How to create a strong relationship after matching with a host family/Au pair

start off right…

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The au pair/host family relationship starts from the moment you send your first message. This is why it is so important to send a personal message to any potential host families or au pairs. And from the moment that both sides decide to continue the communication, your relationship starts to grow.

continuing communication

After the initial communication and interview process, a final decision will be made by both parties and a host family-au pair relationship will be made official. This is absolutely NOT the time to stop communicating! After the decision is made, it can be easy to relax and stop communication for some time, but this is not the best idea. In the early stages is when the relationship needs to grow and be strengthened. So how can this be done? 

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What to do…

Finally making the commitment to become someone’s host family or au pair is super exciting and at the same time can be a bit scary. Once the decision is made and both host family and au pair decide that they will be a good match for each other, there can be a bit of an anti-climatic moment. A moment where you think, “Now what?”. The stress and anticipation of the interview process has finished and there is still some time between making the decision and actually meeting each other in person. So let’s talk about how to handle the in-between time and how to take advantage of it to get to know each other even better.

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au pairs

As a young person, you are probably super excited to start your au pair journey and take full advantage of living in a new country to make new memories and have new experiences. But… you have to wait. For some, the waiting period might be only a short time, while for others it could be months before you get to meet your new host family. So what can you do while you’re waiting? Firstly, if you haven’t already, do some research about your destination city. You can ask your potential host family about the city as well, but with modern technology, you can learn lots of things about a place without ever having been there. You can read about festivals held in the city and think about if you want to try to attend. You can look at what museums are in the city and what different sports or hobby clubs or activities are available to join. As a host mom, I love it when my future au pairs ask me about things they have found online because it shows that they are taking initiative and they have a real interest in exploring and finding out about where they’ll be living.
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The next thing is something that hopefully you would have done during the interview process, but if you haven’t, make sure to talk to current or past au pairs that the host family has had. If you will be the family’s first au pair, search for an au pair group from your host city on social media. Most cities will have one where past, current and future au pairs can find each other and ask questions or give advice. They won’t be able to tell you anything specific about your host family, but they can definitely give you some tips about the city.
The family’s current or past au pairs can give you specific advice and help with any doubts or questions that you might not feel comfortable asking your future host family. They can give you an inside look at what your life will be like once you arrive. With this advice, I must also warn you to be objective. Everyone is different and will see things from a different point of view, so be careful and remember that you are you and your host family picked you for a reason.
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One last thing to remember is not to forget communication with your future host family. The interview process will give you some specific information about the family and what you will be expected to do as an au pair, but you might not get to know the family on a real personal level. Once the decision has been made that you will be their au pair, take the opportunity to get to know them better before you actually arrive. It’s easy to get caught up in what you have going on at home before you leave, but I’m sure that the host family will appreciate some messages from you. You could share with them what you are doing on the weekend or if you have exams at school. Maybe send some photos of you and your friends or family so they can see you in your natural environment.

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host families

It is probably a big relief to finally know who your au pair will be and have the stress of the interview process behind you. Now it’s time to get things in motion for the arrival of the new au pair.

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I’m not going to go into detail about the visa requirements and necessary documents for each country because I don’t know all of them. has a great section for both au pairs and host families on what requirements need to be fulfilled for each specific country. What you should do, though, is communicate to your future au pair what you need her to provide you or what she needs to bring with her when she comes. For example, we always ask our au pair to bring an ID style photograph with so that we can get them a “city card” right away. Obviously, it is possible to get the picture taken when the au pair arrives, but it’s just one less thing to do. It is also a requirement to get a medical certificate before coming, so that is something that the au pair must be made aware of and given enough time to get it done. Don’t leave anything until the last minute because that just creates stress for you and the au pair.
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I am a big advocate of communication during this in-between time. You probably already know the basics about your new future au pair (after all, you made the decision to choose them), but that doesn’t mean you should stop getting to know each other. During the time before your au pair comes, you could send pictures in Whatsapp of things your family does together on weekends, favourite restaurants or pictures of shops or places you think they might like. During the interview process you get to know each other but there is always a kind of pressure to impress during this time. Once you have already chosen your au pair, the pressure to impress might lessen a bit and it is a really great time to get to know each other better. I always love it when my au pair arrives and it feels like we already know each other. It definitely takes away the feeling of having a stranger living with you.

I wouldn’t say that there is a hard and fast rule about how often you should talk, but you should definitely make the effort to keep up the communication. This will also help your future au pair to feel more comfortable with you and your family when she/he arrives.

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What do you think?

As always, I’d love to hear from you! Let me know what you think here in the comments section, by sending me a message in the contacts page or on Instagram.

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