Digital Tools for Scheduling Au Pairs: Share your faves

by cv harquail September 12, 2017
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It’s rather pitiful, but I’m still (and perhaps always) a fan of the paper calendar.   While I *do* use the Tiny Calendar app on my iPhone, I always was printing out — and adding up by hand — on duty hours. Surely, someone else has a better way? Because Calendaring Host Mom has asked for […]

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Act NOW to Defend the Au Pair Program!

by cv harquail August 30, 2017
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We knew it was coming.   Trump campaigned on promises to “crack down” on “illegals” and to restrict all forms of entry into the US by persons who are not current citizens. We knew that the J-1 visas were in trouble — programs supporting summer camp counselors, summer hotel staff, and — yes — au […]

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Taking Your Au Pair “On Vacation”: How can you make sure you’re fair to your Au Pair?

by cv harquail August 8, 2017

Today I got emails from two different au pairs, both asking for advice about going on vacations with their Host Families. In both situations, it seems that the Host Parents aren’t really following the rules around the 10 hours per day/ 45 hrs per week limits. Scanning back through the archives, I realized that nearly […]

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New Au Pair Has A Rash: Could it be the water?

by cv harquail August 1, 2017
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Has this ever happened to you or your au pair? Our au pair has been with us for a little over 2 weeks. She has a rash that has spread over her arms, trunk, and neck.  She’s certain this is from our water. This is our 8th au pair in as many years, and we’ve […]

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How Long Must We House Our Au Pair Once Her Contract Ends?

by cv harquail July 29, 2017
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Dear AuPairMoms — We have an au pair who is done with her year.  She decided she wanted to do another year, but not with us.  (redacted/ edited at request of OP, on Aug 4) She found a match, but the new family doesn’t want her to arrive immediately after her contract with us ends.  So, […]

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Different Defaults for Deciding When an Au Pair is “Part of the Family”

by cv harquail July 27, 2017
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Who decides, and how do you decide, when an Au Pair should be included in (off duty) family events? Nearly all of the time, my default has been to invite the au pair, unless its a private event (e.g., friend’s kid’s birthday) or a boring-to-an-au pair event (e.g., company picnic where family is invited). As […]

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Step-By-Step Guide to Au Pair Matching, by TexasHostMom (update)

by cv harquail July 24, 2017
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TexasHost Mom’s post, sharing her step-by-step process for contacting Au Pair Candidates, is one of our most read (and most appreciated) posts on AuPairMom. We love her clarity, and not just because sometimes we really just want to execute a good routine rather than obsess about what to do next. Long time readers know that […]

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Religious Au Pair Doesn’t Celebrate Holidays. Would you still consider her?

by cv harquail July 22, 2017
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Celebrating American holidays with your au pair or host family is one of the biggest (and most fun) elements of cultural exchange. Holidays are a unique window into culture. The traditions, the food, the festive spirit all invite us to talk about the values behind the celebration. On the more personal, less ‘cultural’ level, holidays […]

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Our Au Pair Generously Let Her Boyfriend Drive Our Car — Now what?

by cv harquail July 19, 2017
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Generosity in a host parent – au pair relationship is critical. Our inclination to give, to forgive, to cut someone else a break, is what creates important flexibility in a relationship.  That’s why we say strong relationships always have a little ‘give’. One of the biggest questions for Host Parents and Au Pairs alike is how […]

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How Should an Au Pair Explain Visible Scars to Host Kids?

by cv harquail July 8, 2017
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Each of us bears scars from life events that have challenged us. Some of these scars are hidden, and allow us to keep their origins private.  Other scars are in plain sight, and their visibility raises the possibility that at some point, we won’t be able to keep their origins to ourselves. I have a […]

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