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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think it would be great to have some help with dd, and an au pair seems like a good idea, since I'd love for her to hear a different language on a regular basis.<br>
I saw the ad here for au pair connect and checked it out, but it doesn't have information about how the arrangement works.<br>
How much do these women expect to get paid? How do you go about getting them cleared to come into the US? Would an au pair even be willing to come to the podunk towns the Army sticks us in? (I know no one can answer that, I'm just wondering out loud so to speak.)<br>
Anyone know how to get started with this?
 

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I don't personally know of anyone who has used one, but here is one of the websites on the subject:<a href="http://www.interexchange.org/aupair/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.interexchange.org/aupair/index.html</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
whoa! those fees are steep! i guess i was once again dreaming beyond our means. oh well, it was a nice idea while it lasted!
 

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I was an au pair in Moscow for a Finnish family for a year in 1992. The pay totally depends on the country of origin and the cost of living of the area. As an au pair I found that the child was less interested in what I had to say (the main reason for an au pair vs. nanny) and more interested in whether or not I could build something with leggos. If it had been a much longer-term relationship, I think it would have been beneficial to Laase (the boy way minding)... so in short, I'd say if you're looking to find someone to be around for a few years, living in your home, it would be worth the time and money... otherwise, not. We're lucky that we are a bilingual family, but I understand the frustrations in the US of trying to introduce a non-native language. Good luck!!
 

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I can't answer your questions about cost etc., but I can tell you that here in good ole Leavenworth, KS, there are several families who are dual military that have an au pair. The last person I ran into was getting ready to go pick her up at the airport, but I haven't seen hide nor hair of her since so I don't have any of the "good" info. But podunk...yes they will come.<br><br>
I know, I'm a weath of information...not! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've visited several websites for au pair agencies, and it's pretty much universal that it costs the host family $15,000 and up for a 12 month contract. the stipend for the au pair is reasonable, but the agency fees are just out of my budget. i hadn't even considered the fact that we would need to have insurance for them and for us and pay their vsia fees and tuition and all.<br>
oh well.
 

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You might try to go private; you don't have anyone screening, and it will be alot more time for you, but it also would be less expensive.<br><br>
I was an au pair for a year in Germany. While my family was iffy (I worked waaaaay more than any other au pair I knew), I *loved* the children I cared for, particularly the little boy. I didn't earn any significant amount of money, but that wasn't the point; I wanted to learn the language and culture, they needed live in childcare.<br><br>
While I went through an agency, I knew of several au pairs who did not. Their own families were friends with a friend of a friend of the family they were working for, that sort of thing. Basically the families offered to pay for room and board, transportation (in the form of supplying a bus pass and/or a bike) and a small monthly stipend, usually a couple hundred dollars. But they also weren't expected to work 40 hours a week; usually between 25-32 or so. Light housekeeping and yard work were often included in the bargin. The au pair was expected to pay for her transportation to and from her country. If you work privately with someone who isn't looking to earn money, but rather really looking to experience the culture and learn the language, privately is probably cheaper than an agency.<br><br>
The au pair needs at least her own room, preferably with her own bathroom and outdoor entrance/exit. If you aren't going to supply a private entrance, you cannot wig out about when the au pair comes and goes when she is off duty. My family did this (even though I had my own private entrance), telling me they were responsible for me and I couldn't stay out all hours of the night. I told them I had not been under my parents' roof or responsibility for over three years (I was 21 at the time, and had been out of the house, supporting myself since I turned 18), and I didn't sign up for parents when I signed on. They weren't used to such independent au pairs (they had previously had somewhat younger au pairs), but once we reached that understanding, things were better.<br><br>
I think you should look around. If you are in the army, you should have the opportunity to contact families in another country who have late teenage daughters (or sons) who might be interested in doing a private deal.<br><br>
I don't know how it works with taxes, health insurance, etc. I had a rider on my own health insurance that covered me for that year. They didn't pay taxes on me, but that is because there is a law (so they told me) that au pair work is considered a cultural exchange, and the pocket money is not taxable. I didn't get a visa, and no one ever asked me for any paperwork. I imagine here it will be much more difficult to get the visa, green card, whatever.<br><br>
Good luck! I hope you can make it work!<br><br>
Lori
 

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I have a 24 year old Romanian au pair. I went through an agency (Au Pair in America). My dh and I figured out that it would only cost $3000 more a year to have in-home care as opposed to commercial day care and as this was dd first year, I wanted her to have one on one attention. (Dh and I both work.) We paid $6000 to the agency and pay the au pair $140 a week. Also we have to pay up to $500 a year in educational expenses. And we pay her room and board. (It can get expensive feeding another person!) They need to have a separate bedroom. Most of the other families in our area that have au pairs are very wealthy. We are not by any stretch of the imagination but we did have a spare room.<br><br>
There are many things to recommend an au pair. The biggest one for me is that I can see my au pair (S) interact with my dd on a daily basis. She doesn't leave at the end of the day. This gives me great peace of mind because I can see on a regular basis how happy they are together.<br><br>
The whole thing is highly regulated. S can only work 45 hours a week and has two paid week-long vacations. She can only work for 12 months and can spend one additional month in the country traveling. She has a restricted visa. It is getting harder and harder to get visas for cultural exchange or work so I think it might be really difficult to try and maneuver this without an agency. Also, the agency does a lot of prescreening in the country the au pair is from. S had four interviews and many many reference checks before she was approved. Having agency support is really important if a problem arises. We had a few difficulties in the begining and there was a local contact to help us adjust. Sometimes it felt like we had adopted a teenager as well as having a new baby! Also, if it doesn't work out, the agency will rematch the family and the au pair so you are not stuck in a bad situation.<br><br>
All in all I wouldn't trade the situation and am hoping to do it for one more year (with a new au pair of course). I am not looking foward to when S has to go back to Romania. I wish she could stay with us longer. But even if you hire a regular nanny there is no gaurantee about how long they will stay with you and around here (Philadelphia) they charge about $15 an hour!
 

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I haven't, no, but it seems from your OP that it's a language thing for you?<br><br>
My brother is ... ummmmm ... very well off, and he and SIL have had long-term "housekeepers" (in quotes because their first job is watching my nephews) and only hire from agencies representing women from Central and South America. They've been through 4 housekeepers since my first nephew was born.<br><br>
Many of my brother's choices in life aren't what I'd do ... but assuming you're not looking for someone to do most of the childcare, just someone to help you with it ... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
The women have all been lovely ... very gentle with the boys, patient with bro&SIL, and good with the housekeeping stuff, I guess ... and the boys are learning Spanish very well. Really.<br><br>
Just thought it might be relevant ...
 

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Agencies don't usually offer families several au pairs to pick from to save time (for them). A site like aupairconnect.com is created to help families have several candidates to pick from. You find the au pair on your own then ask the agency to bring her over or maybe find someone who is already here. If you do a search on the site, you may also find someone who is already here (bilingual individuals who are already here?) or you can post your profile there for free and see if someone finds you.
 
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