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Services offered, Babysitting Partial / after school care. Nanny working at family residence. Au Pair. Training, Professionnal qualification (OFSTEO. Minder Agency Makes Life Easier for Parents, Au Pairs, Nannies and Minders. Before hosting an Au Pair, Caroline tried to juggle playschool. The British Home Office uses "au pair" for both males and females. This has been the case for about the past 40 years.

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One of the many great suggestions for helping our kids with Chinese fluency is to hire an au pair. Since I have never hired one, our guest poster, Hapalicious, offered up a fantastic write up of her experiences and advice for those of us who have thought about hiring an au pair to help with Chinese fluency.

Please to enjoy!

It was a goal of mine to meet Mandarin Mama during our summer trip to Taiwan last year – I read her blog obsessively, and she (along with fellow ladyboss Guavarama) is my bilingual mom idol.  So after some light cyberstalking, I convinced her that I am not a crazy person—heh heh—and being shameless foodsluts, we met up to chat over some TPE noms.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when we got involved in a somewhat contentious online debate with another parent about Chinese au pairs (and racism, but that’s a story for another time).  After the melee, Mandarin Mama generously offered to share a piece I wrote for some friends who were considering au pairs and wondering what issues to think about.

Some background info about me and my family:  I am ABC and hapa, my dad is a monolingual English speaker from Kansas and my mother is from China by way of Taiwan (she immigrated to the US for grad school in her 20s).  I was born and raised in the midwestern US, and my monolingual Mandarin-speaking maternal grandmother lived with us starting when I was about age 7.

My only formal Chinese language education growing up was Saturday school, which I hated.  However, I came back to my Chinese studies during college, and I spent a semester in Taipei interning at a bank and taking language classes at National Taiwan Normal University (my mom’s alma mater).  As an adult, my spoken Chinese is fairly proficient but lacking in sophisticated vocabulary, and I have the literacy level of maybe a 2nd or 3rd grader in Taiwan – I’ve always wished my language abilities were better.

Ten years ago, I married a non-Chinese, non-Mandarin-speaking American and we have two kids, currently ages 6.5 (DD Peaches) and 3 (DS Blueberry).  We call them our “quapas”, and to look at them one would think that they have no Asian heritage whatsoever.  Their non-Chinese physical appearance has definitely fed into my crazy tiger mom obsession with raising our children bilingually, so that they will feel some meaningful connection to their ancestry.

Luckily, my spouse is onboard with this, so I have been free to create our Chinese Language Ecosystem (h/t Oliver Tu) as I see fit.  A huge part of that ecosystem, of course, is surrounding the kids with Chinese-speaking caregivers.

To that end, we have had two au pairs from mainland China, each of whom was with our family for the maximum 2-year term.  We welcomed our first au pair when Peaches was just under 3 months old, and our second au pair arrived when Blueberry was 3 months old.  There was a gap of about 1.5 years between the two au pairs, when Peaches (then an only child) had started preschool and I needed less help.

CHINESE LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

My strategy toward achieving multilingualism for my kids has been to establish Chinese as the dominant language in the early years (0-4).  When Peaches was an infant, I was usually around the house since I wasn’t working at the time, so I decided to utilize my au pair more like a mother’s helper. I just wanted an extra pair of hands to help out with everything – and, most importantly, a true native Mandarin speaker to help create a richer Chinese language environment in the home.

So my au pair and I would only speak Mandarin to Peaches and to each other, giving Peaches the benefit of both participating in direct language interaction and hearing adult conversation. With the help of my au pair, I bought a bunch of Chinese board books, CDs, and toys, downloaded songs and nursery rhymes from the internet, and generally acquired tons of materials to help surround Peaches with the written and spoken Chinese language.

As she got older, my au pair and I continued to speak to her only in Mandarin, even when she started a Spanish/English bilingual school (I’ll leave the trilingual element for another post).

Once Blueberry was born and our second au pair arrived, we took the same approach. An unexpected bonus of using this strategy was that since both kids started out strongly dominant in Mandarin, Blueberry wasn’t able to play with Peaches in English at all (which she had inevitably picked up from my spouse and our outside community by age 4.5).

So Peaches has very willingly continued to speak primarily Mandarin at home since that was her younger brother’s only real mode of verbal communication. Even now, when they are almost 3.5 and 7, their preferred common language is Mandarin. I attribute that to always having a “jiejie” around playing with them, modeling Mandarin and tipping our at-home language environment heavily toward Chinese.

Along the way, both au pairs continued to help me find age-appropriate books, games, apps, audiobooks, DVDs and other materials (many thanks to Mandarin Mama and Guavarama) –this has been a huge bonus since I am quite illiterate, and many of the Chinese and Taiwanese websites are difficult to navigate.

AU PAIR BASICS

Now, a few quick au pair facts:

  • The au pair program is actually regulated by the State Department as a cultural exchange program (the au pairs enter the country on a specific au pair / cultural exchange J-1 visa, not a work visa).  As a government-regulated program, there are a number of rules, including…
  • The rate you must pay to the au pair is a stipend of just under $200 per week.  Any agency fees are over and above that, and they are mostly around $3000-4000 for a year — for us, it ended up working out to a total of less than $400 / week (including all fees) for each au pair.
  • Au pairs can work up to 45 hours per week, and no more than 10 hours per day.
  • Au pairs must be between the ages of 18-26 when they begin the program.
  • The initial commitment is for 1 year, and the host family and au pair have the mutual option (i.e. both have to agree) to renew for up to another additional year (i.e. two years total).  Au pairs can also transition to a different family after the first year if they prefer.

There are many au pair agencies, and their websites have a ton of other info about the program, including the process of finding, interviewing, and selecting an au pair, transitioning to a new au pair if you find that your first choice is a bad match, etc – so I won’t talk too much about all of that here.  Many of these websites also list the benefits of having an au pair, versus a nanny or other options.

There are pros and cons to everything, of course, which will depend on your specific needs and your family / home situation.  Here is my own personal overview on some things to think about in general – again, every family is different, so I’ve just laid out some pertinent issues and you can relate them to your own personal situation.  YMMV.

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER

1)  Cost.

Au pairs are generally less expensive than a full-time nanny.

Total monetary cost for an au pair is around $350 / week for 45 hours of childcare.  That number is made up of two things — first, you have to pay an annual agency fee (a lump sum of a few thousand dollars, which usually averages out to about $150/week), and second, you have to provide a stipend to the au pair of about $200/week.

In addition to those two costs, you have to provide room and board (i.e. food), and pay $500 per year toward their educational requirement – they basically have to take one or two classes at a local college during the year, it’s up to them to choose what/where.  They also get 2 weeks per year of paid vacation – that is, you still pay them $200/week, but they can travel or do whatever they like.

Even with all that, it’s still a lot cheaper than a nanny. Full-time nanny costs vary pretty widely, but in urban areas most of them are between $15-20 / hour plus paid sick days and vacation.

2)  Space and privacy.

You have to provide a private bedroom for the au pair, as well as a bathroom (the bathroom can be shared).  You would probably need to provide this for a live-in nanny as well.

There is definitely less privacy with live-in help – with another (non-spouse) adult in the house, you can’t exactly walk around naked, and you have to be more conscious of who might be around if you plan to have a romantic interlude.  You might also feel like you have to keep the house cleaner / in better shape – of course, the au pair can and should pitch in to make this a reality.

Since you’re all under the same roof, if you have an argument or misunderstanding it is more important to resolve it quickly since you can’t just ask her to leave.  On the plus side, I actually like to have another young adult around even if she’s not officially working – it makes me feel less like I’m in a “mommy bubble”.  In any case, there is an initial adjustment period of getting used to having a stranger living in the house, driving the car, etc.

3)  Flexibility.

I happen to love the “live-in” situation, because we have the space and it gives me and my spouse flexibility – for example, if we want to go out to dinner at night, we don’t have to rush home to relieve the babysitter, because she lives with us and doesn’t have to get home to her own family.

Or if I suddenly need to change my schedule one day because I need to go to a last-minute appointment, I can almost always work it out with the au pair (it’s VERY hard to find a babysitter on short notice where we live).

Au pairs have quite flexible hours – you just give them a schedule every week based on your needs, though of course you should take into account their other obligations (like the monthly au pair meetings or their class schedule).  You can have them work a split shift, like a few hours in the morning, then a few hours in the afternoon.  Or not work at all for a couple of days, then work 10 hours per day for a few days (10 hours / day is the maximum they can work, which may or may not be a problem for you).

You could possibly do this with a live-in nanny as well, but probably not with a live-out nanny.  This aspect has been particularly helpful since our kids started school, and we don’t need childcare during the day – I can have the au pair work in the morning to help everyone get ready, and then again in the afternoon / evening after school.

4)  Emergencies.  

This is related to the flexibility issue – if I wake up sick at 6 am, I can just knock on her door and she will help me with the kids even if she’s not yet scheduled to work.  Or if my spouse and/or I have to go to the hospital or have a work emergency, I know that she’ll be there for childcare.  Basically, we can depend on her to be there for us, and we’re happy to make it up to her later (adjust her schedule accordingly).

5)  Driving and transportation. 

