Bad Au Pair Experiences

Au Pair Problems, Tips and Advice
Could it be that this new generation of au pairs is being entitled and not willing to actually make it work unless it's their way?

From my personal perspective – being Au Pair was one of the best things I ever experienced. I loved it and I still have weekly coffee dates with my ex host mom.

One of the reasons why I loved and had amazing Au Pair Year is – I believe – my expectations and way how I prepared myself.

Yes, I got in touch with few other au pairs, but that was mostly to check about area where I will be living. I didn’t compare myself or take their advice as something absolute. I knew what was I getting myself into, and I was prepared for days of working extra, for days when kids were unbearable and for times when I will not have it my way.

But also, I knew that I was doing my best.

I tried, pushed, worked my *buns* of and even if my hosts wanted to mistreat me, they couldn’t because I knew my worth. Not on cocky, I am better than anyone and I will not clean poop way, but in a way that I wanted to be respected and I wanted my work to be recognized.

In some of the stories in this post, I feel au pairs are right, but sometimes when I read their complaints, language they use to describe what is going on, and mostly how mistreated they were – I wonder is it maybe that their expectations are just too high?

Could it be that this new generation of au pairs is being entitled and not willing to actually make it work unless it’s their way?

Could it be that this new generation of au pairs is being entitled and not willing to actually make it work unless it's their way?

 

Here I will share few bad stories, with permission from au pairs (names changed).

I am interested to hear your opinion about these stories in comment section.

 

 

BAD AU PAIR EXPERIENCE

 

First story and comments on it bellow comes from one of many au pair groups on Facebook.

1. Hi Everyone,

My post can be deleted if it doesn’t fit with this group without any problem.
My year end up as an au pair earlier because I got kick out from the house for stupid reasons.
I actually just got an attorney against the agency and I wanted to know if someone wants to share any of her | his stories about hostfamilies or agency? 
I am looking for testimonies from aupairs who have been sent home for no reasons – for aupairs who have been consider as slave in the host families. I am in the USA right now and can meet in person if its around CT, NY.
Wish you luck guys for this crazy adventure.
Havea nice day.

 

M saidMy family was shit and continuously broke the rules of the program, which was vocalized to my LCC on numerous times. I went into rematch and they got to stay in the program. Why?

Because CC only cares about the families, because that’s where the money comes from. They’ll send au pairs home in heartbeat with no support but bend over backwards to help the families because they provide the residual income for CC. It’s disgusting.

 

D said: The reason why I decided to go into rematch, it was because with actual host family I worked extra hours for 7 months. My shifts regularly lasted over 10 hours per day and well beyond 45 hours per week.

My host family didn’t pay me any overtime and they didn’t allow any additional free time in exchange for the extra hours worked.
Right now I’m taking care of 2 kids, one baby girl, she is 8 months old and a boy, he is 2.5 years old. I’m with my current host family since November 2014 (7 months).

 

Md said: do me a favor and sue the fucked up insurance too, I have no words for how badly they treat au pairs! they never treat us equally, some girls get everything paid, some don’t.

I need important blood work done every month, only for 5, around 100$ each time, but no no they won’t pay because its a monthly thing – okay great, so if I get seriously ill or need imporant medication for a couple of months you guys won’t pay? great thx, I got freaking unlimited medical costs and the extended insurance and they dont cover SHIT

 

F said:  Finally someone decides to stand up and do something. As far as I know, almost 200/300 Au Pairs enter the country every week. We are definitely not protected with the ‘Au Pair regulations’ from the department of state.

I wish host families were studied and regulated the same way we are, because it’s pretty unfair for us to pay for this program and then leave just like nothing, and the families getting a refund. I’m really disappointed, the misleading advertising from Cultural Care and the lack of interest to all the girls and boys that come here to work and also have a good experience, is unbelievable.

 

T said:  Glad someone is doing something about it!!!
I’ve been here since March and I only got told at my last meeting by my LCC that my host family was kicked out of the program and CC didn’t even have the decency to let me know, since I was back home when I m
atched with them and I had constant contact with CC but I guess they didn’t think telling me was important or anything…
Still pissed off at them for that. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be having this many issues!!!

2. Hey!! I would love to ask for advice…

I’m in my second year with my third family and I don’t feel comfortable here for a few reasons. First I have to say that this family is a wonderful family and totally respect the program rules, they try to make me feel part of the family, but right now, i don’t feel like it.

My issue is the schedule. I absolutely have no problem working my 45hs, specially because I knew that before I come to US as an aupair. But what bothers me is how they made my schedule, which is completely different than what they told me on skype. Right now I’m working from 12pm to 8pm mon – Thurs, from 2pm to 8pm fri and working Saturdays from 10am to 5pm. As I said before, they totally respect the program but this schedule is giving me a hard time when I try to hang out with other aupairs. In consequence I have only one friend who I can meet only on Sundays. It’s hard to do things during the week because I depend of public transportation and I can easily spend an hour on a trip to anywhere I’m going, so I’m spending most part of my free time alone in my room. I still can go to starbucks or to target, but alone?

