Please see below for the latest news regarding au pairs and the au pair Industry. Please assist BAPAA to keep this up to date by sending relevant articles by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can post it on our site; please remember to give us the source and/or author of the article.
Equally, if you are writing an article about au pairs, please contact BAPAA by e-mailing email@example.com
Read on for news items about:
IMPORTANT NEWS – BREXIT
For the latest news on visa routes or lack of, please read our latest news here: http://bapaa.org.uk/au-pairs/who-can-be-an-au-pair/
We will update this news page as and when we receive any new confirmed developments and ask all host families that will suffer with the loss of an Au Pair to follow the call to actions below.
#SAVEAUPAIRS CAMPAIGN LATEST NEWS
As if the UK Au Pair Industry has not suffered enough with COVID19 which has resulted in many Au Pairs returning home to loved ones and host families juggling with working from home schooling their children, it was confirmed to BAPAA on the 18th March, that the new immigration policies in place for 1 January 2021 do not currently have any provision for Au Pairs…… WE HAVE BEEN FORGOTTEN!
Over the last month, BAPAA have been busy updating the https://saveaupairs.uk/ campaign and have began lobbying MP’s with the help of supportive host families who would be at a total loss without an Au Pair!
BAPAA are also calling upon all sending Au Pair Agencies to complete a survey so that we can collect accurate data on the size and importance of the Au Pair programme. This crucial data will be used by BAPAA to conduct a socio economic impact study should we lose the Au Pair Programme – https://surveys.surveygoo.com/s3/Au-Pair-Agency-Partner-Survey
Please sign the BAPAA Petition to express your disgust at the UK Au Pair Programme being forgotten!
This is proving a challenging time for our host families and Au Pairs and a number of our Au Pairs have already returned home prematurely to be with their families and loved ones at this worrying time, but many have opted to stay put and continue their Au Pair stay despite everything.
Please advise your Au Pair Agency of any change in the placement circumstances so we can then do our best to help you when we start to receive new applicants. We are not sure when this is likely to be but we need to plan for when things return to normality so that we can help you the earliest possible opportunity.
Unfortunately we cannot give any specific advice or guidance relating to the virus. Reaction to the current situation is very personal for everyone. We all just need to be supportive and tolerant of one another and cope as best we can with decisions that are made.
We do however recommend open communication as soon as you can and find the most appropriate solution for you regarding your au pair placement, whether you are the host family or the Au Pair.
You cannot force your Au Pair to stay so please do your best to establish that they are happy to continue their placement and also be aware that if they have any planned holiday in the next month or so it could prove difficult to travel – guidance on this changes on a daily basis and EU countries are all reacting differently – at the moment some borders are open and others are closed so some nationalities might not be able travel.
We have had a number of Au Pairs leave because they thought that the UK health system would not be open to them if they contracted the virus and became seriously ill. When you talk to your Au Pair please do reassure them that the UK health service will support everybody who needs help if they are affected by the virus whether they are a UK or EU National.
We hope you and your family and friends stay safe and healthy during this worrying time and we look forward to life hopefully getting back to normal in a few months time.
As we draw nearer to the Brexit date, as a precautionary measure, all au pairs entering the UK must carry with them:
* HOST FAMILY INVITATION LETTER
* UK/RECEIVING AGENCY CONTACT NUMBER
* HOST FAMILY CONTACT NUMBER
Should there be any issues then they can be solved as easily and quickly as possible.
The very first International Au Pair Day is 24th November 2019. This is a day celebrating YOU and Your Au Pair placement and will be marked and celebrated by au pairs throughout the world!
To mark this special day, recognizing the important role that au pairs have in the global cultural exchange movement, The British Au Pair Agencies Association (BAPAA) are asking all au pairs, placed as you have been, through a BAPAA member agency, to post a fun picture on Instagram on Sunday 24th November.
Show us what you are doing or where you are in the UK on this day … lets celebrate and show the diversity of our programme and the lives of au pairs! Please use hashtags #internationalaupairdayUK and also #internationalaupairday #bapaa_aupair_association on your post in instagram to be in for a chance of winning a substantial prize!
You can also upload your photos to BAPAA’s facebook page: BAPAA
BAPAA will randomly choose one photo to win a cash prize of £50 to be drawn and notified on 25th November.
Get creative and we wish you a HAPPY INTERNATIONAL AU PAIR DAY!
Sandra Landau, MBE, of BAPAA is Live on BBC Television!!!
Sandra represented BAPAA (British Au Pair Agencies Association) and the @SaveAuPairs campaign on BBC Breakfast television on Thursday 30th Nov. 2018. In front of millions of viewers Sandra extolled the benefits of using a BAPAA or IAPA (International Au Pair Association) accredited Au Pair Agency when finding a suitable au pair or host family.
BAPAA and IAPA promote the highest standards for the Au Pair cultural exchange programme.
