We Can’t Afford Alternative Childcare While Our Au Pair’s Broken Arm Mends. What to do?

by cv harquail on February 16, 2014

Dear AuPairMoms— Could we re-open a topic from August 2012 on what to do when an au pair breaks a bone,  is in a cast and can’t drive?

In that situation the au pair only had three weeks left, and the comments in large part were geared toward that scenario — mine’s a bit different.

il_570xN.519389064_asbsWe are with our first-ever au pair, who arrived four months ago. We live in the suburbs of a major metropolitan area, and driving is an essential part of our au pair’s responsibilities.   There is no way to walk or to use public transportation to pick up our three kids from their middle and elementary schools and take them to their various activities. If the au pair doesn’t drive them, there will be no way for the kids to get to their music lessons and sports activities on four weekdays out of five.

Our au pair slipped on the ice (not while she was on duty) and broke her right elbow last Wednesday. If what the ER doctor said holds true, she will likely get put into a full arm hard cast for 6-8 weeks and then have to do PT to recover strength and mobility in her arm. 

She is a great au pair, but we are really facing a bind if she can’t drive.

We will increase our child care costs dramatically if we have to hire an additional caregiver just to do the driving and be on call if a child needs picking up from school for the next two to three months. My husband and I both work a 45+ minute commute away, and it’s not feasible for either of us to work from home for an extended period of time.  We’re waiting to hear from our local counselor to see if she has ideas.

Essentially, it boils down to us having 6-8 weeks of au pair payments, not the childcare we need, and no ability to pay for an additional 6-8 weeks of back up care. 

I would love to be able to get suggestions and feedback from AuPairMom readers.  Is this a situation where we try rematch? Or is there some other way to swap au pairs with someone else who doesn’t need a driver? 
~~ StuckHostMom



Antonia February 16, 2014 at 10:18 am

Are there any friends of yours or other parents at your children’s schools or activities your children attend who would be willing to help out for a couple of months by picking up and dropping off your children?
Sorry to hear your stuck in a bit of a sticky situation

Taking a Computer Lunch February 16, 2014 at 10:34 am

I’m in a different situation than most HPs here. I’m the parent of a teenager in diapers, who needs to be bathed, dressed, and fed. All of these tasks require lifting (she’s the size of an 8-year-old, but still…). DH and I can cover a limited amount of an AP’s day and juggle when she has her vacation week. Nevertheless, a 6-8 week recovery would put more pressure on us than we could bear (and while an AP might be able to drive after that recovery period, picking a child up might be another matter entirely!) We would have no choice but to go into rematch, although we would promise the AP and LCC that we would provide glowing references to allow her to find another family if that were possible.

Even if “all” you need is a driver, then you might find other parents willing to drive your kids for 6-8 weeks in exchange for your AP being available as the driver in future weeks. You could also demand that she take 2 weeks of her vacation during this recovery period. Because, honestly, if you go into rematch, chances are that she’s going home.

JenNC February 16, 2014 at 11:15 am

If you go into rematch right now and are lucky enough to find an aupair in the US, not my experience, then u will still be waiting about 3 weeks, then you have the whole orienting training, getting new aupair accustomed to your location, kids schools etc, so that would probably be a week adjustment as long as this is an experienced aupair” so now your at 4 weeks minimum to have someone who can get your kids where you need, u have no idea if this will be a good match or not because your in a desperate situation. So in my opinion if you have a great aupair that has an injury, and will cost you some money to get through the next 6-8 weeks , but she is worth avoiding the potential nightmare of rematching for a quick fix, that may cost you more money, I would pull all resources to help you get through these weeks.

When we went into rematch there were no instate aupairs I would consider, we had to go out of country, it was rushed but we still went 4-5 weeks without child care and that because I was already interviewing on the site when it all happened. So I had it narrowed down to 3 girls already, so it was a quick decision.

Do you have any family that could come and stay with you , any college or high school students that could help you out? Are you members of a church, if so ask them if someone could help you? Rematching isn’t a good idea to me unless you are willing to go out of country, but u still will be waitin for about 5 weeks, so I would do what you can to survive and keep your current aupair working. Jen

emmiejane February 16, 2014 at 12:59 pm

I would also recommend that you really wait and hear with the doctor who is going to be treating her arm has to say. We had a situation in which our last au pair arrived in a boot, as she had injured her foot. When she first contacted me to let me know of the injury, she was on crutches and I was a little freaked out because we have a baby. You can’t be going up and down on stairs in crutches carrying a baby obviously. I considered all my options, but she was set to arrive in 10 days, and I went forward with it. Anyway, she did recover more quickly then original time frame and what the doctor originally told her was outside worst case scenario.

