Au Pairs / Do not go with this agency unless you want to be exploted for slave labor
I would like to send in a complaint about Au Pairs Recruitment based in Turin, Italy. It is run by Mrs. Anna Tosi. It is an illegal operation where North American au pairs are coached to illegally enter Italy without the appropriate visa's and work permits. Au Pairs are not paid appropriate wages and are given false information about their duties before they arrive. The recruitment agency does not provide protection for the nanny in case of abuse, slavery, and termination.
This is my experience:
I had visited Italy before and wanted to go back. I had worked with children before and thought that the opportunity to live with an Italian family and immerse myself in their culture would be a great opportunity. So, I went looking for au pair recruitment agencies in Italy. I found Anna Tosi's agency in Turin and e-mailed her. I received a response and a possible family. I was asked if I could come in a few weeks, to which I said yes. I was given a summary of the family, children, and duties which listed standard things like waking the children up, making their beds, walking them to school, then I would have a break until I had to pick them up, feed them, bathe them, then put them to bed. I was told I would only be working 5 hours a day, 6 days a week. Pretty standard and pretty straightforward. I was given the family's contact info and I was told to make a flight for a certain date (first warning sign was that I had to pay for my own travel). They then e-mailed me that I had to change my flight to another date, and they would not pay to change it (second warning sign). The mother had zero clue that changing a flight cost money and didn't care. When I finally arrived at the airport and met the kids, they were sweet little angels in front of their mother. That quickly changed. The children were OUT OF CONTROL AND SPOILED BEYOND BELIEF. They screamed and threw temper tantrums over EVERYTHING. One day I was walking them to school and they began kicking me and punching me. I later learned from other mothers at their school that they were known as nightmares around town and extremely spoiled and undisciplined. The schedule that I had received before I arrived was completely false. I was expected to wake up before the kids, prepare their meals, walk them to school, then come back to the house, wash and fold clothes, wash the floor etc, all day until I had to pick them up from school. Then I had to prepare their meals, bathe them and get to bed, and even then I was not given a break because I had housework. The best example I can give is that the mother told me to go through all of the children's toys and throw away anything there was a double of. The kids had an entire extra bedroom just for their toys. After I spent five hours going through all the toys, one of the children came in and threw a temper tantrum. The mother dumped the throw-away pile I had been working on for five hours back with the other toys and told me to start again! I was a slave. I had no breaks, no free time, and I soon became very sick with tonsilitis and bronchitis due to the stress and children purposely coughing on me when I asked them not to. I have chronic and very serious asthma, and had to go to the emergency room on my own dime in the middle of the night because my airway was closing. One day, we had to go out of town to do shopping and the little boy screamed to be carried even though he was six! The mother told me to carry him and I refused because he weighed too much and it would hurt my back. She began screaming at me. I ignored her. Then we returned home and the boy threw a temper tantrum knocking all the clothes out of closet. The mother said I had to clean it up, even though the boy had done it. I said that was it and I was done, and she shoved me against a wall and hit me. She told me I had two days to leave and didn't care how I left or where I went. I was in a little tiny town in the middle of nowhere, and I called Anna Tosi to help me and she refused saying there was nothing that she would or could do. She was absolutely useless and incompetent. Thank goodness I met someone in the town who spoke fluent English and she drove me to a hostel. If it wasn't for her, I don't know what the heck would have happened. But, one thing I can say is please heed my warning not to go with Anna Tosi's recruitment agency unless you want to be treated like a slave by your family, physically abused and then completely ignored by her. I want to do anything possible to prevent others from having the same experience I did