New Au Pair Association to Raise Industry Standards
Posted by Fleur Revell
A new industry association has been set up to create and maintain standards for New Zealand’s Au Pair agencies.
A new association created to protect Au Pairs in New Zealand has been internationally recognized by a prestigious governing body.
The New Zealand Au Pair Association (NZAPA), which promises to implement and enforce new guidelines for au pair agencies, has today been announced as a member of the International Au Pair Association (IAPA).
NZAPA President Cecilia Robinson says they are thrilled to be a part of the influential organisation.
“Having our association formally recognized is a positive step in the right direction for the New Zealand Au Pair industry,” says Robinson.
The IAPA is an international community and trade association for experienced and qualified au pair organisations that specialise in providing culture exchange services.
Member organizations must meet firm business and ethical standards and in turn, agree to abide by IAPA’s code of conduct, which signifies competence, fair dealing and high integrity
Robinson who runs an agency herself, Au Pair Link, says it was important to have a set of internationally recognised regulations in New Zealand where local agencies could work together to raise industry standards.
“The role of the NZAPA is to ensure that basic rules are complied with,” says Robinson. “This means things like guaranteeing host families are paying their au pair the minimum wage and addressing the concerns of both parties.”
An au pair is typically a young person from abroad employed by a family to care for their children and help with light housework in return for a small monetary allowance, room, meals and an opportunity to further study the local language, she says.
Robinson says the NZAPA follows the guidelines set in place by the IAPA by ensuring that the duties of au pairs are thoroughly stipulated. “It’s important that they’re not being treated as housekeepers or slaves and that children of host families are protected by making sure that all au pairs are thoroughly screened.”
Robinson’s agency, Au Pair Link, is also the only New Zealand au pair agency that is a qualified member of the IAPA.
For more information see: www.nzapa.org.nz