I tried to talk to my host to see what we could change, I offer an option so I could have at least, my one day and a half on the weekend but nothing happened. I understand that the families choose the aupair program because they need the flexibility, but I also believe that the families should understand our side and be flexible. Before I match with them I told them that I like comunication, that I would love to be able to discuss what is better for everybody and I would love to be informed ahead of changes in our daily routine, and this is not happening.

Right now I’m feeling sufocated, frustrated, lonely, stuck in the house, feeling like I just work…. I’ve been thinking about give up and come back home because it’s been hard for me… I think the hardest thing being an aupair is live at the same place that you work… and that’s why go out and see people is so important, and I’m not having this here. But at the same time I decided to extend for another year because I wanted try o work more in my english and also explore more around me.

I was thinking about rematch because I know I can’t live like this, but at the same time I know that I have a compromise with them and they planned their lives based on that, but I also feel like is unfair with them stay here completely unhappy. But I also thing that rematch would be a good option because I still want to try, I want to continue and complete this program, the only problem is this is my second year and I don’t know if I’m gonna find a family, even knowing that I still have 10 months.

This situation is so hard because I’m having the same feelings that I had with my first host family even tho is a completely different situation. My first host family didn’t respect the program rules or me… It was the worst 4 months in my life. But luckily I rematcued I found my family in Texas.. they are just amazing, and I just left because I didn’t enjoy Texas and I wanted to explore different area.

I actually don’t know what to do. I know that I can explore better my time accepting that this is how my life is gonna be here, but Im sure that I won’t complete the program if I stay here.

So… I’m open to suggestions.. I’ve been thinking and trying to find solutions but I’m frustrated and I don’t see any solution… I still feel like even if we change the schedule I won’t feel comfortable here.

 

 

 

3. In this program

there are many au pairs treated literally like trash, starving, working extra hours, and many other examples, and yes, there are also girls that just came here to ‘party’ or made bad mistakes, but at the end of the day, all of us have to work 45hs a week for $196, the au pair is raising one or more children, doing household chores, making those kids happy and entertaining them day after day.

This is not just babysitting or childcare this is much more. We are moms, sisters, friends, teachers, counselors, and we also live where we work. So if a family or an Au Pair fail in the program, it must be, first of all, because the agency did not make sure that both parts were prepared for the ‘experience’. And to be fair, this agencies couldn’t care less about us. This is all about money. There are many good Lcc’s and host parents that actually help the au pairs, but not everyone have that luck, and it shouldn’t be like that at all.
The point is that there should be many more regulations for this programs. You don’t know what you will go trough until you come here.

 

Tell me what you think about this? Did you have bad experience as Au Pair or Host Parent?

 

Here are some tips to make sure you have good au pair year

This post is not to bash Au Pair program (which I think it’s awesome). It is here to remind all new au pairs that it’s not vacation! It will be hard, you will be homesick and probably even hungry if you are used to someone else cooking for you. The best thing about Au Pair program is that you are a grown up now. No one will baby you. You will need to take responsibility for your actions and you will have to work for great relationship with your hosts.

It’s up to you what kind of year you will have.

I have also heard from au pairs who had genuinely bad experiences and you need to know when it’s enough, when it might not be your expectations but really bad match that can be dangerous for you. Make sure to always be in touch with your LCC and ask for help if you need it.

 

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27 Comments

  • Reply
    Blue Tomasz
    June 29, 2015 at 8:52 am

    I had a very good first year as an Au pair and I’m still in touch with my first family. After my contract ended I found another family but it didn’t work out so we went in rematch. We stayed in good term though. Troubles came with my third family. I thought they were the perfect match and then, 2 month after, everything broke down. The host mom was literally crazy and called the agency telling them I wasn’t normal because I had a doll that look likes a real baby. She told that I couldn’t take care of a son because of that. These reasons that she gave to the agency were hidden from me till the counselor explained to me why I wasn’t able to stay with the family. In 48h a got kicked out the program and put in a plane to my home country. I booked all my vacations and I could get any refund nor a refund of the agency (for the insurance). I’ve been treated like a criminal because of a freaking doll, the family made me work more than 45h/week and lied to me in the worse way and you know what ? I just learnt that they’re getting a new Au pair while I’m back to my home town..! It’s been 1 month now and just can’t get over it. The only thing the agency told me was ” You had a successful first year so you have to go back to your life” and that’s it. No one even tried to understand me or took the time to realize how senseless all this sh*t was. Honestly I won’t recommend the program because when you have a problem all they do is to agree with the families. It is absolutely disgusting !

