Considering the Needs of Your Care Professional
Most host families spend significant time considering their childcare needs; however, the most successful matches occur when host families also spend time considering their care professional’s needs.
A care professional is not just an employee – she is a temporary addition to the family who provides childcare support and therapy assistance. While your care professional will be living with you 24/7 for at least a year, she won’t be working that entire time. Care professionals can legally work up to 40 hours per week and up to 10 hours in any day. In order to have a healthy relationship in the home, it is important to encourage your care professional to become part of the community and have a life outside of your family.
A good practice is to ask your care professional what she is looking to gain from her time in Australia, outside of the specific professional experience she is gaining from caring for your children. For some care professionals, it is perfecting their English. For others, it is experiencing Australian life and meeting locals. For others, it is taking classes to further their professional training. If you can understand their motivation, you can help to guide them in accomplishing their goals.
Here are some other tips to help your care professional adjust to life in Australia.:
- Put a bulletin board in her room so she can hang up photos from home as well as her new adventures in Australia.
- Encourage her to attend the local meet-ups organised by your Area Director.
- Have her make a “bucket list” of everything she wants to do and see while in Australia.
- Ask your local Area Director to introduce her to other care professionals in the area.
- If she has some free time encourage her to find a class like Yoga, Pilates, or something educational as soon as possible so she can meet new friends.
- As a host family, the more you can do to help smooth the transition for your care professional, the happier she will be during her time in Australia – and the more focused she will be in caring for your children.