So now you’ve learned a little about what it is, now how does it work exactly? First, get started with your Host Family Application, which will help you think about what you need from your au pair. Be sure to include lots of details about your family in your letter to your potential au pair.
After your application is complete (don’t forget to include pics), you will receive a visit from me. I am your Local Area Representative in Rhode Island, here to help you understand the program guidelines, as well as prepare you for your cultural childcare experience. You can prepare your au pair’s room and decide exactly what you need and expect from your au pair.
As you choose your match, consider what language and culture you’d like your children learning. Do you have a preference for age or gender? Yes, we have both male and female au pairs, who range from 18 to 26 years old. Think about what skills your family requires of its caregiver. Driver? Swimmer? Pet-lover? What schedule will your au pair have to work? It can be flexible too! Finally, consider your own lifestyle and personalities of family members as you interview and Skype to find your perfect match.
Once your au pair arrives, keep in close contact with your Local Area Representative for support as needed. Plan to meet at least weekly with your new au pair to answer questions, clarify expectations, and give helpful suggestions to make his or her job easier. You can flex your schedule as needed, but be considerate of your new family member as well. Remember, your LAR is always nearby if needed, ready to plan social and cultural events for the local au pairs, and talk you through any conflicts that may arise. Your au pair will love experiencing American-college-student-life once they are taking classes and participating in family events with you, your family and friends.
After your year is up, your au pair could decide to extend their stay with you or another family for 6, 9, or 12 months! Try another culture or language for your children to learn. How about exploring your own cultural heritage? The possibilities are endless when you commit to a cultural childcare experience for your family!