    • Reply
      andrea a
      June 29, 2015 at 9:53 am

      I know the feeling and the frustration…. I was in the program for 7 months until my second rematch. My first family had lots of internal issues since dad wasn’t around and the mom worked a lot… The kids behaved very badly and the house was a total mess all the time… All the toilets and bathrooms were always beyond dirty and the mom would go out on her free time instead of cleaning her own house or hiring someone and the second family was broken too since it was an adopted kid of a single mother…. He had many issues and couldn’t follow even the school rules. He would mistreat his teacher and me so much and the mom wouldn’t care…. I ask for rematch again and during my 2 weeks they didn’t give me a single match!!! After my time was over my program director said to me well I’m glad you’re going back to school in your home country…. That’s the best for you!!!! Really???? I felt really really upset with the way the program didn’t support me at all or tried and help me have a successful year!!!!

  • Reply
    Ali WIlkinson
    June 29, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Wow, sad so many people have had such a negative experience! I like your positive spin at the end.

  • Reply
    catherinemryan
    June 29, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Being an au pair is more complicated because you live with your employers. Personally, I wouldn’t like not having my own personal space and it’s not for everyone, but I’m glad some people have good experiences – even if these ones didn’t.

  • Reply
    Dragana Ninkovic
    June 29, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    I so wanna talk on t

  • Reply
    Marlynn Jayme Schotland
    June 29, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    I haven’t been nor have I ever hired an au pair for my own kids, but I’ve had friends who have been au pairs and who have shared both amazingly wonderful and not-so-great experiences with me. In the bad experiences, it always seemed to come down to miscommunication or lack of communication, especially when it came to either the au pair’s expectations or the family’s expectations. Just like any other job, I suppose, but it’s so much more emotionally charged, I would imagine, because this is such a personal relationship.

  • Reply
    Piggeldy
    July 1, 2015 at 12:30 am

    “Could it be that this new generation of au pairs is being entitled and not willing to actually make it work unless it’s their way?”

    Yes, partly I think it is. Partly, bad au pair experience has always been the case for multiple reasons. It’s not black and white, it comes in all shades of grey.

    1) Networking.
    If you think back 10/15 years, there was basically “no” internet. Internet speed was slower, platforms such as facebook didn’t exist. Yes, there were discussion boards but they were few and far between.

    This led to a) prospective au pairs not being able to see how “good” others had it that easily. It’s great that you can connect with so many other future, current and ex au pairs today but it is always good? Back in the day you might have had a friend that had been an au pair or your neighbor’s niece but that would often have been it. They had an experience, good or bad. But you only heard very few stories and they were usually the “regular” au pair stories (45 hrs work, spoiled children, basement bedroom, made great friends, traveled a lot, overall a good experience, learned a lot about themselves, family was nice *blabla*).
    Today, you can read hundreds of stories. And you get to see the “luxury” experience – two hours to get the kids ready for school in the morning, all day off, three hours after-school care until mom comes home from work, all weekend off, own apartment above the garage. You also get to see many more of the “crazy” experiences – which happened back then as well. Too long working hours, mean kids, family of nutters.

    But many people go into the experience with an “It won’t happen to me” expectation. Everybody is sure they will get the cream of the crop. If they then end up with a regular family that they get along with, it will still be okay but I often get a feeling they lose track of the flexibility the program offers for the family (such as changing the schedule as long as they stay within the current regulation) and the give-and-take expectation that comes with living together with your host family. If your host family has to change the schedule to suit their current needs, they have to. That is what they have made child-care arrangements for. Summer vacation? Of course AP pulls the short straw. Kids in camp from 8 am to 1 pm? Of course it will be AP to pick them up and work until parents are home (or her hours are up or whatever).

    You also need to realize you only get to hear one side of the story.
    “I had a doll that look likes a real baby. She told that I couldn’t take care of a son because of that.” – of course just having a reborn doll is not a crime. However, that doesn’t mean that HM didn’t think it was off.

    Imagine If Blue Tomasz had spent more time with the reborn doll than with the son. Imagine the baby doll was carried anywhere, sat with them at the table, was fed breakfast/lunch/dinner, had their diaper changed, was put too bed, the host family got told they had to be quiet because baby doll was sleeping, baby doll had their own car seat, host family’s son was put on the back burner because baby doll needed the AP’s full attention, baby doll got sunscreen sleathered on them before son. [Now, I am very sure this didn’t happen and HM was crazy… but just imagine the situation for a second]
    Crazy, right? That is how some people out there treat their reborn dolls. As if they were real babies (don’t google it, it gets scary real quick). Would you be able to host an au pair behaving like that? So you talk to the agency, agency says “Uuuuuh, scary. Mentally unstable. Should probably get into therapy.”, LC contacts AP, AP gets send home. Au pair is pissed and tells their story on the internet. Family is happy crazy AP is gone and goes on leading their busy life with a new AP.

