When do you start paying your Au Pair? Do you consider her training days to be ‘work’ for you, or do you wait until the Thursday night she arrives in your home before the clock starts?
For our first au pair or two, we just paid them starting when they arrived, because it didn’t occur to me to do anything else. (We did send each of them $40 to orientation so she’d have some souvenir money for the NYC trip and for snacks on the train ride to Virginia.)
Then, I had the idea to pay our next au pair starting with the Monday of orientation– my thought was “hey, she’s working to get trained, so I should pay for that.”
I thought we were being pretty generous since other families didn’t do this, and I thought that this would be appreciated by our new au pair(s). And it was appreciated– until it wasn’t, buy the first au pair arrived with “I’m entitled” stamped on her forehead.
Still, I think that the preferable thing to do is to start her first work week & pay with the Monday of orientation— and feel comfortable having your new au pair be on duty the first Friday and Saturday she is with you. (Remember, most host parents & au pairs agree that the sooner your au pair is on duty with something important to learn and do, the less likely she is to have time to feel super-homesick.)
Assuming that no agency requires you include your au pair’s orientation as time she should get pocket money for, what does your family do?