Hey guys! Name is Audrey, but you might know me as @travelrichmoneypoor. I’m coming to you from right here inside Lombardy in Italy, which is the second most infected place with Coronavirus in the world. I au paired for about 9 months. However I stopped that to become an English teacher, but with my page @travelrichmoneypoor I talk to au pairs from all over the world. I am also inside group message with about 300 au pairs just from Milan in Italy. So I’m here to tell you a little bit about what’s going on in our life, as we are the second most infected area. The first one, of course being China. The second on being Italy. So here is a little bit about what’s going on. As a English teacher my classes have been cancelled. This is week 3 of absolutely no classes, no school, nothing. Everything what I’m doing is working online to plan activities to send out to the kids to make sure that my 5-year olds are still getting all the education that they need. So that they being 5, I’m sending out things like worksheets, videos about the alphabet, numbers, number games, things like that and arts and crafts. However I’m working hand in hand with the au pairs in Milan that I’ve been working over time as Corona virus has , of course, change the lifes of many. If you’re interested in any of that information, such as activities, arts and crafts, stuff like that. If you go on @travelrichmoneypoor and click my au pair highlight, you will be able to see activities to keep your kids busy. However a little bit about the au pairs and the situation. Now I’m the one that kinda tells all the au pair stories, because some of the au pairs wanna speak out, but they are afraid, if it’s get back to their family and might sound rude. However being an au pair during this time is not the easiest thing. So a lot of au pairs come to me for advice and help during this weird time. Let me just tell you: The situation for au pairs have changed hugely. Some au pairs are working 13 hours a day with no extra pay. Because the kids are at home, but the parents are working from home, so makes a little challenging for them. Some au pairs have decided to fly back to their home countries, because they just don’t feel safe in the current situation and would rather be in quarantane with thei family than with their host family. Other au pairs have had a good side of this. Meaning that the families are at home, some of these jobs do not require working from home, which means that the parents are more present and they have an extra hand of help. But not all au pair families have been treating their au pairs equally. So during this time, if you have any questions about what you should be doing, here let me answer a few: The first one: Should you be working more hours? Technically no. In Italy your au pair contract is only for 30 hours, which means you should not be working more than that. If you are, you should be getting compensated. That’s number 2: If youre working more hours than you should be, it’s time that you talk to your host family about being compensated for your time. Number 3: Your mental health. If your host family is making you be with the kids 24/7 and it’s really taking a tor on you, you need to talk to them. You need either decide, if you want to go home or if you want to stick to your normal contracted hours. During this time there is no reason you should be working more, unless the parents ask you and you say that it is okay, but like I said before, you need the compensation for this. You need to be very open and honest with your host family during this time. You’re away from home, you’re away from your family and you’re away from your friends and since borders are being closed, of course, it is a scary time for everyone. Because in Italy things are a little bit interesting. Normally Italy is full of people walking the streets, out for dinner and just enjoying their lifes. Italy is a country that is know for socialising. However now over 60 Million people are on home home lockdown. Meaning that we are not able to go outside our house unless buying groceries and I know that this is now happening with Spain, in Denmark and a bunch of other countries around the world. But this is a good thing, quarantine is a good thing. We need to think about this part of the virus. We are all out to about the spread will keep on growing. But Italy has of course changed, because we are not in a social society at the moment, we are just at home, so it’s gonna be a little different from you. And if this is affecting you mentally and emotionally speak to your host family about it, speak to your parents about it back home and decide the best decision for you. I’ve had friends: one friend was not allowed back into the country of Italy, because she didn’t have residency. She was a UK citizen and had a UK passport, which means she was able to come to Italy without any extra documentation. She was in London for the weekend and on Monday, when the “Italy Lockdown” started, she was unable to come back through airport security, because she didn’t have a residency card. She did have an au pair contract, however in Italy it is not looked at a legal contract. So she was sent back to the UK and now will be going back to Australia, where she is originally from. Other people have one or two now ban working more hours. My friend was working 13-hour-days and she finally decided that it took a toll on her mental health and she decided she needed to leave the family. That friend went through a bad thing, where the parents actually got very mad and upset with her, but she decided she needed to do, what she needed to do and she left out family. Other people have had a really great experience with this. They’re parents finally able to help them out and be more present in the kids life, which means that the au pair, They parents finally able to help them out and be more present in the kids life, which means that the au pair siblings and kids are actually behaving a lot better. Everyone is gonna have a different experience in quarantine, so you really need to think on what’s going on with you and think about, if you need to go is that the best decision, if you need to stay is that the best decision. Just think about for yourself, no one else could tell you, what to do. However if you have any questions or worries on what’s going on, you could feel free to reach out to me personally and I could try to talk you through it. As I’ve heard stories from many, many, many different au pairs during this time. I even wrote a blog post about what’s going on with a lot of au pairs, which I did an interview with. So if you would like to check that out, you could go to the @travelrichmoneypoor Instagram page and you can click the link in the bio, where you will be able to read the stories of some of these au pairs. But if you just need someone to talk to or need some ideas on acticities to do with your kids, feel free to shoot me a message. And of course, if you need any other help, feel free to reach out to AuPairWorld. However the situation is not fun in any way, think of it as a good thing, you know, spend some more time with your kids, it’s nice, they are not gonna be stuck doing homework constantly a running routines, so maybe you’ll get to know them more and enjoy their company. Spend this time to practice the host countries language. Take your time learning a new language. Such as Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, wherever you are take your time to actually emerge yourself in the culture. Ask the family about special dishes, maybe it’s time that they could actually take the time out to teach you how to make traditional food in their country. Okay, so just because we are in quarantine and we are in lockdown, it doesn’t mean that this has to be a bad situation. Try to turn it into a positive thing, because as soon as this is over, your au pair experience will go back to being the best time of your life. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to reach out to me and feel free to reach out to the people of AuPairWorld. Although my time in Italy has changed, I’m still enjoying my time here, because this is still a once in a lifetime experience. Bye!