Author Archives: Andrea McMains

Tips for understanding how holiday time can affect an Au pair.

Holiday Season in the USA will be a very special time for your family and Au pair.  It can also be a time when the Au Pair may need a little extra support. Consider these tips: 

 

  • Missing Home
Certain people and places are missed and our traditions and activities seem “different” right at a time when an Au Pair would welcome something familiar. My observation has been that an Au
Pair’s emotions are close to the surface during the holidays. The enormity of this year away from
home hits her and sometimes throws her into a self-protective mode. You can help her through
this unfamiliar territory by talking to her about what your specific family activities will be (when
the candles will be lit, the stockings hung, the gifts exchanged, the meals prepared and eaten, the
relatives arriving, etc.) An especially thoughtful touch is to ask her if she has any favorite holiday foods or
traditions that could be incorporated into your celebration.
  • What are your expectations?       
Talk to your Au Pair specifically about what has to be accomplished. This will help to get her involved and interested. Remember her mother has probably taken this responsibility in previous years so don’t expect her to just “know” what needs to be done. Give her some clear, agreed-upon assignments, make her feel a part of things and let her know her contribution is needed and appreciated.
  • Discuss the change in routine and roles 
The parents are home and this is unsettling to the children as well as to the Au Pair. Some different work expectations may be needed since the kids may prefer to hover around the parents. This can make an Au Pair feel unwanted and unsure of what is expected of her. If she is thrown off balance she may not see other things she can do instead of the usual. The high emotions and energy of the kids at this time of year seem like craziness to her. Assure her that things are temporary and will be back to normal soon! Suggest things she can
do to help and encourage her to roll with the punches and just enjoy the general fuss. And host parents need to remember that no matter how stressful those long holiday days are, the rules of how many hours an Au pair can work are mandated by the State Department. No Au pair is allowed to work more than 10 hours each day or left in sole charge of the children for more than 10 hours.
  • Only in America!
The number of gifts given to the children and the excesses we enjoy with gifts, food, and decorations are overwhelming to most Au Pairs. This often causes them to withdraw as they attempt to catch their breath and to evaluate the differences.
  • New Year’s Eve in the USA
Socially you should remember the holidays are a time when Au Pairs want, and need, to be with their friends. This helps their survival mechanism when they are missing old friends back home. New Year’s Eve, especially in America, is a special occasion to an Au Pair so open communication is very important as you decide on New Year’s Eve plans. If possible, use a different babysitter on this important night for her.

Halloween Safety Tips For Au Pairs.

HALLOWEEN SAFETYHalloween

Safety is a very important issue for Halloween.   This is the most popular holiday for children who are able to go from door to door showing off their choice of costume for this year, and collecting candy from the neighbors.  For au pairs there are issues to consider that may not have been encountered before.  Here are some reminders to help make this holiday fun and safe.  HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!  

-Children should always be supervised by an adult when going “Trick or Treating”.

-Small children should not be allowed to run ahead or behind the Au pair. Talk to the host parents to find out if holding the child’s hand is necessary. 

-Only go to those homes that are known in the neighborhood to be safe participants.

-Never let a child go inside the neighbor’s home unless you know the person.

-Always check the candy before letting the children eat it.  Make sure that anything that has been unwrapped, homemade or just does not look safe is thrown away.  Ask the parents about this.

–When driving please slow down, as there will be a lot of children out in the dark.  They may not be visible.

-Talk to the children about safety during Halloween. (crossing the street, talking to strangers and waiting until their candy is checked before they eat it).

-Children may want to use a flashlight to see in the dark, this is also a good way for them to be seen by drivers.

Have a reflective pin, necklace or headpiece so that the children can be seen by drivers.

-If you have any safety concerns, talk to the parents.  

-Ask the parents about rules for candy consumption for the children.  Most parents will not want their children to gorge themselves with a lot of candy at one time.  Usually, parents will let children have a couple of pieces a day.

-Enjoy yourself.   Halloween is a fun holiday for adults too!  You may want to dress up with the children. 

Don’t forget to take lots of photos. 

Written by ALowery ATE cluster GA.

 

Back to school driving tips for Au Pairs!

The summer vacation is over! Every Fall, nearly 55 million children across the United States return to school. Many children will be on foot or using their bikes to either get to the bus stop or school grounds.

School days bring heavy road congestion with buses stopping to pick up students, children on bikes that are rushing to get to school before the tardy bell rings, and stressed out parents dropping kids off on their way work. Drivers must slow down and pay attention when children are present.  The afternoon hours are particularly the most dangerous. Over the last 10 years, nearly one in four child pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

As children head back to school, here are some helpful reminders to drivers:

Slow Down and Obey School Zone Speed Limits 
Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster. Fines for speeding in a school zone can be as high as $400.00

“No Passing”
This is a standard law, noted clearly in school zones, yet drivers regularly ignore it. Passing is not permitted in the 15 mph zone, no matter how slow another vehicle may be traveling. Passing doesn’t mean going around the vehicle. No passing means that your bumper cannot pass any other car’s bumper going in the same direction.  Another important reminder, never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.

