Au Pair Handbooks: Instructions about Child’s Allergies

by cv harquail May 16, 2015

As part of a series of posts on very specific information to include in your AuPair Handbook… One HostMom writes: I need to update our handbook to for our incoming au pair with details on our child’s allergy. I’m not sure what level of detail would be helpful, or how to make the issue serious […]

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Sample Family Handbook, with sections on Food from HM P

by cv harquail March 22, 2013

Family Handbooks should all cover a core set of topics including schedule, safety, child care rules, car rules, and family rules. Beyond these topics, we each need to add specifically what’s important to OUR family. At my house, this means a section on “How to Adore Coco (our dog)” and another on “Traveling Safely in NYC”.  In […]

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Sample Family Handbook, from HM Amy Tea

by cv harquail March 14, 2013

When you’re planning to welcome a new au pair, nothing is a better use of your time than updating– or creating — your Family Handbook. Whether your Handbook is filled with instructions for how to use the washer, or whether it’s more like a  Manual that has all your car-related rules, getting that stuff written […]

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When Your Au Pair Won’t Do More Than Mind Your Child: Child Care Chores

by cv harquail January 12, 2013

How do you teach an au pair that ‘childcare’ includes more than just caring directly for your child/ren, in real time? We all know that childcare means not only one-to-one interacting with the child and the child’s needs, but also doing child-related work ‘offline’. But many au pairs (especially new ones) struggle with this, because […]

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4 Household Rules to Protect Your Host Parent Sanity

by cv harquail January 3, 2012
adulthood ahead brookeryanphoto etsy.jpg

If you take it out, put it back. If you open it, close it. If you drop it, pick it up. If you take it off, hang it up. These rules also work well in situations with children, spouses, coworkers, or other humans.     Image by Brooke Ryan, available on Etsy. This graffiti was […]

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When should we send our Family Handbook to our incoming au pair?

by cv harquail January 6, 2011

As every reader of this blog knows, we are big fans of the concept of the Family Handbook. And by “we” I don’t mean the royal  moi, but all of us host parents (and even au pairs). It really helps to create a handbook to get your expectations and needs out into clear language, and […]

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Is Your Host Family Handbook Too Long?

by cv harquail June 21, 2010

Eleven Au Pairs and 12 revisions after first being written, our Host Family Handbook is now, officially, “long”. Excluding examples of kids’ and au pairs’ schedules, and excluding the basic information about emergency phone numbers and the like, our rules/guidelines section runs 16 pages, with almost 4500 words. Is that too long? Host Family Handbook: […]

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What exactly is a Host Family Handbook?

by cv harquail June 21, 2010
lana binders.jpg

We’ve got a lit of different terms floating around to describe the written information that we give our au pairs. We call them handbooks, manuals, guidelines, and rules. (And who knows what our au pairs call them!) For the purposes of our conversations here on AuPairMom, let’s try to lock down the terminology. A Host […]

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Sample Handbook from a Reader

by cv harquail March 3, 2009
Starling fabric

Hi Moms- Recall that last month I invited you all to share pages from your Family Handbook … I’ve just posted the first of those sample handbooks as a page: Sample Handbook 2, from CC Family. The Sample Handbook is based on the format provided by the Cultural Care Agency, so you may have seen […]

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Share a page from your handbook …

by cv harquail February 10, 2009
Etsy WatermelonWishes

When I started au pair momming 11 years ago, there was no such thing as an Au Pair Handbook. My au pair agency never recommended that I create a family manual, and my LCC actually laughed when I told her that I’d put together a printed list of guidelines for our incoming au pair. My, […]

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