What an exciting time – your new au pair is about to arrive! Here are a few tips for welcoming your new au pair and helping her/him feel like part of your family:
The First Week:
- Have the au pair’s room clean and furnished; TV and PC are big hits but not required
- Extra linens and towels in the room are also a nice touch
- A gift basket with healthy goodies is a great way to help your au pair settle in; don’t be surprised if the au pair brings your family gifts
- Welcome your au pair by having the children make a sign or cards
- Encourage your au pair to call family right away to check in
- Ask about the room (anything else needed?)
- Inquire about his/her home, country, family, and ask to see the pictures
- Ask them how you can make them feel welcome with regard to food, customs, etc.
- If you haven’t given it thought, consider a cell phone as a welcome gift; it’ll be a great way to keep in constant contact!
- Plan to spend the first three days with your au pair touring the home, using appliances, clarifying childcare needs, and explaining rules in handbook
- Help to get the social security card and bank account right away
- If the au pair will be driving, help to get driver’s license test booklet and paperwork for preparation (need SS # first)
- Show where the weekly/monthly work schedule and emergency numbers are posted
- Discuss unknowns: answering the phone and door, locking up the house, security system, severe weather warnings, fire/smoke alarms, power/phone outages, school closings, etc.
- Introduce the au pair to family, friends, and neighbors
- Demonstrate cooking for your children and have basic meal plans set out
- Visit the local college and help with enrollment
- Discuss and provide access to transportation (car or public)
- Discuss your discipline system and demonstrate it (1,2,3 – etc.)
- Be a model: use the voice tone/volume and discipline with your children that you want the au pair to use (s/he will do what you do, when you are away)
Selecting au pair childcare will probably be one of the best decisions you’ve made; it was for me, and following a few of these suggestions will help your au pair feel part of your family!
Friday, 4 January 2013 9:29 AM