6.27.2013

Au Pair extra jobs

Hallo, au pairsarada? Still no lucky with the nicknames yet. Ugh.


I know, or I think I know (I am not a Miss Know it All) that all of you from the Au Poor Nation want to know about extra work outside the program while being an au pair. You all want to know if it is ok, if the families have to give you permission or not, or where to find those jobs. Very well, if you did not want to know about that...you are...going to read this anyways. 'Why?' Cause I said so. Are we on the same page? Great, let's move on...(Oh wow, your hair looks great today!) 

Most frequent questions:

"Can I work for the neighbor, or another family on my time off?"
Technically and legally, you most certainly can not work for anyone else other than your host family.  The reason why is that we are not on a working visa. Au pairs hold aN especial visa (J-1) which only allows them to work for the host family whose name is on our DS. Any kind of job outside the program is illegal, and can result in serious problems with the american immigration department if they ever find out.  However, that does not stop au pairs to have extra works. We all know we can't, but we all have extra jobs now and then, or even with a regular schedule. 

The trick is to find babysitting positions with family who are willing to do the things off the book. In another words, they would be paying you with cash only, and they would not pay tax for any childcare service you provided which is an illegal thing to do. Once again, they all know it is wrong and could give them headaches in the future, however, that does not stop them to do so. 

Because it is not a legal action, your counselor or LCC must not know about it. It is her job to notify the agency if you or the host family are breaking any rules. Once she knows and once she notifies the agency, you might get into big big trouble. So, keep your mouth shut, do not tell other au pairs because some of them might accidentally or intentionally (Yes, there are big anacondas among us) tell on you, and then you are screwed , my dear.

"What about my host family? Do I ask them permission to work for someone else?
Yes, you must ask them, and also respect whatever is their decision towards the subject. 

All the families know it is illegal to have their au pair doing extra work, but some families are ok with that since they know how ridiculous is the au pair's salary. Come on, $195,75 per week, is barely nothing. Even though we don't pay rent or food, every time we go out, we would be spending at least $10 with gas or parking meters, metro tickets and then more for food. Also, most families ask the au pair to work extra hours, and honestly I think it is ok as long as they pay a fair amount. 

Although some host families would agree with extra job, some might not. Their argument is that the au pair will be too tired to take care of their children properly, or that they want the au pair to be available for an emergency the entire day even thought she is technically not working because the kids are old enough to stay the whole day at school. Well, it is their right to ask you not to work for other people, and you must respect that if you agree with it or not. The least thing you want to do is losing your host parents trust on you. Working behind their back is just wrong since you would probably would be using their car to go to work. You can say "Oh, what I do on my time off does not concern my host family" - Well, it does not, but the table turns around when what you are doing is against the law and might prejudice their well being as well. That kind of thing could result in a big fat rematch, or even being expelled from the program. 

Another reason to tell your host parents about your wish to work for someone else is that anyone that might have any interest on interviewing you might want references from previous child care experiences you have. As we are not from here, and all our experiences besides our host family is not in the USA, it would be quite hard to get any job because people don't trust only in your words. They want prove that you are qualified, and the more experience you have and positive feedback they get, the bigger is the payment they are willing to give you.


Here is something else to keep in mind: your host parents might agree now that you can work for other families. However, how can you be sure that one day they will not wake up and decided to screw you over and call the agency to tell on you? They could claim they never knew or never gave you any kind of incentive to work off the program. In that case, it would be your word against theirs, and as the expression goes, "the rope always break on the weakest point" (bad translation? maybe, but who cares?). Nothing would happen to them as they claim they were not aware of the situation, but for you, my dear au poor, just bad news and maybe a good bye to the US. However, there is something you could do to at least fire back in case they try something like this. You could ask them their permission by email or text, and keep the answer if it is positive. In case they say they never told you could work,  you can always print their email and show it to your agency. Well, it is not nice to lie, so if you are going to be punished, the least you could do is showing your LCC or counselor that your host family has the habit of lying about serious things.

If you are not sure about where to start looking for jobs, you should check those websites:

Care
Sitter City
Great Au Pair (I don't like this one because there are way to many scams but some girls got pretty good jobs from there)

Try to describe your au pair duties as much as you can. Ask permission from your host family to put their contact information as reference too. Also, pay for the background check. Believe it or not, it does make a difference having it. You can also ask someone with  fluent english to correct your profile because some host families prefer college students, and someone that speaks english fluently. They might understand that speaking is harder, but writing turns out to be easier for most people, so it can at least give you the chance to talk to them and they might overlook your english speaking issues if they like you. About how much a family would be willing to pay, well, that changes from state to state too. In Connecticut I have been paid $22 per hour, here in Maryland you will find mostly  around $15. I guess what you could do is asking to any nanny you find how much is the average rate per hour. I am sure you can find some at the kid's dismissal from school, or at soccer practice and camp...any where basically.

Hope this post helped you,

See you next post! :)

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5 Comments:

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  2. Smaller Earth is here to ensure your fantastic experience au pair! .... The au pair program in Spain paired me with a large family living on the outskirts of Madrid.
    Does anyone have any advice about: 1) which aupair agency to use 2) what interview ... We started with Au Pair in America, switched to Cultural Care to save….

    Know More au pair agency

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  3. Rant N' Rave
    is a site for people to come and vent, complain, bitch about anything and just let their

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  4. There is a job for weekend but they want to give check do ı wonder that how my agency can learn it ??

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