Flashing Lights
In a school zone when there are flashing lights, drivers must stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection.

Be Diligent
Watch for kids crossing the streets. Children are quick, often unpredictable, tend to ignore hazards and take risks. A student crossing the road unexpectedly or emerging suddenly between two parked cars could be tragic. Eliminating distractions such as talking on your cell phone, eating, etc. is also strongly encouraged. Never text and drive and follow all laws pertaining to school buses. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.

Stop
Come to a complete stop. Research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in neighborhoods and school zones. Check carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding. Always stop for a school crossing guard holding up a stop sign.

Crosswalks
Never block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn. Pay special attention as you approach the intersection to avoid this as it forces pedestrians to go around you and this could place them in the path of moving traffic.

Reversing Concerns
Every vehicle has blind spots and children are small and may dart unexpectantly. Double-check for children walking on the sidewalk. In your own driveway, look all around your vehicle before backing up. Always back up slowly and teach your children to never play in, under or around vehicles. Also, discuss with them where to stand when a vehicle is reversing.

Watch for Bicycles
Young children on bikes can be unsteady, inexperienced, and most definitely unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and a bicyclist. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that he or she wear a bicycle helmet on every ride and map out a safe route with details on what to avoid and how to navigate their route.

Bus Safety
According to the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are between the ages 4 to 7 years old, and they’re walking. They are either hit by the bus, or a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. When the school bus has initiated the stop sign, all drivers must stop in both directions. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children and sadly we see news stories regularly of impatient drivers who race by a bus unloading young children. Obeying all road rules is imperative for student safety. It is also costly for a ticket, costing as much as $1000.00 in Georgia for the first offense.

The information posted was obtained at https://theumphx.com/2019/08/05/back-to-school-safety-reminder-drivers-watch-out-for-the-kids/

Are you feeling a little homesick?

Feeling homesick is a normal feeling when you first arrive as an Au pair. YOU CAN GET THROUGH IT! It just takes a little time and some effort on your part. Know that you can live with being uncomfortable for a short time. Trust yourself that you made the right decision. Trust me when I say it will get better and your whole year is ahead of you. Fun times and lifetime friends await you. GO GET THEM!

Here are some things to do if you are feeling a little blue:

  • Be a tourist, get to know where you live, visit the local sights and explore just as you would if on vacation.  Start a list of favorite places.
  • Plan a trip with a friend, a day trip or a weekend, get excited about doing something new with a new friend and before you know it you will be excited and chatting about the trip instead of talking about what you are missing at home. 
  • Go to your cluster meeting, This will definitely help you.
  • Not everything has to change.  If you loved jogging at home, do it here.  There are some habits you love that you can keep.
  • Create a routine.  Having a routine will help  you feel at home and settle into life here.
  • Do not stay home.  Get out and about, go to the gym, the park, a coffee shop, a movie, staying home alone will not help homesickness.
  • Ask your counselor to connect you with another au pair who was also homesick, there’s nothing better than talking to someone who has been in your shoes.
  • Start planning a digital memory book. Collect pictures and mementos from your year in a special online folder. Online sites like Shutter Fly and  Social Print Studios offer great deals on photo books.It will give you something to work on when you  have quiet time alone and as your year progresses you will be able to see what an amazing experience you are having.  You’ll have a wonderful keepsake to take home with you.  You’ll feel so proud of your memory book! 
  • Most importantly, talk to someone, if you feel sad or homesick.  Being part of a cluster enables us to help and support each other. 

A little inspiration from a former au pair… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3IBmRWGnwA

 Have a great year, this is your dream, make the most of it! 

Happy Fourth Of July!

fireworks

 

Known  as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades, family gatherings and barbecues.peachtree race

This weekend you can count on enjoying traditional favorites such as hamburgers and hot dogs, chicken, ribs, potato salad, chips and watermelon.  

eating watermelon

No other holiday can provide such a uniquely American experience. Being in the USA on Fourth of July can be wonderful and exciting anywhere. Here in the south, be sure to experience The Fourth in our tradition! A couple of things you will want to accomplish to be sure!

Watch the Peachtree Road Race!

Eat Watermelon

See fireworks

Hold a sparkler

Have a picnic with fried chicken

Sit on a porch decorated with red, white and blue bunting

Run in a potato sack race with your host children

Ask what the fourth of July means to Americans you have met in your Au pair year.

On this night with fireworks soaring and families gathered together, you will see in their eyes a sense of pride and respect. Pride in a country where being free is everything…… and respect for all those who give of themselves to protect that freedom.

A few facts about this Holiday!

