Our Area Directors have many roles; confidant, meeting planner, resource and general support to all of our program participants. They are the first point of contact to any questions program participants may have. With that, they've learned a thing or two about what makes a program year a resounding success. Here are their tips to making sure your au pair program year blossoms!
Keep Open Lines of Communication
Communicating effectively is an important part of a successful au pair year. It helps create a trusting relationship and ensures that everyone is on the same page. Each week, set up some time to check in with your au pair or host family to review responsibilities and scheduling. It's also important to speak with your Area Director each month and update her on how things are going.
Find Common Ground
Spend time together as a family learning about one another. Cultural exchange is a wonderful part of the program" you'll be amazed by what you have in common while also celebrating your differences.
Be clear with each other about what you need in order to build a great relationship. Au pairs, be open and willing to share your culture's perspective with your host family. Host parents, communicate what is expected of your au pair in terms of childcare and safety. It's normal to feel a bit uncomfortable when you begin your program year together! Give yourselves some time to get accustomed to each other and soon things will begin to feel more normal.
Make Time for Monthly Au Pair Events
Cluster events are a perfect way for au pairs to engage with their new community, meet other au pairs in their area, and experience an exchange of cultures. It is important for host parents to be mindful when scheduling their au pair to ensure they will be available to attend these monthly meetings.
As always if you find yourself with any questions about the program reach out to your area director or contact our headquarters office. We're here to help!