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Au Pair in Buenos Aires

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The word "Au Pair" is a French term, which means "on par" or "equal to", denoting living on an equal basis between the host family and the children. An au pair will typically be a young woman and sometimes a young man from a foreign country who is typically seeking new cultural experiences, and who chooses to help look after the children of a host family and provide light housekeeping in exchange for room, board and salary. Au pairs also often wish to improve their foreign language skills. Au pairs generally stay with their host family for up to one year. An au pair is not considered a domestic employee and is also not a nanny. See Au Pair & Nanny Differences and Au pair Salary for more detailed information.

According to the Argentine Consulate office in Chicago, au pairs are admitted to the country under a standard temporary visa. The applicant must be at least 18 years old. There is no stated upper age limit. All work visas must be approved by Immigrations in Argentina only, after employer presents legal work contract and all other requirements are met. Once approved, the work permit will be mailed to the Consulate of the jurisdiction of the applicant to issue the visa. Applicants living outside Argentina should contact the nearest Argentinean Embassy and request the Embassy to contact the Policia Federal to obtain your Federal Police record. Applicants already in Argentina should apply directly to the nearest office of the Policia Federal.

What the au pair must know

  • If the au pair requires unique dietary items or health supplements, she/he should be responsible for covering the costs. Also the au pair is responsible for all personal items such as toiletries, hair care items, etc.
  • The au pair should pay for her/his long distance phone calls.
  • The au pair pays for gas when using the car for personal use.
  • The au pair is generally responsible for her/his medical insurance/expenses unless she/he is working through an agency, in which case both the family and the agency pay fees which cover the cost of insurance.
  • If the au pair does not come through an agency, families and au pairs often split the cost of a roundtrip ticket. If the au pair doesn't have the money to pay for her/his half of the ticket up front, families can cover the cost and deduct the balance from wages. If the au pair comes through an agency, airfare is usually included in the required fees paid by both the au pair and the host family.
  • Be clear about the schedule and expected responsibilities.
  • Approach the host family openly with situations which are unclear or uncomfortable.
  • Being appreciative and doing things without having to be asked are qualities that make a great au pair

What the family has to do

  • Au pair's living expenses, including room and board, are covered by the host family.
  • A private bedroom should be provided for the au pair Extra amenities in the room such as TV, stereo, phone, computer, are not required, but are a nice touch.
  • If the au pair is required to drive the kids to and from school and activities, and/or do the grocery shopping, the family pays for gas, oil and maintenance. Check to see if the family car insurance will cover houseguests. If not, consider adding the au pair to your insurance policy for the duration of their stay.
  • It is highly recommended to ask for and check an au pair's references before making a commitment to hire. This is less critical if the au pair is hired through an agency, as the agency will usually do the checking. If the au pair does not have previous experience, ask for references from previous employers and/or teachers.
  • Be specific about the au pair's responsibilities and schedule. An au pair wants to find a family that can be trusted and who won't take advantage of her/him.
  • Be clear about your expectations and if something is not going as you had hoped, talk to your au pair.
  • Try to remember that your au pair wants to feel like a part of the family. Include them in activities even when they're off duty.

Some addresses...

Update 29/05/2009


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