Posts Tagged ‘au pair’
Friday, May 17, 2013
If you’re over 30, and dream of working in another country, your visa options may be limited. However, there is still a chance of success.
Most childcare visa programs are limited to au pairs who are age 30 or below. Every country has different age limits for their designated visa programs which can be found on the GreatAuPair visa page.
There are other work opportunities outside of the au pair visa program that may be an option for you. Some countries have student visa programs without age limits. However, you are required to attend University classes and work just part-time in a family’s home. There are no restrictions to the type of work you do as a student, so look for jobs as a part-time tutor, language instructor, caregiver, housekeeper, or personal assistant. Be sure to check with the Consulate to inquire about the restrictions and make sure you’re not breaking any rules. For example, if you’re an American interested in studying in Italy, contact the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the US for the most up to date student visa information.
There are a number of jobs available in Canada, where there are no age limits as long as you have experience either caring for children or seniors. If you’re interested in immigrating to Canada, the Live-in Caregiver visa will allow you to become a permanent resident after you have worked three years on this visa program.
Greece and New Zealand have programs for candidates up to age 35. You can work as an au pair in Greece until you’re 35. New Zealand accepts 35 year olds into their working holiday programs and into their BUNAC student visa programs. Look for work/study and BUNAC study visas for your home country. Some of these are restricted by age, so, make sure to do some research before setting your sights on working in that special country.
Look into special arrangements between your country and other locations. There is a Japan-Philippine Economic partnership agreement that allows qualified nurses and certified caseworkers to live and work in Japan for 3-4 years after they complete Japanese language training.
Some countries have work permits that allow you to work at any age with family sponsorship. These open work permits are available in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt.
Look for places where you could go to teach English as a second language. China is looking for English speakers so they’ve recently launched a number of programs. Type “China embassy” in your search engine to find links to programs available in your country. US citizens can click here.
If you want to teach English in a foreign country, you will need to be sponsored by a company, rather than an individual host family. GreatAuPair only works with individual host families. However, we wanted you to know that there are ways to work outside of your home country if you’re willing to get creative and do some research.
Teachers, nurses, occupational therapists and sometimes senior care providers can also find jobs in almost any country as long as they are licensed and submit applications to schools, hospitals and senior care companies. While you may not find these jobs through GreatAuPair, you can take the experience you earned working abroad or at home and expand your search to find these positions.
Start your search by looking into your visa options first. We don’t want you wasting your time looking for jobs in countries where you’re ineligible to work.
We wish you the best of luck on your search!
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
If you’re a US family looking to sponsor an international au pair for the J-1 au pair visa program, you can find information on requirements for sponsoring families and costs on our FAQ pages.
In order to qualify for the au pair program, candidates need to be between the ages of 18 and 26. You can review the au pair requirements here.
When you’ve found the perfect au pair, contact the GreatAuPair support staff to match you to the J-1 agencies who service your candidate’s country. All J-1 agencies give our families a “pre-match” discount that more than covers our subscription costs. There are fourteen agencies and their fees range between six and nine thousand dollars. Most are in the seven to eight thousand dollar range. Keep in mind that up to $6000 of your agency fee can be deducted from your taxes because this is a US Department of State sponsored visa program.
Agency fees include a background check and screening, the au pair’s round trip airfare to and from the US, a training course, and all visa and contract costs. The agency provides year round support to the family and au pair, and most agencies guarantee an additional placement if the original match doesn’t work out for some reason. The weekly stipend that the family is required to pay the au pair is $195.75 for 40-45 hours of childcare and help with light housekeeping.
If the cost of hiring an international au pair is overwhelming, consider restricting your search to American candidates and negotiate the salary, job duties, and benefits directly with the candidates. There are no age limits or job restrictions associated with hiring US citizens. You can also search locally for live-out positions, or across the country for live-in jobs. If you want to hire a more mature nanny, have an irregular work schedule, or require overnight care when you travel, a US candidate would be a better fit for your needs.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
So you’ve finally found your perfect candidate- what’s next?
Candidates on GreatAuPair are not pre-screened outside of the nationwide background check that is offered to US candidates. Therefore, it’s important that you take the time to find out as much as possible before committing to hiring your next au pair, nanny, caregiver, tutor, housekeeper, pet sitter or personal assistant.
Before you read any further, are you sure the candidate you’ve chosen can legally work in your country? We highly recommend checking out our visa pages here. Click on your country and find out what type of visa or work permit is required. Some countries have age limits for candidates looking to relocate to your country. The last thing you need is an unwanted surprise when you find out your chosen candidate is not eligible for a visa, or has been deported because he/she entered the country to try and work on a tourist visa. Be sure to double-check everything with the Embassy directly as the laws and regulations can change without notice.