    [Blue Tomasz, sorry for singeling out your experience, it was really just to come up with a good szenario. I don’t believe you did any of that.]

    2) Standards.
    I have been screening APs for 10 years. You won’t believe how standards have fluctuated over the years.

    Before the economy crashed, everything went.
    Yes, references. Yes, language. Yes, had to seem normal. There were more families than APs, who cared?

    Then came 2008 and standards shot up.
    Families droped out of the program right and left. Parents lost their jobs, their homes, their income dwindled. Standards for APs shot through the roof! There was a time where every applicant that was even invited to an interview was perfect. 5+ years of child-care experience, at least one year of full-time child-care experience, wonderful English, lovely personalities. Perfect applicants. Regular applicants (two-week internship in a kindergarten, giving private lessons twice a week, babysitting once a week for a few years, caring for younger siblings, maybe leading a Bible group in church twice a months) didn’t even get to have an interview because there were so few families that it would already be difficult to place the good ones.
    There was a year in which I held a hand full of interviews with less than 10 au pair applicants in total!

    Since then standards have slowly started to dwindle again.
    But – on paper, to the family, every applicant looks excellent. English? At least very good (don’t tick good or applicant might not be placed). Child-care experience? Excellent of course (if they don’t have it, they can gain it)! Great sense of humor! Motivated (hey, they showed up and we only had to move the interview date twice)!

    3) Expectation.
    Which I think goes hand in hand with networking but also comes with what is transported through tv series (no, Penny on BBT would not be able to hold an apartment that size in that location from the money she makes working a minimum wage job at the Cheesecake Factory).

    Host families work hard for what they have. Many Americans work long hours and have a long commute. What they have is often not paid off yet (house, cars), many have student loans they will be paying back for decades plus they need to make arrangements for their kid’s college funds and their own retirement plans. They expect similar work ethics from the au pair they invite into their home. Au pairs need to realize that being an au pair is a job. It’s not babysitting your neighbor’s children while they are sleeping but being a “professional” child-care provider (often without the professional background). It’s not the fun, partying experience it’s often sold as. And it can be a bloody hard job. It’s a year of working abroad. It’s not a year of partying abroad. Host families expect an adult with adult values, morals and work ethics.

    The US also has a hire-and-fire mentality that many other countries don’t know and don’t want. Where other countries have three months notice periods in the US you can often be let go immediately. That’s how it works. That’s how it works for au pairs.

    Plus of course for many au pairs it’s the cheapest option to spend a year in the US. If you compare program prices to what it costs to spend a high-school year or a semester abroad…

    4) Bad match.
    Host families lie. Au pairs lie. Agencies lie.

    If everybody just put their cards on the table during matching many situations might work out better. If you don’t have experience with children under 5… don’t match with a family that has four children at home all day. If you have 200 hours of infant care but have never changed a diaper, don’t match with a family that has multiple children still in diapers. If you know your English is bad, don’t match with a family that expects their au pair to help their teenager / high-schooler with their homework. If you are a bad / inexperienced driver, don’t match with a family that needs a strong driver. Be honest about your strenghts and weaknesses. Families should fully disclose irratic working hours, childrens’s disabilities, family quirks. If a family loves skiing and needs their au pair to join them, they should match with a skier. If the family has a dog or thinks they want to get a dog in the close future, they shouldn’t match with an au pair that has allergies. If you are neat freaks and need your au pair to wash all kids’ toys with bleach twice a week, tell her that. If your main family activity is hanging out in front of the tv, tell her that. If you have a curfew, tell.

    Every au pair and every family has a flaw. Nobody is perfect. If everybody just admitted to that, living together would be much easier. Yes, if you lie you will find a match quicker but going into rematch is not fun for either side.

    Sometimes people just notice that they can’t live and work with each other and split amicably.

    5) Lack of training for families.

    Familes get visited by the LCC but they don’t receive any training on how to deal with their au pair, how to handle problems. While au pairs get a week-long training class (which I still think is too short) the family doesn’t. I really feel that many host families would benefit from a regular training. Even if it was just a weekend for first timers and a half-day training for return families.

    However… cost? Time? Who would do those? The LCC? Who often has a real job and plenty to do with lcc’ing their au pairs? Child-care (if you had it on the weekends and we all know that most APs aren’t fond of working weekends…)? Scheduling?

    6) Unmotivated LCCs.

    But you can’t force people to be motivated or love doing their job. The hire-and-fire mentality in the US can “help” that but you want some kind of stability for the au pairs and families. You don’t want to change LCCs on a monthly basis (I had five over the course of a year and never changed families and didn’t move).

    7) Lax regulations.
    The au pair experience is meant to be a flexible child-care option. This is what draws many families to the program. Also, for some it will be less expensive than official after-school care.

