Monthly Archives: August 2012

Labor Day History and Children's Activities

Labor DayA New York City carpenter named Peter McGuire is credited for coming up the idea for Labor Day. In 1872, after working many long hours under poor conditions, McGuire rallied 100,000 workers to go on strike. The workers marched through the streets of New York City, demanding a better work environment. McGuire spent a decade fighting for worker’s rights. In 1882, he proposed the idea to create a special holiday for workers. On Tuesday, September 5, 1882, more than 10,000 workers hit the streets of New York City for the first ever Labor Day parade. Two years later the celebration was moved to the first Monday in September. And in 1894, Congress passed a law making Labor Day a national holiday. Au pairs and host families can find labor day activities includes crafts, word searches and coloring pages at  this link:

Transitioning to a new au pair

Full version is at>

Here are some things to think about which might help everyone in your household prepare for your au pair’s departure:

~Young children perceive time differently than adults. Therefore, your preparation for the departure should not begin too far in advance.

~Discuss the possibility of staying in touch with letters, e-mail, or even pictures if your child does not write. Be sure you have the au pair’s address, and make plans to write.

~Create a small photo album for your children to look at. After your au pair leaves this can hold important memories for them.

~Make sure there is an opportunity to say good-bye. Make it clear when it will be the last time your children will be seeing the au pair.

~If you are having another au pair arrive, discuss the arrival plans with your child.

August 15 Celebrate the Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad

In 1870 the last spike was nailed to complete the coast-to-coast railroad.  This train track helped to open up the western area of the US to development.  Trains still hold a fascination – whether it is Thomas the Tank, Brio or electric trains, children love to build tracks.

Baltimore has a wonderful Train Museum. Check it out on and look for the Calendar of Events under Kids’ Zone.

Education – Auditing

When it comes to the Education requirement, au pairs can be confused by the phrase “not less than six semester hours of academic credit OR its equivalent.” What that means is that au pairs do not NEED to take credit classes. In fact, some colleges or universities will not allow J-1 visa holders to register for credit classes, as they “save” these for degree seeking students.

BUT au pairs can easily take non-credit or Continuing Studies classes. And some colleges and universities may allow them to “Audit” a credit class. This means that the au pair can sit in the class and do the assignments and take the tests but she will not get a grade for any work done, only a  “pass or fail”. The cost may or may not be less to audit a class. Each individual school will have its own policy. Au Pairs should consult with their Community Counselor to see which schools offer this option.