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Cultural Care Au Pair / Victimized Au Pairs at Children's expense

MD, United States Review updated:

These au pairs are being victimized at the expense of young childrens' safety for the profit of big business. This needs to stop! There needs to be better regulations to plug the loopholes Cultural Care Au Pair is using. And this is my story:

We know a girl who has been an au pair with this company for about 9 months. She is a terrific girl with a wonderful supportive family back home. She came over to my house last night for dinner and she talked to me about her experiences. I am shocked! This is modern day slavery for these girls. She works on average 16-17 hours per day and gets paid $190.00 per week. Minimum wage is $8.00 in this country, I know you have to account for room & board she doesn't pay for, but that doesn't add up to $2.00 per hour. She has Saturday afternoon at 3pm until Sunday at noon off. That's it. Less then 24 hours. She doesn't have a set schedule. They live out in the middle of no where, with no access to a vehicle or public transportation. She is stuck there. The family took her to florida on a weeks long trip, and she watched the kids the entire time, while the Mom & her boyfriend enjoyed a terrific vacation. But yet the company counted that as one of her 2 weeks paid vacation she is owed.

I know child care is difficult, I've raised 3 boys, but the legal laws this company is breaking is outrageous. These girls are modern day slaves. She did complain to her LCC and was told to keep her mouth shut or face deportation. This is the United States. This is not allowed! She is hereon a one year student visa, not a work visa. What's up with that. She's taken two days of classes in the past 9 months. That's like my college son studying abroad for a year and only taking two days of classes. I'm sure this is a legal way for this company not to be tracked by the US labor department since these girls are here working full time under a student visa. Overtime pay is non existent. I'm a business owner, and the IRS doesn't look upon that lightly. But no one is helping these girls or letting them know their legal rights.


She has asked for my help last night. I couldn't believe all the "red flags" that I heard. So I goggled, this company. I'm even more shocked at what I've read. How can they keep getting away with this? These girls are being victimized at the expense of young children to profit big business in this country, and it's wrong.

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Comments

  • Nj
      12th of Apr, 2010

    Dear Kerry,

    You have shared some very concerning information in your posting and I want to make myself personally available to address these issues. A violation of any program rules or regulations is unacceptable and I welcome the opportunity to investigate the specifics of these claims and make certain that any violations are put to an immediate end. Please urge the au pair you have referenced to contact me directly either by phone or email so that we I can become involved right away in addressing her situation. We are committed to supporting our program participants and while I understand your concern, I assure you that safety remains the highest of priorities for this organization.

    Thank you,
    Natalie Jordan
    Senior Vice President
    Cultural Care Au Pair
    Natalie.[protected]@culturalcare.com
    617.619.1159

    0 Votes
  • Go
      12th of Apr, 2010

    I was an au pair counselor for six years for another agency and can tell you that sometimes girls would rather put up with poor conditions rather than rock the boat. Luckily you got the attention of top management already and they will take care of this issue. I hope they safely remove this poor girl from the house because once the host mom knows this has been made public, the girl's safety might be compromised.

    If all of what you wrote is true, this woman has broken countless rules!

    *Au pair may work 45 hours a week not to exceed 10 hours in any one day;

    *Au pair is entitled to one and one-half consecutive days off per week;

    *Family vacation where au pair works does not = au pair's vacation!

    *Au pair who works during family's vacation gets paid her $195+ per week.

    None of these points are ever negotiable!

    This is a cultural exchange program and they do only take six credit hours per program year, and the host family pays for up to $500 for books and tuition and also covers transportation to and from the school (provides a car and pays of the gas, or gives her bus or train fare, etc.).

    Thank you for posting this.

    Christine from Chicago

    0 Votes
  • Go
      12th of Apr, 2010

    Kerry,

    I forgot to mention that au pairs are here on a J1 exchange visitor visa, not an F1 student visa. The six credit hours are appropriate under the circumstances.

    Pray that this young woman finishes her last three months on a happier note!

    Please let the agency step in and help this young woman. The VP can assign a new counselor to this family and au pair and remove the au pair altogether from the house if necessary.

    Now that you have gotten the attention of the entire nation, I am positive the right thing will be done.

    Christine from Chicago

    0 Votes
  • Lr
      22nd of Oct, 2010

    I have met a few girls myself from a program called Interexchange. They're completely miserable and for good reason, they hold college degrees in their home countries and come here and work for $4/ hour. In exchange they get window less rooms no bigger than my closet. They're essentially always working because they live in these homes, as far as i'm concerned anyone living in to care for your home or children should be paid more not less!

    0 Votes
  • Ke
      21st of Nov, 2010

    I'm very dissatisfied with Cultural Care - does anyone have the CEO's name? I would like to send a list of all the things that went wrong in our case.

    0 Votes
  • Mn
      2nd of Feb, 2011

    I'm an au pir from CCAP right now. Right now I have wonderful family but my last two families were terrible. First one was not as much bad as the second one but still the host mom in the first family was lcc and because of her opinion about me I couldn't find new family. She lied first to me that she will help me to find new family and then she lied about me to my lcc and other families. My second family was a hell on the earth luckily I was thier last au pair and another au pair won't have the same what I had. CCAP sucks that's true.

    0 Votes
  • St
      1st of Oct, 2013

    We know of a family who has had several Au pairs through CCAP and have consistently worked them over the 10 hrs a day. Leaving the Au Pair overnight with the kids on almost a weekly basis. The LCC is aware and does nothing. She hasn't even made a house visit in years, as the houses beyond a pig sty. I feel sorry for these girls.

    0 Votes

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