If you are considering becoming an au pair, then there are a few things that you should know. These tips can help you understand the au pair meaning, how being an au pair works and how to find a family.
Understanding the Real Purpose of Au Pairing
When it comes to au pairing, it’s important to understand the real purpose of being an au pair. This is so you can make a big difference in your host country and be an active member of your host family’s community.
As an au pair, you can help support the work of your host family by assisting them with child care. While you are there, you can also gain valuable experience. Among other benefits, you will learn about a new culture.
The au pair program began in the United States in 1986. At first, it was a program meant to promote friendly international relations. However, it has become a controversial program that has been scrutinized. Some critics cite the au pair program as a scam. Others argue that it is an effective way to bridge the cultural gap between countries.
You can make a difference if you have the skills and passion for serving a family and your host family. You can even be an inspiration to people back home.
If you are interested in becoming an au pair, consider all options. Some sites connect you with a suitable family.
Complying With Duties As An Au Pair
An au pair is a young person who travels to another country to live with a host family for up to two years. They provide childcare and help the host family with light housework. In return, they receive a cash stipend tied to the minimum wage in the U.S.
Au pairs are considered members of their host families and must adhere to their house rules. Their duties can vary widely depending on their host family’s needs.
The au pair must also follow the dress code of the host family. This includes following the bedtime and curfew schedule. The au pair need to obey all of these rules.
While the au pair is living with the family, they are entitled to one full weekend each month and two weeks of paid vacation. However, an au pair must work a minimum of three hours and a maximum of five hours each day.
An au pair must attend an educational institution with an appropriate language course. Au pairs are also allowed to audit classes for no credit.
Living Situations As An Au Pair
Living situations as an au pair are a great opportunity for foreign visitors to experience American life. However, knowing how to deal with the many challenges that may arise during an au pair’s stay is important.
One of the major concerns is how to keep the children safe. Some new hazards exist today, and it’s up to the au pair to educate the children about these dangers. The same rules parents should apply at home should also apply to au pairs.
In most cases, the au pair is given a house key and a monetary allowance. These gifts can make a difference when navigating the unfamiliar territory of living with a host family.
Aside from the usual necessities of food and clothing, au pairs may require special equipment. They may need a mobile phone, computer, or other electronic devices.
An au pair can have a difficult time communicating with their hosts. They might have trouble finding the right words or lash out at an innocent remark. If this happens, it’s critical to communicate effectively.
Stipends As An Au Pair
Stipends as an au pair are paid to families willing to have an au pair stay with them for some time. They are provided with room and board and may be allowed to take advantage of the host family’s educational benefits.
There are a few different agencies that match au pairs. Some charge fees, and others offer discounts. If you choose to use an agency, you will be asked to pay an upfront placement fee of varying amounts. This includes the cost of travel to the United States and health care. It is not refundable once the au pair leaves.
Depending on the program, Au Pairs are required to take at least six semester hours of classes at an accredited college or university. Their education stipend is $500. While these are the minimum requirements, the au pair may have additional experience that could be worth a larger salary.
Finding a Family For An Au Pair
Finding a family for an au pair can be a challenging task. You’ll need to be proactive. This includes using sites like Au Pair World.
In addition to these sites, you can also use unofficial forums on Facebook. These are a great way to meet potential matches. However, you’ll need to do some homework to determine whether they’re legitimate. Scammers are usually hesitant to disclose their identities.
It’s a good idea to have a couple of conversations with prospective families before committing. The interview should include questions about their needs and wants. Ask about their experiences with au pairs, expectations, and ideas for cooperation.
Depending on where you live, you may have to wait a bit to find an appropriate host family. A great way to start your search is to list your requirements. For instance, you can look for a family with children of the same age, or that will allow you to care for them while you work.
Using a good agency can help you find an ideal family for an au pair. Not only do you receive full access to their database, but you’ll also get personal advice from their placement representative.