Questions an au pair or nanny should ask
Do you want to become an au pair or nanny? Asking the right questions can ensure an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
The interview process for a full-time or part-time au pair or nanny position is a two way street. Unfortunately, most au pairs and nannies don't take advantage of this important opportunity to interview the family.
Most au pairs and nannies are so concerned about answering the family's questions impressively that they overlook their opportunity to learn everything they can about the family and the job they may be hired for.
By asking comprehensive questions, an au pair or nanny will better be able to determine if this particular position is a right fit for him or her. By asking the questions an au pair or nanny should ask, you will greatly increase the chances that both you and the family will be happy with your choice.
Don't be intimidated! Your questions are important and will afford the family as much information about you as you glean from them. If the family is rushing you, or doesn't give you the opportunity to present your questions, you will have received your first red flag. One sided relationships seldom work and when they perpetuate it is usually unpleasant for one of the parties. Asking questions is important and you are important, so ask away!
Questions an au pair or nanny should ask:
Your hours – What will my working hours be and will they fluctuate?
Previous au pair or nanny – Why did your relationship with the last au pair or nanny end and how long was she with you? May I speak with her?
Sole charge – Will I be in sole charge when I am looking after the children? Can I rely on you to support my decisions?
Discipline - How do you handle discipline and punishment? (It is important that these views fit in with your own personal views.)
Housework – What household cores will I be expected to perform if any?
Income – What will my weekly wages be?
Overtime – How will overtime be compensated for such as additional hours and babysitting?
Socializing – How much socializing would you like your children to do while under my care?
Activities – What activities, if any, are the children already involved in such as classes, groups or clubs?
Car – Will a car be made available to me while I am caring for the children? Who will pay for the gas, parking and so forth?
Spending money – How much spending money will be provided weekly to cover the children's activities and excursions?
Holidays and sick time – How many paid holidays will I receive and how many sick days am I allowed?
Accommodations – If a live-in, ask what your accommodations will be like and the use of the house during off hours.
Friends and boy or girlfriends – May a friend, or boy or girlfriend, visit me in my room during my off time? If so, what would their curfew be?
Curfew – Up until what time would you feel comfortable with me coming in during the week and on the weekend?
Contract – If I receive the position will there be a written contract? (This is a very good idea. It will help spell things out for everyone and avoid disagreements later on.)