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Hosting an Au Pair as a single parent

Parenting is a full time job even if both parents are present in the household. The situation gets worse when all the tasks have to be fulfilled by just one parent. 
 
In such cases, an extra set of hands will really make a difference. That’s why the Au Pair, splitting the responsibilities of the single parent almost in half, could be a literal life-saver.
 
Nonetheless, the single parents usually struggle to find an Au Pair interested in joining the family. This article explains what worries the Au Pairs and how to behave to keep the Au Pairs stress-free in the work environment.
Hosting an Au Pair as a single parent
As a single parent, hiring an Au Pair to have an extra set of hands in the house seems like a very sensible option.
 
Single parents are more likely to need help with childcare and with housework than parents from a “standard” household (where both parents are available on a daily basis).
 
While hosting an Au Pair is a very practical solution to the issues of single parenting, it is a bit more difficult for single mums and, especially, dads to find Au Pairs that are willing to work with them. 
 
Keep reading to find out why and how you could change this!

1. Workload

In the absence of one of the two parents, it becomes easy for the Au Pair to assume the role of a substitute parent or, in some cases, of a housekeeper. This is unfortunately not supposed to happen, as Au Pairs are mostly quite young and taking up such big responsibilities would also be against the Au Pair regulations
 
In order to avoid this, when hosting an Au Pair, it is important to find a balance in the amount of work done by the Host Mum/Host Dad and the Au Pair. 
 
Au Pairs should feel part of the family, but it is crucial to stick to the contract and follow the general rules of the program.
 
This means that the Au Pair should not work more hours han what he/she is supposed to, nor should he/she carry out tasks that don't belong to the Au Pair's scope of responsibility.

2. Dynamics between Host Parent and Au Pair

One other reason that makes it harder for single parents to find an Au Pair is the potential risk for the work relations to turn into a relationship that resembles a marriage, also from a romantic point of view. This is a common worry among Au Pairs, especially women, who can find themselves in a position of subordination without knowing how to act in these circumstances. 
 
Therefore, it is important for the Host Parent to be careful with the use of certain expressions or comments towards the Au Pair, so that he/she doesn't feel uncomfortable in the work environment. 
 

How long does it take to find an Au Pair?
It depends on several factors. Make sure your profile is full and interesting for other users. Make sure that you meet the Host Family requirements set by the Au Pair program. Be active and contact about 10-15 Au Pairs per day. If you follow the three tips above you can find a suitable match within one to four weeks. Check out our Host Family guide for more advice and ideas on how to find an Au Pair faster.
What are the requirements to host an Au Pair?
There are three most important requirements: the Au Pair accommodation, full board and monthly/weekly sum of pocket money. We recommend to go through the full list of requirements for Host Families. If you meet them, you can register as a Host Family today and find an Au Pair that matches your criteria.


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