You do not have to provide access to a car, but depending on the proximity of your home to mass transit, as well as your kids’ transportation needs, it may be wise to do so.  You are responsible for making sure the au pairs have a way to get to and from their other obligations (monthly au pair meetings and classes).

There is a huge variation in the driving ability of au pairs.  Ours have all been from big cities in China and had licenses but not much driving experience, so we paid for additional lessons.  Our house is not really accessible by public transportation, so it was important for the au pair to be able to drive herself by car (we have an extra car shared with a neighbor).

Depending on where you live, this may not be an issue, especially if there are bus or subway stops nearby.  Also, many au pairs from other countries do have solid driving skills and experience, so that may not be an issue either.

6)  Quality of childcare.

All au pairs have some level of childcare experience and receive a week of additional training upon arriving in the US.  However, as with any caregivers, their levels of experience, childcare philosophies, and personalities vary widely.

It’s really hard to generalize about the overall quality of care, except to say that I have seen the same range of positive and negative experiences among my friends with au pairs as with those who have nannies.  I think you just have to interview them really thoroughly and get to know them (as much as possible via Skype), and talk to their references to get a sense of how well they will meet your needs, take your direction, and vibe with you and your kids.

For me, I love that I have gotten to see our au pairs interact with the kids nearly every day whether they were on or off the clock.  I feel like I really got to know them in a way I wouldn’t if I was dropping my baby off somewhere every day, or leaving the house when a caregiver arrives and coming home as she leaves.

I also like that I’ve been able to shape their ideas about childrearing, “discipline”, communicating with kids, etc.  The definition of childcare is also broad – au pairs generally do laundry for the kids, help keep their rooms & play areas tidy, and prepare meals for them.

7)  Language. 

Au pairs and nannies vary widely in their language ability, and their English fluency may be a higher or lower priority to you depending on other factors.  If they have a different native tongue, it can be a huge bonus for your kids to learn a new language.

Again, for us, I specifically wanted a native Chinese speaker and English ability was less important because I knew I’d be around most of the time to translate for my spouse or other non-Chinese speakers.  For me, it’s been wonderful to help me improve my own language ability and be more disciplined about speaking Chinese with the kids.

It is important to discuss language expectations with potential au pairs, since many of them really want to improve their English (or whatever the majority language is in your country) during their au pair term and may be less willing to speak in their native tongue so they can “practice” English with your kids. We required consistent Mandarin interaction with the kids and myself but offered up my spouse as an English-language model. We also provided plenty of opportunities (classes, activities) outside of the house for the au pairs to learn and practice English.

8)  Cultural differences.

I haven’t experienced any major problems in this area, but I chose au pairs with whom I share a cultural background.  I actually have some Chinese friends who tried to have older Chinese “auntie” or “grandma” nannies, and they found it very difficult to be their boss.  I think because it’s so ingrained in Chinese culture to respect your elders, sometimes it can be a problem for older Chinese women to take directions from younger women (especially about parenting issues).

I think this would be less the case with nannies of other cultural backgrounds.  As for au pairs/nannies from other countries – obviously each culture has its norms, and there can be some bumpiness as you get used to negotiating those differences.

On the other hand, there is also a great deal to be learned about how things might be done differently in other families / parts of the world (holidays, games, food, parenting practices, etc), and the idea of cultural exchange is definitely a core mission of the au pair program.

9)  Age.

I personally love having younger caregivers because they generally have a lot of energy to play with and carry the kids all day!  Our au pairs have actually spent some of their off-time joining us for our kids’ other activities, like special outings or friends’ birthday parties, just because they love being around kids so much.

Unlike most of my friends’ older nannies that I mentioned earlier, they have listened and taken direction really well.  They have also treated me, my husband, and all of our friends and relatives with greater respect than I would have even expected – this may be the Chinese culture at play again.  The flip side of the age factor, of course, is that some younger adults may be more into partying / meeting boys / etc than maybe a middle-aged nanny (but not necessarily!).

This is where your own due diligence, personal judgment and values come into play.  We realized pretty quickly during our first interview that we had found a lovely, slightly dorky au pair who was more interested in visiting museums and libraries than nightclubs – and that was just fine with us.  For our second au pair, we sought out someone with a similar personality because it really suited our family.

10)  Sense of entitlement.

I haven’t experienced this personally, but some au pairs come from wealthy families who have a lot of luxuries, or from a family where it is expected to have a full time, live-in maid (more common in developing countries).  And some au pairs do live with VERY wealthy families while in the US, so it could be hard for a host family of lesser means to feel that they are giving their au pair “enough”, especially when the au pair starts talking about the foreign holidays or expensive gifts other families give their au pairs.  Again, I haven’t really seen this happen in my circles, but I wanted to mention it.

11)  Continuity.

Each of our au pairs stayed with us for the maximum two years.  On one hand, I worried a little bit about the transition at the end of the term, but on the other hand, I have heard many horror stories about nannies or babysitters who just quit with no notice.

Not that this cannot happen with an au pair, but it is much less likely.  In any case, when each of au pairs returned to China, the kids adjusted quickly and without incident, and we continue to communicate regularly with our former au pairs via Skype – bonus language practice!

12)  Meals & food. 

For meals, we pretty much only eat dinner all together on a regular basis since everyone in the family is on different daytime schedules.  Our au pairs have generally eaten breakfast and/or lunch with me and/or the kids, depending on work schedules.

There is an open invitation to join us for family meals if everyone is at home, and if she makes plans to go out with friends she is on her own financially.  She does not expect to be brought along if we are going out for a meal, unless it’s a special occasion or if she is working that day (like if we bring her to help with the kids on an outing) – but we do invite her if we feel it’s appropriate and not super expensive.

She pitches in on all the cooking, food prep and shopping (we reimburse her if she shops for us) as well as helping do the dishes.  It’s definitely nice having someone else help with the shopping, though she sometimes gets a bit of what I consider junk food (e.g. processed snacks or cookies) for herself that I personally wouldn’t eat, and she knows the kids aren’t allowed to have it.

13)  Vacations / travel / inclusion as “part of the family.”

Au pairs are expected to be treated as members of the family – it is closer than most employer/employee relationships. This can be hard for folks to understand.

I remember one host family asking about whether it would be okay to not invite their au pair for Christmas – and someone else asked her, “Well, where is she meant to spend it then, if not with you?” The host mother hadn’t thought about the fact that her au pair would be essentially alone at the holidays if she didn’t bring her along.

On the other hand, the first holiday break we had with our au pair, we asked if she would mind taking her paid vacation during that time (we were just going to be nesting at home with our then 4-month-old) since my husband had time off from work and could help me. She had no problem with that, she joined up with a few other au pairs to organize a really fun group vacation.

On other holiday breaks, we’ve brought our au pair along on trips so we could have some childcare and get proper R&R – in these cases the au pair would technically be working but had a lot of downtime both with and without us. On other occasions, our au pair has taken a “staycation” at our house when we traveled and we had a housesitter we trusted. So you can have some flexibility, I think it just requires solid and ongoing communication.

14)  Other misc thoughts.

There is more initial legwork with au pair than with a caregiver you find locally – for example, going to the social security office, helping her set up a new bank account, teaching her how to use mass transit and/or helping get a drivers’ license, showing her how to use appliances (some come from countries where washers, dryers, dishwashers, etc. are not the norm).

There is also more social/psychological support required, as well as uncertainty/nervousness before they arrive, than with someone who is from the area.

Finally, whether you decide on an au pair or a nanny, I highly recommend creating a “Family Handbook”, a detailed manual of instructions that covers family rules / regulations, all the nitty-gritty on your lifestyle and how you’d like your caregiver to care for your child.  It’s very handy to have something in writing to clarify and reference when there are any questions.  If you can create a bilingual version, even better!

Источник: https://mandarinmama.com/hiring-au-pair-chinese-fluency/

Revealed: Peter Dutton intervened in Italian au pair visa case for former police colleague

One of the foreign au pairs Peter Dutton saved from deportation came to Australia to work for the family of a former police force colleague, Guardian Australia understands.

Dutton used his ministerial powers under the Migration Act in June 2015 to grant a visa to an Italian au pair who was intending to work for a Brisbane family.

The couple have worked for the Queensland police service and have two young children. The Guardian has decided not to name them.

The matter is one of at least two au pair visa cases which are now the subject of a Senate inquiry.

Guardian Australia revealed on Tuesday that Dutton had saved another au pair from deportation, intervening after the AFL chief executive officer, Gillon McLachlan, raised the young woman’s case on behalf of his relatives.

An email chain was leaked on Thursday featuring the correspondence of immigration officials, Peter Dutton’s office, an AFL staffer, McLachlan and his second cousin. The emails run over 14 pages and indicate that Dutton overruled border security advice and allowed entry to Australia for the French woman, Alexandra Deuwel, on 1 November 2015.

In the Queensland case, the Italian au pair had her visa cancelled upon arrival at Brisbane’s international airport on 17 June 2015. She was able to make a phone call and soon afterwards Dutton approved a new visa.

There are pictures on her Facebook profile showing she ate Tim Tams and Caramello Koalas on her first night in Australia, after the visa dramas were resolved. “First night in Australia.. FINALLY!” she wrote.

She later visited Surfers Paradise, Brisbane’s agricultural show the Ekka, Australia Zoo, Melbourne, and posed for pictures by the Brisbane River.

