Tag Archives: Au Pair in America

Photos from our Inauguration Celebration

Sorry it took me so long to post these.  These are some great photos from our January Cluster Meeting that were living in my camera for a very long time.  We celebrated the Inauguration by taking some photos with  President Barack Obama (in the cardboard form.)  If you see a photo that you would like to save, they are all in the Cluster Photobucket Album.

September Coffee Meeting

We had a great cluster meeting last night at the Ikea cafe.  The newest arrivals to the cluster got to meet some other au pairs.  Everyone selected a duck in my first ever Duck of Choice Meeting.

We also discussed the seasonal flu, H1N1 and tips on how to stay healthy over the winter months.  That may not sound like fun, but neither is getting sick.  So, it’s better to discuss it now and learn ways to stay healthy than to get sick.

We had our quarterly Cluster Super Stars prize drawing.  The big prize, a Washington, DC theme gift basket was won by Ayanda.  It was her first cluster meeting and a lucky day for her.  Wearing her Au Pair in America T-shirt must have brought her good luck!

Here is a picture of her with her prize.

Here’s how the Cluster Super Stars Program works…

Every time you participate in cluster events, you will earn tickets that will go into a drawing for a prize once a quarter (every 3 months.) Drawings will be held at the coffee meetings in March, June, September and December.  You must be present at the meeting where I do the drawing to win.

Here is how you earn tickets:
Attend a Cluster Meeting – 1 ticket
Call or Email a New Au Pair – 1 ticket

Wear your APIA T-shirt to a Cluster Meeting or Event – 1 ticket
Participate in a Cluster Volunteer Event – 3 tickets
Do a Global Awareness Presentation – 3 tickets
At Cluster Meetings, there will sometimes be chances to earn extra tickets.

The more tickets you earn, the more chances you have to win the prize. All of the Cluster Super Stars Prizes will have a value of $20-$60.

Save $450 – Now through 8/15

Apply by August 15th & save $350

PLUS receive a $100 Marriott TravelCard!

Apply between Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 and Saturday, August 15th, 2009 and we will waive the $350 application fee. Plus, when you match with an au pair, you will receive a $100 Marriott TravelCard for use on all Marriott services.

You may choose to decline the $100 Marriott TravelCard and apply the $100 value towards your program fee.To qualify your au pair must arrive by December 31st, 2009. Learn more about this special offer for host families by contacting Alex Ramirez at (800) 928-7247 ext. 5161 or at aramirez@aifs.com.

Get started with your application today or request a free brochure.

Au Pair in America featured in Wall Street Journal Article

In today’s Wall Street Journal there is a great article about Au Pair in America.  It discusses the increase in Western European au pairs in the past year.

Origins of Au Pairs Becomes Barometer in Labor Market

“As job opportunities shrink in Europe, the minimum $132.64 per week, plus room, board and tuition reimbursement that the au pair program guarantees looks increasingly appealing. A desire for adventure and what some call the “Obama factor” also is a lure for young Europeans, says Ms. Ferry. In March, nearly half of all of Au Pair in America’s applications came from Western Europe, compared with about a third in the same period last year.”

The British au pair and her host family featured in the article are in a nearby cluster in Northern VA.

New Discount ($450 value)

Au Pair in America just announced the following promotion…

New Families: Apply by May 31st & save $350 PLUS receive a $100 Marriott TravelCard!

Apply by Sunday, May 31st, 2009 and we will waive the $350 application fee.  Plus, when you match with an au pair, you will receive a $100 Marriott TravelCard for use on all Marriott services.  You may choose to decline the $100 Marriott TravelCard and apply the $100 value towards your program fee.

To qualify, you must be a new Au Pair in America family and your au pair must arrive by December 31st, 2009.  Learn more about this special offer for new host families by contacting Alex Ramirez at (800) 928-7247 ext. 5161 or at aramirez@aifs.com.

Save on child care

What We Will and Will Not Do

Recently, Terry and I have discussed a trend we have seen in recent months.   We have been surprised and saddened by the lengths that some of our competitors will go to in order to get more business.   In an industry built on the concept of providing cultural exchange and childcare, we still hold those as high priorities.   Some of our competitors seem to have a different focus.   We personally prefer to deal with ethical people who have moral standards, especially on something as important as the safety and care of our children.   We may be naïve in believing that those things matter to people, but we think they should.   So, we decided to post a list of the things we will and will not do.

Here’s our list:

  • We will continue to keep taking care of our host families and au pairs as our main priority and marketing to new families as a secondary focus.
  • We will promote Au Pair in America using honest, ethical methods.
  • We will encourage our host families and au pairs to refer people to Au Pair in America, based on their own positive experiences.
  • We will continue to allow our au pairs to bring their friends from other agencies to our meetings and will welcome them and treat them just as our own au pairs.
  • We will not lie to people.
  • We will not misrepresent ourselves or our intentions in order to obtain competitor’s host family information.
  • We will not pose as reporters in order to obtain access to a competitor’s host families and market to them.
  • We will not ask our au pairs’ friends to give us their host family’s contact information or their agency’s cluster list.
  • We will not make misleading statements about our competitors.
  • We will not violate the terms of online forums and pose as satisfied customers, rather than agency representatives.
  • We will not violate the terms of websites such as Craig’s List by posting ridiculous numbers of listings and cross-posting.
  • We will not take another agency’s original ideas, copy them and promote them as our own.

We spend the majority of our work time providing great service and support to our host families and au pairs and genuinely care about them having a positive outcome in the au pair program.  We are saddened that people would try to lure them away, with the promise of discounts and services, which may or may not be accurate.

When one of these competitors was confronted by a third party whom she had lied to and used to get the private information of host families and au pairs,  her reply was, “that’s just business.”  Well, that’s not how we do business.  At the end of the day, we want to feel good about the work we do and know that we haven’t done anything that we should feel ashamed of.

Is an Au Pair Right For You?

If you are coming to this blog, chances are you are interested in the au pair program.  It is a win-win situation for many families and au pairs, but you have to make sure it is a good fit for you.

Are you…

  • looking for flexible, affordable child care?
  • comfortable with someone new living in your home?
  • able to work within the State Dept. regulations (maximum of 10 hours per day and 45 hours per week)?
  • able to clearly communicate your expectations with your child care provider?
  • planning to treat your au pair as you would want your daughter treated?
  • offering a private bedroom for the au pair?
  • interested in the cultural exchange benefits?

If you answered yes to these questions, you might make a great host parent.

If you have questions, please post them here or in the Ask Away section and we will be happy to answer.