As the COVID-19/Coronavirus development continues worldwide, at Cultural Care we want to provide you with the most up to date information as it affects you as a program participant.

We will share updates as they happen on this page. We have also created some frequently asked questions to help you find the information you need.

Please refer back to this page as we will update it with any new developments!



Updates:


Update on recommendations by the US State Department to arrivals to the USA

The US State Department has paused all federally funded exchange programs and asked that Cultural Care in the USA postpones the arrival of au pairs for 60 days. This means we will be pausing departures until the week of 11 May.

Cultural Care is following the recommendation of the US State Department to best support our au pairs and host families.

This does not impact au pairs ending their au pair experience and returning home.

We are reaching out to all affected au pairs and will be in touch about individual circumstances.


Update on Travel Restrictions for UK and Republic of Ireland

On 14 March the US Government announced that the UK and Republic of Ireland would be added to the travel restrictions previously introduced for the Schengen area.

We are reaching out to all affected au pairs.


Update on the US Government announcement on travel restrictions for EU/Schengen area individuals

On 11 March, the US Government announced that they would increase travel restrictions to include those who were in or had traveled to the Schengen area. The restriction was put in place for 30 days from Friday 13 March.

This has impacted some of our au pairs who we are in contact with while we try to rearrange their departure date.


Update to the Training School

We will be moving the Training School online from March 23! This is a temporary measure for the coming months to limit concerns about transmission of the virus and to keep our au pairs and host families as safe as possible.

Our Online Training School gives you the chance to complete your au pair training in the comfort of your own home, while still receiving a world class training experience. You’ll have the chance to connect with au pairs arriving in the USA at the same time as you—and interact in real time with our teachers during the sessions.



Check out our FAQs:

I was meant to travel before May 11

Can I still travel to the US on my planned departure date if I was supposed to travel between now and May 11?

No, according to the temporary recommended pause to exchange programs introduced by the US State Department on March 12 2020, you are currently not able to travel to the US until after May 11. This restriction is currently in effect for all Cultural Care participants. Get in touch with your local office so that we can work with you and your host family to find a possible departure date that works for both of you.

What if my host family can’t welcome me at a later date?

This doesn’t stop you from making your au pair dreams come true. There are still a lot of amazing host families out there looking for an au pair. We will support you in finding another great family that can welcome you at a later date.

For any upcoming departure dates, you will have to start social distancing before you travel.

What does social distancing mean?

In order to be eligible to travel you will need to commit to social distancing. Social distancing means to minimize your exposure to potentially infected people, and report to us if you have any symptoms. Before your travel date you need to complete a 14 day social distancing period so that you can travel to your host family. With upcoming departure dates, you will receive more information via e-mail on how to start social distancing.

Will my visa still be valid if I travel later?

Please reach out to your local office for more information.

I currently have a cold (runny nose, sneezing, coughing) and/or a fever, what do I do?

Contact a doctor and check if you can travel. Make sure to follow the guidelines stated by your doctor if you are allowed to travel. Let us know if you have these symptoms within 3 weeks of your travel date. This is very important if it is within your social distancing period.

Can my host family ask me not to take vacation before arriving in the US?

No, however remember that the host family is concerned about your wellbeing and that this is an unexpected and unusual situation for everyone. Whilst they are still very happy to welcome you, they probably have some concerns about their children's health.

Can my host family ask me not to take vacation while in the US?

No, however remember that the host family is concerned about your wellbeing and that this is an unexpected and unusual situation for everyone, and they will have some concerns about their children's health. Keep an open communication with your host family and bear in mind that the situation will most likely change while you are in the US.

I am meant to travel after May 11

Am I guaranteed to be able to travel on my planned departure date?

We understand that you may have concerns right now about your travel plans, but want to let you know that we are keeping a very close eye on the situation. As of right now, your departure date is not affected by the US travel restrictions.

We know this is an uncertain time, but rest assured if anything were to impact your planned departure we would get in touch with you as soon as possible.

We encourage you to keep preparing for your departure as planned so you are ready for your au pair journey!

My host family decided to break the match with me, what does that mean?

This doesn’t stop you from making your au pair dreams come true. There are still a lot of amazing host families out there looking for an au pair. Reach out to your matching specialist who will support you in finding another great family that can welcome you.

Am I still going to the Online Training School?

Yes! Please refer to the information you received from Cultural Care in a previous e-mail.

What if I catch a cold (runny nose, sneezing, coughing) and/or a fever 3 weeks before my planned departure, what do I do?

Contact a doctor and check if you can travel. Make sure to follow the guidelines stated by your doctor if you are allowed to travel. Let us know if you have these symptoms within 3 weeks of your travel date.

Prior to your departure, you will be asked to start social distancing for 14 days.

What does social distancing mean?

In order to be eligible to travel you will need to commit to social distancing. Social distancing means to minimize your exposure to potentially infected people, and report to us if you have any symptoms. Before your travel date you should complete a 14 day social distancing period so that you can travel on to your host family. With upcoming departure dates, you will receive more information via e-mail on how to start social distancing.

Can my host family ask me not to take vacation before arriving in the US?

