On July 4, 1776, Americans claimed our independence from Britain and Democracy was born. Every day thousands leave their homeland to come to the “land of the free and the home of the brave” so they can begin their American Dream.
The United States is truly a diverse nation made up of dynamic people. Each year on July 4, Americans celebrate that freedom and independence with barbecues, picnics, and family gatherings. Through the Internet we are learning about and communicating with people of different nations, with different languages and different races throughout the world. Bringing the world closer with understanding and knowledge can only benefit all nations.
Au Pair in America is dedicated to cultural exchange and hopes all our host families and au pairs are celebrating this truly American holiday together! Enjoy your barbeques, picnics, and all the fireworks!
Click for a schedule of fireworks.
Sometimes, especially with younger children, cries of boredom are really calls for companionship and attention—their friends may be away on vacation and without the structure of school they may find it difficult to keep occupied during long summer days. Prolonged intervals where the kids have nothing to do can be stressful . When bored, children often become whiny, cranky and demanding.
Here are a few easy tips to help au pairs and host parents combat summer boredom and help kids develop the internal resources that are important for developing creative, resource and time management skills:
- Put a weekly calendar together so as not to overwhelm yourself with planning entertainment for an entire summer, just take it one week at a time—day trips, arts and craft activities, play-dates, reading time, nature hikes, picnics, bike rides, a trip to the movie theatre etc. This way kids will have something to look forward to during down time. A calendar also helps with getting kids prepared for what comes next.
- Ask: “If you could do anything, what would you like to do?” Try and encourage your children to generate their own ideas for activities—they are more apt to have fun when they thought it up on their own! Reinforcing that children use their imaginations will also help them develop a sense of resourcefulness and get them in the habit of making their own choices about how they will spend their time.
- Keep an “art box” handy full of supplies: scissors, fabric, felt, glue, paints and brushes, stickers, paper, markers, canvass, needle and thread, beads, yarn, picture magazines etc. Rummaging through a box of art supplies can ignite the imagination and occupy children for long periods of time. They could even begin an entrepreneurial enterprise and sell their wares at the end of the summer.
- Inspire them to play with water. Water is very calming and soothing for children and they can while away many hours playing and keeping cool. Get them to wash the car, hose off the deck, or run through a sprinkler. Spend time together at the beach or pool
AU PAIR IN AMERICA & HOWARD COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE worked together to create a special program that fulfills the requirements to be able to introduce EduCare to Howard County. The program is open to all students, but will make it possible for EduCare companions to earn their required education!!
- EduCare is only for families that require childcare before and after school.
- EduCare au pairs may not be placed with families that have preschool children except if other, full-time childcare plans have been made.
- The EduCare au pair may work no more than 10 hours per day, and a maximum of 30 hours per week.
- Au pairs participating in the EduCare component receive 75 percent of the weekly rate paid to non-EduCare participants.
- EduCare au pairs must complete a minimum of 12 hours of academic credit or its equivalent during the program year.
- The host family is required to provide (up to) the first $1,000 toward the cost of the au pair’s required academic course work.
Host Family Comparative Fees
Standard Au Pair
|Average per week**
*Based on the Federal minimum wage
** Not including education allowance. Including education, difference is $3,196
EduCare in America 2011 Arrival Dates
Tuesday, July 5 Monday, July 25
Monday, August 1 Monday, August 15
Monday, December 5
- Eat breakfast – it’s the best way to start the day.
- Drink water – 4 glasses or more a day, more when it is hot or when you are active.
- Downsize your portions – how much you eat is as important as what you eat.
- Snacking – most packaged snacks are high in calories and low in nutrition. Skip the cookies and the chips and snack instead on whole fruits, nuts, popcorn (without the butter), carrots or non-fat yoghurt.
- Fiber – foods rich in fiber are filling and give you energy. These foods include bran cereal, fresh and dried fruit, broccoli, asparagus, peas, corn, cabbage, brussels sprouts, whole grain breads, brown rice and lentils.
- Lean protein – whether or not you eat meat, you need protein. Best sources include skinless chicken or turkey breast, fish and shellfish, egg whites, lowfat milk and cheese, kidney beans, chick peas, tofu and other soy products.
- Variety – try to eat fruits and vegetables of many different colors. This will help you get many vitamins and other nutrients important to your health.
- Stop eating before you are full – you’ll feel better.
If you want to lose weight, here are some ideas to help you do that:
Crash diets or quick weight-loss schemes are not a good long-term solution.
Have patience in losing a half-pound to one pound per week.
Always drink plenty of water or other fluids.
Never skip meals in an effort to lose weight.
Get up and go, increase your physical activity.
Eat a variety of foods.
With Memorial Day just passed and Fourth of July coming up next month, I wanted to remind everyone about program rules on holidays and vacations.
- Host families are NOT REQUIRED to give au pairs any specific holidays.
- Each host family will make different arrangements on holidays, some au pairs will be off and others will be required to work.
- Au pairs should NOT make plans for holidays without checking with your host family FIRST.
- Au pair earns 2 weeks of paid vacation during the course of her year.
- The host family can pick a week and the au pair can pick a week, if an agreement is not reached.
- All vacation should be preplanned (at least 4 weeks in advance.)
- All au pair’s friends and/or family visits/vacations should be pre-approved prior to purchasing a ticket.
- If an au pair travels with their host family, it should be discussed UP FRONT whether this is the au pair’s vacation or if she is working.
- If an au pair travels with the host family to work, the host family is required to pay for her transportation, lodging and meals.