The first days as an au pair
Do you already work as an au pair and you would like to know more about your job? You just started your au pair job? What are the first steps to get settled in as an au pair? Read more here about your first days as an au pair.
INFORMATION AT ONE GLANCE
- It is normal that you will feel alone at first and maybe a little bit strange. But you will feel better very soon.
- Not only you, also your host family will be nervous at first.
- Try to bond with the children.
THE FIRST PHASE
The first phase of your au pair stay is exciting and many things will be new. You still don't know your host family very well and a lot of things will be very different in the new country.
Your host family will also need some time to get used to you as a new family member. But don't worry and don't be scared. The less you worry in the beginning of your au pair stay, the faster you will get settled in.
During the first days in the new host family, many au pairs are very curious about their new environment and everything seems exciting. There are many new things to discover: the new family, the children, the house or the apartment, your au pair room, the food, unknown ingredients, the new neighbors.
Discovering everything is very exciting, it is the beginning of your au pair adventure.
GETTING SETTLED IN AS AN AU PAIR
Maybe you have imagined your au pair host family differently, judging from the pictures and phone calls you exchanged. Take your time to get used to them. As an au pair you first have to get used to the new voices and personalities of the members of the family. Because of the language barrier in the beginning or because you might accidentally use a wrong word there might be some misunderstandings.
The house of the host family is still new, you don't know where everything is and what belongs to whom. It will usually take a couple of days to break the ice and until you will find your place as an au pair in the family. While the children are at school or in kindergarten you can look more closely at the new household. In a few weeks, you will know your way around better than your host mom.
THE FIRST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS AS AN AU PAIR
Before you are alone as an au pair with the children for the first time you should ask the following questions:
- Where are the dishes? The dish washing liquid? Medicine? First aid kit? Fire extinguisher?
- How does the washing machine work? The dish washer? The microwave?
- Emergency numbers: emergency phone numbers? (The host parents' phone numbers, also their numbers at work, numbers of the grandparents or of friends that live close)
DOING PAPERWORK AS AN AU PAIR
Once in the new country, unfortunately you will have to take care of some paperwork. You have to register at the resident's registration office and you should also open up a bank account.
What else do you have to do during your first days as an au pair?
STARTING YOUR AU PAIR JOB
During your first days as an au pair you shouldn't be left alone with the child care. During this time either the former au pair, one of the parents or another adult has to be with you.
As an au pair, it is important to talk to the host parents as much as possible about the habits and peculiarities of the children so you have a base when you start working alone with them. Also ask your host parents about the general education rules: watching TV, playing at the computer, eating candy. How can you punish the children if they don't listen to you? It is important to clarify this from the beginning so the children will respect you as an au pair right away.
LIVING WITH THE HOST FAMILY
The main reason behind your au pair stay is to become a full member of the family and to get help in the new surrounding and with the language. But not everybody has the same idea of what „living together“ means. It's important to talk about this with your au pair host family from the very beginning and find out what everybody thinks.
Talk about for example: meals, going shopping, holidays, trips, or working on weekends. Don't be scared to ask questions as an au pair. It's best if you spend the first nights with the family so you can get to know each other better.
„My host family welcomed me with a bouquet of roses – that was really sweet. After meeting all the family members I wasn't nervous any more. I got settled in really fast. I was invited to all the family parties, I could invite my girl friends and my host parents also offered me to go on vacation with them. I had a lot in common with my host parents and we agreed on many things. With the children, I always planned some sort of activity. Later, I was like a big sister to them and to my host parents I was more than just a support, I became a good friend.“ Pavla, 22
|Au pair and paperwork||Au Pair Room|
|Host Children||Weekly plan|
|Sick as an Au Pair||Problems during au pair stay|