and show her places she can go with the children or on her own during her free time (parks, restaurants, coffee shops, museums, etc.). With this all, your au pair will smoothly transition into her new home, her new family, and her new life!

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