Our new families often ask about what they should prepare to welcome their new professional au pair and get the relationship off to a great start. We asked experienced PROaupair Host Families for their tips on how to welcome their professional au pair. Here's what they told us.
- Welcome your au pair to the neighborhood. Facilitate a gathering during which time your au pair has an opportunity to meet your neighbors and friends – not only will this make her feel welcome, it ensures that she knows people to contact if you aren’t available.
- Find her an age-appropriate buddy. Reach out to your network and see if you can find someone your au pair’s age that can invite her out during her first or second week, so she can have a night out right away. This will help to ease culture shock and help her make friends.
- Make her arrival memorable. Bring flowers or balloons and a welcome sign when you meet your au pair at the airport. It will cheer her up after a long flight and make her feel special.
- Ensure your au pair has work/life balance. It is important for host families to understand that this is a hard job. The more you can do to ensure your au pair has a social life outside of work, the happier she will be while doing her work!
- Celebrate the successes. While it will take some time for your au pair to adjust to your family and routines, be sure to provide positive reinforcement and celebrate successes as they occur – even if they are small and seemingly inconsequential.
I put together a small gift basket in my au pair’s room for arrival, including a map of the city, tourist brochures, travel toiletries, local chocolate and a welcome card. I also prioritized showing her how to get around the city using public transport and oriented her to the neighborhood, walking with her to a few favorite spots.
PROaupair Host Family