au pair guidelines

With Your Au Pair’s Social Life, Be Caring Not Controlling

by cv harquail January 28, 2017

If you can trust your Au Pair with your children, can’t you trust her with her own Saturday night plans? I wondered this, when I read the email (below) from the OverMonitoredAuPair. I am a BIG believer in knowing how to find your Au Pair in an emergency during his/her off-duty time. I am a […]

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Safety Tips for Au Pairs Using Tinder and Other Dating Apps

by cv harquail March 22, 2016
make good choices

Used to be we’d only have to give our Au Pairs a safety lecture about drunk guys at bars who assume things when they hear the words “Au Pair”.  Now, if our Au Pairs are using dating apps to meet people, we might have to expand our conversation about what’s safe and what’s appropriate. Yes, […]

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Labor Day: An American Celebration of Workers

by cv harquail August 29, 2014
labor day

American Culture is on my mind today.   Of the three big distinctions between Au Pair childcare and other childcare, the idea of cultural exchange often takes a back seat.  One reason for ‘culture’ receding in to the background is that we regularly experience cultural differences and cultural exchange at the interpersonal level. Cultural exchange […]

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When should we send our Family Handbook to our incoming au pair?

by cv harquail January 6, 2011

As every reader of this blog knows, we are big fans of the concept of the Family Handbook. And by “we” I don’t mean the royal  moi, but all of us host parents (and even au pairs). It really helps to create a handbook to get your expectations and needs out into clear language, and […]

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Exploited in Italy: What’s the best way to leave my host family?

by cv harquail October 5, 2010

Dear Moms, I’ve found your website infinitely helpful to get a look at “the other side” of the au pair experience, and now I’m hoping that you can help me. The Situation I am an American girl who moved to Europe to be an au pair last month. My host family consists of a single […]

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Is it demeaning to ask your au pair to iron kids’ clothes?

by cv harquail August 8, 2010

When my girls were littler, they had lots of adorable cotton dresses. All of these dresses were wash’n wear, which meant that they were okay to wear if clean but wrinkly. To look fabulous, these dresses didn’t need lots of ironing– just 2 minutes with an iron on the collars, hems, and sashes turned them […]

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Locking the Refrigerator, and other ways to mistreat an Au Pair

by cv harquail May 3, 2010
a midnight snack.jpg

Riffing on the post Do Au Pairs need a bill of rights? about Au Pairs and a domestic workers bill of rights, Dawn mentioned that A clear listing as to what kind of treatment is reasonable to expect would be very helpful in such circumstances. As one example, in a program where the AP expects […]

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Do you require your Au Pair to get a U.S. driver’s licence?

by cv harquail March 2, 2010

For example, in our town the police officers get upset if you don’t have a US license and have even ticketed a au pair or two, even though state lae says that using an international driver’s license is legal.

…Someone at our local DMV does not understand that a J1 working visa is different from a student visa, and has turned away more than one au pair who didn’t have a school transcript with her. it’s worthwhile to have a native English speaker there to explain the visa requirements so au pairs don’t have to stand in line for hours multiple times only to be turned away.

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Sample Handbook from a Reader

by cv harquail March 3, 2009
Starling fabric

Hi Moms- Recall that last month I invited you all to share pages from your Family Handbook … I’ve just posted the first of those sample handbooks as a page: Sample Handbook 2, from CC Family. The Sample Handbook is based on the format provided by the Cultural Care Agency, so you may have seen […]

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Share a page from your handbook …

by cv harquail February 10, 2009
Etsy WatermelonWishes

When I started au pair momming 11 years ago, there was no such thing as an Au Pair Handbook. My au pair agency never recommended that I create a family manual, and my LCC actually laughed when I told her that I’d put together a printed list of guidelines for our incoming au pair. My, […]

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