Hiring reliable, dependable help can seem difficult at the best of times- and when it involves your precious children, the task takes on an extra layer of worry. Fortunately, Aupairs At Work has assembled a quick-and-easy guide to the factors you need to consider when hiring an Aupair, to help you make the decision confidently and with ease.
Firstly, it’s important to understand what an Aupair does. They move into your home, with your family, to help you with the care of your children. This means, of course, that they aren’t there to provide other services [such as full cleaning] as this could distract from the needs of your child. You will approach them through an agency like Aupairs At Work, so you have the peace of mind of knowing they have a vetted background, and they in turn have a greater degree of safety in a vulnerable profession. Most agencies will limit the hours per week the Aupair can work, leaving them critical time off to recharge, but you have the convenience and flexibility of live-in help for your little ones, freeing you from the stricter schedules of daycares and nurseries. For school aged children, they will can help with pickup and drop off, and enforce a productive after-school routine. They will often help with childcare related tasks like laundry, cooking and keeping the play area tidy too.
This means, of course, opening your home to a stranger. Using an agency takes some of the worry out of this, but do make sure you’re comfortable with the carer’s personality and habits, and be prepared to communicate openly with the Aupair. Remember that they may be far away from friends and family, and may need your assistance in adjusting to your home and area. An Aupair from a different country may suffer language or cultural barriers which will take a while to navigate together. Make sure to use a reputable service to ensure you have someone genuinely interested in child care, not just looking for a working holiday, so your children receive the best possible care.
Any good Aupair will be happy to answer questions about their child care experience- especially with children in the same age group as yours- the training they’ve received, and how they picture the experience they will have with you. Finding out more about their goals and expectations will help you make the best possible match for your kids. Learn about how they handle stress- especially if there are two or more children who may need attention at the same time in the house, and aim to suss out their concrete plans on how to handle the difficult moments. Ideally, they should be well versed in the basics of first aid and able to communicate with you and emergency services in case of trouble.
Using an agency takes most of the headache away from hiring an Aupair, as a background check and skills assessment will have already been done. However, making sure the Aupair is a great fit for your family, your personalities work well together, and that they have the right toolkit to handle your specific family unit will help ensure a great experience for you both.