The dos and don’ts of hosting an au-pair.

Brilliant advice if you have decided that having an au-pair is the right type of childcare for your family

Once you have decided that having an au-pair is the right type of childcare for your family you will go about hiring one and soon they will be welcomed into your home. There are a few things that can help the process for you , your children and your au-pair to ensure that everything goes swimmingly well and here are a few dos and don’ts which you may or may not have being aware of.
Dos.
  • Do make her feel welcome and encourage her to be a part of the family while she is with you. Tell your children to treat her with respect as they would with you and not to be rude or take advantage of her.
  • Do give her a nice clean room, freshly painted and a freshly made bed with some nice sheets that are age appropriate for her rather than old sheets off the kid’s beds with cartoons on them! Give her space and allow her room to be her own sanctuary and let her keep it as she likes but remind her to keep it well and look after her own cleaning of it.
  • Do spend some time with her and don’t just run out the door the day after she arrives and assume she will do everything you need her to do. Show her around the area, bring her on the school run or any other place your kids will be frequenting and show her the local stores.
  • Do give her a diary and put everyone’s numbers in it for emergencies like the Doctor, the hospital, the vet (if you have pets) and close relatives that may live nearby. Make sure to add the addresses so she can find them if needs be and don’t leave anything to chance. In her diary include a list of responsibilities and duties you would like her to do and explain fully how things work in your home. If she goes out after you arrive home be sure to set a curfew or it might bother you if she rolls in at midnight waking the house, and have rules on visitors and how strictly no male visitors at any time.
  • Give her a phone, and let her use the family laptop if she doesn’t have one again reminding her of what she can look at and what will not be tolerated in your home.
Don’ts.
  • Don’t treat her unfairly, take advantage or be rude to her and remember that she is a person and should be respected while staying with you and your family. Try not to invade her personal space and allow her time alone in her room if it pleases her and don’t force her to take part in family events unless you require her to mind the children.
  • Don’t assume she knows everything and get mad when she doesn’t do what you expected her to do. If you want her to cook, clean and do some chores you need to inform her and also teach her how to use the washing machine, oven and other household items.
  • Don’t presume that she shares the same values as you and will care for the kids as you would, and you will need to run through how you like the kiddies to be cared for. Explain the routine you have with the kids and how there are rules for a reason, and you expect her to instil those rules in your absence.
  • In most cases your au-pair experience will be a good one and with these handy dos and don’ts you will be one step ahead. 
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