How to Help Your Au Pair to Be Fantastic
Employing an au pair stretches well beyond the employment of a temporary cleaning crew or gardening service. Au pairs are not just someone to look after your children for a night or two, making sure they stay out of trouble. They are highly trained professionals who focus on the wellbeing, education, nutritional needs and social alliances of your children.
Many au pairs travel to different countries to gain international experience, which not only benefits them on an educational level but also helps them to hone their social skills. Coming from a different country means that even if they speak English well, it is likely to be their second language. But this does not prevent them from providing you with excellent service. If anything, it will help your children learn more about other countries, broadening their knowledge of the world.
People are not always sure how to deal with their au pairs, because after some time with your family, they become more than a mere employee – they are somewhere between a family member and an employee. As such, you must know how to bring out the best in your au pair. Here are a few tips to help you achieve this:
- Make them feel comfortable: If you employ an au pair that lives in, they need a living space they can call their own. A place where they can retreat to for some privacy, peace, and tranquillity. Provide your au pair with a comfortable place to stay, adequate bedding, ablutions, and closet space where they can put their clothing and valuables. The objective is to make them feel as welcome as any guest would if they stayed over at your home.
- Your au pair is not your servant: Unfortunately, a lot of people struggle to comprehend the difference between a child educator and a housekeeper or domestic assistant. Your au pair is not there to wash your carpets, to launder your clothing, or to clean your bathroom. They are there to provide a valuable service to your children. While the duties may require some cleaning up after the children or washing the children’s laundry, it is not the responsibility of your au pair to take care of your household duties.
- Include your au pair on family outings: To make your au pair feel like part of your family (especially if they come from a different country), invite them to join your family activities – but without obligation. For instance, if you are going away on vacation, ask them if they would like to come along, especially if you are going to a place the au pair has never been to before. This can strengthen the bond between you and your au pair.
Always keep in mind that your au pair is there to nurture your children, and if they are unhappy, it can lead to unhappiness in the household. Do whatever you can (within reason) to make sure that they are happy and feel secure as your au pair. You can be sure that the result will be fantastic!