SaveAuPairs, BAPAA and IAPA back Regulation as the best means to ensure that every au pair and every host family has the best au pair experience possible.
Regulation, an au pair visa, means all au pair placements will only be made through an approved channel. This will not only protect all participants but will ensure that every participant will have the best experience and happiest experience possible.
Au Pair agency fees in the UK are affordable for the vast majority of hosting families, many thousands of whom already value the benefits of using an approved agency.
Introduction of an Au Pair visa for the UK will also guarantee that this incredible cultural exchange, built around childcare, which is popular with tens of thousands of young men and women, will remain open to British au pairs going abroad and European au pairs coming to the UK after Brexit.
The UK Au Pair Industry is calling for a widening of the already well established Youth Mobility Visa (Tier 5) with ‘au pair’ as a sub category, in order to keep the UK au programme open to the benefit of young people and tens of thousands of working families who depend on an au pair for affordable childcare.
This category encourages the educated foreign youth community to come and experience life in the UK and being an Au pair for the first year is a great way to improve English to a higher standard and learn more about what it is like to live in the UK as part of a British family which would then enable the young person to then move on to a professional opportunity for year 2 of their visa.
The British Au Pair Agencies Association (BAPAA) is delighted to announce that Sandra Landau, its co-founder and former chairperson, has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year 2017 Honours List for services to au pair cultural exchange programmes.
The award recognises more than 20 years of voluntary service by Ms Landau, dedicated to establishing and promoting high professional standards for the unregulated au pair industry, as well as representing the industry at international and government levels and supporting its global cultural exchange programmes for young people.
Sandra Landau MBE, of Edgware, Middlesex, has been part of the au pair industry since 1986. In 1994 she became a founder member of the International Au Pair Association (IAPA) and was then a member of its executive board for many years. She was the catalyst for the formation of BAPAA in 2003 and served as its chairperson until 2015, remaining on the board as its treasurer. In 2006 she was also the main instigator in setting up the European Committee for Au Pair Standards (ECAPS). None of these roles was a paid position.
Her successor as BAPAA chairperson, Rebecca Haworth-Wood, said: “The quality of the au pair and family relationship is of prime importance. Sandra’s contribution to the BAPAA code of conduct and guidelines which professionalise the au pair industry, providing safeguards for au pairs and their host families, cannot be overstated.
“For 20 years she has been a driving force, in an unregulated industry, in agreeing and promoting high professional standards and a code of conduct that nowadays offers confidence and security for young au pairs venturing abroad and for the host families receiving them. For even longer she has been encouraging agencies to set best practice for themselves.
“She has frequently represented the industry internationally and in talks and agreements with governments and has worked tirelessly to promote high global standards for young people’s cultural exchange.”
The Au Pair Cultural Exchange Programme gives young people the opportunity to travel extensively, develop language skills, make lifelong worldwide friendships and broaden life experiences while enjoying the safety, supervision and extensive benefits provided by professional international agencies.
Sandra Landau MBE said: “I am overjoyed to accept the honour of this MBE and owe a debt of gratitude to the BAPAA board members and others who have helped with this work, both within the industry and with government. I’m very grateful that the professionalism of our industry should be recognised like this.”
Working with other BAPAA board members, Ms Landau has liaised with government departments on many issues including visas, points-based immigration, the Vetting and Barring scheme and the National Minimum Wage. With the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) she assisted in providing a much-needed definition of an au pair and she continues to advise on the possible impact of Brexit on the various programmes.
Ms Landau is the author of the Au Pair Handbook, which is widely used by all BAPAA member agencies to help understanding between newly arrived au pairs and their host families. She is also owner and director of one of the of the largest BAPAA au pair agencies in the UK.
The British Au Pair Agencies Association Executive committee would like to address this morning’s referendum results.
We do not believe the vote to leave will affect Au Pairs for the foreseeable future and feel very positive that European Au Pairs will be welcomed in the UK for many years to come.
While it is impossible to predict the exact outcome of the leave vote, BAPAA is widely respected in the International and EU Au Pair community. Rest assured we will be lobbying very hard to ensure that the UK Au Pair programme continues to be inclusive and part of the UK inbound immigration policy.
To make any comment please email firstname.lastname@example.org
#aupairproject and the official Au Pair Scheme in the UK and Au Pairing after the Au Pair Scheme
On 16th October 2014, BAPAA were invited to attend a breakfast briefing at Birkbeck University where Dr Rosie Cox and Dr Nicole Busch presented their findings of a recently completed research project on Au Pairing, migration and childcare in the UK.
Following this launch of findings, Au Pairing in the UK has come under the public spotlight with negative articles in National Newspapers and radio show discussions.
