September 14, 2012
Host Family Poll: How did your children adjust to getting a new au pair?

Once you have said good-bye to your au pair, it may take your children a little time to warm up to a new au pair, according to a recent Cultural Care Au Pair host parent poll in which 51% of parents reported that there was an adjustment period. Some children (41%) adjust easily and are not fazed by the transition. Only 8% of families indicated that adjusting to a new childcare provider can take a lot of time and effort for the children to feel comfortable.

Host parents offered some insight and advice:

Age can make a difference. “I’ve found that the transition becomes more and more difficult as my kids get older. When they were babies and toddlers, the transition was much easier than I anticipated. But as my kids are now school age, it takes more time to make everyone feel comfortable and get up and running into a routine.”

Every child is unique. All children, like adults, react differently to change. Some will adjust to a new childcare situation almost immediately and others will take longer. “My kids are very outgoing and they are friendly to anyone who plays and talks with them.”

Involve the current au pair. “We typically ask the departing au pair to talk about the new au pair and how much fun the kids will have to ease the transition. We use the new au pair’s name and fun facts abut them in the months before arrival.” Current au pairs can involve the children in putting up photos of the new au pair and getting ready for her arrival.

Early selection and preparation helps. “We have hosted seven au pairs so far and most of the time it is fine right away. Since we choose our au pairs so far in advance, our kids are getting to know them via Skype or through email tidbits that I share with them. I think that helps. Sure, they are sad when the current one leaves, but they are excited, too, for the new one.”

Click here to receive monthly Host Parent Poll questions and share your experiences with other host families. Next question: Does your au pair regularly join your family for dinner? 

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