How to prepare for your first au pair

Your first au pair will soon arrive at your home and you probably wish to be well-prepared. The following information provides some tips.

Being well prepared is the most important thing to ensure your au pair settles in to your home quickly. Here are some tips for what you can do before your au pair arrives:

First steps:

  • Furnish the room for your au pair. In order to make sure your au pair feels good from the beginning, furnish the room as comfortably as possible. You might like to decorate it with a welcome card or a welcome drawing made by your children. 
  • Prepare your children for the au pair adventure. Explain to them that an older sister or brother will come and will look after them and play with them. 
  • Draw up a detailed schedule for your au pair. It should include all appointments, duties and the scheduled free time. In this way, your au pair always knows when to take the children to their piano classes and when he or she has time off. Do not forget to enter evenings when the au pair is supposed to babysit.
  • Use the customisable Family Handbook PDF that you receive together with your Premium Membership to bring together all the important information your au pair needs (about your kids, your household, your community, scheduling) into an orientation document especially for your family's situation. Give this Family Handbook to your au pair when she or he arrives. More about how to use the Family Handbook here in our Blog article.
  • Be prepared to take out au pair insurance. Ask your au pair whether his or her health insurance is valid in your country. There are special au pair insurance policies that are structured to the needs of au pairs.
  • Take some days off to help your au pair settle in. During the first days, avoid asking too much of your au pair. Show him or her around instead. Best practice would be 1-2 weeks of holiday which would enable the au pair to become accustomed to the new surroundings. Your children also need time to get accustomed to the new family member.

Help your au pair organise the au pair stay:

  • Prior to your au pair's arrival, enquire about suitable language courses near your home. Get information on quality, schedules, language level and costs. In this way, you can help your au pair find the right language course.
  • Tell your au pair not to forget to bring along all important documents, such as passport, identity card, au pair contract, invitation letter and driving licence.
  • Obtain a map of your city as well as time tables for public transport, such as buses and trains. Consider how your au pair will get to the language course: by bus or car? Show him or her the way to the nearest stop, or pre-programme your navigation system. However, be sure to accompany your au pair in the beginning.

What you should keep in mind!

  • Have you already enquired about the entry regulations of your country? What does your au pair need to consider in order to enter your country? To find out more on this topic, read our rubric Info host countries.
  • Do you know all relevant details about your au pair that might be of importance during the au pair stay: Does the au pair have any allergies? Is he or she vegetarian? By reading our How-to “Getting to know each other – the most important questions you should ask your au pair” you can check out whether you have asked all the important questions.
  • Would you like to provide your au pair with a mobile phone including a credit? Will your au pair bring along his or her laptop? Will he or she have their own Internet connection? Consider how you will deal with telephone and Internet access in general. For instance, in case you do not have a flat rate for the Internet, your au pair should be made aware of this. In most countries it is normal for young people to have the opportunity to surf the web around the clock.

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