The process of an au pair joining a host family is an exciting experience of personal growth and cultural immersion for both parties. Au pairs are stepping into a new country and environment to become an impactful figure in a family, while host families are creating a bond with someone from another country who is working to care for and teach their children. It’s a matter that requires a great deal of local au pair support, in order for both the host family and the au pair to build a bridge between the cultural gap and connect. That support comes from the local Area Director, and they help with a number of matters to ensure an au pair and their host family connect in an impactful way.
The Role of an Area Director
Your primary point of contact at AuPairCare is your Area Director. Area Directors are there to set expectations for the program, to ensure compliance with program regulations, and help au pairs and host families successfully navigate the program year, which requires great communication, shared expectations, and understanding of the spirit of the program. Questions about culture shock, homesickness, or miscommunication are best addressed with your Area Director’s support. From when the au pair arrives to months into living with their host family, Area Directors are there to help. Your Area Director supports you by:
- Conducting an in-home interview and providing you with support during the matching process.
- Contacting you and your au pair within 48 hours of their arrival.
- Meeting with you and your au pair within two weeks of the au pair’s arrival to conduct an arrival orientation.
- Providing your au pair with information on community resources, such as local educational opportunities.
- Organizing local social and cultural events for au pairs.
- Maintaining monthly contact with you and your au pair during the year, or more often as needed.
Our Area Directors know the J-1 visa au pair program inside and out. They serve as a point of contact for any questions related to program regulations, paperwork, or any other common questions a host family or au pair may have. With the knowledge of our Area Directors, you always have an insightful and attentive expert to answer any questions that may come up throughout the entire au pair process.
The initial days of arrival can be overwhelming for the au pair and host family. For an au pair, they’re entering a foreign country they may know nothing about, while a host family is welcoming a person they don’t know into their home. This is where an Area Director comes in to help. As a representative of local support, the Area Director assigned to the family and au pair is tasked with ensuring a safe arrival for the au pair and preparing the family to meet them. They answer questions before and after arrival and make sure that both parties understand the requirements and benefits of the program.
The au pair experience goes beyond daily life in the host family’s home. Local community events and other experiences outside the house allow an au pair to immerse themselves in a new culture and learn new ways to engage with their host family. Area Directors will often offer ideas for opportunities and activities inside and outside the home for au pairs and their families to participate in. It helps the au pairs and their families to explore and embrace their surroundings, and to learn more about each other’s cultures.
Area Directors lend a compassionate ear to host families and au pairs while ensuring the ongoing safety of all participants. The emotional well-being of all participants is vital for the au pair experience to be a positive one for all. Cultural differences combined with being far from home can sometimes make au pairs feel homesick or alone, and local support helps to remedy that. Area Directors provide the same comfort to the host families as well. They help to foster a healthy and welcoming environment for their au pair and to provide genuine support. Their dedication to nurturing the well-being of both parties supports a positive au pair experience. Area Directors provide consistent monthly contact in order to check in on how things are going, and to offer advice and comfort should it be needed.
At the very heart of a successful au pair experience is the strong bond formed between the au pair and host family. With local support from Area Directors, these bonds are actively nurtured.
Cultural Connection Leader
The AuPairCare journey is an adventure filled with growth, cultural exchange, and lasting friendships, and those values are very much supported by Area Directors. At AuPairCare, Area Directors plan and host monthly opportunities for au pairs to build friendships and have new experiences. Host families are invited to attend at least one or more events each year to meet other host families and au pairs and to experience cultural exchange in a broader sense. These events range from bonfire night to potluck dinners, to pottery painting, to paddle-boating, and more!
At AuPairCare, we work hard to be involved in the communities we serve. One of the most enriching aspects of the au pair experience for both host families and au pairs is being immersed in a new and fascinating culture. These shared experiences are the heart of this meaningful childcare program, and Area Directors strive to make every year-long journey a successful one. Through engaging events and continual support from our Area Directors, we are committed to enhancing the experience of our au pairs and host families, ensuring the AuPairCare program provides lasting memories and an enriching impact for everyone involved.