If you already found and invited an Au Pair, one important step is done already. Nevertheless there is still a lot coming. Before the Au Pair arrives, you need to take care of and prepare some things first. The following advice can be very helpful for you, if this is going to be your first Au Pair, but also if you already made some experience with Au Pairs, you should think about the following points, before the Au Pair arrives or in the first days with an Au Pair.
Before the departure there are still a few formalities you and your Au Pair need to take care of. The Au Pair is responsible for the flight and the visa, but you as the host family should organize a suitable insurance for the Au Pair in advance. This insurance should be valid from the first day on, if the health insurance of the Au Pair isn´t valid in the host country. Do not forget to make a contract with the Au Pair and sign it.
Contact with the Au Pair
Even before the Au Pair arrives you should stay in contact with the Au Pair to get to know each other better and improve the relationship. Skype and phone regularly or write E-Mails to each other.
Prepare the children for the new situation
Especially if this is your first Au Pair you need to prepare your children for the new situation. Explain who that new person is, that will live with you and make clear, that the Au Pair will be a family member, almost as a big sister/brother, but that the kids also need to respect the Au Pair.
Duties of the host family
Inform yourself about the host family´s duties beforehand. You need to make sure, that you follow the requirements of the Au Pair program, especially concerning working hours, tasks or pocket money.
Prepare the Au Pair´s room
Make sure that the Au Pair´s room looks welcoming before the arrival and that it is well appointed. Furnish the room, do the repairing, clean and tidy up the room.
Also for the first few days after the Au Pair´s arrival, there are a few things that you should think about and that could help you out.
Make sure, that the Au Pair feels comfortable and welcomed and try to be understanding towards its situation. The Au Pair needs time to adjust to the new situation with a new family and a new culture and you need to respect that.
Take your time with the Au Pair. The best would be if you take the first few days off, so that you can spend as much time as possible with the Au Pair in order to get him/her closer to the people, neighborhood and tasks. Show the Au Pair the important routes, f.e. to school and nursery and introduce the Au Pair there. Explain how the (public) transportation system function, but also how devices and processes in your house work.
Do not forget to make family rules and a weekly plan, to register the Au Pair with the responsible offices and a language school and open a bank account.