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"AuPairMom" - 5 new articles

  1. Notes on the Blog: Somehow, we broke the Interwebz
  2. Reading the Tea Leaves to Find Your Perfect Au Pair
  3. Au Pair Asks: Should I offer to rematch to solve a driving problem?
  4. How Should Au Pair Host Parents Respond to Charges Against the Au Pair Program?
  5. Why Your Au Pair Should Go To Your Kid’s School Play …
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  7. Search AuPairMom
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

Notes on the Blog: Somehow, we broke the Interwebz

I don’t know what happened, and I don’t know what fixed it back up to 98% of what it was before, but sorry about this morning’s long, long, long outage. Also, apologies to whomever commented between last night and noon today– your insights were lost in the ‘series of tubes’ that make up the worldwideweb. Back to our regular programming…. I hope. :-)


Reading the Tea Leaves to Find Your Perfect Au Pair

I am driving myself crazy with thinking through this matching process, but this current fabulous AP kind of messes with all my algorithms and criteria. Maybe it’s just a one-time thing to get someone like this. … Maybe we are all just reading tea leaves and astrological forecasts. 

I wish I knew that were the case, then I would give up thinking I could actually choose an au pair who will be precisely as I wish.
~Host Mom ShouldBeWorking

Reading the tea leaves.

1030734_f520They should teach this in ‘prospective host parent school.  We all do it, in some way or another.

The phrase “reading the tea leaves” -  first proffered by ShouldBeWorking–  is just about perfect for  describing how host parents puzzle over Au Pair applications, looking for patterns, signs, anything, that might clue us towards the au pair candidate that’s just right for our family.

Multitasking Host Mom emailed to follow up on SKNY‘s request that HRHM divulge what she uses to find the ‘perfect for her’ Au Pair.  She wonders — what are we each looking for, that sets a certain candidate apart from the others?

Is it work experience, education, hobbies, personality traits, etc.?  What is it (beyond the concrete basics of age, driving, smoking, and home country), that we are each looking for?  Since we all have different childcare needs, we won’t all be looking for the same thing… but it would be interesting...

Read the whole entry »


Au Pair Asks: Should I offer to rematch to solve a driving problem?

Hi Au Pair Mom,

I am currently an Au Pair on the East Coast. I arrived in Jan 2014 and extended another 6 months. Everything is amazing and we have had no issues in the time I have been here. But now a pretty big problem has arisen and I dont know what to do.

au pair, driving problems, liscenceI was driving on an international license my first year.

When my intl. license was expiring, my host parents said they wanted me to get a State license. I started the process but the numerous snow days and bad weather (which Im not allowed to drive in) slowed the process down. Not to mention the problems at the Motor Vehicle Office.

Last week while I was driving the kids to sports, I was in a fender bender (not my fault and no damage done, just a fright to us all.) I was very lucky that the woman who hit me did not call the police or pursue anything further, but it put me and my host parents in a predicament.

The day after the accident, my host parents sat me down and said they did not want me using the car in my off time until I have my license, which I completely understood and agreed too. (I have my own ‘au pair car’ car that I can use whenever I want.)

I was however still allowed to drive the kids and do ‘work’ stuff. After multiple visits back and forth to the MVO, I finally did the law test on Friday. We were not aware at how long it takes to get an appointment to do the road test. We were all under the impression that the road test would be the same day as the written test and that would be it....

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How Should Au Pair Host Parents Respond to Charges Against the Au Pair Program?

While I was away last week, a very disturbing post hit the Washington Post Wonkblog, where the title shares its central claim: “Au pairs provide cheap childcare. Maybe illegally cheap.”

In the post, the author describes a class action lawsuit being brought against US Au Pair Agencies by a Colorado group called Towards Justice, on behalf of 5 au pairs.

The blog post is disturbing because it’s very one-sided. It is rife with presumptions and it offers up “data” that is incorrect and outdated. It presents a very negative picture of the Au Pair program as a front for exploiting young workers. It blames Au Pair Agencies for colluding in price-fixing and neglecting their responsibilities towards Au Pairs.  It’s the kind of post that preys on our deep fears and seeks to incite controversy.

2997128547_e3cd753efd_mOf course, all of us Host Parents and Au Pairs know that the Au Pair program isn’t perfect.

We know that there are a few families, overseas recruiting firms, and perhaps even US Agencies, who don’t adhere to the ‘spirit of the Program’ and who take advantage of vulnerable au pairs.

And, we know that most Host Families do their very best to fulfill the full range of obligations & responsibilities to our Au Pairs.

All of us appreciate the dual and sometimes puzzling position of Au Pairs as childcare providers and members of the family. We take our roles as participants in a personalized, in home, cultural exchange seriously. We...

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Why Your Au Pair Should Go To Your Kid’s School Play …

… and all sorts of other family events.

If having an Au Pair is a Cultural Exchange, school and community events are an important part of the excitement.

5279584506_15bf4013db_mHey, I’ve endured enjoyed  enough grammar school orchestra concerts to be an expert on ways to butcher the violin parts of The Str Spangled Banner. But if someone asked me to go to their kid’s concert, I’d be there in a heartbeat.

Attending school events is a generous way to support a friend or a child, and it’s part of the American Family Experience.

Sure, I know that there are more exciting social events for an Au Pair than the Shakespearean Banquet in Ms. Waller’s 4th grade class.  And that National Honor Society induction can get pretty long, w hat with grade inflation and all. But these events are windows into a community– what it values, how it sees the world, what it’s trying to reinforce and to teach.

For Host Families, these school and community events are part of the culture we want to share with our Au Pairs.

The same is true for less public events, like birthday parties or a trip to the county park to look or Red Tailed Hawks. After enjoying the company of Au Pairs at so many of our family’s events, I can see where this HostMomWithExtraTickets is coming from.

Dear AuPairMom,
I am an experienced host mom, we have hosted 5 aupairs.
While my  Au Pairs have all been nice to my kids I wish they would participate more in our family events.  They don’t even...

Read the whole entry »


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