An au pair is entitled to two weeks of vacation during her first program year. Most au pairs take advantage of their off time by traveling and discovering new places — but some program participants decide to stay at or close to home.
Let’s assume the au pair is out and about with friends. Naturally, she picks up her own food bill and feeds herself while traveling.
But if the au pair enjoys a “staycation” at home, can she expect to be included in family dinners or can she help herself at the fridge in case the family is out?
Well, this topic is a rather grey area and we are expecting our host families to openly communicate their expectations to the au pairs prior to the vacation start.
While some host parents might want the au pair to replace and pay for the food she eats during her stay at home, others don’t have a problem sharing their common food pantry with the au pair.
All of these matters should be discussed and agreed upon between host family and au pair prior to the events taking place to avoid misunderstandings as much as possible. As long as expectations are communicated before the vacation, either way works within our policies.
When being asked, I recommend my au pairs to offer the replacement of food items they consumed during their vacation at home (after all they would have paid for their own food if they had decided to travel). And I point out that it is very appreciated if basic food products such as milk, fresh bread and eggs are at home when the host family returns back from their trip.
Friday, 8 July 2016 4:54 PM