The first time an au pair arrives to their host family and walks into her bedroom is a significant moment. It’s the culmination of a dream – and can be sometimes overwhelming with the reality of a year in her new room and family. Placing a Family Welcome Gift Basket in their room will be a sweet surprise and provide comfort over the next few weeks of adjustment. You don’t need to spend a lot of money or time putting a basket together. The most important thing to remember is the heart behind the gesture. It’s important to really spend those first few weeks making your au pair feel like part of your family while you are teaching her your kids’ schedule, routines, house rules and a basket filled with goodies is just the ticket!
- Flowers – this is such a common practice of hospitality in other countries, I think it’s a great way to welcome an au pair with something familiar.
- A gift basket with some of the following items:
- A water bottle – this is an effort to encourage the au pair to drink water
- A bottle of water – for when the au pair is thirsty the first few nights
- Healthy snack – trail mix or something simple for the au pair to eat late at night/early morning in the first few days when they don’t want to interrupt the family or leave their room.
- M&Ms, Snickers or other typical American candy
- A gift card to Target – your au pair can purchase the shower/bath items that she likes
- A towel, body soap, lotion, deodorant (some countries do not use deodorant as part of their daily routine), toothpaste, hand sanitizer
- An item to represent the city and/or state
- Postcards of city or state & stamps – these usually are sent home or saved for scrapbooks
- An item or two to reflect the local climate at the time of arrival: like a scarf/mittens or slippers in winter or lip balm and sunscreen at high altitude or flip flops near the beach
- Welcome card from kids/family
- A welcome sign on their door that says, “Welcome Home XXXXX” – the “home” part is important and emphasizes the au pairs’ role in your family
Creating a heartfelt welcome will make a world of difference! Au pairs leave their families to venture out and grow as individuals, all the while caring and loving your children like their own family.
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 10:13 PM