AU PAIR QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER
FEATURED ARTICLES IN THIS EDITION:
A Letter From Au Pair in America
The news of President Trump’s suspension of non-immigrant visas until the end of 2020 sent ripples (or waves) of sadness, anger, confusion and concern across many in exchange programs and industries that rely on these visas for their businesses to be fully functioning. Au Pair in America was the first au pair program and has been running our program since 1986; we are not novices to the political and economic uncertainties that can impact international travel and exchange. In addition, Au Pair in America is a program of AIFS, the American Institute For Foreign Study. AIFS has endured many global crises throughout its 55-year history, including wars, natural disasters, financial collapses, and pandemics. Our founder, the late Sir Cyril Taylor, understood the potential for temporary but significant global uncertainty and believed in the importance of responsible financial stewardship. Although the past few months have been as challenging as anything the organization has previously faced, we are strengthened by the knowledge that Sir Cyril created an organization with the financial strength to manage and endure global instability.
Au Pair in America has always been a leader in advocacy efforts within the au pair sponsor community. We contribute staff and financial resources to educate government and other public officials on how important the program is to American families and the young people who leave their homes to take part in this amazing cultural exchange. Along with the Alliance for International Exchange, other sponsor organizations, families, staff and our own government relations team, thousands of letters were sent to both the Department of State and the White House in advance of this proclamation. A letter signed by 15 members of Congress was submitted to the White House that stressed the need to exempt the au pair program from any non-immigrant visa suspension. And while these efforts may not have given us the result we were expecting, we will continue to advocate along with so many other exchange programs impacted by this proclamation. We will share information about these efforts and how you can take part as they become available.
To all the community counselors, staff in the US and our offices in the UK, Germany, Poland and Australia and partners around the world working to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all our participants – thank you! You are doing a tremendous job and we are so proud to work with each and every one of you.
For host families and au pairs, we know that this is a difficult time and want to assure you that Au Pair in America will do whatever we can to make it less so for you. We look forward to the time when we can once again welcome all au pairs to the US to take part in the adventure of a lifetime and thank you for your continued support of the program.
Au Pair in America
SVP, Programme Director
Au Pair in America
Social Distancing is still the name of the game! We strongly encourage host parents and au pairs to talk to each other about household decisions around social distancing. This is especially important now that different states across the country are in different phases of re-opening. We suggest you talk openly about this topic on a regular basis to ensure that everyone in the household is on the same page. Here are some helpful suggestions and our recommendations.
Regulation Reminder – Keeping on Track
Over the past few months, au pair schedules have been varied (to say the least) as families grappled with online schooling, working from home, being essential workers and different levels of lockdown all around the country! Keeping any kind of regular schedule at home has been extra challenging. Please remember that the basics of the Department of State regulations do not change even when schedules change.
- Au pairs can work a maximum of 10 hours a day and 45 hours per week.
- The au pair is entitled to 1½ days off each week, which means that if her hours are spread over 6 days, one of those work days cannot exceed 5 hours of work.
- Au pairs get a full weekend off every month, from Friday night to Monday morning.
- Any hours that an au pair has responsibility for the children, even if they are sleeping, are considered work hours.
If you need any advice or guidance regarding your au pair’s schedule please reach out to your community counselor.
Download this easy-to-use form to plan the au pair’s schedule and help everyone keep on track with the hours!
Au Pair Webinars
Our au pair webinar series has continued to help au pairs feel connected with the program and each other over the past few months.
Webinars are hosted by our experience orientation trainers, and each session includes a Q & A at the end so au pairs can engage, ask questions and take part in discussion.
We are delighted to continue to offer a wide variety of topics throughout the summer months. Webinars include content focused around child care, personal development, practical tips and safety, all designed to help au pairs be successful on the program. We encourage you to participate in these sessions!
Visit our Au Pair Webinar page.
Stop Bugging Me! A Guide to Insect Safety and Kids
Most of us have spent a lot of time in our homes of late, and with the weather warming across most of the country, it’s a good time to get outside more!
Outdoor play is important for children – to move their large muscles, enjoy the fresh air and explore nature. It is important to use sunscreen to protect from the sun’s harmful rays, and it is also important to be aware of possible disease-bearing insects.
In the Community
What’s on your summer “must list?”. . . APIA is sharing our latest cultural exchange stories on our social media channels.
We’re learning new dance steps, planning for fun in the sun, and learning delicious recipes from all over the world – Pão de Queijo from Brazil – yum!