We live in BC Canada, I am a teacher and my husband is a police officer. We first heard about the whole au pair thing from my brother-in-law, whose fiance was an au pair from Germany. Her experiences were good and we all loved her so we thought we would give it a try. We had two kids, 1.5 and 3 at the time, and I was going back to school. We were interested in finding an au pair from Finland because that is where my husband's family is from. So we thought it would be great if she could teach a little of the language and culture to our family.
We were a little apprehensive at first about having someone else live in our house with us and also having to leave our kids with someone else for the first time. Also, being young ourselves (we were both 28) we didn't know if she would respect us as host parents or think of us as friends? But we found our au pair Mia and everything turned out great! (And we are now lost without her!) I was able to spend the first two weeks at home with Mia, which made the transition smooth; and it was fun because we were able to show her around and go on some fun outings.
Mia was amazing, she entertained the kids, kept the house tidy and cooked dinner twice a week. She took our oldest to preschool and both to the rec-center or park daily. We completely trusted Mia, as she was respectful, responsible and reliable. Mia became a part of our family, spending Christmas morning with us and coming on family trips. She even made us all amazing cakes for our birthdays! She built a special bond with both of our children, we will never forget her!
Mia also made a lot a new friends here, so on the weekend she would often visit them, but she was always welcome and sometimes would stay in with us and have a movie night. She also joined a dance team and the gym while she was here. The kids miss her a lot and we all still call her room „Mia's room“. We talk to her on Skype and our family has visited her in Finland this last summer. We hope our next au pair experience is as great as the first!
Advice I can give to other host families is to really talk to your au pair and ask them lots of questions. Let them know exactly what you are looking for and your expectations. I think a picture can say a lot about someone and even just what pictures they are posting. I felt like Mia was exactly what I was expecting from talking with her through AuPairWorld. Thank you AuPairWorld!