  • Fourth of July is the federal holiday marking the Colonies’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776,
  • The Fourth of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941.
  • The oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.
  • The Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence.
  • Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national bird but was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who wanted the bald eagle.
  • The “Star Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 and not decreed the official national anthem of the United States until 1931.
  • In 1776, there were 2.5 million people living in the new nation. (Today there are over 311 million.)
  • There are more than 30 towns nationwide that have the word “Liberty” in their names.
  • Approximately 150 million hot dogs are consumed on this day. It’s the biggest hot dog holiday of the year.

 

Have fun with the children too, visit the link below for fun coloring pages, craft ideas, puzzles and games to celebrate the 4th of July holiday

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/fourth-of-july/

house with bunting

Have a wonderful 4th of July Weekend!

Making A Cardboard Box Car For Your Host Children.

Host Family and Au Pair 2019 EVENT
September 7th
On September 7th we will be meeting with all of the Atlanta APIA host families, children and Au pairs for a special event. Key leaders from APIA will be flying down to visit with us too! We will be attending the British Car Festival here in Norcross.
https://www.atlantabritishcarfayre.com/
The best part is going to be a car contest for all of the Au Pairs and children!
Over the summer, you and your host kids will be making a car out of a large cardboard box. On  SEPTEMBER 7th, Everyone will bring in their cars for a CONTEST!
There will be FIVE winning teams and PRIZES for Five categories
  • Most functional
  • Most cultural
  • Most funny
  • Most sporty
  • Most colorful

This is a wonderful way to entertain the kids this summer when it rains or everyone is tired of the sun!

If you google how to make a car out of a box, you will see some great ideas. The ones that are made to break down and pop back up are really neat. Remember you must transport the car to the event on September 7th with your host family.
Here is some inspiration below and you can google many more ideas with search words like:
bulid a cardboard car.
Here is a great colilapsible car made from a box.

 

Can’t wait to see your creativity!!!!!!!

Sun And Water Safety Tips.

Sun and Water Safety Tips

quickpoolfun3.bmp

Keep your host children safe this summer by following these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Click here for the Spanish Version.

FUN IN THE SUN

Babies under 6 months:

  • The two main recommendations from the AAP to prevent sunburn are to avoid sun exposure, and to dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. However, when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small areas, such as the infant’s face and the back of the hands. If an infant gets sunburn, apply cool compresses to the affected area.

For All Other Children:

  • The first, and best, line of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is covering up. Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97% -100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and clothing with a tight weave.
  • On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Be sure to apply enough sunscreen — about one ounce per sitting for a young adult.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
  • Use extra caution near water and sand (and even snow!) as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.


HEAT STRESS IN EXERCISING CHILDREN

  • The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat or humidity reach critical levels.
  • At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of outdoor activities should start low and then gradually increase over 7 to 14 days to acclimate to the heat, particularly if it is very humid.
  • Before outdoor physical activities, children should drink freely and should not feel thirsty. During activities less than one hour, water alone is fine. Kids should always have water or a sports drink available and take a break to drink every 20 minutes while active in the heat.
  • Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing.
  • Practices and games played in the heat should be shortened and there should be more frequent water/hydration breaks. Children should promptly move to cooler environments if they feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous.


HEAT STRESS IN INFANTS

Infants and small children are not able to regulate their body temperature in the same way that adults do. Every year, children die from heat stroke from being left in a hot car, often unintentionally, with the majority of these deaths occurring in children 3 and under. Here are a few tips for parents when traveling in a car with infants or young children:

  • Always check the back seat to make sure all children are out of the car when you arrive at your destination.
  • Avoid distractions while driving, especially cell phone use.
  • Be especially aware of kids in the car when there is a change from the routine, ie. someone else is driving them in the morning, you take a different route to work or child care.
  • Have your childcare provider call if your child has not arrived within 10 minutes of the expected arrival time.
  • Place you cell phone, bag or purse in the back seat, so you are reminded to check the back seat when you arrive at your destination.

