Phases of AuPair’s Year

How Long Must We House Our Au Pair Once Her Contract Ends?

by cv harquail July 29, 2017
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Dear AuPairMoms — We have an au pair who is done with her year.  She decided she wanted to do another year, but not with us.  (redacted/ edited at request of OP, on Aug 4) She found a match, but the new family doesn’t want her to arrive immediately after her contract with us ends.  So, […]

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Help A Brand-New Au Pair Get Better At Her Job

by cv harquail June 24, 2017
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It’s not easy to settle in, whether you’re the new Au Pair or the First Time Host Mom. The American college student who sent this email hasn’t had the benefit of a formal Au Pair orientation, and I suspect that her host mom hasn’t had the benefit of a local counselor or group of moms […]

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Your Au Pair’s Bedroom: What to provide to make your Au Pair comfortable and welcome

by cv harquail October 11, 2016

Picture yourself in this room.  Imagine that you’ve just spent 8 hours with energetic kids, talking in your second language, driving on unfamiliar streets on the wrong side of the road. Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could walk upstairs, open the door, and step into a room like this?   It doesn’t have to […]

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Brand New Au Pair’s Extreme Homesickness — Can we turn it around?

by cv harquail August 16, 2016
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It seems like this brand new host mom did everything right (or, rather, took all of our recommendations) for getting started with an Au Pair. Careful consideration, lots of advance learning, deep interviewing, a handbook (!), and lots of positive energy. Even after their new Au Pair arrived and presented the challenge of extreme homesick, […]

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Interviewing Extension Au Pairs: Special Questions?

by cv harquail August 3, 2016
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A companion question to the post on Interviewing Rematch Au Pairs: Special Questions? With Extension Au Pairs, the number one question I’d have is — Why aren’t you staying with your current host family? I can think of a million perfectly acceptable reasons for wanting to have a different family for an extension. Seeing a different […]

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When to Disclose Host Parent Illness During Au Pair Match

by cv harquail July 18, 2016
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Recently we’ve discusses Au Pair illnesses, when an Au Pair ought to share this information with Host Parents, and how / when Host Parents can best respond. Now, the shoe’s on the other foot, with this email from HostMomWithGoodPrognosis. Should this information be shared before matching with an au pair? Or later, once the au pair […]

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Should I Tell the Other Host Family Their Au Pair Is Leaving Early? (Poll)

by cv harquail July 7, 2016
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Dear AuPairMom —  My au pair’s good friend here is an au pair as well. According to my AP, the friend is scheduled to work for her host family for a year but will be leaving a few weeks early. The problem? The Au Pair hasn’t told her Host Family that she’s leaving, even though […]

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How Can We Develop a Connection with our Socially Detached Au Pair?

by cv harquail June 4, 2016
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The Goldilocks Conundrum Your connection with your Au Pair is too heavy, or it’s non-existant. Your Au Pair is either a homebody, sticking close to the house demonstrating little interest in the world around her/him. Or, your Au Pair is always gone — whether physically or socially. S/he  does the job, and then disappears. We […]

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How Soon To Schedule Au Pair’s First Day Off?

by cv harquail April 24, 2016
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Venturing into the grey areas of Au Pair regulations and scheduling, a First Time Host Mom asks– how many days might a brand new au pair work before she must be given a day off?   (I phrased it differently in the headline of this post, but essentially it’s the same question).  She’s thinking about […]

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Write Your Departing Au Pair A Decent Letter of Reference

by cv harquail April 5, 2016
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…as long as she wasn’t unsafe, devious, or truly dreadful. A Host Parent Letter of Reference Makes a Difference Whether it’s for an au pair extending with another family, rematching due to poor fit with you, or applying for a job, school program or other opportunity, a letter of reference helps your au pair document […]

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