Au pair means “on a par” or equal, and is all about sharing of family responsibility for children as well as for some housework, and of course, you get paid for it according to the services. The whole concept of au pair originated in Europe after the Second World War. Au pair is supposed to do a combination of child care and light household duties, such as playing as well as helping the children with their homework, doing the childrens’ laundry and ironing their clothes etc. Different countries have different rules. In US for example, the au pair program gives an opportunity for a qualified people to live and study in the US for more than one year, provided they work at least 45 hours of childcare per week.
These days Au pair has caught the imagination of young people in a big way because it gives young people an opportunity of lifetime to explore the world and learn whatever they want to. As a result, you can study something new, travel and making new friends from around the world is always on the cards. You just have to choose the right programs, so that you can achieve your goal. In fact, it is not all about just looking after the kids or earning money, it goes beyond that. It can be your experience of a lifetime. As a host, you can always expect undivided attention for your child from the au pair, and at the same time, your child is getting exposed to another culture.
As a host, the initial week is important because you have to be supportive and understanding. Chances are that your au pair may feel homesick in the beginning, which is quite natural and understandable. That doesn't mean they just want to walk-off or something like that. It is also advisable on your part to give clear instructions to your au pair, so that they can know exactly what they are supposed to do on a daily basis, and it will also help them to settle down quickly. It can be a very rewarding experience for your family.
In today's fast growing internet world, finding a suitable au pair is not a big issue because a lot of private organizations are running au pair programs. They are there to help you out, but make sure that the agency with which you are dealing is reliable. Before hiring it is always advisable to do background checks of the person, and the terms of the contact should be absolutely clear. At the same time crosscheck with your local law agencies regarding their working hours because different countries have different rules and regulations as far as their working hours and payment are concerned.
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