Many of you have heard of the re-match process or au pairs in transition. These can be a great solution for your immediate childcare needs, but keep in mind the ways to avoid re-match. My colleague and Go Au Pair Host Mom, Cyndi Frick, shared what she has learned from her au pair in a recent article. Please read it: http://www.goaupair.com/host-families/blog/Host-Mom-Cyndi-Frick/the-dreaded-re-match-for-au-pairs
Our cluster has experienced very few transitional au pairs, but here is what I have learned about how to avoid the situation altogether!
First, a good match is made after lots of interviewing and sharing information about your family, your childcare needs, and expectations. I don’t want to brush over the vital importance of clear expectations on both parts. I have said in previous posts that Host Families and au pairs have slightly different priorities, but with open and honest communication, tension and turmoil can be avoided. It is so important to help your au pair understand what a day in the life of being your au pair will look like.
I found it very interesting, from Cyndi’s article, that many au pairs have not held full time jobs before, let alone ones with unreasonable and sometimes irrational little people to care for all day! That is not to say au pairs are inexperienced, but they may have other babysitting, tutoring and coaching experience. Not all au pairs have provided live-in childcare before and Host Families should consider giving the au pair a little extra help, like Cyndi said, when things get busy and you are right there. This may not always be possible, but I know how much I appreciate an extra set of hands when the kids and their needs outnumber me and my hands!
I may be repeating myself here, communicate, communicate, and communicate some more! The moment one individual stops communicating honestly with another, the situation begins to break down. The number one best way to avoid finding yourself in a re-match situation is open and honest communication, not just during the interview and selection process, but throughout the entire year! This should take place in a respectful and loving way. As Cyndi very wisely stated, we are all just people who sometimes make mistakes and need extra time or a patient teacher.
Please contact me, Joan Lowell, your Go Au Pair Local Area. Representative in the RI area, with your questions about becoming a Host Family and hosting an au pair at your home! You can register online at http://www.goaupair.com or visit our local page at http://www.goaupair.com/Providence.