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Dd starting new job as an au pair, any advice?

(5 Posts)
bevelino Sun 13-Nov-16 20:39:23

Dd is taking a gap year and will be working as an au pair in Spain from early January 2017. Dd is fluent in Spanish and the host family consist of parents and children aged 6 and 8. Dd has been asked to get the children up each weekday morning and take them to school and then be on hand in the evenings to give the children their supper, help with their homework and speak to them in English. Dd is looking forward to going as she loves children and hopes to take Spanish classes as she will be studying the subject at university.

Dd is nervous about living in someone else's home and any expectations they may have. Does anyone have any advice to help a new au pair settle in?

70ontheinside Sun 13-Nov-16 20:44:36

Be open minded and prepared for everything to be very different. Don't judge.
Communication is key: ask questions, ask for clarification if you are not sure what to do or how to do it.
Good luck, I have very fond memories of my time as an au pair!

bevelino Sun 13-Nov-16 20:50:49

Thank you 70 and I will pass on your comments. I am hoping to go and see her after a month and hope she will be settled.

Gusthetheatrecat Mon 14-Nov-16 09:11:08

We have had several au pairs. All arrived with gifts for the children and for us, which isn't required but is such a lovely gesture (and helps to smooth over the potentially tricky first introduction to the children!). One in particular arrived and immediately wanted to start helping clearing up the kitchen - again not expected but so sweet and a lovely indication of how helpful she'd be (very).
I would suggest she really tries to get to know the children, as the more she does, the better everything will be. Ask them about their favourite things to do, ask if they can show her their favourite places. I remember we ended up going around a National Trust place on one au pair'a second day. She, without prompting, ran around with my girls, playing hide and seek and giving them piggybacks. The girls were delighted and so were we, and even though she was settling in and had quite uncertain English, her general energy meant I was sure it would all be ok!

fluffypigs Mon 14-Nov-16 09:30:46

Having been an au pair when I was younger (also in Spain) I would recommend if possible agreeing on fixed hours when she is expected to be on hand for the kids and when is her own free time. I didn't have this and found that the kids went to bed very late and woke early so I was often working longer hours than expected.

I'd also see if the host family knows other families with au pairs that they could introduce to your DD. It's good to have some company your own age!

I hope she'll enjoy her experience! Two children sounds a lot more manageable than the four I had! My host family had never had an au pair before so neither of us really knew what to expect, so it's good you're asking for advice here first!

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