The Au Pair Program is alive and well in America! If you know of a family who is paying for childcare, daycare, or a Nanny, tell them about Go Au Pair! Many American families find it quite affordable compared to the multiple forms of childcare they already pay for, and with more and better benefits!
The US Department of State regulates the exchange program, and has recently clarified part of the au pair educational requirement. This is exciting news for the au pairs in RI, CT and MA, as well as all over the country! My friend and colleague, Polina, from PA, as written about educational opportunities on her blog, too. She also shares many au pair experiences and events. Go Au Pair has au pairs in over 127 cities across the nation, and the US DOS just made it easier for au pairs to complete their educational requirement and have an incredible cultural exchange experience!
Au pairs must complete 6 credits at an approved college or university, or 72 classroom hours, during their one year placement with you, their American Host Family. The Host Family must contribute up to $500 toward these credits and the au pair is responsible for any additional cost. The Host Family must provide transportation to and from the class as well, whether it be a bus pass or use of the family car. Credits may not be completed online, as the purpose of taking classes in America is exposure to our educational system and other real-life students.
None of this has changed, so how is it better? Great question! Au pairs are often interested in taking weekend courses which involve some form of travel as well as educational aspect. In the past, the US DOS has often denied au pairs the opportunity to take these courses to complete the educational requirement. Recently, they have clarified their position in a statement to Go Au Pair headquarters:
“Under the current regulations au pairs are allowed to take weekend courses as long as they are offered at the accredited educational institutions for academic credit.”
So, as long as you check with HQ to ensure your weekend course is offered by an approved institution, even if it’s not in our area, the credits should count! This will make life easier for au pairs and Host Families. How?
American Host Families hire au pairs to live and work as a part of their family for up to 45 hours per week for a year (minus two weeks paid vacation). Trying to schedule several hours each week for 15 weeks to carve out time for travel to and from the class, the class itself, plus homework, can add stress. That is not our intention, so the weekend courses have always been an excellent option for many, but not all, au pairs, depending on location. The clarification from the Department of State allows all au pairs to travel to take their courses, making the flexibility American families need more possible. Thank you, DOS officials!
Please contact me, Joan Lowell, your Local Area Representative in Rhode Island and nearby CT & MA, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401.309.1925 or simply visit us online.