About Au Pair in America

Au Pair in America is the nation's first legal au pair program. Since 1986, we have provided the best child care opportunities to host families across the US and au pairs from around the world.

Free Slurpee Day at 7-11

Click here for full details on the 7-11 website

Click here for full details on the 7-11 website

Test FREE to 711711 to get daily updates for more free offers for the entire 7-11 Week.

July 4th Celebration in Washington, DC

Washington, DC is a spectacular place to celebrate July 4th! The National Mall is the center of all of the Independence Day Celebrations in DC. There are events all day, beginning with a parade along Constitution Avenue and ending with a fireworks display over the Washington Monument.

Sara, a host mom in our cluster has shared some links with information to help au pairs plan for the upcoming holiday.

Great list of local activities:
http://dc.about.com/od/specialevents/a/4thofJuly.htm

Getting to the National Mall & security info:
http://dc.about.com/od/4thofjuly/a/GettingtoMall.htm

The Capitol Fourth concert has a dress rehearsal on July 3, that while secure and crowded, is easier to attend than the concert on the 4th, as with July 4th, the gates open at 3:00:
http://thedistrict.com/sightseeing/events/a-capitol-fourth-4th-of-july/

A blog post that may be of interest:

http://blogs.rollcall.com/after-dark/washingtons-independence-day-patriotismpalooza/

Create Your Own “Summer Bucket List”

The term “bucket list” was popularized in the 2007 Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman movie. The idea is to make a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket” (which is an idiom referring to death.) Even though that sounds kind of morbid, the idea has taken off as something much more positive and people create bucket lists to log the things they want to do at some point in their life.

With that said, a Summer Bucket list is a list of things to do before this summer ends.

Click here to print your own summer bucket list

Click here to print your own summer bucket list

Get lots of ideas to put on your list on our APIA Summer Fun Pinterest Board.

June is Zoo and Aquarium Month

Visit your local zoo or aquarium or set up a pretend zoo with play animals and blocks. Invite the host parents to visit your pretend zoo.

Read One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish or If I Ran the Zoo, both by Dr. Seuss. Encourage the children to make up their own animals and draw them.

Think of all the animal sounds you can and play a game guessing what animal you are. You may find that the same animal says one thing in America and something quite different in your own country!

Here are links to our local zoo & aquariums.

National Zoo – Washington, DC

Maryland Zoo – Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore Aquarium – Maryland

Photo: Joseph Bylund

Visiting Baltimore By Train

10411339_10153114939569057_3095843383184004578_nWe recently had a cluster meeting in Baltimore. It was the first time I have taken the MARC train to Baltimore on the weekend and it was very convenient. Here is some information on how you can enjoy visiting Baltimore via public transportation. Prices and info are accurate as of June 13, 2014. Please check links to verify prices and schedules before you go.

Getting from DC to Baltimore
The MARC Train Penn Line runs from Union Station (DC) to Baltimore Penn Station. Cost for a one way ticket ($5-7.) Considering cost of gas and parking in the city, if you drive, makes the train a pretty good deal.

View the schedules here –> Weekend Penn Line & Weekday Penn Line

On Saturdays, there are currently running 9 trains from about 9 am (1st train northbound from DC) to about 9:00 pm (last train southbound from Baltimore.)  On Sundays, there are currently running 9 trains from about 10 am (1st train northbound from DC) to about 5:00 pm (last train southbound from Baltimore.) It is very important to be sure of the time of the final train back from Baltimore to DC.

On Weekdays, the MARC Penn Line runs from about 6 am (1st train northbound from DC) to about 9:15 pm (last train southbound from Baltimore.)

In our cluster area, here are your options:

  1. Take the Metro Red Line to Union Station and get on the MARC Penn Line there.
  2. Take the Metro Orange Line to New Carrollton and get on the MARC Penn Line there.
  3. Drive or take a bus to Bowie State Station (off Rt 197) and get on the MARC Penn Line there.

Free Way to Get Around Baltimore

Baltimore offers a FREE Charm City Circulator service that features 4 shuttle bus lines and 1 water taxi line. The shuttle buses run about every 10 minutes. Visit the website here to view the maps: Charm City Circulator

To visit the Inner Harbor take the Purple Line from Baltimore Penn Station to stop #302 – S. Calvert St. & W. Pratt St.

Summer Fun Ideas

4133298507_b0f2fecd9a_n

Looking for fun activity ideas to get the summer started off right with your host kids?

Check out our Au Pair in America Summer Fun Pinboard on Pinterest.

Planning is the key! Bored kids are more likely to get into mischief and fight with siblings. Have lots of ideas ready and avoid those problems as much as possible.

Photo: MissMessie (Flickr)

Free & $1 Summer Movies

When the kids are out of school for the summer, one place to cool off is at the movie theater. Below are three theaters in different parts of our cluster area that are offering $1 or free kid’s movies each week of the summer.

