Attendance at monthly au pair meetings is a State Department requirement for successful completion of the au pair program. Au pair is responsible so the host family is aware of a date and time of the meeting and host families need to accommodate for this and provide transportation for au pair to get to meetings. Au pairs must attend a minimum of 10 out of the 12 meetings scheduled during their year, however 12 is recommended. If this requirement is not met au pair will not be eligible to receive her/his deposit back at the end of the program. There are only few valid excuses for not attending the meetings: 1) au pair is on vacation, 2) au pair is with host family on vacation, 3) au pair is ill, 4) the host family had no other option than to have au pair to work at the time of the meeting (and they new about the date and time of the meeting).
These meetings are designed for cultural exchange and to give au pairs a way to network and form friendships, as well as chance to talk to coordinator if there are any issues or questions.
Most of the time I will ask you to RSVP for meetings via e-mail by certain deadline. You must let me know by the deadline if and why you will not be attending. If I do not hear from you by the specified deadline I will expect you at the meeting. If I don’t hear from the au pair by the start of the meeting and au pair still does not show up, I will count it as unexcused absence. If it happens that an au pair gets ill on the day of a meeting and will not be attending due to this, you must let me know as soon as possible and it has to be prior to the start of the meeting.
If there are more than two au pairs that cannot attend meeting with the valid excuse, usually I will host another short meeting at coffee house on weekday night. That would be your second and last chance to attend, but you can’t just show up, sign and leave. You should socialize minimum of 20 minutes.
You always are welcome to attend other LCCs meeting with your friends. However, if you choose to attend other meeting instead of mine you have to notify me in advance and still state a reason why you will not be attending my meeting. Usually au pairs attend other LCCs meeting if they can’t make their own and there is no make up meeting or just for fin if the meetings don’t fall on the same date.
Some other general rules to follow are:
1. Please be on time. If running late call or text me as soon as possible, so the rest of us can begin in a timely manner. Especially it is important if there is a tour or some special event planned that starts at certain time.
2. Please speak English at all times because that is the only language we all have in common and all understand. It is being polite and respectful to other people in the group.
3. Respect the cultural differences of your fellow au pairs, as well as the Americans around you. Various cultures have various customs, traditions, and manners and people generally are different. Please use your best judgment communicating because some times things that are normal in one culture could be seen as inappropriate in other. Ask if you don’t know and remember that it is a part of this program as cultural exchange.
4. If any of you have a special issues regarding your personal life or host family that need to be discussed with me I would prefer to do it in private setting before or after meeting. Or, if it is a social atmosphere and I have time to step aside from everyone else I can discuss it then too. It is best to let me know in advance that you have to talk to me and I will find time within the meeting to speak to you privately.
5. Please limit the use of cell phones for emergencies only during meetings because it is not polite to be talking or texting during a meeting, regardless of whether the LCC, another au pair or a special presenter is speaking. If we are in the outside settings and no one is speaking you may use the cell phone briefly, as long as its not disrupting others.