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What does an au pair need to know about a host family?

Important Aspects an Au Pair Needs to Know About a Potential Host Family

An Au Pair essentially becomes a part of the family in order to share cultural experiences as well as help around the house as any family member would. While the aspect of becoming an Au Pair is enticing for many, there are several very important keys that need to be remembered when becoming involved with a family.

As an Au Pair, you need to:

1. Understand Individual Discipline – As you are to care for children as part of helping the family, it is vital that you are aware of the disciplinary actions of the family. Although we all hope never to use corrective action, you need to be aware of what are acceptable methods if the children are being unruly. Most parents are very specific when it comes to disciplining children and you don’t want to overstep your bounds or create confusion.

2. Understand Religious Views – The difference between religious views can cause problems. Even if you think that you are capable of exposing yourself to a different belief structure, some mannerisms and behaviours can be beyond what you can maintain. Some families follow strict beliefs that may be contradictory to your own. While it could be a learning experience for both yourself and the family, you should be aware of what guidelines the family adheres to and what is to be expected from you.

3. Know the Sleeping Arrangements – Privacy is an important aspect to anyone. You will have your own private bedroom but may share the bathroom with the kids and / or parents as well as the common areas of the home. While this may not pose as a problem for most people, you need to be secure in yourself that you can handle sharing your space with a person you don’t know in a place that is foreign to you.

4. Pocketmoney – Although the family is paying for your room and board, traditionally you are provided a kind of an allowance or pocketmoney. This gives you a bit of spending money when in your new locale. You want to make sure that it’s enough to do what you need to do each month.

While our services help match you to an ideal family, you should still be mindful of the family situation. Remember to ask these important questions when you meet with your host family for the first interview. Things can change rapidly and the more you know about your host family, the less chance there is of confusion and miscommunication.

Author: Ken Myers is a father of three and passionate about great childcare. He is the president and CEO of Longhorn Leads, a company dedicated to helping people find the right services for their families and homes. Longhorn Leads owns and operates a portfolio of home service related websites including GoNannies.com

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