The au pair’s case file names the Brisbane family as her hosts, a source told Guardian Australia.

Dutton was a police officer from 1990 until 1999 before being elected to federal parliament in 2001. In 1997 Dutton and the family’s father completed a surveillance course together and were pictured in a group photograph.

Asked if the au pair was intending to work for his family, the policeman told Guardian Australia: “Not confirming, not denying. Just talk to Peter Dutton’s office. It’s well above my call as to what to say.”

The visa status of two au pairs have been in the spotlight since March, when it was revealed Dutton granted them visas on public interest grounds.

“There were two young tourists who had come in on a tourist visa and declared … [they] intended to perform babysitting duties while here,” Dutton told parliament in March.

“The decision that was taken … that those two young tourists would be detained and that they would be deported. I looked into the circumstances of those two cases and I thought that inappropriate.”

A former immigration department official said what horrified frontline airport personnel most about the au pair cases was that their decisions were being “overruled so quickly and at such a senior level”.

A Senate inquiry is investigating the au pairs’ visas and is due to report back to parliament on 11 September.

In response to questions about the Brisbane and Adelaide cases, a spokeswoman for Dutton said that as immigration minister he had received hundreds of representations on individual migration matters from MPs, journalists, members of the public and others every year.

“Ministerial intervention powers have existed under Labor and Liberal ministers for many years, to be used in cases where special circumstances exist according to the law,” she said. “Suggestions that somehow there is impropriety or some personal gain is completely false.”

Dutton released a separate statement in relation to the Guardian’s story on the Adelaide au pair, saying: “I consider cases on their merits. Any suggestions cases are determined on any other basis, including whether I knew the individual who referred the matter, is completely ridiculous.”

On Thursday he defended his decision on 2GB radio. “I looked at it and thought it’s a bit rough, there’s no criminal history, she’s agreed that she wouldn’t work while she was here,” he said.

“As I understand it, she never overstayed the visa, hasn’t committed any offences, and I thought it was an application of common sense.”

Labor’s immigration spokesman, Shayne Neumann, called on Dutton to explain himself: “As each day goes by, there are more serious questions Peter Dutton needs to answer about the use of his ministerial powers.”

After the release of the emails Dutton put out a statement defending his decision to overrule departmental advice.

“By definition, given the department has made a negative decision, they don’t advise me to change their decision,” he said. “I make decisions on the merit of individual cases according to the law.”

Meanwhile, the managing director of the AIFS Au Pair agency, Wendi Aylward, seized on the saga, calling for a special visa to be set up.

“A dedicated au pair visa will ensure there is tighter regulation around the recruitment, screening and support of au pairs and Australian families,” she said.

She said au pairs were the preferred childcare option for an increasing number of Australian families.

“We hope that the attention on minister Dutton’s decision will shine a spotlight on the au pair sector and give Australian families much-needed certainty about this growing childcare option.”

Источник: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/30/dutton-intervened-au-pair-visa-case-former-police-colleague

Is there a more masculine version of "nanny"?

I suggest custodian.

Custodian (noun): a person or organization that is responsible for protecting, caring for, or maintaining something or someone.

[Cambridge English Dictionary]

Or carer.

Carer (noun): someone who takes care of a person who is young, old, or sick.

[Cambridge English Dictionary]

(In your example, I would use uncle. In many cultures it is perfectly acceptable to use that title for someone you're not related to. However, I think it depends on how old the kid is, and how close the caregiver is with the family. Most kids with nannies/caregivers call them by their first name, without any sort of title. Most kids don't care about titles. In my experience, this is how the examples in your scenario would actually play out.)

Источник: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/540363/is-there-a-more-masculine-version-of-nanny

Louise Woodward: New documentary to examine notorious 'killer nanny' case

Channel 4 is producing a true-crime series that will explore the infamous story of British au pair Louise Woodward.

In 1997, Woodward, who travelled to the US to work as a nanny, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter following the death of a baby boy, Matthew Eeappen, in her care.

Now, almost 25 years on, Channel 4 will reinvestigate the events with a new documentary, Louise Woodward: Villain or Victim? from a new context, providing insight from all sides of the case.

Originally sentenced to 15 years in prison for first-degree murder after admitting to “playing a little roughly” with the baby, her sentence was reduced to involuntary manslaughter on appeal and she served only 297 days in prison.

Eight-month-old Matthew was admitted to hospital with a fractured skull, internal bleeding and a fractured wrist. He was placed in a coma before passing away.

During the trial, Woodward received a large amount of publicity in both the US and the UK.

The documentary proclaims to have new access to lawyers from both the prosecution and defence as well as the detectives and paramedics involved with the case.

The aim of the producers is to bring a fresh perspective to a divisive story.

Daniel Fromm, commissioning editor for factual entertainment at Channel 4, said: “This three-part documentary boxset offers fascinating insights into a trial that gripped the public’s attention on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Louise now lives in the UK and works as a dance teacher with her husband and their daughter.

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Источник: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/louise-woodward-documentary-killer-nanny-b1897795.html

One of the most frequent questions readers ask me is, “How did you become an au pair?” So I thought I’d take the time today to finally answer that question, as well as talk about my personal experience working as an au pair in France. 

How to become an au pair

Just to clarify, an au pair is a girl (or boy!) who works for a family abroad in exchange for cultural immersion and a place to stay. Au pair duties generally include cooking, tidying up and taking care of or tutoring children.

1. Pick a country

The first step to becoming an au pair is to think of the country where you would like to work. My best advice for this is just to really listen to your gut on what you find interesting. Do you go crazy for Flemish architecture? Or do you just love the cadences of the Italian language? Search for a job in a country where you have always wanted to live and with a language you would like to learn.

2. Decide if you want to use an agency

There are pros and cons to using an agency. The pros: the agency will help you find a family, apply for a visa, and provide support during your time abroad. The cons? Au pair agencies charge a hefty fee – often more than $400.

Personally, I wouldn’t use an agency – it’s just too expensive when you could easily do it yourself. Also, most au pairs I’ve met found their families independently on websites like aupairworld.com or greataupair.com.

Of course, this completely depends on you. If you’d feel more comfortable going through an agency and don’t mind spending the money, go for it.

RELATED: Should I Use an Agency to Find an Au Pair Host Family?

Note – if you want to au pair in certain countries, like the US or the Netherlands, you have to use an agency.

3. Find a family using an au pair website

How to become an au pair

Next, start looking for a family to work for. I’ve met au pairs who have found their families using everything from Au Pair World to Monster. Aupairworld.com seems to be the most popular au pair website. Personally I got my job through friends (more on that below).

Considering I didn’t choose my family via a website, my only advice is to trust your gut, pick a family with older children if possible and make sure you find a family who (at least seemingly) respects you! And always ask for a higher salary than they want to give you- negotiation is key.

In order to see if you will jive with the family, I recommend scheduling a Skype call with them. Over Skype, ask questions such as:

  • How old are the kids? What’s their current level of English?
  • Have you had an au pair before? If so, may I speak to her? (This is actually pretty common and I highly recommend doing it!)
  • Will I be required to clean? Just tidying up or deep-cleaning? (Don’t take the job if they want you to do deep-cleaning!)

If I could go back and choose a family I would choose one who both a. allowed me to speak French with the children, and b. lived in Paris. Those are my two biggest problems with my current family, but beyond that, I’m quite content.

RELATED: How to Pick the Right Host Family for You

4. Applying for your visa

This process really varies from country to country (even in Europe) and depends a lot on your citizenship. All of my English or European au pair friends in Paris work under the table because they have EU passports, while all of the American au pairs I know are here on a student visa (this is because technically as an au pair you are supposed to attend school- more on that later).

For my French visa, I had to fill out a ton of paperwork and the entire process start to finish took three months. The process was absolutely out-of-date, as it involved several rounds of sending literal papers across the Atlantic as opposed to scanning documents. (Please France, let’s move into the 21st century!)

I technically filed for a student visa, as au pairs legally have to go to school while they are abroad (note- the friends I have here who aren’t interested in learning French simply stopped going to school and the government did nothing.)

If you are a non-EU citizen, don’t even think about working under the table! I’ve heard of some girls doing this and trust me- it’s just not a good idea to live in another country with no rights or health care.

(Notes on the French visa- I didn’t get my documents professionally translated and I had no problem getting them approved. I just used Google Translate!)

5. What to expect when you arrive

This is the factor of au pairing that differs the most – every family is different. You might be in charge of anything from triplet infants to two teenage girls. While families in France must pay their au pairs a minimum of 80 euros a week, I have several friends who earn upwards of 1000 euros a month.

To show you how radically situations can vary, let me give you the stats on my job as well as those of a few of my friends:

My set-up: 2 teenage girls, live with the family, 125 euros a week, family pays for school, airline ticket and cell phone, family doesn’t pay for subway pass

Friend 1: 4 boys under 12 years old, has her own apartment (paid for by family), 250 euros a week, doesn’t go to school, family pays for her utility bills at apartment and cell phone, family doesn’t pay for airline ticket or subway pass

Friend 2: 3 kids under 9, lives with the family,  80 euros a week, doesn’t go to school, family doesn’t pay for… anything

Friend 3: 1 eleven-year old boy, lives with the family, 150 euros a week, doesn’t go to school, family pays for everything

Another thing that differs is the workload. I work around 30 hours a week (which is legally how much you’re supposed to work) but I have another friend who basically never has time off, and then another who works about 10 hours a week.

