I would like to address the issue of the au pair and Host Family relationship. I have stated in the past that the key to any successful relationship lies in open and honest communication. That is no different when talking about the relationship between au pairs and the Host Families with whom the live.
If you are not familiar, au pairs are young adults, ages 18-26, who come to live with American families and provide flexible, live-in childcare. Go Au Pair has available au pairs from nearly 50 countries. We also have au pairs who are already in-country and are looking for new Host Families. Au pairs generally come for one year and can stay as long as two years. They take college classes while also providing up to 45 hours of childcare to their Host Families.
As your Local Area Representative, one of my responsibilities is to support the au pair and Host Family relationship. One way to let your LAR know you need more support is during your monthly contact. When we talk, text or email each month, be honest with your Local Area Rep, that’s me, about how things are going. Whether you are a Host Parent or an au pair, you need to let me know if the other party is keeping to the US Department of State Regulations we discussed at Orientation.
Let me remind you of a few points I make at every Orientation. The Au Pair Program is about relationship and that always requires work. Relationships involve regular, open and honest discussions and sometimes uncomfortable conversations. Au pairs and Host Parents are adults who agree to a unique relationship. Your au pair is your employee, but he or she is also your guest, a new and trusted family member. That is not to say this relationship is immediate; again, it requires work. At Orientation, both parties agree to meet at least weekly to discuss the placement and any new issues. This is the time to bring up situations that arose that week which need attention, improvement or recognition.
I am Joan Lowell, your Local Area Representative for Go Au Pair in the RI area. Please call me at 401.309.1925 or message me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Consider a cultural childcare experience for your family in 2015!