So, you just got fired. In this market, you've got no prospects and no reason left to live. What's the next worst thing that could happen? Being quit on by the nanny, of course, over an issue as minor as not being able to compensate him or her for keeping your child at an arm's length, at least while it goes through that "growing" phase. Enter: some great news. Even if you are to get canned in the near future, and find yourself in the position of no longer being able to come with the scratch to child rear via proxy, your hired help will stick it out, on the assumption you'll figure something out eventually, even if it's trick turning.
If a customer loses his or her job, [Ruth] Ferry [senior vice president and a director of Au Pair in America] said Friday, the company will refund part of the $7,700 upfront, annual program fee -- the refund is based on how far along they are in the annual contract -- as long as the family can continue to pay the au pair's weekly stipend of about $177 and provide living quarters. The weekly cost of an au pair, including the program fee, comes out to $335.
The company's program fee covers the cost of recruiting, screening and transporting the au pairs, as well as its administrative costs. The latter includes costs for counselors who live in each of the communities Au Pair in America serves, Ferry said; those counselors work with families and au pairs. The company has placed au pairs in 40 states, and it has more than 3,000 families from Boston to Washington, D.C., with more than 450 in lower Fairfield County. More than 70 percent of its families are repeat business, Ferry said.
The program came about as staffers talked about the economy and heard from clients who had lost jobs, Ferry said.
"It makes really good business sense for us . . . (because) families are not looking for child care for just one year," Ferry said.