Here’s my schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 5-9 p.m., Wednesday: 12-9 p.m., Saturdays: 4-9 p.m. and no work on Saturdays. My duties include tutoring, entertaining kids and helping cook and clean. Your schedule could be very different though- most of my friends drop and pick up the kids from school, and thus work both early morning and evenings.

6. Living situations: living with the family or on your own

In terms of living situations as an au pair, there are two general situations: you will either live with the family or have your own apartment.

Here is the main rule of living situations as an au pair: if you live with the family, you will learn more of the language but if you have your own apartment you will be less stressed out and have a better social life.

I live with the family, so while it is great because I am around a lot of French and learn a ton about French culture and food, I also kind of feel like I am on call all the time and I have little privacy. I also can’t have friends over or have parties, which I miss.

7. Foreseeing problems

a. Don’t be afraid to talk to family

If there’s a problem, talk to your family. I personally had a row with my family because they expected me to take one weekend off a month, and be at home with the kids for the rest of the weekends. I told them that if they didn’t give me time off on weekends then I would have to find another family. In the end, we compromised, and while I still work Friday night and Sunday afternoon, I have all day Saturday and most of Sunday to do as I please. I also have one paid long weekend off a month to travel.

b. Don’t be afraid to switch families

I met an au pair who was working for a complete madwoman- she demanded that my friend walk the dog for two hours a day, and would make her take the dog out again if she deemed his paws “not dirty enough.” She found a new family via the Paris au pair Facebook groups (a great resource to find a new family because au pairs post listings for their old families all the time) and is worlds happier.

c. Making friends

Making friends is something I struggled with at the beginning because a. I was the only under-40 in my language class and b. I lived 30 minutes away from the nearest town. (not even Paris!) I made friends through a variety of ways, but random encounters and the Facebook Paris au pair group served me the best.

8. My personal experience

While I’ve already talked about my personal experience a bit, I wanted to elaborate on the pros and cons. The pros are that my family has been extremely generous in terms of salary, airfare and paying for my school and cell phone bill, as well as being very kind in including me into the family.

But here are the cons: my biggest problem with my au pair living situation is that I live an hour and a half from Paris, which has really hampered my networking opportunities as well as language learning progress.

Also, the main reason I came to France was to learn French. I’m finding this to be incredibly difficult as I’m forbidden from speaking in French to the kids, and only have a few minutes a day to talk to the parents in French (and they sometimes switch to English, which wasn’t our agreement!)

While legally as an au pair the family can’t force you to speak a certain language, in most cases families choose English-speaking au pairs in order to help their children improve their English skills.

If I could do this again, I would find a family that both lives in Paris and allows me to use French. While I love my family, those were the two biggest downfalls of my job.

Au pair FAQ

  • How did you find your au pair jobs in the past?

The way I found my au pair job is unusual- when I was in high school I babysat for a French family and when they moved back to France, they invited me to come work for them every summer. After three blissful summers with them, I told them I wanted to stay in France longer in order to learn fluent French, and they then recommended me to their good friends which is whom I work for now.

  • Is there one au pair site you would recommend over others?

I would recommend Aupairworld.com. It’s the most popular au pairing site in the world and is probably your best bet for matching with a family.

  • What’s a “regular” amount an au pair could expect to make per month?

In France, you will make at least 80 euros a week, but the average salary seems to be around 100 euros. I make 125 and have friends who make 250 a week. However, it depends on the country. You can expect to make a lot more in certain countries (e.g. the UK, Switzerland), than others (e.g. Italy, Spain).

  • How far in advance did you find the au pair job (in order to get a visa, etc.)?

I started communication with my family in late July and was working in France by the end of October. I would start the search for a family at least 4 months in advance.


More posts:

How to Become an Au Pair in Spain

How to Become an Au Pair in France

How to Become an Au Pair in the UK

10+ Gift Ideas for What to Bring Your Host Family

How to Get Along with Your Host Family

A Day in the Life of an American Au Pair in France

Would you ever consider working as an au pair in a foreign country?

This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). Please read my disclosure for more info.

Categories Au Pair Information, FeaturedИсточник: https://www.ashleyabroad.com/2013/04/19/how-to-become-an-au-pair/

Nanny Louise Woodward, Jailed for Shaken Baby Death, Gives Birth

Jan. 6, 2014— -- Louise Woodward, the British au pair who was jailed for the shaking death of 8-month old American Matthew Eappen in 1997, has just given birth to her own baby girl on New Year's Day, according to the Birmingham Mail.

Woodward was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Boston court for second-degree murder, but she only served 279 days when an appeals court upheld the judge's decision to downgrade the charge to manslaughter.

Judge Hiller Zobel said he believed Woodward had acted out of "confusion, inexperience, frustration, immaturity and some anger, but not malice in the legal sense."

Shaken Baby Case: 10 Years Later

Woodward was only 19 when the Boston murder trial riveted the world and brought "shaken baby syndrome" into the national consciousness.

Today, Woodward, 35, and her husband Antony Elkes, 33, live in South Shropshire. She is now a salsa dance teacher and he operates a truck rental company.

She consistently proclaimed her innocence and her lawyers argued that Matthew's death was caused by a prior injury.

New York City nanny allegedly stabs two children to death.

In a rare interview in 2007, she talked about the psychological pain of the verdict and her desire to have a baby.

"I know there are some people out there just waiting for me to have a baby so they can say nasty things," she said at the time, according to the Mail. "That upsets me, but that is not going to stop me leading my life. I am innocent. I have done nothing wrong. I am entitled to enjoy my life. I am not going to apologize for being happy."

In 2007, ABC's Good Morning America talked to Matthew's parents, Debbie and Sunil Eappen of Newton, Mass.

"I feel like a positive from this is to be able to say to our kids, look, when something goes really wrong, we are able to make a difference by trying to make something really right," said Debbie Eappen, an ophthalmologist and mother of three children, now 18, 14 and 12.

A year after their son's death, they founded The Matty Eappen Foundation, dedicated to education and the prevention of shaken baby syndrome.

"To me it's really not about Louise, it's about Matthew," she said at the time. "Matthew should be with us today, and he should be celebrating the Red Sox and going trick-or-treating and being an 11-year-old boy."

Elaine Whitfield Sharp, the lawyer who first represented Woodward, said she "never had any doubt at all" about her client's innocence. "I think it's great news and I hope she is very happy," she said of girl's birth.

"I think when there is reasonable doubt as to guilt, [she] should be acquitted on all charges--whenever there is evidence that can be argued both ways," Sharp, who practices law in Boston, told ABCNews.com.

"[Louise] seemed very mild and didn't have a lot to say for herself at times," said Sharp. "She didn't seem well-informed about the world and was a bit childish and a little bit silly. But she handled herself in court in a mature way."

Sharp said that the job with the Eappens was her second as an au pair because the first family lived so far out of Boston, "she couldn't go out at night."

Woodward "didn't' have great experience with kids other than the usual babysitting," said Sharp. "She was very young and really immature -- that was what set people in their perception of her as a killer."

As for the death of Matthew Eappen, Sharp said, "I never saw her cry over it, although she cried when she was convicted. I don't keep in touch and I have no intention of doing so," she said.

"I am glad she's getting on in her life. As long as nothing happens to the child, this will show people she didn't do anything to Matthew. That's one inference people may draw from this."

Judy Kuriansky, a clinical psychologist on the faculty of Columbia University Teachers College in New York City, said people will make assumptions about Woodward's parenting skills, 16 years later.

"The whole world knew about the baby shaking," she said. "Now everyone is looking over her shoulder: Will she be a good mommy?"

"I would want to know two things: what is her level of aggression and lack of impulse control--and what her own childhood was like," said Kuriansky. "Was there any aggression, was she yelled at when things went wrong or was she taught to be a proper British girl? These are crucial predictors."

"Her upbringing, how she was mothered is important," she said. "She will try to repeat that or go the opposite way."

Источник: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/nanny-louise-woodward-jailed-shaken-baby-death-birth/story?id=21437864

Mystery remains 20 years after Swedish nanny murdered in Boston

BOSTON — Twenty years ago Thursday, the top half of a 19-year-old au pair's body was found in a trash bag.

The bottom half of Karina Holmer's body was never found.

"I'm as puzzled as I was 20 years ago," said Sgt. Thomas O'Leary, who was first on the scene.

On June 23, 1996, on a Sunday morning, a homeless man was looking for cans to redeem in the Fenway and Back Bay area. He ripped open a trash bag he found in a dumpster and saw a woman's arm.

He ran and found police, who responded.

The body belonged to 19-year-old Holmer, an au pair from Sweden, who was working for a family in Dover.

Her body was mutilated - it was cut in half in such a way that only one bone, Holmer's spine, had to be cut through.

She was last seen Friday into Saturday night at Club Zanzibar, a night spot in the Theatre District at that was popular with au pairs.

Twenty years later and there are still no arrests.

There have been plenty of potential suspects, but the case remains unsolved. It's been called Boston's most famous cold case. Now the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit is reviewing the file.

