Do’s and Don’ts

Make your Au Pair feel included in your family; respect her like a family member. Exclude your Au Pair from all your family activities. You don’t want to build resentment towards you and your family. Though it is OK for you to do certain things with your family without including your Au Pair from time to time.
Be very clear about your expectations. Be realistic about them and be fair towards your Au Pair. Don’t forget this may be your Au Pair’s first “job”. Give her a chance to settle into it.
Encourage your Au Pair to join local groups or sports club, meet other Au Pairs or students in the neighbourhood and introduce her to people her own age. Expect your Au Pair to be gone the moment she is off duty. She might choose to take some time out in her room or have a long lie in on her day off and that is OK.
Provide your Au Pair with house rules and chore lists/timetables when she arrives. This ensures everyone is on the same page from day one. Think that your Au Pair knows what you are thinking or feeling. You must communicate clearly and openly with her in order to get the best results.
Remember that English is not your Au Pair’s first language and realise that cultural differences do occur on a lot of matters. Lose patience or put down your Au Pair’s culture. Explain how things are done in Ireland and outline your work method.
Help your children to get to know your Au Pair. Let her cook you a meal which is traditional in her country, look up facts about the country and ask her to share them with you and your family. Let your children feel that she is an outsider. If you don’t “invite her into your family”, your children might be apprehensive about doing the same.
Be very clear about how you want her to deal with your children especially when it comes to matters such as disciplining them. Assume that your Au Pair has dealt with every situation a child could possibly throw at her. She might have some experience, but she is here to learn, she is not an expert and she is not a mother.
Ask your Au Pair to help out with the light housework. An Au Pair can help out with the day to day running of the house as well as any chores that are related to the children. Some of our girls come from agricultural or equine backgrounds and will be more than happy to help out in these areas as well. Ask your Au Pair to clean the windows or landscape your garden, these are not an Au Pair’s duties. If your Au Pair has never been near a farm animal or a horse before, don’t force her into a situation where she feels insecure of unsafe.