Save au pairing in the UK

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This Petition has been endorsed by Sandra Landau MBE who was awarded her MBE in 2017 for Service to Au Pairs and cultural exchange.  Please sign this petition and circulate to as many people as possible, and like us on Facebook and follow and retweet us on Twitter.


AU PAIRING between the UK and EU is under severe threat from the uncertainty of Brexit, which could spell an end to au pairs from the EU joining families in the UK, and an end to UK young people joining families in the EU.

Au pairing is a unique form of cultural exchange for young people that is neither work nor holiday, and where visits last much longer than typical holidays. It therefore requires clear provision in immigration law for suitable rights that are different to work or holiday visas. These rights existed for 30 years before the UK joined the Common Market and will need to exist again after the UK leaves the EU. However, at present there seem to be NO PLANS for such arrangements in any Brexit proposals.

As a result, Europe’s oldest, simplest and most effective cultural exchange programme between the UK and EU countries could simply come to a halt.

This would mean an end to the mutually beneficial exchange that takes place between a young person and a family with children. An end to the tradition where a young person joins a family as a temporary family member, providing help with childcare and family activities in exchange for a secure place in the family and for pocket money. An end to the programme of individual learning (particularly of the host country language) and mutual cultural exchange.

It would also be a catastrophe for thousands of hard working families, as they struggle to adjust their work and living arrangements, and a hit on the productivity of UK plc.

This valuable experience needs to be protected, to give young people and families a clear and secure basis on which to continue to enjoy the benefits of au pairing.

We call on Theresa May, David Davis and UK negotiators, and on Jean-Claude Juncker, Michel Barnier and all EU Heads of State, to make clear and unambiguous arrangements that ensure the door stays open for young people throughout the EU to make extended visits to the UK and for UK young people to make extended visits to the EU for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of au pairing 

Save Europe’s oldest existing cultural exchange programme for the sake of young people and families.


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