It easily could be that the scenario is better or worse than the ER doctor outlined for you. If it was going to be better or worse, that might really impact the direction you decide to go. It seems as if you already realize that this is an “if” it is as the ER doc says.

I did have to line up additional help for my injured au pair, but luckily it was only a couple of weeks.

Should be working February 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm

I am curious as to whether the agency would require this HF to house the AP for two weeks–apart from the family’s affection for the AP, I’m just wondering about the technicality. It’s not like “mediation” can improve anything here. She is not capable of the childcare they need, so do they have to give her 2 weeks before taking a rematch AP? Or does the agency not consider “what kind” of childcare she is capable of vs. what the HF needs. Because if they are technically (per agency) permitted to take a rematch AP right away, there is the possibility they can have a new AP in a few days, versus (if prognosis is right) up to maybe 12 weeks (with PT).

On the other hand, ER doctors are not orthopedists, so it certainly is worth waiting for the prognosis from the orthopedist.

I think you need more information. Is the soonest you can get an AP a couple days, and the AP out of commission for 12 weeks, which means an impossible 10-week gap? Or is the soonest you can get an AP 3 weeks (including almost a week of orientation), and the AP out of commission for 6–which boils down to 3 weeks of scraping by, which might be worth it.

I want definitely to hear a followup–especially what the agency says. And which agency it is.

Should be working February 16, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Please also check carefully into the insurance plan. Our APs have had trouble getting properly reimbursed and needed to pay UP FRONT and wait for the crappy insurance to pay them back. This could turn into a financial disaster if the AP wants to stay and needs ortho care, PT, etc.

Angie host mom February 17, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Also, I know some of the au pair insurance companies have a clause that allows them to send the patient back to their home country for treatment if it is cheaper than having them stay in the US and be treated here. With the therapy and casting requirements, I’m guessing a ticket home is going to be a lot cheaper for the insurance company.

You may not have a choice if they won’t cover the cost of the therapy sessions.

Should be working February 17, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Yeah, and what country is more expensive than the USA for medical care??

I had surgery in Europe 15 yrs ago and the bill was $14K. Including anesthesia, surgery, hospitalization for days, and some rehab. Even back then it would have been over $100K in the US.

Momma Gadget February 18, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Double and triple check… and get it in email!
They swore up and down that my AP was covered for her emergency surgery and specialist care. Despite my personally speaking with the Insurance company, and my AP, a native English speaker, speaking with them, our AP was unable to resolve her hospital and Dr bills before she returned home. They didn’t pay one penny and stuck the hospital and Drs with all the bills, and the AP with the cost of her prescriptions.

Should be working February 18, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Good point about getting it all in writing! And also HFs should realize that APs have NO IDEA how uncertain and tricky insurance coverage can be. I don’t know about other places, but in Europe medical insurance means . . . you are insured for medical care. Coming from that, they could never guess how it is here.

German Au-Pair February 19, 2014 at 6:10 pm

I was shocked what a long lasting, annoying desaster it was to get my insurance to pay. They actually did though. I didn’t have to pay anything upfront but I did have to call a hundred times because my doctor kept asking for the money. I had emergency surgery and it was unsure if they’d pay for the second surgery removing the screws for a while. But since the doctor said it was necessary, they paid for it. APC really does seem to have a pretty good insurance.
But please, if you have an au pair whose English is not REALLY fluent, DON’T let her talk to them on her own. In my case the main part of the insurance was located in France and it is SO hard to understand other people’s accents. On the phone. Dealing with insurance stuff. I’m fluent and watch TONS of American TV so I was okay, but it was not easy for me and most of my friends probably wouldn’t have understood much. I know it’s a drag for you to have to deal with but we’re talking about thousands of dollars and it is really really hard to speak a foreign language when it’s about medical and financial stuff.

Kelly Hand February 17, 2014 at 12:50 am

I was a counselor for several years, and a similar situation came up for one of my host families, except that it was a broken leg. If the au pair is incapable of working for such a long period, it probably makes sense for her to go home during her recovery period. Then, you could find a rematch au pair and she could rematch and return to the U.S. after her recovery. Alternatively, you could find a temporary rematch au pairs–someone who just needs a chance to prove herself, but has had a tough time finding a family–and have your au pair return to you when she is ready. Technically, if your au pair is in your home, even if she’s not working, she must be paid. However, it is possible that if she has a relative or friend with whom she can stay (while not earning a stipend), then you could pay a temp au pair. Good luck with this challenging situation.

