By Isaac Bonnell
The International Au Pair Exchange (TIAPE), an organization that helps place au pairs with host families in other countries, recently opened at 119 N. Commercial St. Suite 820.
TIAPE recruits young people age 18 to 26 to travel abroad and stay with qualified host families in exchange for providing childcare. The company is one of 13 organizations in the country to be approved by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor au pairs through the Exchange Visitor Program.
Currently, the organization has exchange agreements with China and Germany and is working on adding more, said regional program manager Katy Stone. For now, the program is focused mainly on placing au pairs from those countries with host families in Washington, Oregon or California.
“The West Coast is a very popular place for au pairs to come to,” Stone said.
The organization also has a program to place American au pairs abroad and TIAPE will launch its recruiting here in Bellingham.
“We hope to get a lot of former Western students who are looking for a year off,” Stone said.
TIAPE screens all of its applicants and host families and then tries to match au pairs with the right family. Thanks to modern technology, au pairs and host families can see each other and chat over Skype before signing an exchange agreement, Stone said.
For more information, call The International Au Pair Exchange at (360) 483-4594 or visit www.tiape.org.