The meaning of au pair, in French, is “on an equal par with” as in a caregiver who is considered equal with the parents. If you are interested in a terrific cultural exchange program and need childcare as well, you may be interested in the Au Pair Program, overseen by the US Department of State. Go Au Pair has been a trusted au pair childcare agency for over 25 years now, and I am your Local Area Representative here in Rhode Island. I am Joan Lowell and I would love to help your family find an outstanding au pair who will become a loving, dedicated and trusted member of your family. Your au pair provides high quality, flexible live-in childcare for up to 45 hours per week, giving you the peace of mind you need and costing less than a private nanny.
We all know parents who host with Go Au Pair can choose the language and culture of their au pair, but live-in cultural childcare is so much more. When interviewing from overseas, it is essential to make a good choice before you match with the person who will live with you for a year or more. If you expect this caregiver to be an equal to you, that may be asking a bit much at first, but an au pair can definitely become an integral part of your family if you are willing to educate your au pair, share clear expectations. Also be willing to let your au pair try some of his or her own ideas.
Summer Blackhurst is a mom and blogger who specializes in cultural exchange, childcare and Au Pair – Host Family relationships. Read her advice to Host Parents about other, also essential, aspects of finding just the right au pair during the interview process rather than struggle through avoidable issues after a hasty match. Just as it is worth the effort to train your au pair well once he or she arrives to your home, it may be more worth the effort of a thorough interview process. Go Au Pair does have over 300 available au pairs from over 50 countries for you to interview!
As the Au Pair Program is a live-in one, you will need a separate bedroom for your au pair, and you want to choose someone you feel you can trust. In fact, Summer points out how many families are concerned about trust. How can you assess someone’s trustworthiness via Skype? Some suggestions might be to ask the au pair candidate to show you more of her home, family, friends and surroundings. Or, instead of giving a what-if scenario (which is not a horrible idea), ask your au pair candidate to share a time he or she did not meet their employers’ expectations and explain how it was resolved and what they learned. I always tell Host Parents to trust their instincts during the interview process. I also advise them not to become too hung up on requirements like a certain country, culture and language, but to be open to the possibility of finding a great personality match for their family.
To learn more about the Au Pair Program in RI, contact me, Joan Lowell, at 401.309.1925 or firstname.lastname@example.org, with your questions.