Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Marion Goodwin - Au Pairs


I caught up Marion Goodwin to discuss Au Pairs. Read on to discover what she has to say;

My name is Marion and I'm a WAH mom of two little ones. Originally from Germany, I came to the United States in 1997 to work as an au pair for a family in Massachusetts. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life so when I got the chance to work as a Local Childcare Coordinator for Cultural Care Au Pair I didn't hesitate to take it.

As a Local Childcare Coordinator (LCC) I help families across the country find flexible and affordable live-in childcare. I also provide advice and support for current host families and au pairs and make sure that they all have wonderful experience.

Cultural Care Au Pair, which is a division of EF Education, the world’s largest private educational institution, has been providing families with intercultural childcare and educational exchange since the U.S. government launched the program in 1989. We are regulated by the U.S. Department of State and have successfully placed more than 75,000 au pairs in welcoming American homes.

What is an Au Pair?

Au pairs are caring and committed, adventurous and educated young people from abroad. They are eager to experience American culture while sharing their own unique backgrounds. In exchange for the privilege of living in your home as a family member, they will provide you with up to 45 hours per week/ 10 hours per day of personalized and loving childcare. They will also assist you with light household duties such as preparing your children’s meals and helping them keep their rooms neat. Au pairs are a great way to expose your family to another language and culture and teach your children international customs and traditions.

Is it a difficult process to hire an Au Pair? What are some of the common things to expect in the process?

Cultural Care Au Pair tries to make the selection process as easy as possible. As a family in the matching process you get to work with a personal Placement Manager who chooses au pair applications for you based on your needs and expectations. The application is then placed into your account for your exclusive review so you will not compete with other families while trying to decide which au pair is right for you.
You may also take advantage of our "search and select option" which allows you to search through au pair profiles independently. Finally, you can schedule a "consultative matching appointment" during which you review multiple candidates at once over the phone with your Placement Manager.

While some families go through multiple applications before they find the au pair that's "right for them," others find theirs right away. To make sure that you feel comfortable with each other we require that all families interview the au pairs before finalizing the match.The phone interview is a crucial part of the screening process and the best way for you to get to know an au pair candidate before making a decision.

Generally how long does it take to get an Au Pair?

We suggest that parents start the matching process about three to four months before the desired arrival date. That way they have enough time to review multiple applications, interview possible au pair matches and find the one that is right for their family.

What is expected of the family once the Au Pair is living in the home?

As a host family you should welcome an au pair into your home as a family member and include him/ her in family meals, activities and outings. You should be committed to cultural exchange and must adhere to all U.S. Department of State regulations which are designed to ensure a successful program experience.
You are also required to give your au pairs one-and-a-half consecutive days off per week, one complete weekend off each month and two weeks of paid vacation during the year. Finally you are expected to pay up to $500 towards the au pair's educational component which is part of the au pair's program requirement.

How long do Au Pairs generally stay with one family?

Au pairs live with their host families for one year, but have the option to extend for an additional 12, 9 or 6 months!

Is it a luxury that only "well-to-do" folks can afford?
Not at all! Cultural Care Au Pair is one of the most affordable childcare options available. Regardless of the number of children in your family, the average weekly cost is just $340, which includes the application fee, selection fee, program fee and your au pair’s weekly stipend. That’s just $7.50 per hour for 45 hours of childcare coverage!

What happens if the Au Pair and family aren't compatible (for whatever reasons).

Families should always allow for a “settling in” period of about a month. Your local childcare coordinator will be there to assist you and your au pair during this adjustment period. If incompatibilities cannot be resolved, we will work with you to find a solution as soon as possible.

Contact:

Marion Goodwin is a local childcare coordinator for Cultural Care Au Pair. She loves connecting host families from across the country with au pairs from around the world, helping families find flexible and affordable childcare. Marion welcomes your questions about the au pair program and can be reached at; marion.goodwin@lcc.culturalcare.com or 781-648-2410. For more information, please visit http://www.mgoodwin.aupairnews.com/ or http://www.culturalcare.com/.

4 comments:

The Manic Mommy said...

Thank you for following my blog! I am returning the favor! Have a great night!

Anonymous said...

I've been hosting au pairs since 2003 and it has been a wonderful experience for my entire family. Thanks for your role in making the au pair program a good experience for us and our au pairs.

Anonymous said...

Marion is an excellent support to her host families and au pairs. She comes up with very thoughtful meetings each month for the group that are engaging and fun to attend. I depend on my local coordinator to help my au pair network and make friends and these meetings do just that! When I think about the kind of support one might need in the year, I feel better knowing that Marion is there to help. We couldn't be happier with our decision to host an au pair and to use Cultural Care Au Pair. As a busy working mom - it has helped bring some sanity to my world.

Zen Mama said...

I have many friends who have used Au Pairs and have had wonderful experiences!!

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