The #aupairproject research has especially highlighted the dangers for both Au Pairs and host families using ”Internet only platforms” where there is no self-regulation at all. Using an Internet matching site there is no agency to mediate and oversee an Au Pair placement ensuring the rules of the Cultural Exchange.are followed. There is no support on offer to the Au Pair or to the host family, no benefits for the Au Pair or for the host family, no emergency helpline or agency number to call if the Au Pair or host family are having problems and in need of assistance.
We are grateful to both Dr Cox & Dr Busch for exposing these findings as it really does reinforce BAPAA’s ongoing concerns relating to the internet recruitment of Au Pairs.
BAPAA was formed on a non-commercial basis in 2003 by the British Members of the International Au Pair Association (IAPA) with the purpose of setting standards for the Au Pair Industry and protecting the Au Pair experience as a rewarding Cultural Exchange Programme in the U.K. IAPA has more than 170 member organisations in 45 countries worldwide who are all required to adhere to strict guidelines ensuring a safe and worthwhile experience for Au Pairs in whichever country they choose for their stay. We are the only recognised Trade Association for the British Au Pair Industry.
BAPAA have very clear guidelines and codes of conduct for Au Pairs, Host Families and Agencies. The findings of the research and particularly the examples of exploitation described are not in keeping with the quality that BAPAA requires of its member agencies when they make UK wide Au Pair placements – www.bapaa.org.uk
We strive to maintain a good quality Cultural Exchange Programme on Au Pair placements in the UK under this scheme. There are 30 member agencies of BAPAA who arrange Au Pair placements here in the UK and all provide support to both the Au Pair and to the host family.
Since the deregulation of the Au Pair visa in November 2008, BAPAA, on a number of occasions, have met with the Department of BIS – Business, Innovation and Skills.
As a result of our meetings with them, together we were able to define the Au Pair Cultural Exchange Programme and assisted with the wording that defines what an Au Pair is. The definition of “what an Au Pair is” has been on the www.gov.uk website since 2010. In June of this year, the page was updated and refreshed.
Many Host Families rely upon Au Pairs to assist with their childcare needs and find the experience to be positive, rewarding and beneficial.
In exchange for helping a host family with their childcare and light household duties, the Au Pair will receive full board and lodging and a minimum weekly pocket money allowance. Many host families contribute towards the cost of an English Language course, involve Au Pairs on family days out, family holidays, invite the Au pair’s parents to visit and stay – this is Cultural Exchange.
BAPAA will be in further discussion with Dr Cox shortly in looking at ways to work alongside each other in the aim of curbing any exploitation of Au Pairs.
If any Au Pair or host family are in a difficult situation and have no agency that they can speak with, then they can contact us by email at: email@example.com.
8 December 2014
Irene, au pair from Smartaupairs UK, has been awarded ‘Au pair of the Year 2014’ by the International Au Pair Association (IAPA). The award was handed over during the IAPA annual conference in London, on the 16th of March 2014. Smart Au Pairs’ UK team were glad to be able to be there for Irene’s special day & celebration!
About the Prize:
The IAPA ‘Au Pair of the Year’ award recognises the achievements of young people as au pairs and acknowledges the efforts of au pairs across the world.
Irene was nominated for the award by her UK family (based in West Sussex). As part of the application process, the family had to write a nomination letter detailing why they thought Irene was such a brilliant au pair, Irene herself also had to write a letter detailing her experiences.
The countries that already participate in the scheme are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Monaco, Taiwan and S Korea.
The scheme is for young people from participating countries and territories who want to come and experience life in the UK. Every year, the UK government allocates a number of places on the Youth Mobility Scheme for each eligible country and territory. Visit www.gov.uk for further information.
There’s still time for BAPAA au pairs and their friends to book places on BAPAA’s Annual Au Pair Boat Trip down the Thames in London on Sunday 11 May 2014. Contact your BAPAA agency or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
2014 gave BAPAA the opportunity to host the annual conference of the International Au Pair Association (IAPA) which took place in London from 16th-18th March.
BAPAA were delighted to welcome more than 300 delegates to this WETM-IAC event which gave agencies and organisations a unique opportunity to renew old acquaintances and network amongst existing and new partners. Worldwide the Au Pair Cultural Exchange Programme is reaching new heights and the possibilities available for young people to work and travel are ever increasing. IAPA is represented in over 40 countries worldwide, BAPAA being the trade association of the au pair industry in the UK. On the second day of the conference a panel discussion took place on “The Future of the Au Pair Business” represented by speakers from Australia, France, The Netherlands, The U.K., The U.S.A. and China.
Without doubt this was one of the best conferences of the Association and all delegates benefited greatly from the event.
In 2013 BAPAA launched its new publication, The Childcare Handbook for Au Pairs, developed in conjunction with the experienced early years childcare specialist, Emma Dewey. The 63-page handbook contains practical advice and guidance to the au pair during their placement in the UK. Subjects covered in the handbook include “Working in partnership with parents”, “Sibling Rivalry”, “Managing Behaviour” and Child Development and Activities”.