Should be working February 17, 2014 at 2:46 am

Kelly, I thought that if an AP is not working (as in the two-week period where you have to house an AP who is getting rematched) then you do not have to pay her/him. That might, however, be a different status than an AP who is not working and NOT trying to get rematched.

Aussiemum February 17, 2014 at 5:08 am

Just a thought, if she’s stays on reduced wages, perhaps she could oversee the fill in au pair so you don’t have the worry of training and trust with a new girl you didn’t have time to select carefully.

She doesn’t have to go home and if she is trustworthy, you still have her looking out for your kids?

Julie February 17, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Au pairs do not need to be paid if they are not working. She is also not allowed to stay with a family or friend. Some agencies have allowed this, but the state department is cracking down on agencies that are allowing rules to be broken.

Should be working February 17, 2014 at 1:49 pm

I can’t remember if the contract stipulates anything about if the AP develops a medical problem that precludes her doing the needed childcare. This is where things feel so icky to me with the AP program. Who is the employer? Who is responsible? Who takes care of things when they get messy? My fantasy is that the agency steps in, but I am suspecting that won’t happen, that they leave it to the family to follow the rematch procedure-formula (which isn’t appropriate in this case) and give the AP very reduced options. Like, who pays the flight home?

Taking a Computer Lunch February 17, 2014 at 3:07 pm

I thought the AP needed to be employed to meet the conditions of her temporary visa. I recall this was an issue when AP #5, with whom we were not extending, found a family that did not need her for three weeks after her year ended with us. In order to extend, that family needed to match with her immediately and agree to a three-week paid holiday. We offered to permit the AP to live with us while she waited for the family to be ready for her arrival. In the end, the AP decided not to match with the family and found one that could take her immediately in her extension period.

If the HM cannot afford to hire a driver or another childcare provider and host a non-working (and fully paid AP recovering from an injury), then rematch sounds like the best solution, no matter how badly she feels about saying goodbye to an otherwise good (or excellent) AP.

PhillyMom February 17, 2014 at 9:23 am

If your Au Pair current performance is excellent and If you can arrange an alternative childcare with other parents that would be great, but if you completely depend on Au Pair to drive kids around for after-school activities, that can be tough and you will have no choice, but to re-match. We have no relatives or neighbors that can help us out and would have to go a “new Au Pair route”. Wait for the orthopedic MD consult, before making any decisions. Also, find out if your Au Pair will have to attend orthopedic rehab to restore elbow range of motion after cast will be taken off. How long will that take? How many hours per day? I wish you strength and good luck in this unfortunate situation.

TexasHM February 17, 2014 at 10:02 am

I just want to say that we just rematched (great AP went home – family emergency) and the entire process from notifying agency to rematch AP in our house was 6.5 days. This also included us switching agencies and going through the application/review/references from scratch. It’s possible that we could have had her come a few days earlier but we wanted to do our full interview diligence and prepare for her arrival.

Our new AP trained for 3 days with our departing AP (latter two days our rematch AP did all the driving and planning, our departing AP acted as navigator when needed and gave her tips as they went) and that was that, we literally have done ZERO training ourselves since then and this is her second week alone running the show.

As others said, definitely involved the LC and get all the details from the doctor before making a decision. I would also say don’t be afraid to look to other agencies or multiple agencies. You need to find the best possible candidate for your family and I would hope that your existing AP will understand having done the job the last 4 months that you have no choice. See if she will help train the new AP, help you interview, whatever involvement you are comfortable with and feel she is capable of. Likewise, tell her you will return the favor in rave reviews in rematch and perhaps allow her to shack up at your house an extra week to give her more time to find a family? Just be honest with her and work toward a resolution together.

Kim Fedele February 17, 2014 at 11:22 am

I am curious about the switching agencies. Does the former agency transfer payment to the new agency? Do you end up paying both agencies and then wait for a refund from one agency. Sounds like big up front expenses. The situation with having an injured aupair sounds difficult. I have no idea what we would do, guess it time to think of a back up plan.

