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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I signed up today to get some advice about the process of working in the US for about a year. I have done some research into the US Embassy and the Visa application; it seems to be quite a strict and lengthy process, but it is for the benefit of the country, so it seems completely necessary. I am an 18-year-old student currently in college studying English, Maths, Photography and Psychology at A Level grade, I'm not sure if most of you are familiar with A Levels, but it is apparently similar/the equivalent to Advanced Placement.
Ever since I can remember I have always been fascinated by the US, and now I'm at the age where I'm ready to go and experience it. I have done some research into becoming a Nanny. The daughter of my mum's work colleague was once a Nanny in America, and I had a lengthy chat with her about her experience, and it has made me more motivated to get there; she has American and English friends that are still Nannies in the US and if everything legally goes well, they are going to help me start a Nanny career. I have always been interested in a career working with/caring for children. And what better way to merge my interests together than becoming a Nanny in America? I haven't had any experience in the working environment with children, but I don't think that is a negative, because being a Nanny and working within an environment with children is a big difference. As being a Nanny is more of a close, family-based work environment. I feel that looking after my three-year-old niece and spending lots of time bonding with her since she was born, and my younger cousin, has given me enough experience to make this decision. I am constantly told by others that I am very good at caring for and communicating well with children, and it is what makes me happy.

I finish college around this May/June (2013) and I really want to start my application process and get this going ASAP. I have my parent's help and they are very supportive of my decision.
I appreciate any comments/advice, and don't hold back on telling me things I may not want to hear. :)
Thank you.
 

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Be very, very careful if you are going to the US as a "nanny." Unlike in Europe, the terms "nanny" and "au pair" don't really have much legal definition. In the US the terms are used interchangeably - and the so-called "nanny visa" (or "au pair visa") doesn't offer much in the way of protection for the nanny/au pair - which is quite different from the situation in most of Europe.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Be very, very careful if you are going to the US as a "nanny." Unlike in Europe, the terms "nanny" and "au pair" don't really have much legal definition. In the US the terms are used interchangeably - and the so-called "nanny visa" (or "au pair visa") doesn't offer much in the way of protection for the nanny/au pair - which is quite different from the situation in most of Europe.
Cheers,
Bev
Could you elaborate on what you mean by protection? Do you mean job stability? Or my self protection? Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it.
 

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Could you elaborate on what you mean by protection? Do you mean job stability? Or my self protection? Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it.
In Europe, those on an au pair visa must have signed an au pair contract with certain terms and conditions. Typical required terms are:
  • a limited number of hours per week
  • restrictions on the type of work the au pair can be asked to do
  • time off for classes and/or religious observances
  • insurance coverage
  • accommodation (usually a private room in the household)
  • limited remuneration ("pocket money")
  • treatment more as a member of the household than as a hired hand
In the US, "nannies" or au pairs are not bound by such rules. There have been reports of au pairs being expected to do heavy housework chores or to work long hours. It's not always like that, but without the legal structure in place, you need to be able to stick up for yourself if the job doesn't turn out the way you expect.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I signed up to the au pair website, and I was given the option to tick either 'Nanny' or 'Au Pair' and I made sure I clicked au pair only. After doing more research into this, I did find that a Nanny is expected to do a lot, lot more than just care for the children; e.g. housework/chores cooking, cleaning, etc. And those are things that I wouldn't mind doing but only to a certain degree, but like you said I need to be able to stick up for myself, and I would definitely do that rather than be treated as a skivvy. When browsing through family profiles I have noticed that there are hours that you are required to work, and most give you a description of their house where you are expected to stay and which room would belong to you etc. And most of them have also stated they are looking for an au pair to 'become a part of the family', to 'be not just an au pair, but a friend to us and our children'.
But I will definitely make sure things are set in stone between my future family and I before making any solid decisions.

Thanks again, Bev.
Jess.
 
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