POOL SAFETY

  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment; close supervision by a responsible adult is the best way to prevent drowning in children.
  • Whenever children under age 5 are in or around water, an adult – preferably one who knows how to swim and perform CPR – should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”
  • Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all four sides of the pool. The fence should not have openings or protrusions that a young child could use to get over, under, or through.
  • Make sure pool gates open out from the pool, and self-close and self-latch at a height children can’t reach. Consider alarms on the gate to alert you when someone opens the gate. Consider surface wave or underwater alarms as an added layer of protection.
  • The safest fence is one that surrounds all 4 sides of the pool and completely separates the pool from the house and yard. If the house serves as the fourth side of the fence, install an alarm on the exit door to the yard and the pool. For additional protection, install window guards on windows facing the pool. Drowning victims have also used pet doors to gain access to pools. Keep all of your barriers and alarms in good repair with fresh batteries.
  • Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd’s hook ­– a long pole with a hook on the end — and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool. Choose a shepherd’s hook and other rescue equipment made of fiberglass or other materials that do not conduct electricity.
  • Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties.” They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children and parents a false sense of security.
  • Children over age 1 may be at a lower risk of drowning if they have had some formal swimming instruction. However, there is no evidence that swimming lessons or water survival skills courses can prevent drowning in babies younger than 1 year of age.
  • The decision to enroll a child over age one in swimming lessons should be made by the parent based on the child’s developmental readiness and exposure to water, but swim programs should never be seen as “drown proofing” a child of any age.
  • Avoid entrapment: Suction from pool and spa drains can trap a swimmer underwater. Do not use a pool or spa if there are broken or missing drain covers.  Ask your pool operator if your pool or spa’s drains are compliant with the Pool and Spa Safety Act. If you have a swimming pool or spa, ask your pool service representative to update your drains and other suction fitting with anti-entrapment drain covers and other devices or systems. See PoolSafely.gov for more information on the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
  • Large, inflatable, above-ground pools have become increasingly popular for backyard use. Children may fall in if they lean against the soft side of an inflatable pool. Although such pools are often exempt from local pool fencing requirements, it is essential that they be surrounded by an appropriate fence just as a permanent pool would be so that children cannot gain unsupervised access.
  • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors.

– See more at: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Sun-and-Water-Safety-Tips.aspx#sthash.dmJsgr9D.dpuf

Approved Weekend Classes for 2019

2019 Weekend classes

Important to note:

If the class is remote, Host Families pay for the class and what is included.   Au Pairs pay for any transportation, food, & lodging not included in the cost of the class.

 

Albany, NY                             College of St. Rose, at Silver Bay       http://silverbayaupaircourse.com/

AP chooses subjects, see course descriptions. Lodging and meals are included in the average cost of $285. Each weekend plus homework, provides an au pair with 3 credits.

 

Brookville, NY                       Long Island University                               http://liu.edu/aupair

Weekend classes focusing on one topic.  They offer transport from the train station at a certain times.  Please see course descriptions. Average class cost of $250 and is based on receiving up to 3 credits.   Lodging and meals are not included but can be purchased for $100.

 

New York City, NY               Cultural Hi-Ways/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

http://www.campusce.net/learningacrossamerica/category/category.aspx

Learning Across America.  Classes meet on three weekend days spread out for several weeks with a break before the travel portion of the class.  Class focus and tour locations include Niagara Falls, NYC, Montreal, Amish Country of PA, Boston, & Washington DC.  Au Pairs earn either 32 or 40 hours with attendance for all classes & the tour, and completing the homework assignments.  Prices range from $279 – $485 depending on number of classes and tour location.

 

New York City, NY               UCLA Extension                                https://www.aupairclasses.org/new-york

Performing Arts (Theater/ Broadway, Music) or Visual Arts (Art Architecture, Photography) class offerings.  36 hours per class, Friday -Sunday for 295 +100 in fees.  72 hours for both classes for $500 +215 in fees.  No housing or meals included.

 

White Plains, NY                    Pace University                   www.pace.edu/eli/westchester/j-1-au-pair-student

3 course offerings – American Studies through Film, Cross Cultural Communication, American Humor, Tourism.        20 credit hour class:  9-5 pm Sat & Sun for $200.  40 hour credit class:  weekend class & research essay requirement for $365.  No housing, but free parking.

 

 

Purchase, NY                          SUNY Purchase                                              www.purchase.edu/ell

Explorations in American Life and Language – courses focused on English language in business and culture classes.  Weekend options: 20 hours or 40 hours towards your U.S. government education requirement.  No housing available, but short-term parking available.

 

West Harrison, NY                Fordham University                                       www.fordham.edu/aupair

Classes focus on Psychology and Marketing presently.  Weekend classes with pre- assignment options for 20 hours ($225) or 40 hours ($375) if research paper is also submitted.  Free Parking.

 

New Rochelle, NY     Iona College               http://www.iona.edu/Student-Life/Student-Experience-Activities/International-Student-Services/ESL-General-Au-Pair-Program.aspx         

2 class offerings –American Pop culture and The Real You-Fulfilling Your Dreams.  Each class has a 2 or 3 credit option depending on completing a multipage assignment.  2 credit class costs $225, 3 credit course costs $350.  Lunch served both days, class runs from 9am – 5:45pm each day.   No housing available.

 

Boston, MA                Bunker Hill Community College                   https://www.aupairclasses.org/boston

2 classes offered – Discover Boston and Make a Difference.  Receive up to 45 hours for a 3 day course, $295 + $60 in fees.  Up to 90 hours for both classes for $500 +115 in fees.  No housing provided, however local recommendation listed on site with discount code.

