Whether it’s your first time being a host family or you have been one before, this blog will give you some helpful tips on how to be a good host family.

During your interview process on finding the right Au pair, take your time and really to get to know them. Be very clear about your expectations and what you are looking for. Find the Au pair whose personality matches with your family. A good personality match will make things easier. It may take up to 10 or more different interviews to find the right Au pair for your family and that’s okay!

When an Au pair officially gets placed with your family, you will get an orientation folder mailed to you, one of them will be a family manual booklet and that’s where you will be able to write down everything about your kids pickup/drop off time, health care number, emergency contacts, security, car details, family values/rules for your kids, a day in the life for your family, your expectations for them, etc. When the Au pair is all settled in your place, instead of just giving the family manual booklet to them, it’s best to sit them down and go through it with them to give them better perspective.

Trust- It’s so important to trust your Au pair unless they have given you a reason not to trust them. What’s a good relationship without trust? Communication is also a key to a good relationship. Communicate with your Au pair about everything when it comes to kids, something you are not happy with, expectations, boundaries, etc.

Respect their privacy. Remember that Au pairs are adults so it’s important to respect their privacy. Always knock before entering their bedroom, treat them like they are off shift when they are not working so try to avoid asking for any favors when it comes to the kids, and let them have their freedom. It’s best to not set a curfew for them if they proven to you they are responsible so they are more at ease if they want to go out at night-as long they are not making noise when they come home and they are ready to work the next day.

When it comes to the Au pair driving your car off shift, be clear about when it comes to gas, how long they can have the car for or if they want to go out at night- you rather have them take public transportation or Uber.

Support your Au pair. Remember they are young and coming to a new country all by yourself can be scary. They are always missing their family back home so treat them as your own family. Be there for them if they are feeling sad, listen to their feelings, and invite them to be a part of everything. (If they say no and rather do something else-don’t take it personally). A great way to make your Au pair feel welcomed when they first arrive to your home is to take them to a restaurant that has food related to their home country. Praise your Au pair when they do a good job at something, it will make them happy.

Don’t get upset if your Au pair makes a mistake. Mistakes are meant to be made and learned from. Living with a new family and being unfamiliar with everything makes their nerves go wild so mistakes will be made. It’s like starting a new job. When your Au pair makes a mistake, don’t get mad or upset. Tell them in a nice tone “it’s okay” and guide them from there so they don’t make the same mistake again. We cannot grow without making mistakes and learning from them.

Be kind with holidays. If you have the Monday off, take the day to be with your kids and give your Au pair the day off! Enjoy family time! In the same vein, communicate days off. If the Au pair has a 3 day weekend, they would want plenty notice to enjoy the time off too!

Last but not least, make sure to teach your kids about respect towards the Au pair like not going into their room, being respectful at all times, not hitting/throwing things at them, and listening to them at all times. Kids can learn a lot from us and what we teach them so it all starts with you!