Are you overwhelmed at times by your parenting duties? Do you like travel & meeting people from different cultures? If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you may find the perfect solution in the ACCESS Demi Pair Program.
ACCESS is a small, Toronto-based English language school dedicated to providing students with opportunities to learn English and experience Canadian culture to the fullest. The Demi Pair Program is a unique experience that brings families living in Toronto together with young adults wishing to strengthen their English language skills while immersing themselves in Canadian culture.
Participants from Germany, Spain, France, Mexico and Chile arrive in Toronto to study 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.
Wendy’s personal experience with the Demi Pair Program
An integral part of the program is the cross-cultural experience for both the demi pair and the host family. Children are introduced to the demi pair’s language and culture. My family’s demi pair helped our daughter with her French homework and taught her how to make crepes and quiche! The demi pair also learns about Canadian culture. We introduced our demi pair to baseball (Toronto Blue Jays), and football – she enjoyed watching the Super Bowl with us while eating chili and chicken wings. Our kids taught our demi pair how to paddle a canoe, and she loved trying pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving!
Demi Pairs and families often develop close friendships that go well beyond the completion of the program. We attended one of Demi Pair’s weddings in Germany. And while on a family vacation to Spain, our previous Demi Pair, Claudia, took the kids to the Barcelona Zoo for the day. At Christmas, New Years, and each of our birthdays, we get numerous phone calls from abroad – all from our past demi pairs, or perhaps it would be more fitting to say “members of our extended family”.
What Does a Demi Pair Do?
– Pick up children from after school, activities or camp.
– Take children to activities.
– Engage your children in a variety of activities such as outdoor sports and games, indoor games, and arts & crafts.
– Assist with meal preparation and light housekeeping.
– Help with bedtime routine and homework.
– Offer babysitting in the evenings.
ACCESS acts as a liason between hosts and demi pairs to provide regular support throughout the program. Demi pairs are all 18 years of age or older, and have prior experience working with children. They are looking to gain valuable experience learning about Canadian culture and the English language while living in your home. Demi Pairs are all well-screened and have criminal reference checks, as well as medical checks. Placements range from 8 -24 weeks and can begin at any time throughout the year.
For further information, contact:
Director of Programs
ACCESS International English Language Centre