au pair

How to make your Au Pair feel welcome

⏱ Reading time: 8 min.
In order to have a successful Au Pair stay, it is important for both parties to feel comfortable with each other. It is not always easy for Au Pairs to adjust to a culture different from their own, especially if they don’t have a strong relationship with the Host Family. That’s why we believe that it is important to create a bond with your Au Pair before their arrival, and would like to give you some tips to help you make it grow during their stay with your family. 
How to make your Au Pair feel welcome

Before the Au Pair’s arrival

Before their arrival, it would be nice to make some video calls talking to your future Au Pair about your family, not only in terms of the practical aspect of the job, but also to start getting to know each other right away on a deeper level.
 
Moreover, you should show some interest in the Au Pair’s life. What’s their family like? Do they have any hobbies? Getting to know your Au Pair before their arrival will help you both to connect. It will also show some cultural differences that you might want to be aware of.

The Au Pair’s first days with your family

1. Pick up your Au Pair from the airport

The day your Au Pair arrives, it should be clear that your family is really happy to welcome them. We know that the lives of many families are hectic. However, picking up your Au Pair from the bus/train station or airport is something that can really make the difference. Many Au Pairs may feel lost or unwelcomed if there is no one waiting for them when they arrive and they have to reach your home on their own.

2. Prepare a cozy room for the Au Pair

Once at home, also make sure that the Au Pair's room is cozy. You don't have to spend a lot of time arranging it. A room that is well organized, smells nice, and perhaps has flowers to decorate it, will be enough to let your Au Pair know that you are happy that they chose your family of all people to spend their time abroad.

3. Let the Au Pair have some time to get used to the area

During the first day - or even the entire first week - many families decide to not let the Au Pair work. We think it is a very good idea to give the Au Pair time to adjust to their new environment. Show them around the house, tell them where they can put their things and where you keep your snacks, give them the wifi password and all the necessary instructions so they can move around independently and without asking your permission if they want to use an appliance or watch television. It should be clear from the beginning that from now on this will also be their home, although it is correct to talk about any rules to ensure peaceful coexistence and avoid possible misunderstandings.

4. Show the Au Pair around

If the Au Pair's duties include driving the children to school or afternoon activities, do not simply write down the address. Obviously the Au Pair will be able to use their own smartphone to get to the destination, but taking the time to walk them and show them the way to school is a nice gesture and will help the Au Pair feel confident from their first day at work.

5. Welcome the Au Pair with a gift

Finally, giving the Au Pair a small welcome gift will certainly help create a nice bond between you and break the ice. You don't have to buy anything expensive! A decoration for the room, an object symbolizing your city, a nice book or even a plant will be more than suitable gifts. Click here to read all our tips on what to gift your Au Pair. Also, your children could make a nice drawing of your family for the Au Pair. Children love to draw and there is no better occasion than this to have a nice family portrait drawn!

Strengthening the bond during the stay

It is important that all your efforts to make the Au Pair feel comfortable are not limited to the first few days. The relationship between you and the Au Pair will grow throughout the stay, so you do not need to force it. However, you should remember to include them in family activities. 

6. Make the Au Pair feel part of your family

Invite the Au Pair to birthdays and reunions with grandparents and uncles; if you go on day trips out of town, ask the Au Pair if they would like to come with you and learn about new places. Many families also decide to take their Au Pair on vacation with them for longer stays. In this case, you should decide and agree in advance if these days will be counted as vacation or if the Au Pair will have to work for a few hours.

Integration into the neighborhood

7. Encourage the Au Pair to make new friends

It is important for the Au Pair to make friends and get to know people outside of the family unit as well. 
  • The first place to make acquaintances is the language course. It is important that there is always time in the Au Pair's routine to dedicate to the language course. You could search for a good language school that offers good courses near your home. The Au Pair may also need help with registration, so getting informed and helping out won't hurt.
  • As in many other aspects of life, social media comes to our aid! Nowadays, it is so easy to find groups on various social media where you can meet Au Pairs and international people living nearby. If the Au Pair is shy, you might advise her to look for one of these groups and meet other people who, like them, are eager to meet new friends.
  • Finally, if you are aware of a hobby that your Au Pair enjoys practicing, you can inquire about the possibilities in your neighborhood and suggest that the Au Pair continues it in the new city. This will not only make the Au Pair happy, but will also help them meet people with the same interests, and will show them that you care about their passions. Moreover, being able to stick to their hobbies, Au Pairs will have less probabilities to feel homesick.
We hope that after reading our article you understood that making the Au Pair feel at home from the very first days is really simple. All it takes is a few tricks to make the difference. Not only will this be extremely positive for the Au Pair, but it will help you bond and cooperate throughout the Au Pair's stay. 
 




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