 

Fairfield, CT              Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

http://www.campusce.net/learningacrossamerica/category/category.aspx

Learning Across America.  Classes meet on three weekend days spread out for several weeks with a break before the travel portion of the class.  Class focus and tour locations include Niagara Falls, NYC, Montreal, Amish Country of PA, Boston, & Washington DC.  Au Pairs earn either 32 or 40 hours with attendance for all classes & the tour and completing the homework assignments.  Prices range from $279 – $485 depending on number of classes and tour location.

 

Stamford, CT              Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

http://www.campusce.net/learningacrossamerica/category/category.aspx

Learning Across America.  Classes meet on three weekend days spread out for several weeks with a break before the travel portion of the class.  Class focus and tour locations include Niagara Falls, NYC, Montreal, Amish Country of PA, Boston, & Washington DC.  Au Pairs earn either 32 or 40 hours with attendance for all classes & the tour and completing the homework assignments.  Prices range from $279 – $485 depending on number of classes and tour location.

 

Morristown, NJ          Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

http://www.campusce.net/learningacrossamerica/category/category.aspx

Learning Across America.  Classes meet on three weekend days spread out for several weeks with a break before the travel portion of the class.  Class focus and tour locations include Niagara Falls, NYC, Montreal, Amish Country of PA, Boston, & Washington DC.  Au Pairs earn either 32 or 40 hours with attendance for all classes & the tour, and completing the homework assignments.  Prices range from $279 – $485 depending on number of classes and tour location.

 

New Brunswick, NJ                Rutger’s University                                http://www.cpe.rutgers.edu/aupair/

Classes tailored to Au Pairs.  Topics include American Food, Childcare topics etc.  8:30-4:30 on Saturday & Sunday.  $390 for 3 CEUs, includes materials, breakfast, and lunch.  Certificate upon completion.   No housing but onsite parking, free shuttle from NJ transit train station.  See website for full details.

 

Millersville, PA                      Millersville University

https://www.millersville.edu/internationalprograms/eli/short-term-english-programs/au-pair-weekend-program.php

Amish Culture studies in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.  36 hours of coursework from classroom discussion, field trip and pre and post work assignments.  $350 for tuition, registration, materials, and excursion fees.  Housing not available, but main office is open to contact for suggestions. Class runs from Friday at 3pm – 4pm on Sunday.

 

Massachusetts Bay Community College / East Coast Adventures                 http://www.massbay.edu/journey/  

“Journey through North America” class – class room learning and trip for 3 CEUs.

Montreal, Niagara Falls, Philadelphia, Quebec City & Washington DC.  APs responsible for visa/ passport requirements for any travel to Canada.  See site for dates & pricing.

 

Washington, DC        Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

http://www.campusce.net/learningacrossamerica/category/category.aspx

Learning Across America.  Au Pairs earn 36 hours Prices range from $279 – $485 depending on number of classes and tour location.  Classes meet at Trinity Washington University.  See website for more details.

 

Washington, DC        University of the Virgin Islands                      www.uviprogram.org

http://reg.abcsignup.com/reg/event_page.aspx?ek=0040-0016-856f3de29a2043ed8c7ded072bb2faf7

American History classes, Exploring DC with a walking tours, Sign Language, Personal/ Career Development, Movie making, Understanding politics etc.  Saturday & Sunday for 20 hours/ 2 CEUs for $275.  Class occurs at the Smithsonian Museums.  See website for details.  Additional classes in Maryland.

 

Washington, DC        Virginia International University        http://viu.edu/sels/programs/adult-esl.html#Museum

One day classes at Smithsonian Museums and private are galleries.  Classes typically run 10:30am – 3:30 pm.           The museum classes are $40/class, and students earn 0.5 CEUs. For new students, there is a one-time administration fee of $20. There is no textbook.  See website for details.

 

Washington, DC        George Washington University                     Http://www.WBLseminar.wordpress.com

 

Women’s Business Leadership. Focused on leadership, mentorship, professional communication, & goals.  Pre- and post-class assignments.  36 hours towards requirement.   $360 early registration price / $375 late registration price + $25 materials fee.

 

Washington, DC        University of the District of Columbia Community College   www.aupairclasses.org

Learning to live your American Dream.  45 hours for 3-day weekend class $295 + $60 (materials and registration fees).  Discount offered for enrolling in multiple classes during registration.  No housing or meals available through the school, but discount at local hostel with a discount code. Details on class website.

 

Towson, MD              Towson University                                         www.towson.edu/elc

Class options focus on Pop culture, English grammar, or the Baltimore area.  APs should sign up at least one week before the class as field trips tickets may need to be ordered in advance.  3 credit class, pre- class assignments approximately 16 hours’ worth of homework.  No lodging or meals provided.  $300 +$25 application fee.

 

Richmond, VA            University of Richmond

Under Language and Culture Studies:  http://spcs.richmond.edu/noncredit/language-culture/index.html  and Under Cultural Studieshttp://spcs.richmond.edu/noncredit/language-culture/culture.html

Under humanities-culturehttp://spcs.richmond.edu/noncredit/areas/humanities-culture/cultural-enrichment.html

 

Please see course descriptions. The average cost of $325 is based on 3 credits. Less expensive, shorter one day opportunities are available for less credits.  No lodging available but, website references to local hotels at a special rate.

