10 bits of advice to make being a Granny Aupair easier
- compiled by Granny Anke, who was in France for four months as a Granny Aupair in 2015
- You are basically keen on occupying yourself with (young) children.
- You discuss mutual expectations with the family.
- You are curious (in the sense of positive-open minded) to get to know other family structures and integrate yourself into the new surroundings.
- You can work in a structured and forward-looking manner and see your main job as backing up the parents and taking over some of the child care from them, so that everyday life works better. You can discover the country and its people in your spare time.
- You are reliable and resilient.
- You let yourself in for the family and its way of life. There is a reason why it is like it is.
- You should sort out if suggestions for improvements are desired. You are only accompanying the family for a short time and principally should not question established rules, even if you yourself would do things differently.
- Bring a time consuming occupation with you from home, which you like doing to bridge waiting time and spare hours contentedly.
- Try making social contacts outside the family. This helps against homesickness, brings some diversion and broadens the horizon in your new surroundings. In addition you can receive valuable insider information this way.
- If necessary you should try to learn the language.
Tips for the preparation of your Granny Aupair trip
Define your own ideas, wishes and goals: City or country, which countries, size of the family, integration as a family member, which tasks are acceptable? IMPORTANT: Be aware that the family relies on your help and is entrusting you with their children
- Duration of the stay - if necessary ask the respective embassy about the correct visa
- Learn to use online banking
- Organize mail: Have your mailbox emptied by a trusted person, place a redirection order, poste restante service or post-scan
- Maybe book monthly subscriptions with Skype for a few cents, so you can make cheap calls to landline numbers at home
- Find out the cheapest option for a stay abroad from your mobile phone provider
- Buy one of the country's SIM cards locally (is usually cheaper)
- Review insurance policies, especially health insurance and liability insurance
- Out-of-country insurance coverage card when driving your own car
- Check whether your driving license is valid abroad, if necessary apply for an international driving license
- If necessary, apply for a visa
- Check if your passport or identity card is still valid for the duration of your trip
- Take copies of your passport and/or identity card with you or save them in the cloud
- Ideally take two credit cards with you, in case one gets lost or does not work
- Take along current passport photos and if you have one, pensioner's identity card for potential monthly public transport tickets
- If necessary have your vaccinations renewed, take your vaccination card /certificate with you
- As required take with you: Camera with spare battery and charger, international plugs, flashlight. earplugs, medication, spare glasses
Preparing with the family
- make visual contact with the family - via Skype or even at a personal meeting
- Go over the daily routine
- Talk about the preferred style of upbringing
- Go through the household tasks - what is expected, what is acceptable?
- Talk about personal allergies, ask about family allergies
- Clarify the cost of driving the children in your own car (petrol money)
- festlegen, ob es ein Taschengeld gibt
- Determine whether there will be an allowance
- Clarify who will take over the travel costs
- Speak about the living situation (room, room size, bathroom)
- Ask about pets and any tasks connected with them
- If you are interested, find out about the possibility of a language course
- Talk about your time off
True to the philosophy of Granny Aupair, where the main focus is on cultural exchange. Away from the normal tourist program, our temporary Grannies have intensive experiences in a foreign country, which they can experience in a completely new way through the family connection.
Our families are also enthusiastic about the concept. However, irritations still arise from time to time, for example concerning pocket money and the tasks. There are exaggerated expectations on both sides every now and then. We would therefore explicitly like to point out once again: Granny Aupair is not a job agency. The word "au-pair" comes from the French and means "mutual". We see our initiative in this original sense of the word.
As a Granny Aupair you live in a family like a temporary grandmother or help in a social project and are integrated into the everyday life of another culture. Language barriers, unknown customs and differences in mentality have to be mastered by both sides. But the challenge also offers the chance for personal development and to experience oneself in a completely new way!
Naturally, board and lodging with the families is free of charge - and if you calculate only 50 Euros per day for this, that would be the equivalent of 1,500 Euros per month. Most of the families also contribute to the travel costs or show their gratitude in other ways. Some grannies deliberately do not want pocket money, as they then feel like an employee and not like a granny who is actively helping a family. And what you receive is priceless anyway.