Let’s assume that your candidate qualifies for your country’s visa program. Perfect! Now dust off your magnifying glass and get ready to investigate!
Here are some suggestions for a thorough check on your chosen candidate to protect yourself and your family:
Ask for at least two non-family references, preferably families he/she has worked for. If your candidate does not have a lot of caregiver experience, don’t worry! You can ask for a reference from a former teacher, employer, youth pastor, or even the neighbor they’ve known since they were a toddler! You’ll want full contact details for each of the references to include full name and a phone number. If a phone number isn’t available, an email address can work too. Subscribed families can download our reference interview questionnaire from the Support link Resources column to assist you in interviewing the references. You can find it here.
Don’t have time to check references? We can do it for you if your candidate is a US or Canadian citizen. We have a reference report available for purchase on the GreatAuPair website. After ordering, a member of our Customer Support staff will call and interview up to 3 of the candidate’s references directly. We will then deliver the reference report right to your email address upon completion! You can order a Reference Check here.
Make sure the candidate has completed the in-depth interview in their profile. Since every family has different needs, be sure to customize your interview questions to fit your unique job requirements to avoid any surprises. This would be the perfect time to ask if she’s allergic to your precious pup Fido, or what types of activities she images/plans/anticipates doing with your children. It’s also great to schedule a phone or Skype chat to go over the interview together, if you are unable to have a face to face meeting.
If you’re hiring a U.S. candidate, we provide a free background checks to candidates, which our paid subscribers can view on the candidates’ profile. This background check includes a US Federal multi-state criminal records check, identity verification using the Social Security number and address history, and a sex offender registry report for all 50 U.S. states.
Well, what if she’s not an American citizen? We’ve still got you covered! You can purchase background checks on our website directly here. However, some of the International reports can become quite pricy, so we recommend asking your candidate to do a little bit of the work themselves! Ask them to go to their local police station to request a letter of clearance. These are usually free and can provide assurance that your candidate has no criminal history so that you’ll have all the protection you need without the extra cost.
Don’t forget to find out about her their driving history, especially if they’ll be in charge of transporting your loved ones! You can purchase U.S. and Canadian Motor Vehicle reports directly from the Subscribe tab or from our “Build Trust” link.
I don’t know about you, but I love having a good old-fashioned search engine do all of the work for me! Google the candidates’ full name to see what you can find. You can also put “his/her name” in quotes to make sure your search results are coming up exactly as you’d like. Review their Facebook account or other social networking websites. You can learn more about their general attitudes, character and interests from what they post online to friends, then what may be apparent during your interviews.
When families have a bad experience with a candidate, we urge them to post a complaint on the candidate’s profile. The au pair has the opportunity to share their side of the story as well. Be sure to check your candidates profile to see if any complaints have been posted against them. You can find the Complaints link in the “Stats” section of their profile. If you see a number listed there click on it to read the complaint in full.
Contracts are a great way to make sure everyone is in agreement on job duties, salary, scheduled work days/hours and benefits. It’s important to document the agreements made during the interview and screening process. So, a detailed contract can help reduce/ or eliminate misunderstandings based on assumptions and protect both families and candidates. Writing and reviewing a contract together provides a great opportunity to get the important stuff out of the way! You can download our sample contract from the Support Resources link, http://www.greataupair.com/contracts.cfm Be sure to include things like: overtime pay and a termination clause for both the family and candidate, if things do not work out in the first 30 days of the au pair’s stay.
- Tips for a Successful Relationship
Be sure to read our tips for First time families and Tips for a Successful Relationship at the bottom of our “How to hire” page. There is additional information in our resource document “How to Hire the Right Caregiver.”
That should just about cover it! After you’ve worked through our checklist, you should sleep easy knowing that you’ve done your part in protecting yourself and are on your way to hiring the perfect candidate for your family! We can’t wait to hear all about your success!
Monday, November 28, 2011
GreatAuPair has always made it a priority to protect the safety of au pairs and their host families through our advanced security measures and Parent Editorial Team™ that carefully screens all profiles. The GreatAuPair.com web site provides the tools and support to allow families and au pairs to carefully screen each other as well as educational and security measures.
Now we would like to introduce a new organization created by au pair industry experts to promote global wareness through education and outreach. In response to the growing frequency of emotional and sexual abuse of au pairs, Talya Shoup Burnett, author of the popular au pair blog, Best Au Pair Guide, has partnered with Edina Stone, Founder and CEO of AuPairClearingHouse.com, a national U.S.-based consumer website, to create Prevent Exploitation of Au Pairs (P.E.A.P.). This new organization’s purpose is to raise awareness of the exploitation of au pairs, which is a growing problem worldwide.
