People frequently misspell the word Au Pair as “au par”, “au paire”, “opair”, “au per”, “au paring” and confuse the meaning. The word “Au Pair” is a French term, which means “on par” or “equal to”, referring to living on an equal basis, so an Au Pair lives as an equal member of a host family and should feel at home there.
How to make an Au Pair feel at home? Please read more in the article How to welcome your new au pair.
It is very important to prepare a comfortable and welcoming room for the Au Pair. The adequately sized room is supposed to be clean and properly lighted, has a comfortable bed, a writing desk with a chair, a closet or a wardrobe, and a cupboard with drawers or shelves. The Au Pair must have easy access to a bathroom or have her own.
A private room gives the Au Pair the perfect place to study for classes without interruption and have personal discussions with her family and friends without feeling as though everyone is listening or watching.
The Au Pair’s room must have a lock on her door because the Au Pair needs privacy. In changing clothes, an Au Pair will feel more comfortable if she has a place to do these things in private with the door locked. No cameras are allowed in an Au Pair’s room.
To make the Au Pair feel like she is welcomed and loved, put in the Au Pair’s room a small welcome basket on her arrival. The gift basket may contain some bath gels/lotions for her bathroom, empty picture frames, sweets or chocolates, and flowers. The host family may give the Au Pair the freedom to customize her living space on her own, to decorate her room with some pictures and posters.
Host families often ask what additional they may provide to their Au Pairs, do they need to put a TV or a computer in the Au Pair’s room. It depends. I have asked Au Pairs from Go Au Pair cluster in the Philadelphia and NJ area to name material things they can’t live without (doesn’t include family, friends, etc.)
Dear Au Pair,
Please take your time and vote.
It is very important to help the Au Pair feel comfortable and happy in the host family house and her room. The Au Pair will appreciate the efforts and will return the favour with her loving and reliable service.
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