Miriam Aubert – Needs of School aged children and childcare

Miriam Aubert – Needs of school-age children

Miriam Aubert – Needs of school-age children

When children have started school, their needs change dramatically. They have begun to grow and mature and will be experiencing a certain amount of independence while being away from their main carers for much of the day. Although children of school age still require love, affection and continuity of care, they also need the following;

- A quiet area to reflect on the days events, to do homework or to simply enjoy some quiet time.
- A carer who is aware of what goes on in the school and is capable of planning their activities around the school curriculum. For example it is helpful for carers to know, in advance, what topics or themes are being studied at school as these can then be extended in the childcare setting to enhance and build on the child’s knowledge. It is important of course that the carer does not repeat what has already been taught in school as this can become boring and repetitive for the child.

Miryam Aubert – The important needs of Toddlers when choosing childcare

Miryam Aubert

Miryam Aubert – needs of Toddlers when choosing childcare

As with babies, toddlers require:

- Continuity of care;
- Affectionate, responsive carers with plenty of patience and energy. Toddlers can be very demanding and not all carers have the stamina to deal with children of this age;
- Regular routines in familiar surroundings. toddlers like to know what to expect and are happy when the day’s routines follow a certain pattern;
- A stimulating environment. This is essential for toddlers in order for them to be suitably entertained and to prevent them from becoming bored;
- Opportunity to converse. Toddlers ask endless questions and your child’s carer will need to be patient.

Miryam Aubert – The important needs of babies when choosing childcare

Babies have several key needs that you must ensure your chosen carer can provide in order for your baby to be happy and settled.

Miryam Aubert

Miryam Aubert – needs of babies when choosing childcare

Babies need:

- Affectionate, responsive carers. Babies thrive in settings that provide them with the love and affection they crave. The carer you choose must genuinely love babies in order for your child to receive the cuddles and interaction that they need. The carer must be a responsible person who is capable of responding to your babies needs.
- A regular routine which they know and understand. Babies are creatures of habit and they feel safe, comfortable and secure in familiar surroundings when following a predictable routine.
- Plenty of communication. Although babies cannot talk they can converse through eye contact, touch and verbal noises. The carer you choose should be patient and willing to spend time with your child in this way.
A stimulating environment. Babies need to be stimulated in order for them to grow and develop. A safe environment which give them access to age-appropriate toys and equipment is vital.

Miriam Aubert – The needs of your child

Miriam Aubert

Miriam Aubert – The needs of your child

Before deciding which type of childcare you need it is important to first look at your child’s needs. the key factors you should consider when choosing childcare are:
- The age of your child;
- The temperament of your child;- any worries or concerns you may have regarding your child.

The Child’s age

As children grow and progress their needs change drastically. The childcare that you initially thought was wonderful for your tiny, helpless little baby may not appear quite as perfect when he has developed into an articulate toddler in need of stimulation and entertainment. Continuity of care is important for the care of young children and it is therefore important, when choosing childcare initially, that you think about your child’s current and future childcare needs. In order to ensure that the choice you make for your child’s care when they are a baby remains suitable throughout their childhood, it is essential that you evaluate the arrangement carefully and make sure that your child will not outgrow the chosen setting.

Evaluating the Character and Temperament of your Ideal Au pair

Character and temperament of your Ideal Au pair

There are other qualities you want to consider besides values, orientations and caregiving style. These qualities observable from appearance and those qualities you learn about from her behaviour.4

I’ve found it best to ask parents ‘’if the ideal candidates came into your home today, who would that person be? What is about her that makes her seem so ideal?

For some parents it is Mary Poppins. For others it is someone they know. You might find your self saying ‘’if only my mom could be my Au pair, life would be so easy! Or ‘’if only my best friend could do this, i would feel so reassured!’’ Equally important are identifying people you could not imagine as your Au pair. What is about these people that make them less ideal?

Here are some areas you may want to consider when evaluating fit:

Age; Does chronological age matter? Consider this in terms of activity level, stamina and maturity. Will she have to carry your baby up and down stairs on a regular basis or run after an active toddler? Does she have enough life experience to assure you she can manage the challenges she will encounter? Is her personal life stable enough to ensure predictable employment with you for as long as you need her?