 

 

Chapel Hill, NC    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill         www.humanities.unc.edu

“Adventures in Ideas:  Weekend Seminars” Lectures and optional meal.  Several offerings focusing on Global Urban Life, American Christianity, African American Music, Mapping the Ancient World etc.  See website for more details.  Tuition by deadline $110 – $125, late registration $125 – $140.  Meals $15-20.  Discounts for multiple registrations.    No housing or transportation available.

 

Charleston, SC    Trident Technical College

http://www.tridenttech.edu/ce/programs/catalog/charleston-history-and-culture.htm

Southern culture, history, language, landmarks.  Learning takes place in and out of the classroom.  Includes graveyards (ghost stories).  Late Friday – Sunday.  30 hours, for $325.  Registration includes fees for events, but not food or lodging.  Hostel information available on site.

 

Tampa, FL              Hillsborough Community College                       www.aupairclasses.org

Multiple classes, see website for details.  40 hours each.  $295 Tuition + $50 materials fee.  Late registration penalty is $50.  Discount offered for enrolling in multiple classes during registration.  Housing is not included in price of tuition, but can be arranged as a convenience.  Housing cost depends on length of stay and accommodations chosen.  See site for details.

 

Nashville, TN             University of the Virgin Islands                     http://www.uviprogram.org/

Psychology: The power of Language and Thoughts.  This course will focus on control and mastery of emotions, impulses and actions to achieve personal goals through mind mapping and visualization.  Successful completion of the course requirements will earn the student 40 hours or 4 CEU’s.  $335 course fee for on time registration.

 

Chicago, IL    Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

http://www.campusce.net/learningacrossamerica/category/category.aspx

Learning Across America.  Classes meet on three weekend days spread out for several weeks with a break before the travel portion of the class.  Class focus and tour locations include Chicago and New Orleans.  Au Pairs earn either 32 or 40 hours with attendance for all classes & the tour, and completing the homework assignments.  Prices range from $279 – $459 depending on number of classes and tour location.    Classes take place in downtown Chicago at Loyola University.  Airfare to/from New Orleans is not included in cost of tuition.  See website for more details.

 

Chicago, IL                             UCLA Extension                 www.aupairclasses.org

Discover Chicago and Make a Difference class offerings.  Receive up to 45 hours for a 3-day weekend class for $295 + $50 food, materials and activity fee & $10 registration fee. Discount given for multiple class sign up at registration.  No lodging available, but website refers to local hotels.  Pre and post assignments required for completion certificate.

 

Chicago, IL                            Illinois Institute of Technology

https://www.kentlaw.iit.edu/news/2017/new-course-american-legal-system-in-popular-culture

The American Legal System in Popular Culture is a six-credit course offered to students seeking an introduction to the American legal system and how it is portrayed in modern media. The course is targeted at au pairs who are interested in a broad understanding of the nation’s legal system and its role in shaping American culture.  $500,       3-day weekend.  See site for details, no housing available.

 

New Orleans, LA                   Tulane University

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Au-Pairs–Spring-Educational-Courses-in-San-Francisco-and-2-Other-Great-Locations-.html?soid=1101507129325&aid=3Ch9D6icIEA#nola

36 hours earned while learning about New Orleans.  Class and local transportation pass $289.  Class, local transportation pass, accommodations and breakfasts $459.  Class costs do not include transportation to New Orleans.

 

Boulder, CO               University of Colorado          http://iec.colorado.edu/aupairs see “course descriptions”

This intensive weekend course for au pairs focuses on the business of tourism. Participants explore tourist destinations and visit local businesses and attractions for analysis and discussion. As a final project, teams develop a tourism campaign promoting Boulder to people from their home countries.  $450 includes tuition, activity fees, Friday dinner, Saturday lunch, Sunday lunch, Saturday bus pass.  36 hours earned which includes pre-and post-assignments.  Class is held 6 -9pm Friday, 9-5 Saturday and 9-4 on Sunday.  Travel to/from airport and hotel package options available. See site for full details.

 

Salt Lake City, UT                 Utah Valley University                      https://www.aupairclasses.org/salt-lake-city

Make a Difference and Discover Salt Lake City.  Some au pairs have complained this class focuses heavily on the Mormon religion that is prevalent in Utah.  $500 tuition and $115 in fees.  Housing option available for additional fee – $120 per student for 3 nights in a shared bed or $180 per student for your own bed in a shared room.  Transportation information on site.

 

San Francisco, CA                  Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC)

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/San-Francisco-Educational-Course.html?soid=1101507129325&aid=e1eaQOs6D2Y

Learn about the history and culture of San Francisco in the class room and around town.  Classes take place at City College of San Francisco.  $299 includes course, materials and activity fees.   See site for details.