"I hope they can go through what we have for a file and at least give us some sense of who might still be somebody we should be looking into," said Police Police Sgt. William Doogan.

Boston Police remain hopeful it can still be solved. Anyone with information should contact Boston Police at 1-800-949-TIPS.

Cox Media Group

Источник: https://www.boston25news.com/news/new-englands-unsolved-the-swedish-nanny-in-the-dumpster/359504461/

You can watch a thematic video

Au Pair Hacks - Tips and Tricks For New Au Pairs, Parents and Nannies
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Revealed: Peter Dutton intervened in Italian au pair visa case for former police colleague

One of the foreign au pairs Peter Dutton saved from deportation came to Australia to work for the family of a former police force colleague, Guardian Australia understands.

Dutton used his ministerial powers under the Migration Act in June 2015 to grant a visa to an Italian au pair who was intending to work for a Brisbane family.

The couple have worked for the Queensland police service and have two young children. The Guardian has decided not to name them.

The matter is one of at least two au pair visa cases which are now the subject of a Senate inquiry.

Guardian Australia revealed on Tuesday that Dutton had saved another au pair great lakes west deportation, intervening after the AFL chief executive officer, Gillon McLachlan, raised the young woman’s case on behalf of his relatives.

An email chain was leaked on Thursday featuring the correspondence of immigration officials, Peter Dutton’s office, an AFL staffer, McLachlan and his second cousin. The emails run over 14 pages and indicate that Dutton overruled border security advice and allowed entry to Australia for the French woman, Alexandra Deuwel, on 1 November 2015.

In the Queensland case, the Italian au pair had her visa cancelled upon arrival at Brisbane’s international airport on 17 June 2015. She was able to make a phone call and soon afterwards Dutton approved a new visa.

There are pictures on her Facebook profile showing she ate Tim Tams and Caramello Koalas on her first night in Australia, after the visa dramas were resolved. “First night in Australia. FINALLY!” she wrote.

She later visited Surfers Paradise, Brisbane’s agricultural usp login the Ekka, Australia Zoo, Melbourne, and posed for pictures by the Brisbane River.

The au pair’s case file names the Brisbane family as her hosts, a source told Guardian Australia.

Dutton was a police officer from 1990 until 1999 before being elected to federal parliament in 2001. In 1997 Dutton and the family’s father completed a surveillance course together and were pictured in a group photograph.

Asked if the au pair was intending to work for his family, the policeman told Guardian Australia: “Not confirming, not denying. Just talk to Peter Dutton’s office. It’s well above my call as to what to say.”

The visa status of two au pairs have been in the spotlight since March, when it was revealed Dutton granted them visas on public interest grounds.

“There were two atm piggy bank machine amazon tourists who had come in on a tourist visa and declared … [they] intended to perform babysitting duties while here,” Dutton told parliament in March.

“The decision that was taken … that those two young tourists would be detained and that they would be deported. I looked into the circumstances of those two cases and I thought that inappropriate.”

A former immigration department official said what horrified frontline airport personnel most about the au pair cases was that their decisions were being “overruled so quickly and at such a senior level”.

A Senate inquiry is investigating the au pairs’ visas and is due to report back to parliament on cbs all access free account September.

In response to questions about the Brisbane and Adelaide cases, a spokeswoman for Dutton said that as immigration minister he had received hundreds of representations on individual migration matters from MPs, journalists, members of the public and others every year.

“Ministerial intervention powers have existed under Labor and Liberal ministers for many years, to be used in cases where special circumstances exist according to the law,” she said. “Suggestions that somehow there is impropriety or some personal gain is completely false.”

Dutton released a separate statement in relation to the Guardian’s story on the Adelaide au pair, saying: “I consider cases on their merits. Any suggestions cases are determined on any other basis, including whether I knew the individual who referred the matter, is completely ridiculous.”

On Thursday he defended his decision on 2GB radio. “I looked at it and thought it’s a bit rough, there’s no criminal history, she’s agreed that she wouldn’t work while she was here,” he said.

“As I understand it, she never overstayed the visa, hasn’t committed any offences, and I thought it was an application of common sense.”

Labor’s immigration spokesman, Shayne Neumann, called on Dutton to explain himself: “As each day goes by, there are more serious questions Peter Dutton needs to answer about the use of his ministerial powers.”

After the release of the emails Dutton put out a statement defending his decision to overrule departmental advice.

“By definition, given the department has can i use my capital one walmart credit card anywhere a negative decision, they don’t advise me to change their decision,” he said. “I make decisions on the merit of individual cases according to the law.”

Meanwhile, the managing director of the AIFS Au Pair agency, Wendi Aylward, seized on the saga, calling for a special visa to be set up.

“A dedicated au pair visa will ensure there is tighter regulation around the recruitment, screening and support of au pairs and Australian families,” she said.

She said au pairs were the preferred childcare option for an increasing number of Australian families.

“We hope that the attention on minister Dutton’s decision will shine a spotlight on the au pair sector and give Australian families much-needed certainty about this growing childcare option.”

Источник: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/30/dutton-intervened-au-pair-visa-case-former-police-colleague

Nanny Louise Woodward, Jailed for Shaken Baby Death, Gives Birth

Jan. 6, 2014— -- Louise Woodward, the British au pair who was jailed for the shaking death of 8-month old American Matthew Eappen in 1997, has just given birth to her own baby girl on New Year's Day, according to the Birmingham Mail.

Woodward was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Boston court for second-degree murder, but she only served 279 days when an appeals court upheld the judge's decision to downgrade the charge to manslaughter.

Judge Hiller Zobel said he believed Woodward had acted out of "confusion, inexperience, frustration, immaturity and some anger, but not malice in the legal sense."

Shaken Baby Case: 10 Years Later

Woodward was only 19 when the Boston murder trial riveted the world and brought "shaken baby syndrome" into the national consciousness.

Today, Woodward, 35, and her husband Antony Elkes, 33, live in South Shropshire. She is now a salsa dance teacher and he operates a truck rental company.

She consistently proclaimed her innocence and her lawyers argued that Matthew's death was caused by a prior injury.

New York City nanny allegedly stabs two children to death.

In a rare interview in 2007, she talked about the psychological pain of the verdict and her desire to have a baby.

"I know there are some people out there just waiting for me to have a baby so they can say nasty things," she said at the time, according to nbt bank loans Mail. "That upsets me, but that is not going to stop me leading my life. I am innocent. I have done nothing wrong. I am entitled to enjoy my life. I am not going to apologize for being happy."

In 2007, ABC's Good Morning America talked to Matthew's parents, Debbie and Sunil Eappen of Newton, Mass.

"I feel like a positive from this is to be able to say to our kids, look, when something goes really wrong, we are able to make a difference by trying to make something really right," said Debbie Eappen, an ophthalmologist and mother of three children, now 18, 14 and 12.

A year after their son's death, they founded The Matty Eappen Foundation, dedicated to education and the prevention of shaken baby syndrome.

"To me it's really not about Louise, it's about Matthew," she said at the time. "Matthew should be with us today, and he should be celebrating the Red Sox and going trick-or-treating and being an 11-year-old boy."

Elaine Whitfield Sharp, the lawyer who first represented Woodward, said she "never had any doubt at all" about her client's innocence. "I think it's great news and I hope she is very happy," she said of girl's birth.

"I think when there is reasonable doubt as to guilt, [she] should be acquitted on all charges--whenever there is evidence that can be argued both ways," Sharp, who practices law in Boston, told ABCNews.com.

"[Louise] seemed very mild and didn't have a lot to say for herself at times," said Sharp. "She didn't seem well-informed about the world and was a bit childish and a little bit silly. But she handled herself in court in a mature way."

Sharp said that the job with the Eappens was her second as an au pair because the first family lived so far out of Boston, "she couldn't go out at night."

Woodward "didn't' have great experience with kids other than the usual babysitting," said Sharp. "She was very young and really immature -- that was what set people in their perception of her as a killer."

As for the death of Matthew Eappen, Sharp said, "I never saw her cry over it, although she cried when she was convicted. I don't keep in touch and I have no intention of doing so," she said.

"I am glad she's getting on in her life. As long as nothing happens to the child, this will show people she didn't do anything to Matthew. That's one inference people may draw from this."

Judy Kuriansky, a clinical psychologist on the faculty of Columbia University Teachers College in New York City, said people will make assumptions about Woodward's parenting skills, 16 years later.

"The whole world knew about the baby shaking," she said. "Now everyone is looking over her shoulder: Will she be a good mommy?"

"I would want to know two things: what is her level of aggression and lack of impulse control--and what her own childhood was like," said Kuriansky. "Was there any aggression, was she yelled at when things went wrong or was she service credit union branches near me to be a proper British girl? These are crucial predictors."

"Her upbringing, how she was mothered is important," she said. "She will try to repeat that or go the opposite way."

Источник: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/nanny-louise-woodward-jailed-shaken-baby-death-birth/story?id=21437864

Mystery remains 20 years after Swedish nanny murdered in Boston

BOSTON — Twenty years ago Thursday, the top half of a 19-year-old au pair's body was found in a trash bag.

The bottom half of Karina Holmer's body was never found.

"I'm as puzzled as I was 20 years ago," said Sgt. Thomas O'Leary, who was first on the scene.

