Wednesday, August 05, 2009

How to choose the right au pair

Some families believe that au pairs cannot give the same level of care nannies can provide for their children. It might be true for some cases. But I believe if the families put some effort into choosing the right au pair rather than just expecting an agency to do the matching, it might be well worth it. Every family and their lifestyle is unique. Every kid is different and so are the parents.

Being open and honest about what is expected of an au pair is the most important thing in my mind. If I were to be told something during the interview and came across a different situation, I would be dissappointed no matter what. Good or bad, both sides should be open.

Some girls are party animals and see this as an opportunity to be away from their parents and go out most nights. Although everyone is entitled to do whatever they want on their free time. It should be made clear beforehand that late night outs during the work week are not a good idea. Even though au pairs are young, everyone needs their rest to handle active children.

Some families may assume that some things don't need to be discussed. They might assume anyone with some commonsense would know certain things. However, most au pairs are young and some of them are really young. They are not professional nannies and probably this is the first and last time they will be taking care of someone's children. Family needs to be able to assess how much the au pair candidate likes the children and is willing to provide them good care.