Also available – the BAPAA Au Pair Handbook, a 52-page booklet, compiled by Sandra Landau, Chairperson of the Association, which is a useful tool for newly-arrived au pairs. The BAPAA Au Pair Handbook is an informative reference guide for au pairs and host families offering practical advice and guidance to ensure a successful, memorable and safe stay in the UK.
Both the Au Pair Handbook and the Childcare Handbook are each available at the special online price of £4.00 (plus postage and packing £1.50). Just email email@example.com – payment can either be made by cheque made out to BAPAA, or by Paypal (please either go to www.paypal.co.uk and make your payment to firstname.lastname@example.org quoting the delivery address or ask for an invoice, which you can pay by debit or credit card).
BAPAA is pleased to announce that the International Au Pair Association (IAPA) Annual Conference is coming to London in March 2014.
BAPAA, the British Au Pair Agencies Association, has been instrumental in securing the event being held in London and sees this as recognition of the huge importance that BAPAA plays in the UK cultural exchange programme. This announcement, made in Rome at this year’s annual event, in the year of BAPAA’s 10th anniversary, helps to further reinforce the contribution BAPAA has made to the Au Pair programme in the last 10 years.
Recently the direct.gov website was replaced by gov.uk and information such as the Au Pair Definition and National Minimum Wage disappeared for a short time. BAPAA immediately contacted the powers-that-be and this has resulted in the information being reinstated.
Follow this link to gov.uk for the Au Pair Definition:
Here’s the text from gov.uk:
Au pairs: employment law
Au pairs usually live with the family they work for, are unlikely to be classed as a worker or an employee and aren’t entitled to the National Minimum Wage.
They’re treated as a member of the family they live with and get ‘pocket money’ instead – usually about £70 to £85 a week.
Workers and employees have different rights, eg the right to the National Minimum Wage and paid holidays.
Au pairs may have to pay Income Tax and National Insurance, depending on how much pocket money they get.
An au pair isn’t classed as a worker or an employee if most of the following apply:
• they’re a foreign national living with a family in the UK
• they’re an EU citizen or have entered the UK on a Youth Mobility Visa or student visa
• they’re here on a cultural exchange programme
• they’ve got a signed letter of invitation from the host family that includes details of their stay, eg accommodation, living conditions, approximate working hours, free time, pocket money
• they learn about British culture from the host family and share their own culture with them
• they have their own private room in the house, provided free of charge
• they eat their main meals with the host family, free of charge
• they help with light housework and childcare for around 30 hours a week, including a couple of evenings babysitting
• they get reasonable pocket money
• they can attend English language classes at a local college in their spare time
• they’re allowed time to study and can practise their English with the host family
• they sometimes go on holiday with the host family and help look after the children
• they can travel home to see their family during the year
Gina has come to the UK from France to learn English. She lives with her host family and takes part in family events like days out and holidays. She has her meals with the family and does light housework and childcare for about 5 hours a day. She babysits a couple of times a week.
Gina has 2 free days every week. She studies English at a local college 2 afternoons a week. Last year she spent 3 weeks in France visiting her own family and also went on holiday with her host family.
Gina is neither a worker nor an employee. She gets £75 a week pocket money and doesn’t pay tax or National Insurance.
Find more information for au pairs and host families on the British Au Pair Agencies Association website.
The countries that already participate in the scheme are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Monaco and Taiwan.
The scheme is for young people from participating countries and territories who want to come and experience life in the UK. Every year, the UK government allocates a number of places on the Youth Mobility Scheme for each country and territory. For 2012, Taiwan, Japan and Monaco will each receive an allocation of 1,000 places and Republic of Korea 500 places. This is in line with the number of places offered to UK nationals on their reciprocal schemes.
Thanks to everyone who sent in entries – trying to pick a winner is always a very difficult task!
The BAPAA 2012 Boat Trip from Central London to Greenwich took place on 13 May on one of the sunniest days this early Summer – we were very lucky! Together with the traditional views of London, we had some new sights to take in, such as the newly revamped Cutty Sark, cable cars crossing the river close to the o2 Arena and the HMS Ocean, moored at Greenwich.
In terms of bookings, this was probably the most popular Boat Trip staged by BAPAA – around 340 au pairs and their friends, representing most of our member agencies, came with us on the day! The Au Pairs seemed a particularly friendly group and were obviously enjoying themselves and making new friends on the way, as illustrated by some of the photos on this page – exactly the aim!
Thanks go to Crown River Cruises – always helpful, from the office to the crew – and to the BAPAA “Team” on the day, who helped to make sure the Boat Trip ran like clockwork.
Watch this space for the announcement of the date of the 2013 BAPAA Boat Trip!