On June 23, 1996, on a Sunday morning, www clickandpark com prudential center homeless man was looking for cans to redeem in the Fenway and Back Bay area. He ripped open a trash bag he found in a dumpster and saw a woman's arm.

He ran and found police, who responded.

The body belonged to 19-year-old Holmer, an au pair from Sweden, who was working for a family in Dover.

Her body was mutilated - it was cut in half in such a way that only one bone, Holmer's spine, had to be cut through.

She was last seen Friday into Saturday night at Club Zanzibar, a night spot in the Theatre District at that was popular with au pairs.

Twenty years later and there are still no arrests.

There have been plenty of potential suspects, but the case remains unsolved. It's been called Boston's most famous cold case. Now the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit is reviewing the file.

"I hope they can go through what we have for a file and at least give us some sense of who might still be somebody we should be looking into," said Police Police Sgt. William Doogan.

Boston Police remain hopeful it can still be solved. Anyone with information should contact Boston Police at 1-800-949-TIPS.

Cox Media Group

Источник: https://www.boston25news.com/news/new-englands-unsolved-the-swedish-nanny-in-the-dumpster/359504461/

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One of the many great suggestions for helping our kids with Chinese fluency is to hire an au pair. Since I have never hired one, our guest poster, Hapalicious, offered up a fantastic write up of her experiences and advice for those of us who have thought about hiring an au pair to help with Chinese fluency.

Please to enjoy!

It was a goal of mine to meet Mandarin Mama during our summer trip to Taiwan last year – I read her blog obsessively, and she (along with fellow ladyboss Guavarama) is my bilingual mom idol.  So after some light cyberstalking, I convinced her that I am not a crazy person—heh heh—and being shameless foodsluts, we met up to chat over some TPE noms.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when we got involved in a somewhat contentious online debate with another parent about Chinese au pairs (and racism, but that’s a story for another time).  After the melee, Mandarin Mama generously offered to share a piece I wrote for some friends who were considering au pairs and wondering what issues to think about.

Some background first hawaiian bank wahiawa about me and my family:  I am ABC and hapa, my dad is a monolingual English speaker from Kansas and my mother is from China by way of Taiwan (she immigrated to the US for grad school in her 20s).  I was born and raised in the midwestern US, and my monolingual Mandarin-speaking maternal grandmother lived with us starting when I was about age 7.

My only formal Chinese language education growing up was Saturday school, which I hated.  However, I came back to my Chinese studies during college, and I spent a semester in Taipei interning at a bank and taking language classes at National Taiwan Normal University (my mom’s alma mater).  As an adult, my spoken Chinese is fairly proficient but lacking in sophisticated vocabulary, and I have the literacy level of maybe a 2nd or 3rd grader in Taiwan – I’ve always wished my language abilities were better.

Ten years ago, I married a non-Chinese, non-Mandarin-speaking American and we have two kids, currently ages 6.5 (DD Peaches) and 3 (DS Blueberry).  We call them our “quapas”, and to look at them one would think that they have no Asian heritage whatsoever.  Their non-Chinese physical appearance has definitely fed into my crazy tiger mom obsession with raising our children bilingually, so that they will feel some meaningful connection to their ancestry.

Luckily, my spouse is onboard with this, so I have been free to create our Chinese Language Ecosystem (h/t Oliver Tu) as I see fit.  A huge part of that ecosystem, of course, is surrounding the kids with Chinese-speaking caregivers.

To that end, we have had two au pairs from mainland China, each of whom was with our family for the maximum 2-year term.  We welcomed our first au pair when Peaches was just under 3 months old, and our second au pair arrived when Blueberry was 3 months old.  There was a gap of about 1.5 years between the two au pairs, when Peaches (then an only child) had started preschool and I needed less help.

CHINESE LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

My strategy toward achieving multilingualism for my kids has been to establish Chinese as the dominant language in the early years (0-4).  When Peaches was an infant, I was usually around the house since I wasn’t working at the time, so I decided to utilize my au pair more opear nanny a mother’s helper. I just wanted an extra pair of hands to help out with everything – and, most importantly, a true native Mandarin speaker to help create a richer Chinese language environment in the home.

So my au pair and I would only speak Mandarin to Peaches and to each other, giving Peaches the benefit of both participating in direct language interaction and hearing adult conversation. With the help of my au pair, I bought a bunch of Chinese board books, CDs, and toys, downloaded songs and nursery rhymes from the internet, and generally acquired tons of materials to help surround Peaches with the written and spoken Chinese language.

As she got older, my au pair and I continued to speak to her only in Mandarin, even when she started a Spanish/English bilingual school (I’ll leave the trilingual element for another post).

Once Blueberry was born and our second au pair arrived, we took the same approach. An unexpected bonus of using this strategy was that since both kids started out strongly dominant in Mandarin, Blueberry wasn’t able to play with Peaches in English at all (which she had inevitably picked up from my spouse and our outside community by age 4.5).

So Peaches has very willingly continued to speak primarily Mandarin at home since that was her younger brother’s only real mode of verbal communication. Even now, when they are almost 3.5 and 7, their preferred common language is Mandarin. I attribute that to always having a “jiejie” around playing with them, modeling Mandarin and tipping our at-home language environment heavily toward Chinese.

Along the way, both au pairs continued to help me find age-appropriate books, games, apps, audiobooks, DVDs and other materials (many thanks to Mandarin Mama and Guavarama) –this has been a huge bonus since I am quite illiterate, and many of the Chinese and Taiwanese websites are difficult to navigate.

AU PAIR BASICS

Now, a few quick au pair victoria secret pink perfume scents au pair program is actually regulated by the State Department as a cultural exchange program (the au pairs enter the country on a specific au pair / cultural exchange J-1 visa, not a work visa).  As a government-regulated program, there are a number of rules, including…

  • The rate you must pay to the au pair is a stipend of just under $200 per week.  Any agency fees are over and above that, and they are mostly around $3000-4000 for a year — for us, it ended up working out to a total of less than $400 / week (including all fees) for each au pair.
  • Au pairs can work up to 45 hours per week, and no more than 10 hours per day.
  • Au pairs must be between the ages of 18-26 when they begin the program.
  • The initial commitment is for 1 year, and the host family and au pair have the mutual option (i.e. both have to agree) to renew for up to another additional year (i.e. two years total).  Au pairs can also transition to a different family after the first year if they prefer.
  • There are many ally definition pair agencies, and their websites have a ton of other info about the program, including the process of finding, interviewing, and selecting an au pair, transitioning to a new au pair if you find that your first choice is a bad match, etc – so I won’t talk too much about all of that here.  Many of these websites also list the benefits of having an au pair, versus a nanny or other options.

    There are pros and cons to everything, of course, which will opear nanny on your specific needs and your family / home situation.  Here is my own personal overview on some things to think about in general – again, every family is different, so I’ve local 150 mechanic pay scale laid out some pertinent issues and you can relate them to your own personal situation.  YMMV.

    OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER

    1)  Cost.

    Au pairs are generally less expensive than a full-time nanny.

    Total monetary cost for an au pair is around $350 / week for 45 hours of childcare.  That number is made up of two things — first, you have to pay an annual agency fee (a lump sum of a few thousand dollars, which usually averages out to about $150/week), and second, you have to provide a stipend to the au pair of about $200/week.

    In addition to those two costs, you have to provide room and board (i.e. food), and pay $500 per year toward their educational requirement – they basically have to take one or two classes at a local college during the year, it’s up to them to choose what/where.  They also get 2 weeks per year of paid vacation – that is, you still pay them $200/week, but they can travel or do whatever they like.

    Even with all that, it’s still a lot cheaper than a nanny. Full-time nanny costs vary pretty widely, but in urban areas most of them are between $15-20 / hour plus paid sick days and vacation.

    2)  Space and privacy.

    You have to provide a private bedroom for the au pair, as well as a bathroom (the bathroom can be shared).  You would probably need to provide this for a live-in nanny as well.

    There is definitely less privacy with live-in help – with another (non-spouse) adult in the house, you can’t exactly walk around naked, and you have to be more conscious of who might be around if you plan to have a romantic interlude.  You might also feel like you have to keep the house cleaner / in better shape – of course, the au pair can and should pitch in to make this a reality.

    Since you’re all under the same roof, if you have an argument or misunderstanding it is more important to resolve it quickly since you can’t just ask her to leave.  On the plus side, I actually like to have another young adult around even if she’s not officially working – it makes me feel less like I’m in a “mommy bubble”.  In any case, there is an initial adjustment period of getting used to having a stranger living in the house, driving the car, etc.

    3)  Flexibility.

    I happen to love the “live-in” situation, because we have the space and it gives me and my spouse flexibility – for example, if we want to go out to dinner at night, we don’t have to rush home to relieve the babysitter, because she lives with us and doesn’t have to get home to her own family.

    Or if I suddenly need to change my schedule one day because I need to go to a last-minute appointment, I can almost always work it out with the au pair (it’s VERY hard to find a babysitter on short notice where we live).

    Au pairs have quite flexible hours – you just give them a schedule every week based on your needs, though of course you should take into account their other obligations (like the monthly au pair meetings or their class schedule).  You can have them work a split shift, like a few hours in the morning, then a few hours in the afternoon.  Or not work at all for a couple of days, then work 10 hours per day for a few days (10 hours / day is the maximum they can work, which may or may not be a problem for you).

