scheduling your au pair

The Saturday Night Situation: When your Au Pair doesn’t think it’s fair that s/he’s on duty

by cv harquail May 21, 2011

There are two kinds of host family schedules — those that use up all of their 45 hours during the host parents’ Mon – Fri work week, and — those that don’t. I can pretty much guarantee you that if your host family schedule is the second kind, and you try to use your au […]

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Reading the Fine Print: How do Au Pair Agency contracts differ?

by cv harquail November 16, 2010

With our previous conversation about whether or not an au pair is supposed to be paid pocket money if s/he takes additional vacation weeks, I was reminded of this very simple and confusing issue: Although US regulations apply to any US au pair, each agency has its own ways of interpreting and explaining the rules. […]

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Au Pairs and Dinnertime: Preparing in advance for a smooth routine

by cv harquail August 18, 2010

Mealtimes are important family times. Most of us hope that our Au Pairs will join us for dinner so that s/he can be part of this family time. But as we know, food and mealtimes can easily become places where individual differences, cultural differences, and just plain organization can get in the way of a […]

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From “Part Time” to “Full Time”: Can I ramp up my au pair’s hours over time?

by cv harquail July 7, 2010

Dear AuPairMom, I’m a mom, employed part-time, who is thinking about getting an au pair. I’m thinking of having an au pair to (1) care for my kids while I’m working, (2) work with me as a mother’s helper as I care for the children, and (3) make it possible to get other things done […]

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10 Days of Work that Might Surprise Your Au Pair

by cv harquail June 7, 2010

What’s most surprising thing for Au Pairs to learn about Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day? A. They mark the beginning, middle and end of “summer”. B. They are celebrated with barbecues and maybe some nice cold beer. C. They are days when most Americans have “off” but most Au Pairs do not. Answer? […]

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Scheduling Your Au Pair: The Half Day

by cv harquail May 28, 2010

I don’t know whether to be embarrassed or self-congratulatory when I say that the only place I have even run afowl of the Au Pair Program Regulations has been around half days. It wasn’t intentional, mind you, but I was ‘doing it wrong’. Oops. Au Pairs are supposed to be scheduled only for five and […]

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Scheduling Your Au Pair: Naptime, Mealtime and Meaningful Breaks

by cv harquail May 27, 2010

Lots of us host parents schedule our pairs not for an 8 or 10 hour stretch, but for one or two (or sometimes three) portions across a day. Often this is to accommodate ‘before school’ childcare needs as well as afternoon needs, or to have our au pairs come back on duty so that we […]

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Au Pair Asks: How can I get my Host Mom to give me a schedule?

by cv harquail May 23, 2010

Dear Au Pair Mom, I just find out this site, and I think it’s really helpful. You have a lot of useful information for all of us, and I would like some advice from host parents. I’m an Au Pair, and I just started the program. I’m here for two months and everything is incredible! […]

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4 Ways to Reduce “Seasonal Schedule Shift Syndrome”

by cv harquail May 18, 2010

Seasonal Schedule Shift Syndrome: AuPairMom’s fancy name for “when your au pair gets grumpy because all of a sudden the whole schedule changes, and now s/he has to work an occasional Saturday night.” When school ends and ‘summertime’ begins, family schedules change. Rhythms for your kids’ days may change, as may your own work schedules. […]

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Au Pair Management Tip: Schedule Transition Time

by cv harquail March 29, 2010

Here is a tip for both host parent and au pairs alike: Schedule transition time, with explicit overlap between when the au pair and the parent (or other caregiver) switch who’s ‘on duty’. Back when I worked as a manufacturing manager I always had to be there for “shift overlap”, when the outgoing shift would […]

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