Au Pair Program Rules are Great.
These clear and specific boundaries around work hours and work responsibilities help US Host Parents and Au Pairs avoid lots of the problems that we see in au pair relationships across Europe, NZ and Australia.
So why would I even launch a post about breaking rules then? An au pair inquired, and her email made me curious to see. Which rules do we feel more okay to break?
Note: I am not suggesting that people break the rules. I am a BIG fan of rules and following the rules.
We simply want to know which rules feel somewhat more flexible than others and which ones are sacrosanct. Also, in none of these situations are we suggesting that the rules be broken without compensating the au pair and without his or her explicit permission.
DearAuPairMom-– We know that they are rules within the au pair program, but of those rules, which get actually broken ?
In my case, I work very often 10 hours if kids are not in school, and it extends to 11 or 12 hours on a regular basis. Once we even went to 15 hours in a row.
I also offered my host parents to go for overnights, which they have done once. We have an agreement on how I get paid if I work over the limited hours.
I also go to the dry cleaner, do the parents’ laundry, do lot of the grocery shopping, kids related shopping, random errands (get a new key done…), I pick up, drop off and pay the housekeeper, take care of the dog (veterinary hospital, walks, baths…) .
These all are fine to me— I don’t feel taken advantage of, and they are similarly flexible with my own requests. But I’d love to know how other families feel. ~HappilyFlexibleAP