    Due to the flexibility the program is supposed to offer, the program rules are pretty vague. In the end it boils down to 45 hrs/week, 10 hrs/day, 1 1/2 days off, one long weekend off, 2 weeks vacation, own room. It has to be that vague to make sure it’s attractive to parents. If it wasn’t, you could just close it down. The program has its drawbacks for families – the au pair can be inexperienced, they can’t meet in person before the match, au pairs tend to be on the youngish side, often don’t speak English well, might be inexperienced drivers. If you want families, you need to make sure there is something that gets them and makes them stay. Flexibility.

    This flexibility has its drawbacks for au pairs.
    Schedules can change and may change on short-notice – however, if you made a rule that the schedule has to be fixed a week in advance what if a child gets sick? Should the family have to arrange an additional babysitter so that the au pair can work their scheduled 25 hr/week and would theoretically still have 20 hrs available?
    1 1/2 days off may not be on the weekend – which makes total sense for a family that works shifts (aviation, medicine etc.) but is crap for an au pair. Some families need child-care on the weekend because they work weekends.
    Some families need a split schedule (care before and after school). This can lead to working hours that are not well liked (7 to 9 and 3 to 8) but are well within the rules. It will cut into the au pairs social (after-work) life though.
    Every au pair gets paid the same, no matter how much they work. Which makes sense if you consider it “pocket money” rather than “pay”. Your parents give you a weekly allowance no matter how many hours you go to school. Also, if au pairs were paid by hour the whole payment thing would get crazy.
    The room that is offered to the au pair can be pretty basic but a family can’t be expected to provide a fully furnished au pair suite with bath, living room and kitchen because for many it will ne be feasible financially (immagine a family in Manhattan had to provide their au pair with a set amount of space).
    The family does not have to provide the au pair with a car – in some areas it simply won’t be necessary but for some families it would not be possible financially.
    You don’t really have a notice period and the au pair can leave the family on the spot just as the family can make the au pair leave immediately. However, there might be situations where that is exactly what is needed (violence, endangerment etc.).

    ***

    I still think that in general it’s a good program. And it’s much better regulated (and monitored) then in the EU for example. It’s not perfect and I doubt there is a way to make it perfect for everybody. Still, there are hundreds or thousands of people (families and au pairs alike) for whom it’s a great program. You need to know what you are getting into and you need to ask the right questions – both families and au pairs. That still won’t rule out bad experiences but I guess we have all worked crappy jobs at some point in our lives and lived to tell the tale.

    • Reply
      Funny Nanny
      July 1, 2015 at 12:54 am

      What an amazing answer! Thank you for that. I agree with everything you added, well done. With your permission, I might make your response into full post.

  • Reply
    Abigail
    July 2, 2015 at 1:15 am

    great post. I’m an lcc and I was an Au Pair. My biggest frustration is when Au pairs tell me they are working over 45 hours a week or that something else isn’t comfortable for them but ask me not to tell the host family. I cannot help you change into a better situation if you don’t want me to talk to the family! And yes, it’ll be uncomfortable for a while but after that, most of the time it is much much better – and if it’s not, maybe you are saving the next Au Pair??

  • Reply
    Diane sirpenski
    January 3, 2016 at 8:45 am

    I was in the 2nd group of Au Pairs that came to the US in 1986. I had a brilliant year and ended up coming back to the States to live. I also worked as an LCC for one of the Au Pair organizations. I haven’t read all comments yet, but I think alot more young people feel entitled these days. Another problem is the Au Pairs in some cases are very young and inexperienced and are too frightened to speak up when families are breaking the rules
    A big problem I think at least when I was an LC C I s the difference in the way it’s marketed to the families versus the Au Pair. The Au Pair sees images of all the Au Pairs travelling and having fun together whereas state side the host families are looking forward to cheap child care !

    • Reply
      Funny Nanny
      January 3, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      Diane, Thank you for commenting! I absolutely agree with you. There are many au pairs in terrible situations who don’t have support of agency or LC and even if problem could be solved, no one is even trying, but in the same hand agencies are promoting high life and easy way to come to U.S as an au pair and I am working to change that. It’s amazing experience, but it’s so much than just vacation.

  • Reply
    Bernice
    January 21, 2016 at 4:44 am

    As an ex-au pair,

    I feel like this program has reached its peak and would very much like to see this program scrutinized. My reasons are that both parties are equal in guilt of misusing this program.

    Some agencies advertise it as a gap year/vacation and some as real hard work.
    Entitled to a year of being safe , is your right. Being a real moaning -monster on reasonable situations , such working three hours overtime , is unnecessary.

    Back when this program was introduced , the intentions were pure and there were minimal cases of abuse in any form. I ,for one know quite a few au pairs who had a really bad experience with host families and vice versa.

