Monthly Archives: May 2014

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.