    You could possibly do this with a live-in nanny as well, but probably not with a live-out nanny.  This opear nanny has been particularly helpful since our kids started school, and we don’t need childcare during the day – I can have the au pair work in the morning to help everyone get ready, and then again in the afternoon / evening after school.

    4)  Emergencies.  

    This is related to the flexibility issue – if I wake up sick at 6 am, I can just knock on her door and she will help me with the kids even if she’s not yet scheduled to work.  Or if my spouse and/or I have to go to the hospital or have a work emergency, I know that she’ll be there for childcare.  Basically, we can depend on her to be there for us, and we’re happy to make it up to her later (adjust her schedule accordingly).

    5)  Driving and transportation. 

    You do not have to provide access to a car, but depending on the proximity of your home to mass transit, as well as your kids’ transportation needs, it may be wise to do so.  You are responsible for making sure the au pairs have a way to get to and from their other obligations (monthly au pair meetings and classes).

    There is a huge variation in the driving ability of au pairs.  Ours have all been from big cities in China and had licenses but not much driving experience, so we paid for additional lessons.  Our house is not really accessible by public transportation, so it was important for the au pair to be able to drive herself by car (we have an extra car shared with a neighbor).

    Depending on where you live, this may not be an issue, especially if there are bus or subway stops nearby.  Also, many au pairs from other countries do have solid driving skills and experience, so that may not be an issue either.

    6)  Quality of childcare.

    All au pairs have some level of childcare experience and receive a week of additional training upon arriving in the US.  However, as with any caregivers, their levels of experience, childcare philosophies, and personalities vary widely.

    It’s really hard to generalize about the overall quality of care, except to say that I have seen the same range of positive and negative experiences among my friends with au pairs as with those who have nannies.  I think you just have to interview them really thoroughly and get to know them (as much as possible via Skype), and talk to their references to get a sense of how well they will meet your needs, take your direction, and vibe with you and your kids.

    For me, I love that I have gotten to see our au pairs interact with the kids nearly every day whether they were on or off the clock.  I feel like I really got to know them in a way I wouldn’t if I was dropping my baby off somewhere every day, or leaving the house when a caregiver arrives and coming home as she leaves.

    I also like that I’ve been able to shape their ideas about childrearing, “discipline”, communicating with kids, etc.  The definition of childcare is also broad – au pairs generally do laundry for the kids, help keep their rooms & play areas tidy, and prepare meals for them.

    7)  Language. 

    Au pairs and nannies vary widely in their language ability, and their English fluency may be a higher or lower priority to you depending on other factors.  If they have a different native tongue, it can be a huge bonus for your kids to learn a new language.

    Again, for us, I specifically wanted a native Chinese speaker and English ability was less important because I knew I’d be around most of the time to translate for my spouse or other non-Chinese speakers.  For me, it’s been wonderful to help me improve my own language ability and be more disciplined about speaking Chinese with the kids.

    It is important to discuss language expectations with potential au pairs, since many of them really want to improve their English (or whatever the majority language is in your country) during their au pair term and may be less willing to speak in their native tongue so they can “practice” English with your kids. We required consistent Mandarin interaction with the kids and myself but offered up my spouse as an English-language model. We also provided plenty of opportunities (classes, activities) outside of the house for the au pairs to learn and practice English.

    8)  Cultural differences.

    I haven’t experienced any major problems in this area, but I chose au pairs with whom I share a cultural background.  I actually have some Chinese friends who tried to have older Chinese “auntie” or “grandma” nannies, and they found it very difficult to be their boss.  I think because it’s so ingrained in Chinese culture to respect your elders, sometimes it can be a problem for older Chinese women to take directions from younger women (especially about parenting issues).

    I think this would be less the case with nannies of other cultural backgrounds.  As for au pairs/nannies from other countries – obviously each culture has its norms, and there can be some bumpiness as you get used to negotiating those differences.

    On the other hand, there is also a great deal to be learned about how things might be done differently in other families / parts of the world (holidays, games, food, parenting practices, etc), and the idea of cultural exchange is definitely a core mission of the au pair program.

    9)  Age.

    I personally love having younger caregivers because they generally have a lot of energy to play with and carry the kids all bank of eastman magnolia state bank Our au pairs have actually spent some of their off-time joining us for our kids’ other activities, opear nanny special outings or friends’ birthday parties, just because they love being around kids so much.

    Unlike most of my friends’ older nannies that I mentioned earlier, they have listened and taken direction really well.  They have also treated me, my husband, and all of our friends and relatives with greater respect than I would have even expected – this may be the Chinese culture at play again.  The flip side of the age factor, of course, is that some younger adults may be more into partying / meeting boys / etc than maybe a middle-aged nanny (but not necessarily!).

    This is where your own due diligence, personal judgment and values come into play.  We realized pretty quickly during our first interview that we had found a lovely, slightly dorky au pair who was more interested in visiting museums and libraries than nightclubs – and that was just fine with us.  For our second au pair, we sought out someone with a similar personality because it really suited our family.

    10)  Sense of entitlement.

    I haven’t experienced this personally, but some au pairs come from wealthy families who have a lot of luxuries, or from a family where it is expected to have a full time, live-in maid (more common in developing countries).  And some au pairs do live with VERY wealthy families while in the US, so it could be hard for a host family of lesser means to feel that they are giving their au pair “enough”, especially when the au pair starts talking about the foreign holidays or expensive gifts other opear nanny give their au pairs.  Again, I haven’t really seen this happen in my circles, but I wanted to mention it.

    11)  Continuity.

    Each of our au pairs stayed with us for the maximum two years.  On one hand, I worried a little bit about the transition at the end of the term, but on the other hand, I have heard many horror stories about nannies or babysitters who just quit with no notice.

    Not that this cannot happen with an au pair, but it is much less likely.  In any case, when each of au pairs returned to China, the kids adjusted quickly and without incident, and we continue to communicate regularly with our former au pairs via Skype – bonus language practice!

    12)  Meals & food. 

    For tarrant county college blackboard, we pretty much only eat dinner all together on a regular basis since everyone in the family is on different daytime schedules.  Our au pairs have generally eaten breakfast and/or lunch with me and/or the kids, depending on work schedules.

    There is an open www ncplans prudential com login to join us for family meals if everyone is at home, and if she makes plans to go out with friends she is on her own financially.  She does not expect to be brought along if we are going out for a meal, unless it’s a special occasion or if she is working that day (like if we bring her to help with the kids on an outing) – but we do invite her if we feel it’s appropriate and not super eeboo go fish card game pitches in on all the cooking, food prep and shopping (we reimburse her if she shops for us) as well as helping do the dishes.  It’s definitely nice having someone else help with the shopping, though she sometimes gets a bit of what I consider junk food (e.g. processed snacks or cookies) for herself that I personally wouldn’t eat, and she knows the kids aren’t allowed to have it.

    13)  Vacations / travel / inclusion as “part of the family.”

    Au pairs are expected to be treated as members of 38 5 c to f family – it is closer than most employer/employee relationships. This can be hard for folks to understand.

    I remember one host family asking about whether it would be okay to not invite their au pair for Christmas – and someone else asked her, “Well, where is she meant to spend it then, if not with you?” The host mother hadn’t thought about the fact that her au pair would be essentially alone at the holidays if she didn’t bring her along.

    On the other hand, the first holiday break we had with our au pair, we asked if she would mind taking her paid vacation during that time seating chart capital one arena were just going to be nesting at home with our then 4-month-old) since my husband had time off from work and could help me. She had no problem with that, she joined up with a few other au pairs to organize a really fun group vacation.

    On other holiday breaks, we’ve brought our au pair along on trips so we could have some childcare and get proper R&R – in these cases the au pair would technically be working but had a lot of discover card international atm fees both with and without us. On other occasions, our au pair has taken a “staycation” at our house when we traveled and we had a housesitter we trusted. So you can have some flexibility, I think it just requires solid and ongoing communication.

    14)  Other misc thoughts.

    There is more initial legwork with au pair than with a caregiver you find locally – for example, going to the social security office, helping her set up a new bank account, teaching her how to use mass transit and/or helping get a drivers’ license, showing her how to use appliances (some come from countries where washers, dryers, dishwashers, etc. are not the norm).

    There is also more social/psychological support required, as well as uncertainty/nervousness before they arrive, than with opear nanny who is from the area.

    Finally, whether you decide on an au pair or a nanny, I highly recommend creating a “Family Handbook”, a detailed manual of instructions that covers family rules / regulations, all the nitty-gritty on your lifestyle and how you’d like your caregiver to care for your child.  It’s very handy to have something in writing to clarify and reference when there are any questions.  If you can create a bilingual version, even better!

    Источник: https://mandarinmama.com/hiring-au-pair-chinese-fluency/

    One of the most frequent questions readers ask me is, “How did you become an au pair?” So I thought I’d take the time today to finally answer that question, as well as talk about my personal experience working as an au pair in France. 

    How to become an au pair

    Just to clarify, an au pair is a girl (or boy!) who works for a family abroad in exchange for cultural immersion and a place to stay. Au pair duties generally include cooking, tidying up and taking care of or tutoring children.

