There are many ways to welcome your au pair in the United States and into your home. Your au pairs initial stop will be in our NY training school where you can purchase one of the welcome baskets that Cultural Care provides. I recommend this option because the au pairs tend to feel a little left out if they don’t receive a cute weekend bag!
Greet your au pair at the airport with balloons, flowers, a welcome sign and lots of hugs!
A water bottle, and something to snack on when she gets into the car. She may be hungry after a long flight from the training school to you!
Make sure her room is ready, clean and tidy with a Welcome Home sign on her door.
A Family Welcome Gift Basket! A personal basket filled with useful and personalized items from your family. This welcome basket is different than the welcome basket she will have received at the training school.
Have a plan for the next few days. Tell her when you will be eating together, plan to go to the grocery store together, drive her around your neighborhood, point out the parks, the kids’ school, the recreational center, and the kids doctors. Help her acclimate herself to the neighborhood. While out driving together stop for gas and show her which type of gas you use in the car.
Give your au pair your Welcome Letter about your family (Household Expectations) Your welcome letter should include information about each of your children, their likes and dislikes, the kids’ schedule, household rules, and your family expectations. Go over the letter with her. Allow her to ask lots of questions.
As you begin to teach and show your au pair what is expected be sure to communicate all of your actions and tasks often. Make sure she understands and ask her if she has questions often. Have a positive and welcoming attitude towards your au pair to create an environment where she does feel comfortable asking lots of questions.
I recommend spending the first few days and weeks investing a lot of your time into your au pair. Take time at the end of each day, reviewing your au pairs day with your children asking her questions and giving her positive feedback. I believe this will help her to build confidence in herself and her role. She will know that you are available to help her in her role and that you care. I believe the extra up-front attention will set your family up for a successful year.
Teach her how the appliances work like the dishwasher, the washing machine, the microwave, etc.
Create a family message center where your au pair can write down items to be added to the grocery shopping list, important questions, or things about the children.
Provide your au pair with a programmed cell phone. Have important phone numbers and addresses like the school, the doctor’s office, trusted neighbors and emergency contacts. Add your work and cell number, poison control, your LCC.,etc.
Use the Communication Log! Schedule nightly meetings the first few weeks and gradually move towards weekly meetings to review the week’s successes and frustrations and to review what the upcoming week’s schedule will look like. If a problem arises that can’t wait till the weekly scheduled meeting, discuss it right away, don’t wait. During your weekly meetings it is a good time to reflect on what went well during the week. ENCOURAGE AND PRAISE OFTEN!!!
- Throughout your au pairs year with your family be sure to show her your appreciation through small acts of kindness and recognition. Maybe taking her out on her birthday or baking her a birthday cake. A gift card to Starbucks for the long week with the sick kids. When she passes her driver’s license, take her to ice cream as a family to celebrate!
- Celebrate her milestones with her. There are sure to be many!
I am available to you all throughout your time together. Please feel free to reach out to me at anytime.
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 5:33 PM