Au Pair Requirements

The Importance of Explaining an Au Pair’s Duties on the First Day

When parents hire a new au pair there is always a period of adjustment. In order to make this adjustment period as smooth as possible, parents should sit down on the first day with the au pair to explain her duties to her. In fact, there are many reasons why this sort of discussion with a new au pair is a wise idea.

  1. By defining the individual’s duties early on, the au pair understands what is expected of her. Furthermore, if she feels any hesitation about the job position, she can let the parents know right away.
  2. The relationship between the au pair and the family will be a cooperative one. Once the duties are outlined, a family and an au pair can begin to work together in the best interests of the children.
  3. As parents explain an au pair’s duties they can answer any questions she has about how to accomplish a task. For instance, an au pair may ask for clarification as to where to take the children to play outdoors.
  4. An explanation of duties helps a family as well as an au pair to avoid surprises. For example, if parents explain that a child is not to have any sweets after seven o’clock at night, then the au pair will adhere to that rule.
  5. Defining duties gives parents an opportunity to offer alternatives to the au pair. For instance, if the au pair finds that a child’s school uniform is in the washing machine she should know the location of a second uniform.
  6. If an au pair learns her duties on the first day she is free to establish a schedule. Many au pairs like to plan out their day with a child in order to accomplish everything that the parents have asked.
  7. An au pair who knows what her duties are will not be overloaded with unexpected tasks. Of course, parents may make a special request of an au pair, but she is aware of her main duties.
  8. Parents who lay out the duties of an au pair on the first day are indirectly helping their children become more comfortable with the new caretaker. In short, if the au pair understands what her duties are she is free to focus on getting to know the kids.
  9. If a task isn’t being fulfilled by the au pair, the parents can refer back to their talk on the first day. Parents can either give the au pair an opportunity to fix the situation or they can consider another au pair.
  10. Parents have more peace of mind if they have discussed the au pair’s duties with her. They will know that she understands the way their family works.

There are many reasons why it’s beneficial to both the parents as well as the au pair to define her duties on the first day. If everyone knows what is expected, then the relationship will have a better chance of success.