Tips for a successful relationship with your Au Pair
The word “Au Pair” means “on par” or equal too. Au Pairs are young people who live with a British family so that they can learn about the English Language and culture. To get the best out of your relationship, it does help to take the following steps in order:
- Before their arrival, please do keep in regular contact via email, telephone or Skype so that they can feel assured that they will be going to a warm and welcoming family. The Au Pair will be just as anxious as you but it is they who are leaving loved ones and friends behind.
- Once they have arrived, it’s a good idea to go to the supermarket together so they can show you what foods that they like.
- Treat your Au Pair as you would as a family member or friend and encourage them to talk about their home life as much as possible i.e. ask if there are any photos that you can look at.
- Be sympathetic and compassionate as they could very well be feeling homesick. If homesickness is being experienced, then please do keep them busy, distracted and involve them more with your family. Having an Au Pair sitting alone in the bedroom upset and missing home is not healthy!
- Have a guideline of expectations and routine ready for them so that when they arrive they can familiarise themselves with duties and tasks required, and house rules; this can help immensely if there are language restrictions at the very beginning on arrival. Working hours need to be emphasised on the daily routine too so that they understand what is free time and working time. Always be patient, allow them to ask questions and let them interact with your children instantly to build up a bond.
- Encourage them to explore, make friends at their college classes and invite them on days out from time to time.
- A welcome pack will be sent out to your home, and we also make a “hello, how are you settling call in” call to your Au Pair or Mothers Help during the 2nd week of the placement. A Family Handbook is available to all families by request – please ask.
- The majority of applicants (all from within EU countries) will be entitled to free medical treatment from the NHS if needed however, in recent months, the NHS have indicated that an EU national is only covered for the first three months of their visit to the UK. It is advisable to get them registered with your doctor soon after they arrive just as a precaution in case they may fall ill with flu or an infection at any time your family may be ill. We also offer specialist au pair insurance for extra peace of mind which we do strongly recommend.
- If the applicant is required to drive in England it is advisable to take them out for some lessons first so that they can gain confidence and experience with the English way of driving i.e. driving on the left, road signs, speed limits and speed cameras! You must also have adequate insurance to cover your au pair in case of any accidents. Please do ask for more information on this.
Remember, that communication is the key to a successful relationship. Having an au pair is a good way to resolve childcare issues, as your children can be cared for in your own home. Likewise it is a great experience for them to learn about our culture and way of life and to study English to further their education.
To find an Au Pair or Mother’s Help, register your family for free!