In 2012 BAPAA is once again organising a river cruise down the Thames to Greenwich for BAPAA au pairs and their friends. This very popular annual event will be on Sunday 13th May 2012. All BAPAA au pairs and their friends are welcome to come and join the BAPAA Au Pair Club on a private boat trip to Greenwich – this is always a fun day out and you will have the opportunity to meet lots of other au pairs. The boat leaves Festival Pier at 11am and travels from Central London downstream, past famous bridges and historic buildings, with amazing views of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye, through the City of London and down the river to the Thames Barrier, Greenwich, arriving back in Central London at 5pm. There will be time to spend in Greenwich and the chance to win shopping vouchers in our Photo Competition. Tickets are £10 for BAPAA au pairs and £12 for friends travelling with them. CONTACT YOUR BAPAA AGENCY or email email@example.com for details!
22 December 2011
From 1 January 2012, Taiwan will join the list of countries and territories that participate in the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme, under Tier 5 of the points-based system.
The countries that already participate in the scheme are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and Monaco.
The scheme is for young people from participating countries and territories who want to come and experience life in the UK. Every year, the UK government allocates a number of places on the youth mobility scheme for each country and territory. For 2012, Taiwan, Japan and Monaco will each receive an allocation of 1,000 places. This is in line with the number of places offered to UK nationals on their reciprocal schemes.
Congratulations to Susanne Haag and friends on winning 1st Prize in this year’s Photo Competition with this original take on the BAPAA Boat Trip, with an international flavour!
An additional 2nd Prize was awarded to Natasha Thomson, who made a colourful statement in Greenwich about which country she was representing on the BAPAA Boat Trip!
Many thanks to everyone to entered this year – it was very difficult to choose between some terrific entries!
Every year IAPA holds a competition to identify an outstanding au pair, placed by a member of IAPA, who exemplifies all that is good about the au pair programme. Au pairs are nominated by their host family and the winner is selected by a panel comprised of IAPA board members. This year the award went to an au pair placed by a BAPAA-member agency, The Childcare Company based in Sevenoaks, Kent.
Luna, a 21-year old au pair from Marbella, Spain spent her placement with a family from Bedfordshire, England.
Luna’s host “mum” wrote of Luna: “The day she joined our family it was like an angel had joined us. Beautiful inside and out, Luna is a natural with children. But it was more than that. I had actually found something in Luna that I had never dreamt possible with an au pair. I had found someone who played with the children in the same way that I would play with them. She spoke to the girls how I would speak to the girls. She disciplined them just how I would discipline them. She encouraged them just as I would do. This wasn’t something learnt over time, it was just instinctive. This makes you feel amazingly comfortable and totally reassured that the most precious beings in your life will be well cared for. She truly felt a part of the family.”
Luna wrote of her au pair experience: “How can I describe these wonderful five months full of funny and unforgettable moments ..
The agency sent to me some family records but I did not like them at all, may be it was because I was a little bit afraid. The third record I received … a young couple with two girls, the younger two and a half years old and the other six. I do not know why but, I liked them…
Weekends were fantastic, going to interesting places, cinema, theater, picnik…
I remember the first weekend I spent there. They took me to a rugby match, I had never watched a rugby match before, and in spite of I did not understand very much about it I liked it. Another day we went to a safari where inside the car we could admire all the animals very near to us, so when a lioness came to us walking very slowly I was a little scared. We visited the local farm and I did enjoy our trip, at the end of the morning a funny ferret was sat on my head as I tried to stroke him and he climbed by my arm. This is one of the best memories for me and for the family. We visited Cambridge too, as five years ago I had been studying there two weeks and I really liked it so I asked if we could go there, then we had a tour trip over there…
I visited so many places that I would need hundreds of pages to describe all of them, but I must say that each trip taught me something. I believe that I was the luckiest au-pair having that family, it was very easy to be part of them…
Being an au-pair has giving me a good knowledge about English language and culture. Working with children has made me more mature and living abroad is a challenge which I recommend to take because it shows that the inside of human being is the same whatever nationality.”
The complete essays written by Luna and her host “mum”, and submitted to IAPA, are available to read on the Childcare Company website.
If you are considering inviting an au pair into your home, please visit the Directory on the BAPAA website and get in touch with a BAPAA-member agency. All our members do their best to ensure that au pairs and host families enjoy a rewarding and successful au pair experience.
BAPAA’s annual, very popular, river cruise down the Thames to Greenwich will take place on Sunday 15th May 2011. All BAPAA au pairs and their friends are welcome to come and join the BAPAA Au Pair Club on a private boat trip to Greenwich – come and have a fun day out and the chance to meet lots of other au pairs. We leave Festival Pier at 11am and travel from Central London, past famous bridges and historic buildings, downstream with amazing views of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye, through the City of London down the river to the Thames Barrier, Greenwich, returning to Festival Pier at 5pm. There will be time to spend in Greenwich and the chance to win an i-Phone 4 (many thanks to o2!) in our Photo Competition. Tickets are £10 for BAPAA au pairs, £12 for friends travelling with them. CONTACT YOUR BAPAA AGENCY FOR DETAILS!
