Looking for Mary Poppins

The government moves to regulate the programs that put au pairs in U.S. homes

The glossy brochure advertising "the best live-in child care in the world!" had featured energetic European lasses with megawatt smiles. So Cathy and Thomas Lynch of Wilton, Connecticut, were perplexed in November 1990 when their Dutch au pair arrived fearful and miserable. On Day One, Saskia, 21, wept uncontrollably, but lacked enough English to explain why she was upset. On Day Two, Saskia expressed shock that she was expected to provide sole care for the Lynches' two daughters, ages two and four, while the Lynches were at work; she thought she had come to America primarily to travel and learn English....

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