Welcoming your new Au Pair

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

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