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Old 10-03-2012, 03:34 PM   #3
Van1300's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Central FL
Posts: 597
Re: Au Pair experiences?

My mother has worked as a counselor for Au Pair in America for 20 years. I grew up with her always having girls over to visit and spending time with the families who hosted them (we never had an Au Pair because her job was part time). I'm now older then all of them, her company only hosts girls up to age 26 I think.

This is what I've learned: The girls really want to be treated like family. Au Pair means "On Par" so many families take their girls on vacation and celebrate holidays and stuff with them. The company requires them to have their own room, but they can share a bathroom. They work 45 hours a week and must have one full weekend off a month. They have to take classes so they also have to have time to do that. Most of the girls are young 18-21 and have never been away from home. Some of the girls are older with a college degree. It would be up to you to decide what type would fit your family situation the best. Most girls like having the use of a cell phone and a car. Some even end up with boyfriends and that can cause a lot of drama, so if that will be an issue for you, you need to lay out really good ground rules for them.

My mom suggests family meetings once a week with the kids and the Au Pair so everyone can air their differences and discuss house rules. It is a really great cultural opportunity for your kids if you get a foreign girl (as compared to say Australian or British). One Spanish girl labeled the entire house with Spanish words on stickers and by the end of the year the whole family had learned so much!

The counselors do provide monthly activities for the girls. They also come do wellness checks when you interview, at 2 weeks in, at 6 weeks in, and at 6 months in. They are available by phone and email 24/7 so if there are ever issues, you have the company's support.

I'd love to have one instead of daycare, but we'd have to build an addition to our house!

If you have any other questions, you can message me
WOHM and to Jon (6/2006). Mamma to daughter Elli (12/2009) and Jacob (11/2012) Crazy Florida Gator fan , beach bum, and outdoor enthusiast!
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