    So , who is to blame – the agencies , the host families and the au pairs. We all have a crucial role to play in this process. If one messes it up , the whole process is doomed.

  • Reply
    Momwithtwo
    February 28, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    “Au pairs need to realize that being an au pair is a job. It’s not babysitting your neighbor’s children while they are sleeping but being a “professional” child-care provider (often without the professional background). It’s not the fun, partying experience it’s often sold as. And it can be a bloody hard job. It’s a year of working abroad. It’s not a year of partying abroad. Host families expect an adult with adult values, morals and work ethics.”
    THANK YOU! That is exactly what the problem is – we are currently in the midst of a 2nd au pair who has decided to just up and leave after only 5 months she is homesick.
    We think we are a good familiy, our au pairs are almost always off all weekend, rarely work more than 41 hrs (usually around 35hrs./ week, get double the weeks of vacation (our previous au pair had 6 weeks paid vacation), we pay them diligently (we set up automatic transfers to their debit card), full use of car, gas reimbursed for anything related to kids, allow for them to have friends over, always invite the aupair with us to whatever we are doing…but both have been negative experiences although very different people. The first au pair was so socially active, her plans came before our needs. Yes, we had to book a babysitter at times because “she had plans”. Once I needed to take my child to the urgent care and had to bring along my 3 yr old because she was going to brunch with friends. …
    The second au pair cant make any friends (there is always something wrong with them) but is a recluse and spends her free time on her room, appearing only when she needs to eat or collect laundry (we do all the laundry in the house, including hers) or to work.
    We sit down and ask for feedback a few months into their time here and also provide feedback on what we think works great and where we feel things need to improve. They always seem to be in the zone of what their rights are but seem to only pay lip-service to what their responsibilities are.
    We are now debating what to do, whether to get a new au pair (although the organization we are with have none and seem to not care a great deal that in a few weeks we are left without any help, have no family here and two very demanding jobs).
    I really am not quite sure what to do anymore. But thank you for pointing what think is a really big issue and which seems to be omitted from the initial training at east the two au pairs we have had have gone through upon arrival in the US.

  • Reply
    worldupdate24blog
    November 30, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Spain is an inconceivably various nation, rich with culture, history, emotional scenes and obviously, being the home of sangria and tapas, nourishment. It’s additionally a country of individuals who are wildly glad for their legacy, yet warm and inviting towards outsiders. Obviously, the best way to genuinely comprehend Spain and Spanish culture, is by venturing out of your usual range of familiarity and really inundating yourself. What’s more, what preferred approach to do as such over by living and working with a Spanish family as their Au Pair?

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  • Reply
    Erica
    December 24, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    When we interview with our au pair from Philipines . We told her everything with every details .
    That we live in mountains , boring place for if she doesnt have appreciation nature . We told her we live in small town and some cafes , restaurants , coffee shops and bars only around . We told her here is not for city girls who wants to party often . We told her our life quiet and peaceful . SHE SAID SHE MOSTLY SIT AT HOME EVERYDAY . SHE LIKES READING BOOKS WILL BE ENOUGH FOR HER . We told her because we r living in mountains internet connection is very slow and bad . SHE SAID SHE IS NOT INTERNET PERSON SHE EVEN DOESNT HAVE SMART PHONES . We told her we have a very active and stubborn with steong will 3 years old boy how she can handle ? SHE SAID SHE HELP RAISING ACTIVE TODDLER BOY BEFORE SHE KNOWS VERY WELL . SHE LIKES DANCING RUNNING SINGING PLAYING WITH TODDLERS .
    Well We brought her . We were excited to meet with her in the airport . She looked three of us and without even saying nice to meet with you both she said I need to get my luggage from Baggage claim . We were as a family frozen but we thought she has jetlag .
    First week she disnt do anything stay in her room . We thought she has jetlag . Second week she came and said this work is not for her . She has some mental illness that she cant work she can die in her room. Agency told us she is homesick . We had mediation . In the mediation agency told her there is nothing wrong with her host family and she ll be dismissed if she wants to quit before filling the month with us . She said she made up this mental illness story and she ll try to make up and work . This one month she never dance , never sing never play with my son she was opening some cartoons and all day make my son sit in front of TV . She never want to eat with us . She was always in her room .Never smile never even say good morning to us . Even we say good morning she ignored . We never violate any rules feom contract .And She was doing as less as she can for her duties . We helped her to buy a phone , clothes find friends and church to herself . After all month passed and she suddenly became so happy cheerful girl . That day I thought thanks god she finally get over this homesickness . And she came that night and told me she wants to change her host family she wants to see another city in USA. When I asked some more question about why she came here with this program and so she told me she never go back . And bring her husband here soon too . We talked with agency and they told us they will rematch us . So honestly I dont know but I am very sad . Because I invest her my money , my time and my heart but it doesnt have any meaning for her . My husband is a very well known lawyer and he wrote a long file about her and her intentions to USA immigration office and Philipines embassy . I suppose our era changed and young people wants to live a life nothing but easy life .
    Thanks for reading .