Boys Mama February 17, 2014 at 11:50 am

What does your Au Pair want? I love that you feel loyal to her despite the fact that this is a pretty much impossible situation for you and your childcare needs. If I were her I can’t imagine wanting to sit on your couch for months uselessly while placing an enormous financial strain on your family.

Be open and honest with each other. As Kelly suggested, find out if there’s a way to get her back after she’s healed. If not and the timeline you are working with is accurate, you just have to move on. Rematch miracles happen all the time.

Host Mom X February 17, 2014 at 12:09 pm

You mentioned that you live in a major metropolitan area. Our experience with rematch, living in such an area ourselves, is that there will probably be a good number of APs in rematch – probably even in your area right now, or who could easily travel there – who could start right away. It really is unfortunate for both your au pair and you, but even if the healing period is quicker than the ER prognosis, it will at least be a month, I’d think, and probably more. We don’t need a driver, but we do need stroller pushing, baby carrying and lifting, laundry folding, getting lunches for children, playing with children, etc., and I think if we found ourselves in this situation, we’d have to rematch. Childcare is a physical job; there’s no way around that.

Even if you rematch right away, if you have room and don’t mind housing the AP for a few weeks (she might be happy to stay somewhere that would not be acceptable as a bedroom for an AP, such as on a pull-out couch in the basement), you could offer that she stay with you until she figures out what is best for her to do next (e.g. if she can find a rematch family that can work around her broken arm – which I doubt; or how to arrange going home for the healing period but coming back to a new family to finish out her year – hopefully the LCC and agency can be helpful here; or even going home and perhaps finishing out her year with YOU when your year with the re-match au pair is over, if she is able to find something to occupy her at home for the year that doesn’t throw off her three-year-plan too much). And if you can swing paying her stipend for a short while (a week or two) when the rematch AP first arrives, you could have her train the new AP, as others have suggested, and help out in whatever ways might be possible (e.g. a nighttime babysitting here or there so you can go out, which maybe you otherwise wouldn’t be able to do). That way she will feel useful and not a burden, and you will also see a benefit. (Though if she is actually working, rather than just being housed by you, she may need to be given her own room, and this may not work depending on the space you have. But I’m sure you, she and the LCC can work this all out.)

I am just thinking what we’d do if this happened to our current AP, and I do like the idea of seeing if she can go home to heal, and then come back after our year with a rematch AP to finish out her year. I could envision this actually working for our AP, because her boss at her job back home was very clear with her that they loved her and would have a job for her when she returned.

Dorsi February 17, 2014 at 3:16 pm

I think for the visa, they need to be out of the country for two full years before they are allowed a new J-1.

TexasHM February 18, 2014 at 12:04 am

Dorsi that was my understanding as well. Plus I think they can only reapply if they successfully completed their first term – is there an LC that can weigh in on this?

Skny February 19, 2014 at 8:59 am

I know now case where the Au pair returned home and agency promised family that once Au pair was healed they would allow her rematch to finish year. That was not the case afterwards though. Agency changed mind.

Repeataupair February 20, 2014 at 10:33 am

We need proof of completing our first year and education requirement and make sure 2 years were gone between the end of our first visa (not including the 13th month) and the beginning of the new one.

Host Mom X February 20, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Ah, yes. Makes sense. I was not considering that getting a new visa would probably be difficult, even given the situation.

ChicagoHostMom February 17, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Oh I feel bad for you – it is so stressful when child care falls through. Is there another au pair in the cluster who has flexibility to help your current au pair on the driving? We’ve been in a few pinches and had another au pair volunteer to help in a few scenarios (since her kids were on a different schedule). The girls are good about helping each other out, and we once had a prior au pair volunteer to drive our kids for six weeks while our then au pair learned how to drive (long story). We gave her an appreciation gift for all her help, but I wonder if something like that might work out for a few weeks? Also ask around your church or neighborhood to see if anyone can pitch in. My feeling is that you might be better finding a couple of neighbor ladies, other mom, au pairs etc. might be less stressful than rematch. I hope it works out.

AnotherSeattleHostMom February 17, 2014 at 6:18 pm

I really wish the agencies had some sort of shared-risk insurance you could pay for that would pay for a few weeks of back up childcare for these types of situations (not for vacations but for rematch and other unexpected situations).

Let us know what your LCC suggests. Wish I had some words of magical advice!

