The First Months with your Care Professional
The first few days and months with your new live-in carer will be a time of adjustment – for you and for your new care professional.
Your new caregiver will likely be very tired and jet-lagged the first few days. Interactions in person might be a little awkward, no matter how often you have Skyped or chatted beforehand. And your children are probably going to be very excited to meet this new person, but they could also be overwhelmed. It’s important to keep that in mind. Give yourself, your family and the care professional the time and space to establish a good relationship.
We recommend that the first 3-5 days a parent or responsible adult is in the house with the carer and the children. This will also offer the opportunity to provide some guidance and training.
The First Month
The first month with your new live-in carer will be a period of training and adjustment. Everyone may feel a bit overwhelmed or emotional at times. This is a normal part of the adjustment period. It can take some time to get used to a new person living and working in your home!
The first month is a great opportunity for you to get to know your care professional and for them to get to know you. The more time and energy you invest in the relationship at this stage, the better your overall experience will be. Be as clear with instructions as possible and be sure to provide clarification on their duties and responsibilities.
Training your Care Professional
Every family has its own unique set of roles, responsibilities and routines specifically designed for that family’s needs. Your family is no different.
We recommend that you share a household manual with the carer to provide them with written information on all the ins and outs of your family, your house and the area you live in. The household manual or instructions should include information on the following: parenting philosophy, background and information on each child, information about your typical schedule and childcare duties, household rules, and other information about the home, family and community. It should also include important contact information (schools, paediatricians, emergency phone numbers, therapist, neighbours, other family members, etc.).
Additionally, you will be able to share the Care Plan for your child with them, which will give them insight into your child’s particular needs.
Additional Things to Discuss
Some of the areas that are important to discuss with your carer include:
- Curfew (for work days and non-work days)
- Usage of shared technology items (such as the family television or home phone)
- Usage of personal technology while on duty (texting, emailing, etc.)
- Having visitors to the house (friends, family, dates, overnight guests, etc.)
- Expected participation in family meals and events
- Car usage
- Posting photos of children or family on social media accounts
- Drinking alcoholic beverages at home
Keep these Things Front of Mind
Training is Ongoing
Training will not just happen in the first three days. Training is ongoing, with course corrections along the way. Be open to provide ongoing training and guidance.
It is important for you to provide specific household rules and set expectations from the day of arrival. This will help the care professional know what’s expected of them.
Have Realistic Expectations
It will take time for everyone to get to know each other and to have a routine that feels comfortable and easy. Don’t be discouraged if things don’t go perfectly from day one.
While you probably want the care professional to be considered a member of your family, it is important to be respectful of their privacy. Most families understand the importance of providing their live-in carer with privacy, either by not going into their room at all or only under specific circumstances.
Support from Apex
Your Apex Professional Exchange Regional Director will contact you within 48 hours of the care professional’s arrival in Australia. This call acts as a check-in point and the option to ask questions that you or your new arrival might have. The Regional Director will also set-up a time for an arrival orientation that usually happens within two weeks of the carers arrival.
The Regional Director will also help your care professional apply for their tax file number, their working with children check and (if needed) their super fund.