Au pairs are a highly affordable means of childcare and are becoming increasingly popular for busy, professional families around the world. While most au pairs work in safe homes with good host families, many of them are at considerable risk for exploitation and human trafficking due to their youth and inexperience. Au pairs are frequently overworked and underpaid, and at times they are even emotionally and sexually abused.
P.E.A.P. was created to raise awareness of these issues and to prevent exploitation worldwide through education and outreach. By mobilizing au pair agencies, organizations, and families to join in the awareness campaign, the organization is hoping that au pairs can be made aware of how to react when something happens to them – what specific actions to take, who to call first, etc.
You can find more information about the mission and guiding principles of P.E.A.P. as well as contact information at the Au Pair ClearingHouse web site. Please help spread the word about this organization and visit P.E.A.P. on Facebook to lend your support and to share this page with the au pairs, host families, and agencies that you know.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Along with many other nannies and au pairs out there, I spend an extremely significant amount of time with my current charge. To be more specific, Maya, the sweetest and most adorable nine-month-old you will ever meet, is in my care Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., which is a total of 50 hours per week. We spend our days together filled with adventures at the zoo, fun-filled days at the children’s museum, and trips to various neighborhood coffee shops for music time. As if that weren’t enough to keep us busy, we also take a swim class twice a week and a baby sign language class once a week at the local community center. All of this time and interaction with one another has definitely formed a pretty amazing bond between the two of us. Nothing is better than walking into work every morning and being greeted by her crawling over to me, with her tiny arms raised into the air, almost begging to be picked up. What’s even better is that I am lucky enough to have the most wonderful mom boss who helps to foster the nanny-child connection and also believes that the bond her daughter and I have will have a tremendous impact on the other relationships she will form later on in life.
Throughout my years as a nanny, it is an honor to have been chosen by the families I have worked for to have such a great impact on the lives of their children. Next to their parents, it is my job and responsibility to provide these children with a sense of both emotional and physical security on a daily basis. I feel that because of this, it is my obligation to explain to parents during my interviews how important it is, for their children’s sake, to hire someone who will be in it for the long haul. What some nannies and even some parents don’t understand is that a sudden loss or change in caregivers can be a significant stressor for a child. When the child realizes that the attachment figure who was there to care for him when his parents were not able to can simply disappear, he may be more cautious in developing future relationships. My suggestion to both parents and nannies to prevent this from happening is to agree to work together for at least a year, if not more. This way it gives both the child and the nanny or au pair enough time to form a substantial bond, as well as the opportunity for them to create lasting memories together that the child will be able to draw upon once the caregiver is not an active part of his daily life.
Although I have addressed how difficult it can be for the children when a nanny has to leave her position with their family, it is also critical to note that this can be a very hard time for the adults involved as well. While I have been fortunate that all of my nanny positions have been for at least two years or more, I still see this career as being somewhat of a catch-22. Much like the children, I have become attached to and very fond of each and every child I have had the pleasure of caring for throughout the past nine years. It has been of the utmost importance for me to build both a nurturing and trusting relationship with them while also being mindful that all of these positions will eventually have an expiration date connected to them. When the time does come for this healthy codependent relationship to end, know that there are many fun and creative things you can do to help both the children and parents (and yourself) move forward once your position with them ends. Below are a few of my suggestions.
Create a photo album. Gather a few pictures that you have of the children and yourself together (take some if you don’t have any), and put them in a photo album for the children to always remember you by.
Create lasting memories. I have always made it a point to plan some sort of fun outing to do with the children I have cared for on my last day with the family. (Be sure to clear this with both mom and dad bosses.) This can be as simple as taking the children out to get ice cream or as elaborate as taking them to a local theme park for a day filled with fun food and rides.
Set up a future visit. If you live nearby, ask the parents if they wouldn’t mind setting up a time in the near future for you to come by and visit with the children. Not only will this help to alleviate the children’s temporary heartbreak of losing you as their nanny, but it will also give them something to look forward to. I have had the opportunity to go back and visit all of my previous charges and their parents and have also been lucky enough to babysit for each and every one of them on occasion!
In closing, I hope that I have given you a bit of insight about how important your role as a nanny or au pair is in the lives of the children you care for everyday, and how you can help to ease the transition when it is time for you to say your goodbyes. Always remember that your job is one of the most influential ones out there, and to take pride in the impact you are having on today’s future generation!
“A nanny shapes our children, in ways we will never know…they challenge and inspire them and prepare them as they grow.” –Anonymous