BAPAA has now launched its new and improved “find a friend” website, www.aupairfriends.com.
The members’ area of the website, including the “find a friend” facility is exclusive to au pairs placed by BAPAA-member agencies. This is a valuable benefit for BAPAA au pairs and host families, which enables newly-arrived au pairs to make that important first safe contact with potential friends amongst the hundreds of other BAPAA au pairs in the UK.
The website also contains a lot of useful information for au pairs and host families alike – so check it out at www.aupairfriends.com.
Many congratulations to Marie Rehker, who won this year’s competition with this unusual photo of the London Eye! Plans are already being made for next year’s Boat Trip, so watch this space for the announcement of the date.
15 May 2010
Home Secretary Theresa May has announced that the Government has put a temporary halt to the ‘Vetting and Barring Scheme’, which would have affected all people working with children and vulnerable adults in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with registration due to begin in July 2010.
It was agreed prior to the government’s announcement that au pairs were not to be included in the Vetting and Barring Scheme, a decision which BAPAA as an association welcomed, whilst fully supporting all appropriate measures to protect children and vulnerable adults. This legislation would not have applied to the “recruitment” of au pairs via the internet, which continues unregulated, whilst its specific requirements would have created considerable difficulties for agencies bringing au pairs to the UK in a legitimate and responsible manner. For example, in order to register an au pair for the scheme, agencies would have had to apply for a Criminal Records Bureau check, which is impossible for people not already living in the UK .
We would like to make it clear that, despite the Government’s decision to halt the Vetting and Barring Scheme, all BAPAA member agencies will of course continue to maintain a high standard of vetting and interviewing, as well as taking up references, medical certificates and police checks from the au pairs’ home countries.
The scheme was intended to tighten rules to prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults. The Independent Safeguarding Authority will continue to make decisions about barring unsuitable people from “regulated activities”. It will also maintain the separate lists of people barred from working with children and vulnerable adults. Criminal Records checks will also remain available for those eligible to receive them, and will continue to be required for certain posts where regulations are already in place.
This announcement will give organisations more time to plan for changes and new phasing-in dates, if appropriate, when announced after the next review. The terms of reference for the remodelling of the Vetting and Barring Scheme and of the Criminal Records regime are currently being considered and a further announcement will be made in due course.
Historically, the role of an ‘Au Pair’ was a specific category within U.K. Immigration Regulations and the Home Office published Guidelines for Au Pairs, which included: age criteria, hours of work and accommodation requirements. At this time, Au Pairs were not governed by employment regulations. In November 2008 the Au Pair category was removed from the UK Immigration Regulations.
Most Au Pairs now come to the U.K. from countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) under the European Freedom of Movement Directive and do not have to meet any specific immigration requirements to be an Au Pair (note that there are still specific Immigration Requirements for Bulgarian and Romanian Au Pairs).
Following the removal of the ‘Au Pair’ category from the Immigration Regulations in November 2008, the relevance of other UK Laws to Au Pairs needs clarification e.g. do the Working Time Regulations (WTR) apply to Au Pairs?
BAPAA is working closely with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills “BIS” (the Government Department responsible for the Working Time Regulations) and the Department for Children School and Families “DCSF” (the Government Department responsible for the Vetting and Barring Scheme) to develop clear, consistent guidance on the relevance, (if any) of the WTR or other legislation, the subsequent role of an Au Pair and the responsibilities of their host families.
The purpose of this News Release is to advise current and prospective families that the clarification work is actively in progress and before BAPAA receives the official clarification from Government, families may encounter different interpretations on matters such as working hours and holiday entitlement, from different Au Pair Agencies, on the internet and through various other bodies. Please note that in the absence of any definitive guidelines, these are interpretations only.
BAPAA recognises this situation is not satisfactory, however it will only be resolved when the clarification guidance has been issued and we are working with the UK Government on this.
Contact – Rebecca Haworth-Wood – British Au Pair Agencies Association
Telephone – Daytime – 01984 632422
Evening – 01984 639565
Mobile – 07850 501460
AU PAIRS GRANTED SPECIAL EXEMPTION FROM ISA REGISTRATION
Sandra Landau – Chair of the British Au Pair Agencies Association will be formally announcing this important UK Government decision at the International Au Pair Association Annual conference in MIAMI, USA on Thursday 18 April 2010. Au Pairs will be exempt from the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) through a clarification of the term ‘family relationship’
The British Au Pair Agencies Association (BAPAA) has been notified directly of this Government decision by Baroness Delyth Morgan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children, Young People and Families, following talks BAPAA has been holding with her Department.
