There is no manual for an Au Pair to become a “Rock Star”. It all depends on the individual family, as every family has different norms, rules and routines.
Here are some clues that will help you to foster and create a Rockstar Au Pair.
1) S/he goes above and beyond with the kids. Some Au Pairs have the kids sitting on their lap within a day of arrival. Some Au Pairs who will spend all day playing board games, if a child really wants to. Definitely Au Pairs who are consistent and loving. Those who shows interests in birthdays, and attend even if they are off duty. Au Pairs who pays attention to their dynamics and supports their personalities, as well as reporting the important stuff back to the Host Parents and pick up the ball when a parent occasionally drop it. Host families especially love someone who has strengths opposite from theirs because that can really benefit the kids.
2) Is a considerate roommate. Someone who really pitches in and helps with the household chores as if they are a member of the family. This goes beyond clearing the plates to helping regularly with dinner, folding the laundry (even if parents’ clothes happen to be mixed in with the kids), and keeping the communal areas spic and span. Of course, an Au Pair is not expected to fold the host parents’ laundry, but someone who just notices when things need to get done and does them is a “rockstar” in our eyes.
3) A good communicator. An Au Pair who is proactive, regularly seeking feedback on their performance and asking for what they need as well. That makes everything easier, from sharing a car to making sure food doesn’t go to waste. Basically, all the little stuff that can add up and annoy you over time!
4) A fantastic attitude. It’s important for most families that the Au Pair has a great year as well, these families appreciate someone who makes a real effort to make a circle of friends, gets involved in activities beyond the cluster, and sees as much of the country as they can while they are here.
In short: loving, proactive, engaged and “above and beyond” make a winner for some families.