 

San Francisco, CA                  University of California         https://www.aupairclasses.org/san-francisco

50% class time / 50% city experience via museums etc.  Pre- class assignments as well as post class assignments required to receive certificate.  2 courses offered, up to 45 hours each- $295 for one discount for registering for multiple classes at the same time. No housing or meals available through the school.

 

San Francisco, CA                  University of the Virgin Islands         www.uviprogram.org

Photography class offered periodically.  Check site calendar for upcoming classes.

 

Los Angeles, CA                    UCLA Extension                                www.aupairclasses.org

American culture and history with a focus on entertainment and the arts focusing on either performing arts or visual arts.  Friday – Sunday class, $405 for class, materials/ activities, & registration fee.  No housing provided, but lodging locations recommended by school upon registration.

 

Los Angeles, CA                    University of the Virgin Islands         www.uviprogram.org

Sign language course, 4 CEUs.  Lodging available that includes a Saturday night hotel stay in the registration fee.  See site for more details.

 

San Diego, CA                        University of California                     https://www.aupairclasses.org/san-diego

50% class time / 50% city experience via museums etc.  Pre- class assignments as well as post class assignments required to receive certificate.  2 courses offered, up to 40 hours each – $295 for one. Discount for registering for multiple classes at same time.  This class involves more written assignments than San Francisco class.  Housing and meals available for an additional fee.

 

Big Island, HI                         UCLA Extension                    https://www.aupairclasses.org/hawaii

“Explore our Environment” pop up course offering 72 hours over a 6 day course offered in June 2019.   $975 to cover tuition, registration, shared accommodations, 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, transportation and entry to sites during field trip, course materials, and supplies. Au Pairs responsible for their own airline flights. See site for complete details.

 

Springtime Safety: Tick Bites, Poison Ivy And Other Tips.

 

PREVENT INJURIES WITH PLAYGROUND, CAR AND BIKE SAFETY

Springtime is a great time to get outside and play! Keep these safety tips in mind. 

  • Car safety for kids. Never let kids ride in the cargo areas of pickup trucks or vans. Children under 12 should ride in the back seat, and properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat for their height and weight.
  • Bike safety. Bicyclists of all ages, including kids, must wear a properly fitting helmet while riding a bike. Make sure your child’s bike is the right size, and teach him or her to obey all traffic rules while riding. Busy neighborhoods can be especially dangerous. Talk with your host parents about ways to keep safe while riding on busy streets.
  • Playground safety. As with other summertime activities, kids should always have adult supervision when having fun on the playground.
    • Equipment should be firmly anchored and well-maintained. There should be shock-absorbing material such as rubber, gravel or wood chips, and equipment should be installed at least 6” from fences or sidewalks.
    • Avoid clothing or accessories that could cause strangulation. These include drawstrings, necklaces or loose-fitting garments.

 BE CAREFUL WITH POISON IVY

Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac all contain urushiol, a rash-causing substance that produces an allergic reaction in 60-80% of all people.

You don’t even have to touch the plant to be affected. Urushiol can be transferred by touching another person or an article of clothing that has been in contact with an offending plant. If can also be inhaled if a poison ivy plant is burned.

You can reduce the risk to you and your kids by:

Learning to identify poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac leaves

  • Avoiding outdoor areas where you know poison ivy is present
  • Wearing long sleeves and pants in areas where poison ivy may be present
  • Washing skin as quickly as possible if exposure occurs
  • Bathing and washing clothes after time outdoors
  • Bathing pets who may have been exposed

Symptoms of poison ivy exposure include red, itchy, swollen skin and blisters.

  • Call a doctor if your child develops a fever or any type of rash.
  • The rash typically takes 1-2 weeks to heal.
  • Treatment includes cool showers and soothing lotion to calm the skin.
  • If your child has a severe reaction, your doctor may prescribe pills or creams to promote healing.

 WATCH FOR TICK BITES

Always check for ticks after you or your kids have been outdoors during the summertime. Removing the tick as quickly as possible reduces the risk of tick-borne illness such as Lyme disease.

  • Don’t use petroleum jelly or a hot match. These don’t work and may cause the tick to burrow even deeper into the skin.
  • Remove the tick using the following steps:
    • Use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.
    • Pull firmly and steadily until the tick is removed.
    • Don’t twist or rotate the tick.
    • If part of the tick stays in, it will eventually come out on its own.
    • Gently wash the affected area with soap and water.
  • Call your pediatrician. He or she may prescribe antibiotics if your child is at risk of Lyme disease.
  • Pay attention for symptoms of Lyme disease. Early treatment is crucial for long-term recovery.
    • Red ringed rash around the affected area
    • Red or irritated skin
    • Flu-like symptoms
    • Painful or swollen joints
    • Facial paralysis

Springtime brings out the mosquitoes! What you need to know to stay safe.

