bedroom and full board and lodging and a minimum of £70 pocket money per week, they help you with light housework and childcare. If you make the effort to integrate the Au Pair into your family life you stand a chance of the Au Pair being a willing flexible helper rather than a dogmatic employee or CLEANER!
Remember that the Au Pair expects to be treated as part of your family – successful relationships are founded on mutual trust and respect and time spent achieving this will reap rewards.
It is essential that you are honest about your requirements and if you wish to amend your timetable you need to gain the commitment from your Au Pair. Think about things from the Au Pairs point of view rather than just your own – by doing this you are more likely to come up with workable solutions to most problems!
If you require extra hours you must be prepared to pay for them and we recommend approx £4 per hour
Put yourselves in the Au pairs position – Is the additional pay reasonable for the additional work required?
Would you be happy to undertake the role yourself if you were an Au Pair.?
When your Au Pair arrives they may well be homesick – they may not make it apparent because they could well be embarrassed about it. Do encourage them to phone home to say that they have arrived safely. Try to encourage them to relax and settle in and remember that they are the fish out of water – not you! They are in a new country having to communicate in their second language and they are going to need help and patience to adjust.
When your Au Pair first arrives they will have endured a long journey and may be tired and disorientated so they may take a few days to recover. You should give them time to settle in before expecting them to be immediate help.
Families and Au Pairs often experience a culture shock at the beginning of the relationship. Things that you may find different are eating habits – type of food and times of meals. Try to be tolerant and flexible within reason.