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The Top 3 Tips for Having the Extension Conversation

Au Pair and Host Mom Extension Conversation

Here at AuPairCare we receive tons of questions from first time host parents and au pairs! What does an au pair do? How do I find the right au pair for my family? One question that arises midway through the program year for both our au pairs and host parents is “How do I keep this great thing going?” Host families and au pairs have the option to extend their program for an additional 6, 9, or 12 months. While many families choose to extend with their current au pair, there are a number of things to consider before doing so.

Here are our top 3 tips on how and when to have the extension conversation! 

  1. When should we think about extending with our au pair or host family?  Both au pairs and host families will begin to receive communications from AuPairCare about extending their program year at the 6 month mark. This gives you time to think about your plans for the next year while giving AuPairCare time to take care of the administrative parts of this process prior to the assicaited deadlines (au pair visa renewals, repeat family discounts, etc.) This initial communication can be the perfect catalyst to start thinking about the process and to set up a time to speak with your au pair or host family. 
     
  2. What should the discussion entail?  A good tip to having this conversation is to treat it like a traditional job performance review. Set a time, away from the kids, where both sides can give full attention to the conversation. Au pairs and host families alike should be prepared to discuss the strengths and challenges of the au pair year thus far. When that is done, review the extension options 6, 9, or 12 months and then set up another time to discuss which of those options works for both the au pair and the host family. 
     
  3.  What if we don’t want to extend?  This can and does happen, and it doesn’t always mean that the experience was bad. Host families may love their au pair, but perhaps a more experienced driver would better fit their family’s changing needs. An au pair may really be invested in her host children, but may need to return to her home country for a job or to return to school. The most important thing in this case is to communicate openly and honestly with one another. Just as in a traditional job performance review both sides are evaluating the other and if they decide to part ways, it is important to discuss this in a way that leaves both sides plenty of time to make their own plans and feel comfortable in the home during the rest of the initial program year.  

Learn more about the extension process for Host Families or Au Pairs!    

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