Springtime brings out the mosquitoes! What you need to know to stay safe.

April 18, 2019 – 8:00 am

What Au pairs need to know about mosquitoes and their bites.

The happy days of sunshine also brings along the itchy bites of mosquitoes! Especially this summer, due to the large amount of rain we have experienced. Here is some information about mosquitoes and their bites that you may find helpful.

mosquito

Bites from mosquitoes carrying certain viruses or parasites can cause severe illness. Infected mosquitoes can transmit West Nile virus to humans. Other mosquito-borne infections include yellow fever, malaria and some types of brain infection (encephalitis). The prevalence of these diseases depends on the geographic location. Recently, the USA has cautioned about the Zika virus and the danger for young women of child-bearing age.  Certain areas of the world and currently in the USA carry a greater risk of contracting these diseases than others. Ask your host family about the dangers that Mosquitos present in your local area.

Mosquito Bite Symptoms

After the bite occurs, humans require some sort of mosquito bite treatment in order to ease the symptoms that occur. A mosquito bite usually results in redness and minor local swelling around the mosquito bite site. Itching is also very common and tends to last longer than the swelling, which subsides after a few hours. The itching is caused by a skin reaction to the mosquito’s saliva. These symptoms usually occur soon after the mosquito bite has occurred.

After many bites, some people become rather insensitive to them and their skin barely reacts. However, for others the mosquito bite symptoms become more severe with more bites. In fact, some people are considered allergic to mosquito bites and these individuals would definitely benefit from a mosquito bite treatment.

Unlike allergic reactions to bee stings or wasp stings, where an allergic response can cause immediate death, this same response from a mosquito bite is very rare. Instead, symptoms of an allergic response to a mosquito bite involve more significant swelling of the skin with sometimes very large hives or welts forming, more redness at the bite site, and extreme itching. These symptoms tend to last much longer than in non-allergic individuals, sometimes lasting two or three days. In more severe cases, blistering and bruising may also be the response. Overall, it is a much more uncomfortable and painful situation for the victim and a bite treatment becomes important.

American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA), an international organization of nearly 2,000 public health professionals, formed in 1935. Recommends the following:

 

Mosquito Bite Prevention

Mosquito bites are annoying for individuals, but often no mosquito bite treatment is used. However, because of the possibility of contracting one of the above mentioned diseases, it is very important to avoid getting bitten as much as possible. Prevention is the best treatment.
In order to reduce the risk of being bitten:

  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) when outdoors during mosquito season. Read the precautions of the product carefully since these products can irritate the eyes, etc.
  • Wear shirts with long-sleeves, long pants, a hat, shoes, and socks when outdoors. Use of mosquito netting is also recommended in areas with higher concentrations of mosquitoes. Spray repellent on clothing because mosquitoes will bite through thin clothing.
  • Wear light colored clothing, since dark colored clothes attract more mosquitoes.
  • Avoid wearing scented products. Perfumes, etc. will attract mosquitoes.
  • Avoid times when these insects are more likely to bite such as early morning and evenings.
  • Reduce the number of mosquitoes in outdoor areas by emptying sources of standing water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs and breed in these areas.
  • Report dead birds found to authorities so that they can be checked for West Nile Virus.

Following these steps will go a long way to preventing bites and the subsequent need for a treatment.

 

Mosquito Bite Treatment

In order to get relief from the mosquito bite symptoms, a mosquito bite treatment is required. A treatment for mosquito bites involves washing the affected areas with soap and water to ensure no infections develop and to help reduce the itch. Applying soap directly to the bite has been suggested as an itch remover. Use a cold compress on the bite site to help alleviate the itch, swelling, and redness. A bite treatment may also involve some of the procedures listed below.

  • Making a paste of baking soda and water and spreading it over the bites.
  • Using calamine lotion or a topical anesthetic to help relieve the itch and pain.
  • Itching can also be relieved by using a one percent hydrocortisone cream.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen will help with the swelling and pain.
  • The use of antihistamines is also a useful mosquito bite treatment because they will alleviate the itch and swelling.
  • Aloe vera gel is an effective all natural mosquito bite treatment. This compound reduces swelling and itching and soothes the affected area.
  • A mosquito bite treatment is also available in the form of commercial products specifically designed for this purpose.

Not scratching the mosquito bite area is an effective treatment for a mosquito bite. Scratching prolongs the swelling, itch, and discomfort, and can open the skin and cause an infection. If your mosquito bite becomes red and swollen and if the area around the bite feels warm to the touch, the bite may be infected. If this condition persists and does not respond to a standard mosquito bite treatment, then consult a physician

If unusual symptoms develop about five days after being bitten by a mosquito, then a standard mosquito bite treatment is ineffective and a visit to a physician should be a priority. Unusual symptoms can include severe headaches, fever, skin rashes, nausea and vomiting, disorientation, chills, and muscle pains.

 

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