Some of the concerns raised by BAPAA that have resulted in the Government decision to give Au Pairs special exemption from the ISA scheme:
• All BAPAA Member Agencies are already required by our code of conduct to provide a clear overseas police check from the Au Pair’s home country before placement in the UK.
• The registration process would have made it impossible for a foreign Au Pair to register in advance of joining his/her host family and would result in delays in the placement procedure that could negatively affect the family’s childcare arrangements.
• As Au Pairs are exempt from National Minimum Wage regulations, and earn pocket money in the region of £70 per week, the £64 VBS registration fee would have been unaffordable.
• The process of an Au Pair registering with the ISA would have been cumbersome, causing time delays which could have adversely affected his/her placement prospects and the resultant inconvenience to those host families waiting for the process to be completed.
ISA registration was meant to be compulsory for all Au Pairs placed in the UK.
However the Government is not able to police overseas owned Au Pair placement sites on the Internet. This created an anomaly and the Government’s decision to waive the compulsory registration of Au Pairs has resolved this issue as far as Au Pairs recruited through UK Au Pair Agencies is concerned. It is hoped this will discourage the public from recruiting Au Pairs from websites controlled from outside the UK, where usually few or no checks have been carried out.
BAPAA is the voice of the Au Pair industry in the UK and wishes to thank the Department for Children, Schools and Families for their understanding of our concerns.
The 2010 BAPAA Boat Trip for BAPAA au pairs and their friends will take place on Sunday 16th May 2010. Come and join the BAPAA Au Pair Club on a private boat trip to Greenwich – have a brilliant day out and the chance to meet many other au pairs. Leaving Festival Pier at 11 am, the boat will travel past famous bridges and historic buildings along the river from Central London, with many exciting views of Westminster including the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, and then head downstream through the city to the Thames Barrier, Greenwich and back again, arriving back at Festival Pier at 5pm.
Tickets cost £10 for BAPAA au pairs and £12 for friends (non-BAPAA). Contact your BAPAA agency for details.
Congratulations to Svenja Hurter who won this year’s BAPAA Boat Trip photo competition with this great photo of Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament.
Thanks to everyone who sent us their photos – it was hard to pick a winner.
We’re already planning the next BAPAA Boat Trip in May 2010 – so watch this space for the latest information!
BAPAA au pairs – contact your UK agency or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about discounted day trips and weekend tours with International Friends – go to their website at www.internationalfriends.co.uk for more details.
Published by Ozgur Tore – credit to ftnnews.com
IAPA – the International Au Pair Association has announced the winner of the Au Pair of the Year, 24-year old, Ricardo Silva de Araujo of Brazil . He was placed with a family in the United States.
Now in its sixth year, the annual award presented by IAPA goes to an Au Pair that embodies the spirit of cultural exchange. Families from around the world that have received an Au Pair from one of IAPA’s 140 plus member agencies can nominate candidates for the award. A panel of IAPA representatives then selects three finalists from the hundreds of entries, with a winner chosen from these.
“As is the case every year, we had a very difficult time selecting just one winner from the many, many deserving entries we received. Ricardo was so special for his openness, sharing and commitment to his host family and their son Taylor,” said Jack Hompes, IAPA chairman.
Cultural Care Au Pair, an organisation based in the USA placed Ricardo with the Boyer family. The family’s now 17-year son, Taylor is multi-handicapped, having suffered an allergic reaction to an immunization as a six month old. He is unable to speak, has difficulty walking and experiences seizures. In Ricardo’s words however, “he may not able to talk, but he is able to feel. His feelings are pure as an angel and his smile when happy, is the best way to say thank you.”
Upon Ricardo’s arrival with the Boyer family that was in the midst of preparing for their daughter’s upcoming wedding, Ricardo was amazed by the incredible patience and support the family showed him during this stressful time. There was much Ricardo had to learn in order to help properly care for Taylor and the family’s support made the enormous transition to a new culture, new language and learning new skills much easier.
Talking about his time with the family, Ricardo says, “I learned the real meaning of love, patience and respect. Real love does not come in phrases like: “I love you,” this is easy to say but difficult to feel.
Taylor’s disability is not an obstacle for his happiness, this has made me feel good. I love Taylor and know he loves me back. I can feel it.”
Ricardo concludes, ”I came to America as an au pair, I will leave a better human being.”
For his achievement, Ricardo Silva de Araujo received a commemorative plaque and prize from IAPA, in addition to an all expense paid trip to Vienna to receive the award.
The award is presented as part of the IAPA Annual Conference and in conjunction with the Work Experience Travel Market.
About the International Au Pair Association (IAPA)
The International Au Pair Association (IAPA) was established in 1994 by cultural exchange organisations seeking to improve and protect the rights of au pairs and host families around the world. The association has been responsible for the creation of internationally recognised guidelines for au pairs and exchange programmes with its 140 plus member organisations agreeing to abide by the IAPA Code of Conduct: signifying competence, fair dealing and high integrity.
