How have you been feeling? Great, I hope, but if not, try not to fret. I am here to offer my support to the Au Pairs in the RI, CT and MA region. While your Au Pair Insurance covers emergencies to some degree, you may find it somewhat lacking when it comes to sick visits or medication.
I do have some advice; it starts at home and ends at CVS. First, be sure to know what exact symptoms you feel need treatment. Often, your Host Family will know of a tried-and-true over-the-counter treatment to try. Second, what may be in order is simply some rest and fluids. Staying hydrated and letting your body rest might be what a doctor would order anyway. But there are some times when a trip to a walk-in clinic in your area might be in order.
Yes, I did mention CVS. That’s right, the Minute Clinic at CVS is more than a place to check your blood pressure. They are staffed with NPs (Nurse Practitioners) and PAs (Physicians’ assistants) who can diagnose and treat basic illness for a fairly reasonable fee. You can find one near you.
However, if you feel like you need a higher level of medical care, be sure to communicate this with your Host Family right away. While the Department of State Regulations do not have specific sick-time rules for the Au Pair Program, Go Au Pair’s contracts reflect language that says a Host Family may not withhold the stipend due to sick days, but that the Au Pair return to work as soon as is safe for the children and Au Pair. Making up hours missed is acceptable, as long as the Au Pair does not exceed the DOS 45 hours per week regulation.
CareMed is the Au Pair Insurance provided when Au Pairs enter America with Go Au Pair, but it is a very basic traveler’s insurance. Au Pairs and Host Families do receive extensive information about available upgrades and are encourage to purchase at least some level of insurance upgrade.
When your Host Children have been sick, be sure to understand exact instructions regarding any medications the child is taking, as Au Pairs who administer medication must sign a Medical Consent Form. Always be sure to communicate with your Host Family when you notice your Host Children acting differently, such as lack of energy, lack of appetite, complaining of pain or sickness, or if they just seem like they’re not feeling themselves. Trust your gut when it comes to the health of the children in your care; your Host Parents trust you with them!
Please call me, Joan Lowell, at 401.309.1925 or message me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions about Au Pair childcare and a cultural childcare experience with Go Au Pair!