5 Tips to Find a Host Family
Updated: Dec 8, 2021
Dear Aupair Match UK: 5 Tips To Find A Host Family.
Hello Aisha, in your email you said you had a horrible experience while aupairing in London and will love to share your experience with us and provide a few tips so that no child care provider will go through a similar experience.
My Horror Aupair Story
My name is Aisha, I am Nigerian, aupairing in the UK is the best way for me to enjoy studying in the UK. My search for a host family in London proved difficult, and I was growing increasingly desperate. In the end, I was contacted by a family who would host me.
I learned from video calling the mom that she was a stay-at-home mom whose husband was working most of the time, and she needed someone to take care of her kids. My profile attracted her attention and she asked me to join their family as a live-in child care provider for three months even though my program was 1 year. My host family promised to reimburse my transport pass in addition to my weekly pocket money and even promised to pay me £90 extra. Everything seemed like a dream come true. But the reason for that was later revealed to me.
On the day of my arrival, the mom arranged for a friend of their family to pick me up from the airport and drop me off at their house. We had dinner after my arrival and the mom reviewed my responsibilities and expectations with me once again. As far as she told me, I was only supposed to help the kids get ready in the morning, prepare breakfast, briefly take care of the house, help with homework, play with the kids, prepare a few meals, and put them down at night. It sounded familiar to me since I had provided childcare in my country for many years, so I was confident in my abilities.
A few hiccups occurred in my first few weeks, then the family went to America to visit the dad who was stationed there, a private pilot. Things started going wrong in my second month. She complained that the breakfast was never right and that the children's closets were never organized. She was also annoyed that I did not go the extra mile for her. On top of cleaning out the entire home, gardening, cleaning the family car, taking out the recycling, and doing laundry for the entire household, every day I was expected to do so. As an aupair, I wasn't supposed to be doing any of these extra duties she never communicated to me.
Nevertheless, I continued to do them. Standing up for myself was difficult for me. She would yell at me every day and complain about how expensive I was, and she would even lock me out of certain areas. As the family wanted some alone time, I would not be allowed to use the kitchen or living room during my time off. My presence was too much for them. In addition, she lied to me. I never received my £90 extra promised by her and she refused to cover my transport pass.
Leaving Without Looking Back
After a few nights of sleeping poorly, I realized there was something wrong with me when I woke up in the morning. Apparently, I was suffering from a medical condition that prevented me from eating and speaking. Unfortunately, I did not understand what happened to me.
I had a conversation about the situation with a friend of mine, and she said that I was been abused. She referred me to GOV.UK to learn my rights as an aupair and Aupair Match UK, an aupair agency to help me find my new host family.
On my departure, the morning was not greeted by anyone. My Uber driver pulled away from the house of horrors, and I let out tears of joy as I escaped.
My mental health has been affected in such a profound way that I cannot even begin to describe it. As a result, I felt worthless and stupid. Check out my 5 tips to avoid these types of host families. I never want anyone else to experience what I did.
5 TIPS TO FIND A HOST FAMILY
Talk to several families rather than just the first one that approaches you.
Video call the host family several times.
Please ask the host family for a clear description of your responsibilities and expectations. Be sure to get this in writing as well.
It is always a good idea to ask the family if they have any former aupairs. If they do, get their contact and ask questions.
Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself. My only regret is that I did not stand up for myself.
Finally, rematches are ok too, I wish I knew my rights as an aupair earlier. My aupair experience caused me trauma, I was been abused psychologically and emotionally and I was not aware. It is no different from financial abuse for people trapped in marginalized labour with no escape for many years.
Dear Aisha, 10th October was World Mental Health Day and your mental health matters, it is sad you went through all these. I am glad you shared your story with us. In my subsequent emails, I will teach you how to find a great host family.
Signing out now, peace!
I hope you had a good read through and if not enjoyed it, at least found it useful.
Are you are interested in knowing more about being an Aupair from Nigeria? Aupair job vacancies in the UK or you are already an Aupair and have good advice to give other Aupairs, you are warmly invited to join our community.
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