The IAPA Annual Conference is the Association’s most important yearly event and is attended by many British au pair agencies, providing its members with a forum to discuss the challenges and solutions for the community, and the opportunity to trade and conduct business amongst members and invited outside organisations. Additionally, the conference hosts the presentation of the Au Pair of the Year award.
Taking advantage of the business and trade muscle of the Work Experience Travel Market, the event enables IAPA members and attending au pair organisations looking to diversify into other aspects of work experience, the opportunity to meet and conduct business with 300 plus specialists in work and travel programmes.
The Work Experience Travel Market and IAPA Annual Conference are organised by The WYSE Work Abroad Association and the International Au Pair Association, IAPA.
The Work Experience Travel Market and IAPA Annual Conference bring together the world’s leading organisations in the work experience, au pair and cultural exchange markets, some 215 organisations representing more than 45 countries under one roof. It provides an exceptionally targeted opportunity to establish and strengthen sector-focused partnerships, gain industry intelligence and tap into emerging global markets.
Apart from a chance to meet partner agencies on an individual basis, the Work Experience Travel Market and the IAPA Annual Conference seminar programme presents topics ranging from industry and sector specific concerns to tools of the trade educational workshops and discussions.
Delivered by leading industry experts and invited guests, the seminars target the unique challenges and needs of the work experience, au pair and cultural exchange markets.
Navigating Through the Au Pair Regulatory Landscape
Au pairing is one of the most closely regulated and publically visible sectors in the cultural exchange marketplace. Governments with good intentions continually seek to enhance the rules and regulations that govern the community. Unfortunately, policies introduced may sometimes overlook the practical needs of host families and Au Pair agencies. At the same time, the media, always on the hunt for the latest Au Pair misfortune, often fail to remember that the majority of placements by far are properly matched, and the participants thrilled with the experience. Today’s Au Pair organisations need to be able to stay abreast and adapt to ever-changing regulatory demands and to increased scrutiny by the media as well.
As the world’s leading global association for au pairing, IAPA seeks to keep its members informed of legislative changes throughout the marketplace and play an active role in influencing these changes. Through its work with National Au Pair Associations and Pan-European Associations like ECAPS (European Committee on Au Pair Standards), IAPA lobbies on behalf of the community to establish and lift the standards for au pairing around the world and communicate its unique benefits to the international media. Building on the strength of its seminar presented at the IAPA Conference 2008, this year’s session in Vienna will once again feature prominent government authorities and key industry stakeholders examining the trends, national standards, and current rules and regulations in the industry.
At the seminar, agencies will discover where the market is moving; which ideas and developments governments are considering and/or implementing, and how standards and regulations can and will affect the au pair programmes. We will learn how agencies around the world are collaborating with each other and with government to meet market challenges through the implementation of comprehensive standards and regulations.
The market is constantly changing. Navigating successfully through these changes and taking full advantage of the opportunities that changing regulatory measures provide will help to not only improve the industry but the au pair experience as well.
It is about this time each year that parents begin to ask the same question, “What will the kids be doing for the summer?” For parents who have busy schedules, it can be challenging to meet summer child care needs for school-aged children. Some parents mix and match from assorted options: a week with the grandparents, a week at day camp, two weeks of activities through the town’s recreation department. By the time it’s all over, parents need a holiday from summer holiday. Many families discover the benefits of a summer au pair to help out during the holidays. An au pair is usually a young adult from a foreign country who is there to care for children. We are spreading the word about the Summer Au Pair programme through members of the British Au Pair Agencies Association.
“With a summer au pair, parents can relax and take comfort in knowing that their child is going to have a great summer with someone they can trust.”
Au pair candidates are screened for appropriate child care experience, English language ability and education. Candidates go through a rigorous application process, which includes interview, personal references and background checks such as Medical and Police reports. Only the best can travel!
Once an au pair is accepted into the programme, the candidate is matched with a potential host family. A host family also completes an application, in which family members describe themselves, their lifestyle, their children and child care needs. A family may also indicate preferences, such as a male or female,
or a specific foreign language.
Any families interested in hosting a summer au pair should apply with a BAPAA agency to find a vetted and instructed candidate and continuous support.
BAPAA is pleased to offer a copy of the newly reprinted “Welcome to the UK – The Au Pair Handbook” at a special on-line price of £4.00, plus £1.50 postage and packing (RRP £5.99). Please email email@example.com to order your copy – payment can either be made by cheque made out to BAPAA, or by Paypal (please go to www.paypal.co.uk and make your payment for £5.50 to firstname.lastname@example.org quoting the delivery address, if you wish to pay by this method).
This 52-page booklet, compiled by Sandra Landau, Chairperson of the Association, is a useful tool for newly arrived au pairs. It is an informative reference guide for au pairs and host families offering practical advice and guidance to ensure a successful, memorable and safe stay in the UK.