IAPA Workshop in Shanghai – a great success!!

IAPA Workshop in Shanghai – a great success!!

In the second week of November the IAPA Board travelled to Shanghai to hold a workshop for Chinese and Asian au pair agencies. It was also a good opportunity to hold an in-person Board meeting which is important as many topics can´t be discussed properly during the monthly calls and therefore the Board and IAPA´s Managing Director always welcome these rare opportunities to be able to exchange thoughts of face-to-face interaction.

IAPA and CAPA Board after Dinner


On the evening of the 8th of November the Boards of IAPA and CAPA (Chinese Au Pair Association) had a joined Dinner which gave us the opportunity to get to know each other and learn more about CAPA.


Workshop Objectives

On the 9th and 10th of November the we held a day 1,5-day workshop in front of 40 agents from 20 agencies. Our Nepalese member as well as an agency from the Philippines joined us.

The workshop´s goals were:

  • to bring Chinese and Asian agencies together for networking and exchange of ideas and to support cooperation among each other
  • to help the IAPA Board to learn more about the au pair programme in China, the work of agencies there, challenges they face in their daily work
  • show the agencies in Asia IAPA´s goals and mission and the benefits of cooperation and membership within this international community of au pair and cultural exchange professionals
  • to explain expectations of partner agencies in Europe, USA, South America from a cooperation with their partners with the goal to support mutual understanding between Chinese agencies and their counterparts abroad
  • to work with participants on solutions for the challenges and problems they face in their daily work with partners, host families and au pairs.

Chair Delphine Vaills welcomes the  workshop participants

Every Board member covered a different topic and worked in small groups with the participants:

Group Board member Topic
1 Delphine Vaills The perfect candidate
2 Ellen Heesen-Hiemstra Preparing au pairs and host families
3 Patricia Brunner Managing conflicts and difficult   situations
4 Linda James What makes a good partnership?
5 Goran Rannefors Cultural differences


The second half of the first day was reserved for information on quality standards, regulations, influences on au pair programs, compliance and there was also enough room for the attendees´ questions and comments.






Goran Rannefors talking about regulations and compliance


Communication and Networking

During lunch in the restaurant and during a drink on the first evening the participants had the opportunity to get to know each other in a more relaxed atmosphere. It was also a very good opportunity for the Board to have a one-on-one conversation with some of the participants.

On the second day, the Board members each gave a detailed presentation of the working group results with focus on communication, cultural differences and how to overcome them and stressing the importance of well working partnership relations and how to achieve them. Another groups session  as well as a presentation on IAPA with an invitation to attend WETM-IAC 2018 in Seville rounded up the productive workshop.


Next Steps

Ms Wei Liu, Chair of the Chinese Au Pair Association CAPA,  presented the National Association and participants were given time to discuss which further steps they can take to cooperate more on a national level and how to approach their government to further establish the au pair program and possibly establish an own Visa for it one day.

During WETM-IAC 2018 in Seville IAPA will organize a small 
meeting with the Chinese delegates to  follow up on the achievements and to continue the positive dialogue with Chinese agencies.


What participants say about the Shanghai workshop:

The very positive feedbacks and reactions of agencies and individuals who have joined us for this event in Shanghai strengthen our firm believe that these workshops are very valuable and helpful to our members and the au pair community in the countries we visit and that we will keep offering these also in the future.

  • Thanks for the wonderful workshop!
    We are looking forward to learning more from you and other au pair agencies from all over the world to promote the program. We believe IAPA is great to connect us together

                            (Candy Ge AUPAIRIA)


  • I really want to say thank you again for bringing me to your amazing event. So that I could have the chance to meet our domestic companions and discuss about practical problems and future development of au pair program in China.                                               (Elaine Song, Loveaupair)


  • Thanks to all (IAPA) Board members for this fantastic workshop, the Chinese market is still a “baby” now, we have a lot of work to do in the future.                       (Roni Yan, Au Pair Shanghai)