Saying goodbye to the au pair?
Find out what you need to know about saying goodbye to your au pair.
Time goes by quickly. This is true in general, but it is especially true of your time as a host family with an au pair.
Even more so if you got along very well with your au pair, saying goodbye can be hard. Often, host families grow so attached to their au pair that it feels like saying goodbye to a real family member. If you are thinking about taking in another au pair right away, you should plan ahead. We recommend starting your search for a new au pair about 6 to 8 weeks before the departure of the other au pair. Keep in mind that if the new au pair needs a visa, the process will take longer. You can look for new au pairs online, or if you want to hire an au pair agency, you should also contact them as early as possible
Most host families change au pairs during the summer, mostly towards the end of the summer months. We recommend waiting a couple of days after the old au pair leaves before welcoming the new au pair. You could go on vacation with your family, which would also give your children some time to process the departure of the au pair. Don’t underestimate the importance of this.
Your children have spent a lot of time with the au pair, and have probably grown very fond of them. Start explaining to your children why the au pair has to leave your family about two weeks before the actual departure. Give your children some time to say goodbye to the au pair. This will also make things easier for the new au pair.
Sometimes, it is not possible for a host family to let some time pass between saying goodbye to the old au pair and welcoming the new one. This means that you will have two au pairs taking care of your children at the same time. On the upside: the old au pair can show the new one around. On the downside: the new au pair might pick up some bad habits from your old au pair and it might be difficult to set new rules. Also, your children might trust the old au pair more and therefore respect the new au pair less. As parents, you have to handle this sort of situation very carefully and tactfully. Some au pairs continue on to educational jobs after the au pair year is over, so we suggest writing your au pair a letter of recommendation about the time spent with your family. You can download a draft HERE:
Also, don’t forget the formalities. Check if your au pair has to go to the registration office in your city to sign a departure form.