  • Reply
    Funny Nanny
    December 25, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Erica, thank you for commenting, unfortunately I have come across many families who have had the same issues as you have encountered, it is very sad. The majority of families enter the program in good faith, the majority of AuPairs also enter the program in good faith however there are always a few host families or AuPairs who ruin it for everyone. I do hope you find someone great for your son, the right person is out there, just hang in there. I hope your agency has been supportive and that you are starting to meet some other AuPairs.
    I wish you all the best and a very Happy Holiday Season!

  • Reply
    Alexia
    February 2, 2017 at 5:53 am

    Hi there,
    I need some advice on my current au pair situation and I wasn’t sure where to ask.
    I have been working in Austria for almost 2 and a half months now and love the country! My family is nice, quite pedantic about some things but in general nice. I work about 6 hours a day and live in the house with the family. However, I still have not been paid? The family helped me set up a bank account when I first arrived but have not (since arrival) discussed payment methods or when I will be paid. I am too afraid to ask them or bring this up as I fear that will come across as rude and demanding, however I am now running low on my own savings. They will also do things like manipulate me into buying things (that I don’t want or need!) sometimes, for example 200$ worth of skiing gear, whereby they gave me the impression that I could either borrow gear or they would provide some, but then had me buy some. They also offered to pay half of the language course fee (which is in the contract) but haven’t yet either.
    There are other minor problems but my only concern is the money situation, I really like the family but I am really running low on money now. I am also now paying for my transportation (which I frequently and mainly only use with the children, and phone bills- which I don’t mind so much).
    Any advice would be appreciated,
    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Comment
      June 27, 2017 at 11:31 am

      Don’t be afraid wanting money for your job.Its natural-you work you get the money-as an au pair you get small pocket money however it’s not voluntary thing. Remember these are your money and you can do whatever with them. Please don’t stay under the influence of your HF. Put your interests first. Please talk with them or just write an email. From my experience it’s safer to write an email-you will have a document.

  • Reply
    Funny Nanny
    February 2, 2017 at 6:52 am

    HI Alexia,
    thanks for writing, I would suggest you speak to them, I know you may not feel comfortable doing so, but it is the only way to go about it. You cannot be expected to work for free and by the sounds of things you have a contract. I am sure your contract states how much you should get paid and when. I would just approach them by saying something like “I was just wondering when I would receive payment for my services” and/or ” I have paid for my language course, is a there a good time for us how to discuss the 50% fees that are due as per the contract?”
    I know how annoying this is and how embarrassing and uncomfortable this can be but you do have to speak up.
    Please let me know how it goes, I love Austria too 🙂

  • Reply
    Comment
    June 24, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Companies advertising Au pair programme as cultural exchange programme, an amazing experience and that you will be living with American family. The idea of an Au programme is beautiful but naive and far away from the reality. As from my experience you are expected do the job, be quiet (don’t bother families, company) and keeping the American positive attitude. The reality is that Au pair has less rights as normal worker, has to pay taxes, has to pay for transportation and food if she doesn’t want to stay and be hungry in a house. From my experience a person who is going to be an Au pair have to act like an immigrant for a year and thinking only about him/herself and strict her actions only for providing limited childcare – playing safe, satisfying kids vital needs. It is possible that Hf will be changing and forgetting to tell the Au pair about changes on her schedule. It is possible that Au pair will hear comments that she eats or drinks too much. It is possible to leave to Au pair room or out of the house without a word. Yes it’s possible eating in Au pair room not with HF. Yes it is possible not to talk with HF for half a year. It is possible listening to their fights. It’s very possible that hp will be talking to the children and Au pair task will be to help the kids so they could do what their parents want. It is possible that the Au pair wouldn’t have conversations with them. In USA you are communicating- read it as saying your needs not necessary a conversation or discussion.It is possible that HF will be giving Au pair advices breaking the law. It is possible that HF will be disinterested ignorants. It is possible that HF will be considered themselves as wealthy but you won’t be beeping it or seeing it. It is possible that this people will have normal regular life just like you or your friends or family have. It is possible that they will be telling ‘we will’ and things will never happen. As a future Au pair strict yourself to the kids and just enjoy the rest of your free time away from HF don’t try to fit in too much. Don’t follow unbelievable expectations and don’t believe that HF is giving you curfew because they are worried about you or so you would be well rested. Don’t stay in the programme if you don’t like it don’t listen to the company that rematch is difficult or you won’t get a certificate (you can print it out). Don’t participate in this programme without money for emergency – ticket back to the country. Just in case change your visa status so you could travel pack up your stuff and run or just run.

