Waiting *patiently* for an email saying that a family is looking at your profile and wanting to interview you is something even I had a hard time with!
It is important to really have a chat with the family and have a list of questions that you don’t have to ask in a formal fashion but need to know.
You don’t have to do this:
Family: Hi, so nice to meet you!
You: Hi, nice to meet you too. I have a list of questions that I would like to talk about.
Do it super casual but there are some important things you should know before matching with a family.
- How many children do they have? (duh)
- Do any of them have special needs? Sometimes families don’t put on their profile that they have special needs kids because you don’t actually look after them but it really is important to know.
- Do you have your own car or do you have to share it? If you have to share the car, who with and when will you be allowed to take it? You will find that this is very restrictive and most of the time you need a car to get from A to B.
- Where is your room? Is it on the same level as the kids? That can actually be super tough so again, you need to figure it out and be aware of it.
- Do you have weekends off? According to the contract, you are only obligated 1,5 days off a week and 2 full days off a month. This actually does not have to be on a weekend. Go in knowing that.
- What are your restrictions and house rules? also- a curfew? This can often break a good match because of the curfew. Take a minute and if you don’t think that can work for you, then maybe go with a different family.
- What will your schedule look like?
It is also very important to talk about the kids and family dynamics. It shows that you care about the children and family and really, that you are not selfish and there for the wrong reasons. Some things that you can ask are:
- Do the children follow a special diet?
- What is their routine? Wake up time; sleep time; bath time; nap?
- What do they like doing?
- Do they do any other activities?
- Do they have lots of play dates?
- What are you allowed to do with them? are they allowed to go to movies on vacation? Mini golf etc?
- Do you have to cook dinner and what time will that be?
These are just some of the things that you should consider asking and finding out before matching with someone. Also- remember that there are a lot of families out there so don’t take the first one just because you are scared to wait. There’s a great family out there for you. (also- why does it sound like I am giving relationship advice?)
However, if you think the first family is good and what you want the you really should match with them. I matched with the first family and I don’t regret it! I am going back to them this year which tells you a lot about the relationship I have with them.
Remember that the kids are your first priority so you need to ask questions about them. You need to be interested in them! Everything else can take a back seat and visited at a later stage.
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