Sometimes you can’t do it yourself, and a helping hand is what you need to get through the parenting day. We’ve discovered one solution: the demi pair.
I met Wendy Gillanders, Co-Founder and Director of Programs for ACCESS International English Language Centre and immediately sensed her passion for culture and language. ACCESS is a boutique English language school dedicated to providing students with opportunities to learn English and soak up Canadian culture while supported by an attentive, caring staff. Wendy, a former English teacher, developed the demi pair programme to offer a unique experience to bring families living the in the Greater Toronto Area together with young adults looking to enhance their language education.
Students from Germany, Spain, France, Mexico and Chile arrive in Toronto to study at English at ACCESS throughout the year. A demi pair is a part-time au pair, who goes to school in the morning and is available to help out with childcare, light housework and meal preparation in the afternoons and evenings in exchange for free room and board.
These young adults are keen to learn the language and experience the culture first-hand. In addition to developing a relationship with their host-family, the students form friendships with each other. This social network is an important part of the demi pair programme and only further enhances the experience for the student.
What Does a Demi Pair Do?
– Pick up children from school, activities or camp.
– Take children to activities.
– Engage your children in a variety of activities such as soccer in the park, bike rides, outdoor adventure.
– Provide an extra set of hands for bedtime routine and homework help.
– Offer babysitting for much-needed adult date nights.
How Could a Demi Pair Enrich My Family?
– Families are introduced to a new culture and learn about how life may be somewhere else in the world.
– Children have the opportunity to learn and practice a foreign language. This is especially ideal for children in extended French or immersion programs.
– Demi Pairs often help relieve stress when it comes to pick-ups and drop-offs, making for a happier home environment.
– Many families who have participated report they developed life-long friendships and continue to be in contact with their demi pair years later.
Inviting someone into your home to care for your children can be nerve-wracking. ACCESS does all it can to ensure the experience is positive for both the host families and demi pairs by acting as a liaison offering regular support. Demi pairs are all 18 years of age or older, have experience working with children, are mature and looking to gain valuable experience about Canadian culture and the English language while living in your home. Placements range from 8 -24 weeks and can begin at any time.
Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by ACCESS.