For host families, a new au pair coming into their home can be a very exciting as well as nerve racking time. However, it is also essential to be aware that this is also a big change for the au pair. The au pair is someone else's daughter or son, they may be homesick at first and usually need some time to adjust to the new foods and new habits.
To make the transition as smooth as possible, we have prepared some examples and tips of how the host family can welcome their au pair into their home.
keep in touch with the au pair prior to their arrival, send them photos of your children, a description and schedule of the role and also show interest about their current life. For example, ask them about what they like to do in their free time, what they like to eat and what things they consider to be important in their living space. It is important for au pairs to feel accepted and valued by sharing information about your children and the role and showing interest in their likes and culture which will make them feel valued and appreciated
provide them important contacts where they can reach you at arrival
PREPARE THE AU PAIR'S BEDROOM:
a room with a window with a nice view if possible, a comfortable and tidied bed and enough space for a desk with a chair and storage
colours in the room: pillows, accessories, vases etc. to brighten up the room
a welcome basket that can consist of toiletries, a welcome drawing from your children, a book about the location you live in, a list of suggested sightseeing, notepads, fresh flowers or homemade cookies or similar can additionally make them feel appreciated and comfortable
AU PAIR'S ARRIVAL:
pick them up from the airport or give them clear guidance on how to get to your house and if you can, contribute to travel cost
make their arrival memorable, bring a welcoming spirit with a nice meal you know the au pair likes from your previous conversations with them, balloons or flowers at their arrival also help them cheer up after a long flight and make them feel special
give the au pair time to recover from travel, give them at least a day to unpack, rest and settle into the host family's home before taking over child-care duties
welcome your au pair to the neighbourhood, to find friends but also to know the people who they can contact in case you are not available
introduce them to your firends' au pairs if you can to ease the culture shock and to help them make friends
they normally wish to improve their English and see new places while they are your au pair and therefore, you can help them by providing tips for English courses and travelling.
We hope this guide will help you on the way to a positive au pair placement experience.