Should be working February 17, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Angie, interesting idea. My employer offers backup care (with 40 hrs/year limit) to employees. Why can’t the AP agency? I guess it would be really expensive. And complicated. And it might be a hard sell–inadvertently raising doubts for new families about the program, if the program advertises a backup care solution when what it is supposed to provide is reliable, flexible childcare!! Yeah, I can see that being counterproductive for attracting new families…

Gianna February 17, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Since you really like your aupair, would it be worthwhile to negotiate with your agency ? I am thinking that if house her for the weeks when she is not working, they should be pro-rating you for the time she is unable to provide childcare. I am talking about the agency fee , not the stipend. The differential might make it a little easier for you to pay for the help you need with driving. Since you really like this aupair, you would not have to go through the additional chore of selecting someone else. Just a thought.

Should be working February 17, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Ooooh, this is a GREAT idea. The agency could really take the high road and stick to the State Dept rules about the stipend, but suspend the $130/wk that they take for themselves. I’d love to see if an agency would do this. Another problem, though, is that they likely wouldn’t refund the $130/wk, but apply to the next year of having an au pair. Still, it would be a sort-of-fair solution, or show good faith in reaching toward one.

Host Mom in the City February 18, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Wow, what a difficult situation. I can completely understand literally not being able to figure this out – in my area anyway, back-up childcare is not something you can find instantaneously (it can be months or years on a wait list) and although you could find a nanny quickly, paying for a nanny and paying for an au pair would be extremely expensive. Is there any way at all that you could work it so that she can still do her job without driving? I think that would be the only way I could resolve this issue myself – enlisting a neighbor to help, switching around my own work schedule, working from home temporarily, etc. If it’s mostly the activities that are a concern, perhaps you could beg someone to do a carpool for this period in exchange for your au pair doing it for the following same period of time?

Because honestly even if you did rematch, you’d have at least two weeks to cover (assuming you picked a rematch au pair that same day and she agreed and gave notice to her own family that same day). Most likely, you’d have at least three weeks to cover before you could get a rematch. If it looks like it could be just six weeks and she’d be back to driving, I’d suggest just working through it as best you can. But unfortunately, if it’s eight weeks followed by PT and she still won’t be able to drive, I don’t know that you have any choice but to rematch.

But it feels really wrong to say that and it makes me feel so sad for the au pair, especially if she really was a good au pair. It is possible that a host family that doesn’t need a driver would pick her up. We actually would ourselves if she came with a good reference since we have older kids and don’t need a driver. So all may not be lost. If you do rematch, you could offer to house her for an additional week or two after her two weeks to give her a little more chance to find a new family…

I’m so sorry. Please let us know what you end up doing.

QuirkyMom (aka StuckHostMom) February 19, 2014 at 11:43 am

“StuckHostMom” here with an update! Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments and advice. As it’s turned out — three weeks today from the day AP slipped and broke her elbow — here’s what happened:

1) Orthopod confirmed 1 week after ER visit that AP would be out of commission, no driving at all, for 6-8 weeks from that date depending on progress in therapy and healing. (Also in addition to no driving there were many minor problems AP had in day-to-day activities, like making lunches and cooking, unscrewing water bottle lids, etc. — try not to break your elbow ever!)

2) We decided that AP really needed to go home to rest and recuperate, with the promise that she could come back after her recuperation is complete in two months. We just couldn’t make it work without her on board and fully able to function — there was no way to put together enough interim care to make it work, either financially or logistically. As it was I was not at work for most of the last three weeks, and although my boss is super and very flexible, it was a huge strain professionally and personally trying to cope. From when she broke her elbow to when she finally flew home was 2.5 weeks.

3) Our agency (APIA) and LCC were very helpful on all fronts. The agency is pro-rating the fees from when AP broke her elbow and became unable to do all of her work. We continued paying AP for the 2.5 weeks though as she did her best to do what needed to be done. The agency also assured us AP would be able to come back on her current visa after the two months is over. She will have to pay for her plane ticket although we are likely to subsidize that somewhat.

4) The LCC got me three names of local APs in rematch, and we matched with an AP who has been here 6+ months and wants to leave early before her full year is up to go home and get ready to apply for college. She is great and it is a win-win in that our needs mesh in terms of timing/expectations.

5) Medical bills haven’t started coming yet, but I am very much taking to heart the concerns expressed above about how crappy the coverage is and how much the bills may mount up to be. I think this deserves its own post if it hasn’t already been posted on before at Au Pair Mom. The good news (so to speak) is that this was clearly an accident, and the ER visit, orthopod, x-rays/CT scans, and prescriptions should be covered by the policy — but we haven’t seen any bills yet so I am nervous on AP’s behalf about the amount of hassle still to come. The other good news is that the insurance company paid for the plane ticket home — business class, and with a door-to-door escort who picked AP up at our house, flew with her, and drove her home on the other end. But I am waiting for the shoe to drop.

