Joyce Serano’s Tips for a Good Fit

Since the au pair you select will be spending as much time as you do with your children, or possibly even more – all the while living in your house – you want to make sure the one you select is a good fit for your family.  Here, Joyce Serano, working mother of 2 tween boys, shares some of her best advice on making this important choice:

1.    The au pair should want to be a member of your family.  An au pair should certainly have her own social life, but must be comfortable living in your house.

2.    It helps if the au pair has siblings.  She will be used to the flow of a family environment if she has already experienced the sharing and flexibility in family dynamics.

3.    Make it a policy to hold a family meeting with your au pair once a week to prepare for the upcoming week.  This way upcoming school, work, homework and extracurricular activities can all be ironed out.

4.    The au pair needs a very positive outlook on life.  Ask a prospective candidate how they have dealt with life’s challenges.  Have they grown through facing adverse situations, or do they revert to victim talk and play the blame game?

5.    You’ll be able to evaluate an au pair’s English speaking skills and see how they express themselves through phone or in-person interviews.

6.    Driving skills are critical.  Safety always comes first, especially if your community is an especially dense traffic area.  If the au pair will be picking up and dropping off your children, you must have peace of mind with her caution and safe driving skills.