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Thread: Help me be a good au pair host

  1. #1
    Social Worker fire's Avatar
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    Help me be a good au pair host

    So I've decided to hire an au pair. I've selected an agency basically at random, interviewed about 10 candidates, and have found a girl that I think I like. Are there any of you guys and gals who have hired an au pair and could lend some friendly advice? How do I make her stay awesome, and how do I make it awesome for me too?

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  3. #3
    motmot intention How To Go
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    From my understanding gleaned from the crevasses of the Internet, try not to sleep with her.

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    How To Go Enidigm's Avatar
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    Considering that my maternal grandfather divorced and left his pregnant wife to run off with his German au pair, it does happen! Hilariously one of my favorite singers, Latetia Sadier of Stereolab, was once an au pair, which probably helps explain some of her finger wagging lyrics; the teacher scolding her students.

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    Social Worker fire's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. You're awesome.

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    motmot intention How To Go
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    I can't even tell if you're joking. I hope so.

    Serious advice? Where is she from? Europe? My brother actually married and au pair and all of her friends are au pairs. So I know a lot of au pairs. I think one thing to think about is that she might not know anyone if she has just come here and introducing her to other au pairs would help her out a lot. She'll meet them through daycare/events and such or through her agency, but it never hurts to make introductions. Also, there may be cultural differences in how she treats kids so gently let her know your expectations as they come up, not all up front at once, or you'll come off as overbearing. Just common sense stuff, I guess. Is she going to be living with you? Providing some basic nesessities goes a long way and giving her the occassional day off with no "on call" availability will let her have a social life or explore your city.

    My sister in law's employers' children were in her wedding party and everything (they are teenagers now) so obviously you can become close with them. I thought it was a little weird at first because I see it as an employee/employer relationship but if that veil is pierced it could be nice.

    Oh yeah, one last thing. If she has her own car, get her her own car seat. Makes things way easier.

  7. #7
    How To Go Enidigm's Avatar
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    Yea sorry I didn't mean anything, just trying to add some humor. I've noticed at work that I'm being ultra sarcastic today.

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    New Romantic Vesper's Avatar
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    I don't have an au pair that's live in, but I do have a full time nanny. I can give you some suggestions from that side of things:

    1) Nanny/employer relationship is weird in that it's very personable. This can lead to issues if you start treating her too much like a friend and not enough like an employee. Balance is key.
    2) Establish a list of rules and your expectations. We have a checklist for our nanny that she goes through each day. Before this, we dealt with some issues of my wife not being happy with her work because she forgot to do X. A daily checklist has fixed this problem.
    3) Pay your au pair on the books. It's a pain in the butt to do as a direct employer, but you get to deduct dependent care FSA money as a result. Chances are, you'll be paying the au pair agency though.
    4) Install a nanny cam until full trust is established. I had to fire our first nanny for rooting through our files and taking pictures of CD-Keys for expensive programs (eg. Photoshop). I know that you really want to trust this person, but it's better to have some footage to review to make sure.

  9. #9
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    A really great start would be to look up au-pair in the dictionary. That's it really.

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  11. #11
    New Romantic scharmers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vesper View Post
    taking pictures of CD-Keys for expensive programs (eg. Photoshop).
    lol wut

    don't hire Russian cracking group nannies, I guess

  12. #12
    New Romantic Vesper's Avatar
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    Yeah that was weird. Couldn't believe it when I saw it.

  13. #13
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    Erm. I would just like to point out that an au-pair is not a nanny.

  14. #14
    motmot intention How To Go
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    A live in nanny. Who is usually from a foreign country, and who you can't fire easily.

  15. #15
    How To Go Enidigm's Avatar
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    Au pair is more like a cross between a nanny and an exchange student. They're supposed to take classes at an accredited university concurrent with their work duties. At least according to the State Dept.

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