Tips to maximize your free movie enjoyment:

  • Movie admission is $1, but bring additional money for popcorn and/or drinks, if desired.
  • I suggest you arrive at least 15 minutes early to get a good place to sit.  Some of the movies can be very popular and fill up.
  • Have all the kids make a bathroom stop before going into the movie.
  • Do your homework and google the movie that’s playing in advance to make sure it will be a good one for your child/ren.
  • As with any outing, ask your host parents before taking the child/ren to the movies.
  • If you take the kids to the movie in Silver Spring, check out the fountain in Silver Plaza afterwards. Bring a towel and a dry change of clothes for the kids.  It’s hard to resist splashing in the fountain.

After the movie, do activities related to the movie:

  • Ask the children what were their favorite parts of the movie.
  • Find crafts related to the movie to complete with them.
  • Let the children act out parts of the movies.  Use household items as props and dress up in costumes to make it more fun.

BOWIE STADIUM 14

15200 Major Lansdale Blvd, Bowie, MD, 301-262-9133

Doors open at 9:30 am, Movie starts at 10 am

6/10-6/11   Hotel Transylvania (PG), The Smurfs 2 (PG)

6/17-6/18   Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (PG), The Pirates: Band of Misfits (PG)

6/24-6/25   Arthur Christmas (PG), Despicable Me 2 (PG)

7/1-7/2       Lego Movie (PG), Free Birds (PG)

7/8-7/9       Adventures of Tin Tin (PG), Rise of the Guardians (PG)

7/15-7/16   Kung Fu Panda 2 (PG), Madagascar 3 (PG)

7/22-7/23   The Croods (PG), Epic (PG)

7/29-7/30   Turbo (PG), Walking with Dinosaurs (PG)

8/5-8/6       Mr. Peabody & Sherman (PG), Rio 2 (PG)


MAJESTIC STADIUM 20 & IMAX

900 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring MD, 301-565-8884

Doors open at 9:30 am, Movie starts at 10 am

6/17-6/18   Hotel Transylvania (PG), The Smurfs 2 (PG)

6/24-6/25   Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (PG), The Pirates: Band of Misfits (PG)

7/1-7/2       Arthur Christmas (PG), Despicable Me 2 (PG)

7/8-7/9       Lego Movie (PG), Free Birds (PG)

7/15-7/16   Adventures of Tin Tin (PG), Rise of the Guardians (PG)

7/22-7/23   Kung Fu Panda 2 (PG), Madagascar 3 (PG)

7/29-7/30   The Croods (PG), Epic (PG)

8/5-8/6       Turbo (PG), Walking with Dinosaurs (PG)

8/12-8/13   Mr. Peabody & Sherman (PG), Rio 2 (PG)


Annapolis Harbour 9 (FREE)

2474 Solomons Island Rd, Annapolis, MD, 410-224-1145

Doors open at 9 am, Movie starts at 10 am

6/24-6/25   The Croods (PG)

7/1-7/2       Epic (PG)

7/8-7/9       Walking with Dinosaurs (PG)

7/15-7/16   Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (PG)

7/22-7/23   Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (PG)

7/29-7/30 Alvin & the Chipmucks: The Squeakquel (PG)

8/5-8/6       Alvin & the Chipmucks: Chip Wrecked (PG)

8/12-8/13   Mr. Peabody & Sherman (PG)

8/18-8/20   Rio 2 (PG)

Father’s Day Ideas

4226629340_b93a045349_nFather’s Day is celebrated each year in the U.S. on the third Sunday in June. This year that is June 15.

It would be a nice gesture to do something for your host dad. You could help the children make a surprise for her or give him a card yourself.  Don’t forget to send a special message to your own father, back home.

Looking for some great Father’s Day ideas?

Check out the Au Pair in America Father’s Day Pinboard on Pinterest.

Photo: Giovani Blank

Au Pair Hint For Success – Do Your Best

daisy flowerAs time goes on, it can be tempting to become relaxed in the way you complete your duties. This is especially true in the final months of your au pair year.  Don’t let yourself get into a routine of not doing your best.  Take initiative – don’t wait to be asked, anticipate children’s needs, offer to help when you are sharing “family time.”

Handling Expenses

Miscellaneous Expenses

There are different ways to handle the little day to day expenses that come up.  Things like when an au pair takes the kids out for ice cream or picks up a gallon of milk.  Some families keep a cookie jar fund, a little cash that they set aside weekly or monthly for this kind of expenses.  Here are some suggestions for avoiding problems with expenses.

Host Families

  • It’s important to be clear about how long this money should last and what types of expenses are approved.
  • Let the au pair know whether or not you expect receipts.
  • Au Pairs

  • Only spend the money on approved expenses.
  • If it is something you are not sure about, ask first.
  • Put your receipts in the cookie jar in place of the money to avoid any confusion.
  • Gas and Fare Cards

    Host families are responsible for the au pair’s transportation costs:

  • to and from classes and cluster meetings
  • driving the kids
  • It is a good idea to figure out how much gas an au pair will use for these trips and either put gas in the car or give a gas allowance.   If your au pair is riding to classes or cluster meetings with another au pair, you should offer to share the cost of gas.

    Au pairs are responsible for their own transportation at all other times.  You should replace the amount of gas used for personal use.

    Photo: Andrea Travillian

    « Older Entries