Yearly Archives: 2015

Free ESL classes offered through Lanier Technical College

Lanier Technical College also offers Free ESL and GED classes. Call the number below for information about the next placement exam and the locations for the classes. Not all classes will be taught at the testing location.

There is no tuition charge for Adult Education and ESL classes. Books are provided free for classroom use. There is a $160 fee for the GED Tests. For further information on Adult Education, call 770.531.6363 between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday or call one of our eight county locations:

Placement Testing Sites. ( may not be where the actual class is taught. )

  • Dawson County Adult Education Center
    408 Highway 9 North
    Dawsonville, GA 30534
  • Forsyth County Adult Education Center
    3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd
    Cumming, GA 30041
    770.781.6987 (Lanier Technical College Forsyth Campus)
  • Gainesville-Hall County Adult Education Center (ESL only)
    4 1/2 Stallworth St.
    Gainesville, GA 30501
  • Wood’s Mill Adult Education Center (GED only)
    719 Woodsmill Road
    Gainesville, GA 3050
  • Lumpkin County Adult Education Center
    150B Johnson Street
    Dahlonega, GA 30533


Free ESL classes in Milton (North Alpharetta)

For more information about the registration dates for the Free ESL classes offered through Gwinnett Tech, please see the link below. This is a great option for a first class. This will give you a chance to improve your English skills and think about what you would like to take next. Count up the number of hours you spend in class and that is the number of hours you can deduct from the 72 minimum hours required by the State Department for your Au Pair program.

ESL Locations
Gwinnett Technical College
Lawrenceville Campus
5150 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday choose from one of the following time slots:
9 a.m.-12 p.m.
12:30-3:30 p.m.
6:00-9:00 p.m.
Friday or Saturday
9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Milton Center (North Fulton) 86 School Drive Alpharetta, GA 30009

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. or Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 6:00–9:00 p.m

2016-0029 esl fall classes flyer (oct)_072915 revised

Sun and Water Safety Tips


Sun and Water Safety Tips


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

Click here for the Spanish Version.


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.


  • 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.


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.


  • 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 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:

Education requirements: What every Au Pair needs to know!

Taking An Education Course Is Important!

Baby studing

The education component of the Au Pair program is a requirement of the State Department of the United States. The State department gives authorization for all Au Pair programs to exist.  When an Au Pair does not achieve her requirement, this puts all Au Pair agencies at risk. Completing your education hours is an important part of being an Au Pair and is required by your contract with Au Pair In America.  Taking a course will provide yet another level of experience during your year and yields many skills that you can use to further your personal goals. You may also make new friends and professional contacts! I hope you enjoy your educational courses. If you need assistance finding a course or have questions, please call or email your counselor.

Some Important Tips:

Any course can be taken as long as it is taught from a college, university or technical college. Only those schools approved by the State department can be accepted. All of the schools listed on your resource page on the Au Pair web-site are accepted

  •  Your counselor can clarify any questions about a school.
  • Volunteer hours do not count towards your educational credits
  • Weekend courses do count, if only one half of the requirement  is met through weekend sources. Some places offering weekend courses are not accredited. Ask your counselor before signing up.
  • The only online course currently being accepted by the State department is the UCLA Au pair advantage online course. NO other on line course can be accepted.
  • 72-80 hours of education is required for standard Au Pairs.
  • 144-160 hours for Educare Au Pairs.
  • For a second year Au Pair, 36-40 hours is required for a six month extension and 72-80 hours for a nine or twelve month extension.
  •  Credits, hours and CEUs are different. Count the hours you are in a classroom this must be 72 hours.
  • At the end of your course, send your community counselor your documents showing the name of the school and the hours that you have achieved. Check your certificate. Some certificates do not show the number of hours. If the hours are not present on the certificate, you will need a letter from the school stating how many hours you have achieved. This information is needed by your counselor to insure your certificate is giving to you and to prevent issues with your flight home.
  • All education must be achieved one month prior to the end of your Au Pair term. Send all certificates or proof of your classes to your community counselor.
  • Host families reimburse tuition costs and costs of related materials (books and supplies) up to $500 for the first year. EduCare companions are reimbursed up to $1000 for the first year. If it will cost you more than $500 (or $1000 for EduCare) to meet the requirement, you must pay the additional expense, so plan carefully.
  • Your host family is required to provide transportation, including gasoline, parking, or public transportation costs (if applicable) to and from classes in your community. The cost of transportation is in addition to the $500/$1000 allocated to tuition and related fees. It is your host family’s responsibility to provide transportation or cover the transportation costs until you complete your educational requirement, even if the $500 education allowance has already been spent.
  • To extend your first Au Pair term, you will need to have proof of 72 hours. Send the documentation to your community counselor as soon as possible. You should plan to have your education requirement finished at the time you request an extension. This happens approximately three months before the end of your first term. Au pair In America requires 72 hours to be able to extend your Au Pair term. Without 72 hours completed one month prior to the end of your term, Au Pair In America will not accept your application to extend and you must go home at the end of your first year.

