Prepare For Your Au Pair

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Juggle Street at 6/7/2020

So you have gone through the process of hiring an Au Pair in Australia. Now you need to prepare for your Au Pair. This article is designed to simplify that process for you, offering tips for what you can do to get ready for your carer’s arrival.

In some cases, this will depend on the arrangement that you have organised with your Au Pair nanny. But most Au Pairs are young adults (between the ages of 18 and 30), who live with a host family while taking care of their children. This is usually in exchange for accommodation, meals and a weekly allowance.

So, with this in mind, here are our top tips for preparing your home and family for the arrival of your new carer.

1. Prepare a room for your Au Pair                                                                   Your Au Pair nanny will need their own living space, so one of the first steps in preparing for your new carer is to set aside a separate room, ready for their arrival. This might mean converting a study into a bedroom, for example, or clearing out the closets in a spare bedroom, to make room for your carer’s own clothes. Either way, preparing a bedroom is essential in getting ready to welcome a new person into your household.

2. Make sure that they have access to a bathroom                                     Your live in carer will need access to a clean and private bathroom area. An ensuite would be ideal, but a shared bathroom is okay too, as long as they have ready access to amenities such as a toilet and shower. Before your Au Pair arrives, it is a good idea to make sure that this room is clean and tidy, with a little cupboard or drawer space set aside for your newcomer.

3. Type up a useful guide                                                                                           It might be helpful to prepare a guide for when your carer arrives. This can include information pertaining to their job – like the children’s weekly roster, emergency contacts, and household duties etc. But it is also a good idea to make sure that you include some practical information too, which will help to make your nanny’s stay more comfortable. This might include things like the house WiFi details, or a guide to public transport in your area, and information on international dialling codes, so that they can easily call home. It is these small details that will really go a long way in ensuring a smooth transition for the new member of your household.

4. Familiarise yourself with your host duties                                                     Before your Au Pair arrives, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with your duties as a host, so that you feel really comfortable with this ahead of time. It is important, for example, to have a good grasp on your carer’s working hours, weekly tasks, and allowance. You could even consider implementing a system for when this allowance gets paid each week, so that there is no confusion or awkwardness around this once your Au Pair nanny arrives.

5. Prepare the children                                                                                              If this is your first experience working with a live in carer, then it is important to prepare your children for their arrival and give them an idea of what their new schedule might look like. The kids may wonder ‘what is an Au Pair?’ So you can explain to them who the newcomer is and that they will live with you, to help care for them on a daily basis. They could think of their carer almost as an older brother or sister figure, for instance, but it is important for you to explain to your kids that they must respect and obey their nanny, just as they would obey you.

6. Think about some family activities                                                             Many Au Pairs come from overseas and are looking for an opportunity to experience living in a different country and learning about their culture. So, when your carer arrives, it might be nice to take some time off and organise a few family activities that you can do altogether, to bond with your new housemate and help them settle into life in Australia. This might mean a trip to the beach or a visit to an iconic building such as the Sydney Opera House. Which would really help to break the ice and make a smooth transition for all.

7. Show them around
Once your new carer arrives, it is a good idea to show them around the local neighbourhood. This could include things like pointing out the nearest bus stops or train stations, showing them around the nearby shopping centres, and taking them on the relevant routes to school or to sports practice, so that they can familiarise themselves with these directions and feel comfortable with travelling these routes once they start their new job. It is also a good idea to introduce them to people that they might be coming into regular contact with, like teachers at your child’s school, or other parents in your child’s year group.

8. Allow some time for them to settle in
To assist in an easy and seamless transition for both your family and your new live in carer, it is a good idea to allow a few days for your Au Pair nanny to settle in before they start work. This will help them to familiarise themselves with the family and how things work around the house, to get comfortable with their daily tasks, and to clear up any questions they might have before diving into the new role. If you are able to set aside some time during this transition period, too, then that would go a long way in making the newcomer feel welcome and settled in their new home environment.

Juggle Street can help match a local Au Pair to your family’s needs and your budget in 3 easy steps. When you are ready, you can start your Au Pair Australia search using Juggle Street.