10 Must Have Trainings for Au Pairs
Being an au pair is a big responsibility. The health, development and safety of the children are in the hand’s of the au pair while their parents are away. Here is a list of important courses available to get someone started with all of the tools needed to care for children.
- Health and Safety in the Home. Topics covered include disinfecting surfaces and toys, first aid, CPR, avoiding food contamination and bathtub safety. The au pair and your children will be in your home most of the time, so it is important they understand how to protect your children and what to do in the case of an emergency.
- Food & Nutrition. If she will be preparing most of the meals and snacks for your child, you’ll want to be sure she has a basic understanding of nutrition and how to safely prepare healthy foods your children will enjoy eating. The content of this course may vary depending on the country it is offered in or culture it targets.
- Identifying common childhood illnesses. She should be able to identify ailments such as the chicken pox and poison ivy and know when something may be more serious than the common cold. The illnesses discussed may also vary according to the country the course is taken in.
- Safety and Emergency Education. You may have conditions that she isn’t used to, such as hurricanes or earthquakes. This course will teacher her what to do in those situations, as well as make sure she knows how to handle more common emergencies, such as a broken arm from a fall.
- Effective Communication. A course on communication is a very good tool for helping au pair’s communicate effectively with her employers. This is especially beneficial for au pair’s who have language or cultural barriers that make knowing how to communicate effectively a challenge.
- Au Pairs as Role Models. The au pair is the person your child will likely spend most of her waking hours with. This makes her a role model, both when she’s on duty and off. She needs to understand the importance of this responsibility.
- Child development. Au pairs should have basic training of the ages and stages of children from birth through the teen years. Additional courses are available for gaining more in depth knowledge on particular age groups.
- Age-appropriate Materials and Activities. Your children will become unhappy and unmanageable if they do not have interesting and challenging things to do. Au pair’s need to have a bag of tricks for every age.
- Building Self-esteem in Children. The more positive people children have on their team, the better.
- Behavior Management. Items discussed should include redirection, positive reinforcement, behavior management plans and communicating behavior concerns.
Au pair’s need to know everything about keeping children healthy, happy and safe that parents do, but without the years of preparation and first hand experience parents have. This is why a well trained au pair is so important.