If you want to extend and have not completed all of the hours, but you do intend to have them finished before one month prior to the end of your first term, you will need to do the following:

1. Register for a class that will complete 72 hours of education one month before the end of your first term.

2. Send the registration confirmation or other documents showing proof of your registration to your community counselor as soon as possible.  All proof of education must be given to your counselor before your deadline to extend.

3. At the time that you finish the course, another letter will need to be written by the school stating that you have now completed the course and the number of hours you have earned. This must be completed  one month prior to the end of your first year.

Your counselor is the best person to ask questions about your education requirement. Courses and colleges are constantly changing. Your counselor is always researching new and exciting courses that are appropriate for you.  If you are aware of a new resource, please let your counselor know!

For more information about your education requirement visit

Vacation Information for Au Pairs

Vacation Information For Au Pairs

Begin to think about your holiday astravels soon as you have settled in with your family, in most cases about a month. Every Au pair has 11 days of holiday, unless you were in rematch. An Au pair in her second family will have her vacation pro-rated between the two families. If she did not take any vacation with her first family, she will be paid for those earned days. The total 11 days will be lessened by this amount for the second family. It is usually best to take two smaller vacations instead of one long vacation. You can think of one holiday per every six months. You will plan to back up your five days off with your weekend off, giving you a longer holiday.

Start talking with other Au pairs about their travel plans. A group trip can be a great way to travel and save money. Trek America, and Cultural Highway have wonderful pre-planned trips.  You can also find great deals through the internet, especially on cruise lines. Try or www. As soon as you have an idea, you will want to talk it over with your host family. They will need time to arrange for alternate childcare or to arrange their vacation at the same time. It might not be possible for the family to accommodate a certain date. Often, a family will know in advance when they want you to take your vacation. This works well, if everyone knows in advance, at least three months.

There are special papers and in some cases visas that will be needed, if you plan to travel outside the United States. These can take up to four weeks, so plan ahead. Refer to the Au Pair In America website for more details about travel outside the USA. There is even a link to your country’s consulate if you have special questions. Canada and Mexico travel is discussed on the web site. You will also need to get your DS-2019 form signed by Au Pair In America for travel outside the USA. You can learn how to go about this on the web site. When mailing your DS-2019 form to Au Pair in America, you need to use UPS or Fed Ex. These mailing services can track a letter and find where it is, in case it gets lost. If you send it regular mail, you cannot “find” it if it gets lost. An Au Pair in the thirteenth month or in an extension term cannot travel outside the USA.

Sometimes vacationing can be confusing. If you go on your host family’s vacation with them, it is not your vacation. It should be thought of as a regular work week with a schedule. All travel and hotel expenses should be paid for by the family. If you have time off during the vacation, your personal expenses are your responsibility. Taking a separate vacation from your family is an important break for you. This allows everyone to benefit. A little fun time away should leave you refreshed and once again ready to give your best to the children in your charge.

Travel Reminders


Au Pairs Traveling outside the United States

Any au pair who is planning to travel outside of the United States ( with her host family or on her on) during her program term must make sure she checks with the embassy or consulate of the country being visited  to find out if an additional visa is required.  It is also important that she checks the status of her J1 visa in her passport and the date of expiration.  She must have her DS2019 signed by a member of staff in the Stamford office and returned before she departs for her trip.  It must be an original signature for validation.  The DS2019 should be mailed at least three weeksprior to the departure date for the trip.  It should be mailed with the travel validation request form which can be found here:  and a return self addressed stamped envelope and a check for $10 if the au pair wants it to be returned by 2 day UPS delivery. Once this is signed, it is good for the year. Should an Au Pair extend, her new DS2019 would be need to be signed again for the new term.  The consulates and additional info for travel to Mexico and Canada can be found on the APIA website.

If you are planning to travel advise your community counselor and a travel letter can be provided to you. This is in addition to the documents noted above, but can be helpful.

Happy Trails!