No, however remember that the host family is concerned about your wellbeing and that this is an unexpected and unusual situation for everyone. Whilst they are still very happy to welcome you, they probably have some concerns about their children's health. Please be aware that as of March 11th 2020 you will not be allowed to travel to the US if you have visited the EU/Schengen area 14 days prior to your departure.

Can my host family ask me not to take vacation while in the US?

No, however remember that the host family is concerned about your wellbeing and that this is an unexpected and unusual situation for everyone, and they will have some concerns about their children's health. Keep an open communication with your host family and bear in mind that the situation will most likely change while you are in the US.

My visa appointment got cancelled, what now?

Follow the guidelines provided by the embassy to book a new appointment. Please reach out to your local office with the new appointment date.

I am currently in matching

Am I still able to find and match with a host family during the current Coronavirus/Covid-19 situation?

The program will continue to run and host families are still excited to welcome au pairs to their homes. Stay in close contact with your matching specialist and reach out to them if you have questions. Make sure you stay active with your connections!

Due to the current situation, can I move my requested earliest departure to a later date?

Yes, if you feel uncertain about your earliest departure date, please contact your matching specialist to update your application.

What should I do if I am close to matching with a host family, but they don’t want to make a decision yet due to the current situation?

Keep in close contact with your matching specialist at this time and continue communicating with your host family connections. This is an uncertain time for everyone so please be patient and spend the extra time getting to know each other better!

My exams have been postponed due to my school closing – can I still match with a host family?

Yes, if you are planning to join a host family after your rescheduled exams take place. Please be aware that it’s a US State Department requirement that all au pairs have graduated high school before joining their host family, so keep us updated regarding your new exam dates.

I am applying to be an au pair

Can I still apply as an au pair?

Yes you can! There are a lot of amazing host families out there looking for an au pair. We are still accepting applications and we will support you to make your au pair dream come true.

Are you still running information meetings?

Yes! We run online information meetings on a regular basis and you can check out the next dates on our website. We’re looking forward to talking with you!

My exams have been postponed due to my school closing – can I still send in my application?

Yes, if you are planning to join a host family after your rescheduled exams take place, please continue working on your application and keep us updated regarding your new exam dates. Take this extra time to work on your application, add a few more photos, or make an even better video!

Can I still apply even though my driver’s license test has been postponed?

Yes, please reach out to your local office and let them know about your new test date. Continue to work on your application while you wait, take the extra time to work on an even better video for your application!

I can’t get a medical note because my doctor is not available – what do I do?

Please continue to work on your application while you wait for the doctor to have an available appointment. Add a few more photos, or take all this extra time you have and work on an even better video for your application!

I am a current au pair on holiday in the EU/Schengen area

I am currently on holiday/visiting family in the EU/Schengen area. What should I do?

Please contact your home office as soon as possible and inform them of your whereabouts. We are currently working on providing you with next steps – your outreach is important so please contact us so that we can assist you.

Can I travel back to the US?

According to the restrictions introduced by the US on March 11 2020, you are currently not able to return to the US if you have visited the EU/Schengen area in the last 14 days. This restriction is currently in effect until April 12.

I am a parent

My daughter or son is supposed to travel before May 11, I have questions!

Refer to our section called I was meant to travel before May 11. We understand this is an uncertain time for you and your child. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation and will reach out to your child with any changes regarding their program participation.

My daughter or son is supposed to travel after May 11, I have questions!

Please refer to our section called I was meant to travel after May 11. We understand this is an uncertain time for you and your child. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation and will reach out to your child with any changes regarding their program participation.

My daughter or son is currently in the US, I have questions!

We understand this is an uncertain time for you and your child. Cultural Care US is reaching out to all au pairs in the US to support them. This is information that has been provided to our au pairs in the USA:

Travel

We strongly discourage travel at this time. As you may be aware travel advisories and restrictions continue to be issued and updated, therefore, areas that are possible to travel to today may not be in the days and weeks ahead. In addition, please note that if you travel to an affected area (even with host family support) you may be subjected to new restrictions or conditions upon your return that could affect your ability to re-enter the country and successfully complete your program term. We encourage you to continue to monitor the websites below for up to date information.

Most importantly, speak with your host family about any travel plans you are considering. Discuss together if there are any considerations and risks that traveling would present including the inability to re-enter the U.S. It is also important to remember that your host family may have additional concerns and your decision to travel may have implications on having you continue to be their au pair.

Educational Requirement

We know that many educational courses already in progress will likely transition from classroom to online and that you should continue to attend the online classes and complete the course. If you successfully complete the course, it will count towards your educational requirement. It will temporarily be allowed for you to enroll in online classes if there are no other options available to you in your community. Please note that this is NOT a permanent change in policy on the educational component but is merely a temporary modification until such time as classroom offerings resume.

Monthly Meetings

Monthly meetings are a great opportunity to connect, ask questions, and get out into the community. However, should you or your host family have any concerns due to COVID-19, personal monthly contact may be conducted outside of your regular monthly meeting. This means that instead of meeting with your group, your LCC may offer video chats or phone calls. We encourage you to speak with your LCC if you have any questions or concerns.

Does my child's travel insurance cover medical costs associated with the Coronavirus?

With coverage from Erika Travel Insurance, our au pairs medical costs are covered. Please ask your child to reach out to Aetna directly with any specific coverage questions – they can find the details on Au Pair Help.