It’s June and summer has officially started with children out of school, pools open, summer camps and summer sports begin and also long- term vacations come into play. While the summertime is a favorite time for many families, it can also present a bit of a challenge when it comes to 45 hours each week. For some families it might not be enough and for others too many. We want to make sure that everyone has a great summer, but the rules of the program still apply.
Since many families will be going on vacation during this summer and might be bringing au pair along, it is important to make sure it is a great gateway for everyone involved. One of the best ways to secure a stress-free experience for everyone is to be really clear on expectations regarding the role the au pair will play during that time. Often there are misunderstandings that come about quite easily during these trips. This can happen many times when the destination is so appealing that the family may assume that an au pair who “gets” to go to such a great place should be happy to work and still consider it a vacation week. However, regardless of how appealing the vacation spot may be, if the au pair is working at all during that time, it is not a vacation week for her. Additionally, there can be misunderstandings regarding other responsibilities, specifically financial, which can be avoided if they are discussed prior to departure. While neither the au pair nor the host family may have thought of these things ahead of time, here’s a convenient checklist if you have any upcoming getaways planned.
- Is the au pair expected to work any hours during the vacation week?
- If yes, what will the schedule look like for the week?
- When will the au pair be on duty/off duty each day?
- If the au pair is working that week, it is clear that her transportation, hotel, food, and entrance fees (for activities she is required to be at) are covered.
- If the au pair is working that week, are there additional costs that he/she should be prepared for such as entrance fees or other expenses for activities that the family may imagine he/she may want to do on his/her own during free time?
- If the au pair is not working that week, is the family offering to cover any expenses? Airfare, rental car, hotel, food, entrance fees, etc.
- Are there limitations on where the children are allowed to go with the au pair while on the vacation?
- Are there rules related to what, if any, room charges are allowed if they are at a hotel?
- Are there budgetary restraints so that when the au pair is joining the family for a meal he/she knows to order accordingly?
- According to the Department of State au pair must have her/his private room if he/she is joining the family for vacation. Keeping costs in mind, other arrangements can be made only with previous agreement from both sides.
- Can au pair use the car when off duty? If so, are there any limitations?
Taking a vacation can be just what the doctor ordered, but not doing this work ahead of time can lead to a real headache and make you want to take a vacation from your vacation!
Friday, 5 June 2015 5:58 PM