Grooming: is the way she dresses consistent with how you want your family to be seen by others? Is there a certain code that is important for you?

Language: Can you understand each other well? Can you talk easily about the how’s and why’s of your child’s day?

Temperament: is she active and outgoing? Quiet? Formal with close boundaries or wear her heart on her sleeve? Does her temperament complement or run counter to yours? What about your child’s?

Communication: Does her style of communication complement yours or is it difficult to understand her ideas or to follow her line of thought?

Au pair search: Evaluation of Need

Au pair  and Nanny search. Determining the right fit for your family and you

Values and childrearing orientations

In my work, I have found the right fit between parents and Au pairs is an indicator of quality. The right fit increases the likelihood an Au pair will develop a meaningful relationship with a child in partnership with his parents.

The right fit increases the likelihood an Au pair will continue providing childcare for as long as needed.

Both outcomes not only support a child’s development of trust and competency but also minimize stress for parents. A child learns over time that a responsible adult will understand who he is, what he needs and respond in a predictable way. The parents can focus on parenting in partnership with someone they trust instead of going through the time consuming and disruptive process of finding yet again, another Au pair.

When parents meet their right Au pair for the first time, they often describe the experience as having a certain positive gut feeling or the right chemistry with her. Somehow the Au pair seems right. It is the ‘’aha’’ moment they have waited for! When an Au pair doesn’t feel right they often describe the experience as having no chemistry with her. Somehow they just didn’t click.

When parents and Au pairs click, most often it is because they have had similar experiences about parenting – how to raise children and family values. A discussion during the interview with the au pair about daily routines, house rules, discipline, toileting or play goes easily. It can seem as though each were talking to a kindred spirit – or a family member. For everyone, it simply makes sense that one would care for children that way.

Parents and Au pairs need to share similar enough experiences and values to ensure that how they care for the children and the values they teach in the process are consistent. In this way, the child learns to trust that the adults caring for her will respond in a certain way when she behaves a certain way and that the parents and Au pair are acting in partnership.

Talk with your spouse or partner about how you were raised. What was a typical day and how were the daily routines manages? How did your parents respond when you went counter to their expectations? What was a particular saying about life your parents used that you would pass along to your child? What aspects o how they parented do you want to use – and what do you want to do differently?

Building blocks to hire the right Au pair

Every parent needs building blocks to hire the right Au pair.

Not every parent will need or want every piece.  It’s only important that you know before starting your Au pair search what all the pieces are, make decisions about those you need and how you’ll put them together. The building process minimizes the likelihood that you’ll feel overwhelmed, confused or misguided. It increases the likelihood that you’ll finish the process and hire the right Au pair for your child and you.

The building process begins with knowing what qualities you expect from your ideal Au pair and prioritizing these. You then create a job description and interview prospective candidates and then sign a contract with your selected Au pair.

Au Pair Searches common misperceptions:My child knows best

‘’If my toddler says he hates the au pair and wants her to go away, then she goes!’’

The assumption: My child uses good judgement and can be objective about who he wants taking care of him.

The reality: Children can have many motivations for wanting an Au pair to go away. Among them is wishing for their parent to stay home instead. Remember you are the parent and the decision maker.

When parents evaluate an Au pair candidate, they often consider how she was when she first met their child. Did she pick up the baby right away? Was she loving, warm and interested in him? Was she playful with their toddler? Could she have an easy conversation with their preschooler?

Parents also watch their child’s reaction closely. Did the baby calm down when she held him? Did he go to her right away and enjoy playing with her? When she left did he say he liked her?

While these observations and evaluations are important, it is equally important to factor in that Au pairs and children know they are being observed. The simple fact of being observed can affect behavior. Sometimes the message beneath the behavior merits more attention than the behavior itself.

If a child says the Au pair must go, then should the Au pair go?

When it comes to the Au pair hiring decision, parents know best and we do recommend reading about the family interview guide for hosting an Au pair. There are definitely mismatches between Au pairs and children, but the shoe is on the wrong foot when the child makes the decision about whom to hire. Please read more about frequent family questions when hosting an Au pair.