Thanks again and I am happy to share any further details if they would be helpful.

Seattle Mom February 20, 2014 at 2:43 am

Wow- I’m amazed at how well it all worked out. I hope your AP is able to come back and finish her year with you!

Host Mom in the City February 20, 2014 at 7:37 am

WOW!!! I’m am so impressed with how this was handled!! You must be so relieved. So glad to hear it.

WarmStateMomma February 25, 2014 at 4:15 pm

This sounds like the best possible outcome and I’m really surprised about the arrangements for her trip home. I wish her a speedy recovery.

American Host Mom in Europe February 19, 2014 at 11:58 am

No idea what agency rules are in the US, but does your LCC (or you) know someone else with an au pair who drives but who doesn’t need a driver, where you could just swap for 6-8 weeks? Still have the getting-up-to-speed time, but if you’re both happy with your au pairs, it is pretty risk-free.

What does your au pair want? How willing is she to find a creative solution? That’s really the bottom line too.

Exaupair February 20, 2014 at 7:53 am

Some of the posts on here make me sad. I used to be an au pair when I was a student (I’m 33 now, so it was a long time ago). My American host family treated me exactly like a family member, which is the point of the programme. I was like an elder sister to the children. I put in extra hours, pitched in when needed, and played as full a part in family life as possible. Unfortunately, I came down with tonsilitis, and this involved three weeks where I couldn’t work. My host mum treated me like a real mum would, and looked after me while I was ill. She would never have dreamed of casting me aside. If she had been sick, I would have happily taken over all the childcare for her until she was well again. We didn’t count the hours! Needless to say, we are still in touch to this day, when I’m now a schoolteacher in my 30’s. People, both au pairs AND host parents, need to decide what they want. If you want to have or be a pure employee, then please don’t sign up for the au pair programme. Some of the posts on this site are shocking to me – as well as this one, I read about one HM who objected to the au pair using her whirlpool bath, and another one who took her au pair on a skiing holiday but wouldn’t pay for her skiing. Likewise, I read about au pairs who refuse to interact with the children the minute the parents get home, and who don’t want to join in with childrens’ birthday parties. “Au pair” means “on a par”, and au pairs should be treated as, and act as, nieces or big sisters.

WarmStateMomma February 25, 2014 at 4:13 pm


I think the OP really wanted to do the right thing for her AP, but that doesn’t mean she can afford to hire someone else to do the AP’s job while the AP recovers. It sounds like the OP and her agency were able to work out the best possible solution for the HF and the AP, but HFs pay for child care when they enter the AP program. As a teacher, you probably couldn’t just take 6 weeks off work if your child care arrangement fell apart unexpectedly and you probably couldn’t hire a second person to do the job. Most host parents need to be at work 5 days a week and it’s hard enough to miss work when the host kids are sick/injured. Host parents often go to work when we are sick so that we can be home when kids are sick. It’s not that we don’t care about the AP, but we have outside limitations on our choices.

And the AP is not on par with her host family – she is treated better in that she must be paid while she is here. If my 20 year old daughter/niece was paid to watch the baby, she wouldn’t be paid for the weeks she was recovering on the couch and I had to pay someone else to do drive them around. We aren’t allowed to do that with APs, so most host families would have to let the AP go.

Returning HM February 25, 2014 at 2:57 pm

QuirkyMom (aka StuckHostMom): We are facing a similar issue with our amazing wonderful fabulous AP, who blew his knee out last week playing soccer. He is on crutches now – can’t walk and can’t drive. We will get the full extent of what we are all facing tomorrow when we see the orthopedist again, but we have been told to be prepared for a long-term situation. Needless to say, this is the worst possible news for all of us, as we adore our au pair – and he knows most of all exactly how much walking and driving our family’s schedule requires.

As my “bring an umbrella so it won’t rain” approach, I would love to talk to you off-list if possible about what exactly you managed to work out with the AP agency, in case we end up needing the same. Would you mind contacting me off-list? CV can, I suspect, give you my email address or I think you can message me somehow….if not, please let me know and I’ll post an email.

Thank you so much in advance for sharing your experiences and insights.

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