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Au Pairs Need More - Washington Post Examines the State of the Au Pair Program
Au pairs provide cheap childcare. Maybe illegally cheap.
A class action lawsuit alleges that au pair agencies failed to obey state minimum wage laws, keeping their pay at $4.35 an hour.
I recently spoke to Lydia DePillis, a reporter for the Washington Post on the state of the au pair program in this country today. Ms. DePillis wrote an article that explores a class action lawsuit that alleges au pair agencies are breaking the law by not providing state minimum wages to au pairs.
My quotes are below, but please read the entire article "Au Pairs Provide Cheap Childcare. Maybe Illegally Cheap."
Over the years, the au pair program has been sharply criticized by think tanks and academics — even by some previous defenders, such as Edina Stone, who used to work for a sponsor agency and now runs a site for parents called Au Pair Clearinghouse. Concerned about reports of au pair abuse by host family members, she also started an advocacy group for au pairs, who she says sometimes have nowhere to turn if something happens. Every year, she says she calls the sponsor agencies to ask them to endorse the effort, and almost none have do“It makes you a little suspicious of the agencies, in terms of how they feel about it,” Stone says. Instead of protecting au pairs, she says the sponsors try to sweep problems under the rug. "They pretend to be sympathetic. But then they send you home, because they know it’s very difficult for an au pair to initiate a legal action in their own country.”
Please check out our au pair advocacy efforts Prevent Exploitation of Au Pairs (P.E.A.P). If you have any issues as an au pair, please post your issues on our P.E.A.P Facebook page or contact me at email@example.com.