 

The percentage effect
She will do 70% housecleaning and 30% childcare, so I’ll get a good house cleaner’’

The assumption: “ Place the most emphasis on the main skill required for the position””

The reality: While an Au pair does light housework, the main activity of an Au pair should be related to childcare, and not housekeeping duties.

 

Au Pair Searches common misperceptions: The Yo-Yo effect

‘’Our last Au pair was young and French and she didn’t work out, so I ‘ll get someone older and from a different country this time ’’

The assumption: “I should have seen this one coming. I won’t be so easily fooled the next time around’’

The reality: Look a little closer. What is it about the fact she was young that made her not work out?
There are many reasons and benefits of hosting an Au pair. All parents want the best for their child and make the best decision they can about whom to hire. But misunderstandings and disappointments do happen in spite of best decisions. At times they can be resolved and everyone is generally better off for having gone through the situation and gotten out of it intact. At other times, things never get back on course and Au pairs have to leave, what happens if it does not work out with the Au pair?.

While relieving to have an unfavorable situation end, endings can shake up a parent’s sense of what they want in an Au pair and their use of judgement. Perhaps they ignored their gut feelings that said she was not ‘’right’’. Perhaps the choice of an Au pair was right for the parents but not for the children. Perhaps the parents don’t know what went wrong. They grasp at straws to figure it out.

She was young – so get an older person the next time. She was not educated – so get someone with a college degree the next time. Her English was not fluent – so get a native English speaker the next time.

When parents start grasping at straws it is a sign of just how desperate they are to regain confidence in their use of judgement. While the obvious can be true, better to look a little closer and ask further questions. Dig dipper. What specifically was it about her youth or language skills or other characteristics that made her not work out? Read more about how to interview my Au pair and the process of selecting an au pair.The answers will give you good data points to use in judging your next round of Au pair candidates. Review Au pair applications, be critical.

Au Pair Searches common misperceptions: I can’t afford Quality

I can’t afford Quality

‘’All the good Au pairs work for rich families”

The assumption: you get what you pay for. If you pay more, you get better

The Reality: Au pairs value the support, respect and recognition parents provide more than an above-market salary. You don’t need to offer more than market rate to hire a good Au pair.

This assumption that all the good Au pairs work for rich families comes out of childhood stories about the lives of British aristocrats who raised a brood of children with the help of a dotting nanny. Our belief about a Mary Poppins from the last century comes alive in the present as we peek yet again into the lives of the rich and famous. Whether it’s the Nanny Diaries or news briefs about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s travels with Nanny and children, we expect that only the rich get the better Au pairs, leaving the rest of the Au pairs to those unglamorous souls treading through a daily life of diapers and dishes and offering a pittance of glory and market wages to our Au pairs.

Does the ‘’more you pay the better you get’’ rule apply in the Au pair market? Is compensation an indicator of quality? Au pair working hours and pay rates

In our experience, the ‘’more you pay the better you get’’ rule applies only to families looking for Au pairs in a rush, those that need an Au pair to start this or next week and if possible someone already in Australia, in those cases this girls have shown in all cases to be picky and prefer families with a good location, if possible near the beach and offering the best salaries.

Is compensation the only thing that motivates a Nanny? In this case again it has to do with the kind of au pair you are considering, those already here in Australia are not real au pairs but backpackers, their main priority was never to be an au pair but to travel, once here after realizing how expensive are accommodation and meals in Australia, then they consider the option of Au pairing as an alternative, but for that reason our agency does not recruit these kind of candidates as we prefer to place an au pair who’s main priority from the beginning was to care children, who registered with months in advance preparing all her supporting documents to achieve this experience, someone flexible about accepting families so that we have or chances to ensure a successful placement. Read more about Why choose an au pair agency and the danger of Au pair internet matches

These kind of Au pairs that are currently overseas vetted by our Partner agencies  at the time we start the matching and interview process of selecting an Au pair are those we target and they find satisfaction in working with almost any kind of family, with children of any age. We suggest our customers to compare between agencies when choosing your Au pair agency. Looking at the question in this way, it is not that the rich get better Au pairs; they get Au pairs that are motivated primarily to be part of their lives and earn higher salaries or pocket money.