The Household Guide & Covid-19
Agent Au Pair uses the Household Guide to manage program expectations between hosts and au pairs, including individual household Covid guidelines. The household guide is the Au pair’s job description, training handbook, and go-to resource throughout her program. Hosts should discuss Covid precaution expectations with Au pairs and include agreed-upon measures in the household guide as suggested here.
Domestic Travel in USA
Many au pairs come to the USA with the expectation that they will travel in the states during their program year. Hosts should be transparent with Au Pairs during the interview and matching process about household preferences regarding international and domestic travel. This may include avoiding areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, When NOT to Travel, and Safer Travel Tips.
Au Pairs may travel domestically within the USA while taking precautions discussed with their Host. Au Pair and Host should review the CDC guidelines on Domestic Travel During COVID-19 together before any domestic travel plans are made. Au pairs need to consider the risks to their host family when they travel. Hosts need to consider the au pair’s Mental Health, need for a vacation and personal goals for her program year.
Agent Au Pair does NOT recommend International Travel During COVID-19. Risks include Contracting or Spreading COVID-19 and Travel Delays and Testing Requirements. There is no guarantee the Au Pair will be able to reenter the USA following international travel due to changing regulations, travel bans, and flight cancellations. In some cases, Au Pairs have been unable to return to the US following international travel, leaving Hosts without childcare. Au Pair and Host should review current Travel Health Notices before international travel is booked.
Au Pairs who travel internationally must review the Travel Instructions to have their DS-2019 form(s) signed for travel by Agent Au Pair’s Executive Director, Jodi, 30 days prior to travel and must bring any extension DS-2019 form to prove you are approved to be in the US for a 2nd year. Hosts should have a backup child care plan in place in case the Au Pair is unable to return.
After International Travel, Host may require Au Pair to get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay in the Host home and self-quarantine for up to a full 7 days after travel. The stipend may be unpaid during the Au Pair’s self-quarantine following travel or may be applied towards the Au Pair’s remaining paid vacation time.
A staycation, or holistay, is a period in which an individual stays local to their home and participates in leisure activities without traveling to another destination.
Au Pairs who prefer not to travel may choose to rent a local airbnb / vrbo, stay at a friend’s place, or maybe take a local camping trip. This may be a good opportunity to explore a local city or even just have some time off to relax and practice self-care. Host families who prefer their au pair stay close to home for vacation, may offer to help offset costs of a staycation as a compromise and alternative to other travel plans as long as the au pair mutually agrees.
Host should provide Au Pair clear instructions on What to Do If You Are Sick and when Quarantine and Isolation may be necessary within the household. This includes knowing the Symptoms of Covid-19, Contact Tracing, Testing and Monitoring your Health.
Au Pairs should be provided with reasonable paid sick days as part of their program and the stipend may not be withheld if sick days are needed.
Hosts should review Covid hygiene practices such as When and How to Wash Your Hands, Hand Sanitizer Use Out and About, and How to Protect Yourself & Others by practicing good hygiene. Dress codes may include instructions on How to Properly Wear a Mask and When to Wear a Mask.
Au Pairs must be permitted to have in-person access to family, friends and the local community as well as access to Activities and Gatherings as long as agreed-upon precautions are followed. It is common for Au Pairs to date and meet individuals online to make new friends in their community. Hosts and Au Pairs should discuss How to Protect Yourself & Others while meeting new people. Au Pairs with a long-term romantic partner should be allowed in-person contact with this individual as they would any other family member.
Au Pairs should be allowed access to Daily Activities in their communities so long as local guidelines are followed. Local guidelines may vary from state to state. Hosts should discuss their current local guidelines with au pairs during the interview and matching process before Au Pair arrival and again upon arrival. Au Pairs and Hosts should be aware of the different levels of risk associated with Outdoor and Indoor Activities as well as Small and Large Gatherings. Hosts and Au Pairs should review Requirements for Face Masks on Public Transportation together.
Au Pairs are required to complete an Education Requirement during the program year. Some colleges, universities and community organizations may require an FDA Approved COVID-19 Vaccine to be eligible for in-person attendance. It is the responsibility of the Host and Au Pair to confirm the requirements of their local colleges/universities together prior to enrollment. FDA Approved COVID-19 Vaccines may or may not be available to Au Pairs in their home country before arrival. Online courses are a good option for Au Pairs who do not qualify for in-person classes due to vaccination status.
Au Pairs who are eligible must be given the opportunity to attend in-person classes at a local college or university per the Education Requirement so long as local guidelines are followed and reasonable precautions are taken.
While the goal is to resume in-person programming as soon as possible, Agent Au Pair respects each program participant’s individual Covid precautions. Au Pairs, Hosts, and Local Coordinators are given the opportunity to receive/provide virtual support through 2021.
Au Pair group monthly meetings are attended by Local Coordinators and Au Pairs who practice varying levels of Covid precautions. The decision has been made for official Au Pair meetings to remain virtual through 2021 to be inclusive of all program participants regardless of individual precautions, vaccine or health status. This means that Au Pairs or Local Coordinators in Quarantine and Isolation or with potential Symptoms of Covid-19 can still attend and meet program requirements.
Au Pairs and Local Coordinators may choose to meet in-person for optional get-togethers in addition to the required monthly meetings and outside of official Agent Au Pair programming. Au Pairs must be allowed access to Daily Activities in their communities so long as local guidelines are followed. Local Coordinators may or may not participate in Au Pair get-togethers.
Utilize this blank page of your Household Guide to customize your household’s specific agreed-upon Covid-19 guidelines. In case of future placement concerns, the Local Coordinator will request the most recent copy of your Household Guide.
Experiencing language barriers? Check out this Communication Toolkit for Limited-English-Proficient Populations.