    1. Pick a country

    The first step to becoming an au pair is to think of the country where you would like to work. My best advice for this is just to really listen to your gut on what you find interesting. Do you go crazy for Flemish architecture? Or do you just love the cadences of the Italian language? Search for a job in opear nanny country where you have always wanted to live and with a language you would like to learn.

    2. Decide if you want to use an agency

    There are pros and cons to using an agency. The pros: the agency will help you find a family, apply for a visa, and provide support during your time abroad. The cons? Au pair agencies charge a hefty fee – often more than $400.

    Personally, I wouldn’t use an agency – it’s just too expensive when you bank of eastman magnolia state bank easily do it yourself. Also, most au pairs I’ve met found their families independently on websites like aupairworld.com or greataupair.com.

    Of course, bank of eastman magnolia state bank completely depends on you. If you’d feel more comfortable going through an agency and don’t mind spending the money, go for it.

    RELATED: Should I Use an Agency to Find an Au Pair Host Family?

    Note – if you want to au pair in certain countries, like the US or the Netherlands, you have to use an agency.

    3. Find a family using an au pair website

    How to become an au pair

    Next, start looking for a family to work for. I’ve met au pairs who have found their families using everything from Au Pair World to Monster. Aupairworld.com seems to be the most popular au pair website. Personally I got my job through friends (more on that below).

    Considering I didn’t choose my family via a website, my only advice is to trust your gut, pick a family with older children if possible and make sure you find a family who (at least seemingly) respects you! And always ask for a higher salary than they want to give you- negotiation is key.

    In order to see if you will jive with the family, I recommend scheduling a Skype call with them. Over Skype, ask questions such as:

    • How old are the kids? What’s their current level of English?
    • Have you had an au pair before? If so, may I speak to her? (This is actually pretty common and I highly carolina realty of chapel hill doing it!)
    • Will I be required to clean? Just tidying up or deep-cleaning? (Don’t take the job if they want you to do deep-cleaning!)

    If I could go back and opear nanny a family I would choose one who both a. allowed me to speak French with the children, and b. lived in Paris. Those are my two biggest problems with my current family, but beyond that, I’m quite content.

    RELATED: How to Pick the Right Host Family for You

    4. Applying for your visa

    This process really varies from country to country (even in Europe) and depends large vintage piggy bank lot on your citizenship. All of my English or European au pair friends in Paris work under the table because they have EU passports, while all of the American au pairs I know are here on a student visa (this is because technically as an au pair you are supposed to attend school- more on that later).

    For my French visa, I had to fill out a ton of paperwork and the entire process start to finish took three months. The process was absolutely out-of-date, as it involved several rounds of sending literal papers across the Atlantic as opposed to scanning documents. (Please France, let’s move into the 21st century!)

    I technically filed for a student visa, as au pairs legally have to go to school while they are abroad (note- the friends I have here who aren’t interested in learning French simply stopped going to school and the government did nothing.)

    If you are a non-EU citizen, don’t even think about working under the opear nanny I’ve heard of some girls doing this and trust me- it’s just not a good idea to live in another country with no rights or health care.

    (Notes on the French visa- I didn’t get my documents professionally translated and I had no problem getting them approved. I just used Google Translate!)

    5. What to expect when you arrive

    This is the factor of au pairing that differs the most – every family is different. You might be in charge of anything from triplet infants to two teenage girls. While families in France must pay their au pairs a minimum of 80 euros a week, I have several friends who earn upwards of 1000 euros a month.

    To show you how radically situations can vary, let me give you the stats on my job as well as those of a few of my friends:

    My set-up: 2 teenage girls, live with the family, 125 euros a week, family pays for school, airline ticket and cell phone, family doesn’t pay for subway pass

    Friend 1: 4 boys under 12 years old, has her own apartment (paid for by family), 250 euros a week, doesn’t go to school, family pays for her utility bills at apartment and cell phone, family doesn’t pay for airline ticket or subway pass

    Friend 2: 3 kids under 9, lives with the family,  80 euros a week, doesn’t go to school, family doesn’t pay for… anything

    Friend 3: 1 eleven-year old boy, lives with the family, 150 euros a week, doesn’t go to school, family pays for everything

    Another thing that differs is the workload. I work around 30 hours a week (which is legally how much you’re supposed to work) but I have another friend who basically never has time off, and then another who works about 10 hours a week.

    Here’s my schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 5-9 p.m., Wednesday: 12-9 ashley stewart credit card, Saturdays: 4-9 p.m. and no work on Saturdays. My duties include tutoring, entertaining kids and helping cook and clean. Your schedule could be very different though- most of my friends drop and pick up the kids from school, and thus work both early morning and evenings.

    6. Living situations: living with the family or on your own

    In terms of living situations as an au pair, there are two general situations: you will either live with the family or have your own apartment.

    Here is the main rule of living situations as an au pair: if you live with the family, you will learn more of the language but if you have your own apartment you will be less stressed out and have a better social life.

    I live with the family, so while it is great because I am around a lot of French and learn a ton about French culture and food, I also kind of feel like I am on call all the time and I have little privacy. I also can’t have friends over or have parties, which I miss.

    7. Foreseeing problems

    a. Don’t be afraid to talk to family

    If there’s a problem, talk to your family. I personally had a row with my family discover online banking bonus they expected me to take one weekend off a month, regions bank metairie la be at home with the kids for the rest of the weekends. I told them that if they didn’t give me time off on weekends then I would have to find another family. In the end, we compromised, and while I still work Friday night and Sunday afternoon, I have all day Saturday and most of Sunday to do as I please. I also have one paid long weekend off a month to travel.

    b. Don’t be afraid to switch families

    I met an au pair who was working for a complete madwoman- she demanded that my friend walk the dog for two hours a day, and would make her take the dog out again if she deemed his paws “not dirty enough.” She found a new family via the Paris au pair Facebook groups (a great resource to find a new family because au pairs post listings for their old families all the time) and is worlds happier.

    c. Making friends

    Making friends is something I struggled with at the beginning because a. I was the only under-40 in my language class and b. I lived 30 minutes away from the nearest town. (not even Paris!) I made friends through a variety of ways, but random encounters and the Facebook Paris au pair group served me the best.

    8. My personal experience

    While I’ve already talked about my personal experience a bit, I wanted to elaborate on the pros and cons. The pros are that my family has been extremely generous in terms of salary, airfare and paying for my school and cell phone bill, as well as being very kind in including me into the family.

    But here are the cons: my biggest problem with my au pair living situation is that I live an hour and a half from Paris, which has really hampered my networking opportunities as well as language learning progress.

    Also, the main reason I came to France was to learn French. I’m finding this to be incredibly difficult as I’m forbidden from speaking in French to the kids, and only have a few minutes a day to talk to the parents in French (and they sometimes switch to English, which wasn’t our agreement!)

    While legally as an au pair the family can’t force you to speak a certain language, in most cases families choose English-speaking au pairs in order to help their children improve their English skills.

    If I could do this again, I would find a family that both lives in Paris and allows me to use French. While I love my family, those were the two biggest downfalls of my job.

    Au pair FAQ

    • How did you find your au pair jobs in the past?

    The way I found my au pair job is unusual- when I was in high school I babysat for a French family and when they moved back to France, they invited me to come work for them every summer. After three blissful summers with them, I told them I wanted to stay in France longer in order to learn fluent French, and they then recommended me to their good friends which is whom I work for now.

    • Is there one au pair site you would recommend over others?

    I would recommend Aupairworld.com. It’s the most popular au pairing site in the world and is probably your best bet for matching with a family.

    • What’s a “regular” amount an au pair could expect to make per month?

    In France, you will make at least 80 euros a week, but the average salary seems to be around 100 euros. I make 125 and have friends who make 250 a week. However, it depends on the country. You can expect to make a lot more in certain countries (e.g. the UK, Switzerland), than others (e.g. Italy, Spain).

    • How far in advance did you find the au pair job (in order to get a visa, etc.)?

    I started communication with my family in late July and was working in France by the end of October. I would start the search for a family at least 4 months in advance.


    More posts:

    How to Become an Au Pair in Spain

    How to Become an Au Pair in France

    How to Become an Au Pair in the UK

    10+ Gift Ideas for What to Bring Your Host Family

    How to Get Along with Your Host Family

    A Day in the Life of an American Au Pair in France

    Would you ever consider working as an au pair in a foreign country?

    This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). Please read my disclosure for more info.

    Categories Au Pair Information, FeaturedИсточник: https://www.ashleyabroad.com/2013/04/19/how-to-become-an-au-pair/

    Is there a more masculine version of "nanny"?

    I suggest custodian.

    Custodian (noun): a person or organization that is responsible for protecting, caring for, or maintaining something or someone.

    [Cambridge English Dictionary]

    Or carer.

    Carer (noun): someone who takes care of a person who is young, old, or sick.

    [Cambridge English Dictionary]

    (In your example, I would use uncle. In many cultures it is perfectly acceptable to use that title for someone you're not related to. However, I think it depends on how old the kid is, and how close the caregiver is with the family. Most kids with nannies/caregivers opear nanny them by their first name, without any sort of title. Most kids don't care find student loan account number for irs titles. In my experience, this is how the examples in your scenario would actually play out.)

    Источник: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/540363/is-there-a-more-masculine-version-of-nanny
    opear nanny

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