How is the Coronavirus affecting the Au Pair program in China?
Given the worldwide concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak wordwide, we decided to deal with the topic from the Au Pairs’ and the Host Families’ perspective. Being the Au Pair program an international project which involves people from all over the world, our priority is to inform our participants and website browsers about how this virus is going to affect the Au Pair program. We know that you have many questions and we will do our best to clear the possible case scenarios when it comes to au pairing. We will provide you with technical information about the virus and will give you an overview of the measurements taken by most countries. We are going to update our information in order to keep you informed about the situation, especially the information of Chinese foreign policy updates. In any case, there is no need to panic!
Case scenarios for Au Pairs and Host Families
- Au Pairs who are already au pairing abroad: there is no need to worry and to leave before time. Follow the instructions of your Host Country and you will be fine. If you are not supposed to leave in the next weeks, just wait until the situation gets better.
- Au Pairs who are going to travel to the red areas: avoid unnecessary trips. You’ll definitely have the occasion to visit those places once the situation will come back to normal.
- Au Pairs who are going to work abroad in the next weeks/months: keep updated with the Host Countries’ regulations and with the travel companies. Ask your Host Family about the situation.
- For the Host Families: ask the institutions if it’s advisable to hire an Au Pair now and consider to put out the Au Pair stay. AuPair.com can help you figure it out.
- Host Families who host Au Pairs who have recently travelled: if the Au Pair doesn’t show any symptom or hasn’t been back in her hometown in the last weeks there is no need to worry. You may consider to prolong her stay, if she is supposed to leave the next days.
- Host Families who already signed a contract and want to quit: think about it and don’t make decisions that you may regret. Keep updated with the news and eventually decide to postpone the stay.
- Families who are worried about their kids: kids appear to show milder symptoms. Older people are more likely to have complications.
- Host Families who are currently looking for an Au Pair: we are receiving many requests from Host Families who need childcare support as soon as possible but the current restrictions prevent Au Pairs from many countries to travel abroad. Therefore, hosting an Au Pair who is already in your country could be a good solution for you.You can easily filter out those Au Pairs using the filter “Currently living in” and selecting the country where your family lives. The system will automatically show you the candidates who are already in your country. You can have a look at their profiles and contact the Au Pairs immediately.
- Host Families who are currently hosting an Au Pair: please consider that this extraordinary situation doesn’t change the meaning of the Au Pair program. Every Au Pair is allowed to work a limited amount of hours per week and even if your children can’t go to school now, your Au Pair doesn’t have to work additional hours even if she’s obliged to stay at home. Au Pairs are not employees but young people taking part in a cultural exchange abroad.However, given the current situation, if you ask the Au Pair to help you more than usual, the candidate should agree with it.It is important that you appreciate the Au Pair work and help in such a difficult time, compensate them accordingly and also motivate them. Otherwise, the Au Pair could feel exploited and leave your family.
How is the virus going to affect the program?
The worldwide economy is already facing the huge effects of the pandemic and there will be direct – temporary – consequences for the Au Pair program as well, whatever in China or worldwide.
- Less registrations overall: in order to respect the measures taken by every country, there may be a minor number of Au Pair jobs or Au Pair candidates for the time being.
- Impossibility to travel: again, given the measures taken by the countries, there may be serious restrictions on travelling. We suggest that you check the travel companies’ websites to get updates. Consider that most airlines refund the cost of the cancelled flights. You have to check your flight status in order to get more information. See the information regarding the locking of the Schengen borders.
- Problems in getting a visa: there may be delays due to the impossibilities of embassies to submit visa documents. Please, check the Host Country’s embassy website in order to know whether they are working regularly or not.
- Language schools may be closed, according to the area. Call your Host Family and ask them for more information about it.
- Changes in the Au Pair daily schedule: since many countries are now closing schools, the Host Kids will be at home most of the time. Therefore, your daily tasks and schedule could change, in order to handle this extraordinary situation as best as possible. Flexibility and cooperation are required now more than ever, but the terms and the nature of the Au Pair program have to be respected, without exploitation or misuse.
- If the Au Pair works less hours: Changing the Au Pair schedule means reducing the amount of hours she/he has to work? If the answer is yes, please remember that the pocket money he/she receives isn’t a proper salary but a compensation for the provided childcare. Therefore, the Au Pair still has to be paid during the quarantine, as agreed in the contract, considering the necessities and the resources of the Host Family.
starting from Feb 2021, the Chinese goverment started some new rules for assissting candidates who had vaccinated by China made COVID-19 vaccines. If you are interested of visiting China, you may consulte the Chinese consulate in your local country.