  • Reply
    Funny Nanny
    June 24, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    I am sorry you have obviously had a bad experience, living in someone else’s home is not the easiest thing to do but it is also not easy for the host family. I think that the whole point of coming over to the US with a reputable organization is that they will step in to support and help if necessary. Did you contact your agency? What was their response? Again, I am sorry you were not happy during your year 🙁

  • Reply
    Comment
    June 26, 2017 at 6:27 am

    The thing is that untill HF pays and Au pairs works 45 h or less the agency doesn’t want to intervene. Au pair does her work-HF doesn’t have nothing to complain about. Au pair gets money that is in the agreement so she should be happy and requirements are fulfilled. That is why I see this programme as typical job with terrible conditions- strange schedule(long breaks during a day or 10h long shifts) and like a working person would rent a room in someone’s house. In reality it is very possible that HF and Au pair wouldnt spend a minute together during a day but according to the agreement everything is fine. I don’t see the role from the agency side to connect HF with au pair. Councellor comes to HF house once in the first 2 weeks or a week to sign an agreement with the Au pair. Than au pair got emails each mont where she states that doesn’t work more than 45 h /week, got the stipend. The agency doesn’t want to take responsibility for anything more. Councelors organize meetings for the au pairs with the au pairs. I see it as a promotion of places or advertising sth -restaurant, travel agency, au pair agency. Where is the counsellor to check what is going on in the workplace of the Au pair? Where are the meetings with counsellor au pair and host families? From my experience the agency does insignificant role for the Au pair and significant role for the HF.

  • Reply
    Funny Nanny
    June 26, 2017 at 8:15 am

    I think it depends on the agency, I used to be a councilor for an agency and I used to meet with all the APs once a month and I would visit the homes to see how things were going. I also intervened when there were issues between the HF and the AP, too many hours, too much work or not enough work put in by the AP. I also had events for all my APs and HFs so they could meet and form friendships, these were not optional they were required. This allowed me to know exactly what was happening with each of my AP.

  • Reply
    Comment
    June 27, 2017 at 11:02 am

    I’ve never heard about that any councellor would do monthly meetings with HFs an Au pairs. In DC area one counsellor had around 50 Au pairs. It seems unbelievable to set right time and date for families and Au pairs so the counsellor would meet Au pair and her HF for validation of the ‘program, job’. Counsellors are communicating via email giving au pair the same questions according to the time of work and money. Sure there are events for Au pairs and I’m sure Au pair can meet someone nice there. Those meetings aren’t obligatory mostly new Au pairs are going there once maybe twice in the beginning or where the event is for free. Many meetings are organized during Au pair working hours. Some of those meetings are ticketing and I don’t know is the HF informed about paying for Au pair attendance. I got email that there will be baseball game and HF should pay for the ticket. I think that the agency sent those emails for Au pairs and hosts didnt know about it or are not interested hou the Au pair spends her free time. Also what with the transportation who should provide it? It’s naive thinking that Au pair will be attending those meetings. Au pair is for work because the HF doesn’t have time taking care of their own children. When they are coming back home or having weekend they are doing their stuff. Au pair doesn’t have support from the agency and the HF side.

  • Reply
    Au Pair
    June 30, 2017 at 6:12 am

    I am an independent au pair and have worked with the same family for the past 4 years. We watch tv and every Friday we have a fun activity we do. I take him for hours I don’t get paid and we have a ball. Tomorrow (a Saturday which I’m off) I’ve asked to have him and cook him lunch (I look after a 4year old boy, I’ve had him since he was born). I’ve sat in the hospital while he has been sick and his mum needed to get some rest, and I cried when the family cat died. I think the problem is the matching. I like him to know he needs to listen to me and we have set hours from when I’m in charge. The family supported me when I decided to start a small cake business on the side (they were my first customers), they let him come to my house when need be (I’m a live out au pair). A lot of these stories make me realize how lucky I am. It is a give and take relationship, and going in being open about what you want is important. The family I work for, the mum is a psychologist and works with employees of companies so she is very in tune with employee satisfaction.

  • Reply
    Kay
    September 10, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    I’m just curious why there’s a lot of Filipina au piars who already had married or had kids passed applying as an au pair
    I thought they have regulation that you shouldn’t had married or had kids
    I just notice that after they got married to a eu guy that’s the time they showed up thier kids funny isn’t it?
    And no one ever complain about it in the embassy or consulate
    I think that’s unfair to those single filipina’s who wants to be an au pair
    And unfair to the regulations. I just really hope that’s someone do somethinf about it.

  • Reply
    Comment
    September 29, 2017 at 2:49 am

    If You live out of HP house You are a nanny.
    Au pair program is a gate for people to be legal workers. Both sides might look for it. HP and Au pairs.

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