Yearly Archives: 2016

Stay Safe while indulging in Alcohol



Indulging in Alcohol has been a pastime that dates back to Roman times. In almost every culture, alcohol has played a very important role in its history, good or bad. “We drink for different reasons”, says Caren Osten Gerszberg, the co-founder of the popular lifestyle blog Drinking Diaries. We drink, “to quench thirst, to loosen up, because it tastes good, to enhance a meal, because we’re addicted, as part of a ceremony, to celebrate, to mourn. We drink when we’re happy. We drink when we’re sad.” In my twenties, getting together with my girlfriends meant finishing a few bottles of wine. Now I have two kids in their twenties, a sophomore in college and a recent Graduate, and I know they are doing the same. Rite of passage, way to unwind, liquid courage, social bonding–whatever the reason there is plenty of boozing taking place for girlfriends across the country. However, my girls were taught to drink responsibly because they know the risks of drinking  are far greater than the rewards. In the U.S our laws restrict anyone under the age of 21 from drinking alcohol, therefore, to drink underage is a huge risk personally and is against the rules for Au pair In America.

As your counselor I recommend that you withstand drinking underage in the USA. When that time comes that you are legally allowed to drink in the U.S. Or if you are currently of drinking age, here is the advice I have told my own daughters.

Top rules you need to know before the big “Salud”!


Rule No.1:

DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. This rule not only concerns your safety but your future as an Au pair. Your Host Family has trusted you with their car to drive their children. Do not ruin that trust or risk damaging their property. I’ll warn you now that If you drive under the influence, you will get arrested.  The police in Georgia have cracked down on drinking and driving. For anyone over 21 the legal limit is a BAC ( Blood Alchohol Content ) of .08. This is having only 1 alcoholic beverage.  If you are under 21 and if you have had even a sip of alcohol, you can be arrested for underage drinking as well as driving under the influence.  Read Georgia’s drinking laws below:

“Like most states, the maximum BAC (blood-alcohol content) permissible by DUI law in Georgia is .08 percent. Over this level, a driver is considered ‘per se intoxicated’ and can be proven guilty Georgia DUI based on this confirmed intoxication level alone.

‘Zero tolerance laws’ are intended to keep drivers under the legal drinking age from indulging in the risk of drinking and driving, and therefore there are stricter penalties and limits for underage drivers. A person under the age of 21 is allowed just .02 percent BAC limit by law before being subjected to DUI penalties.”


Rule No. 2:

PLAN AHEAD. Plan how you will get home before you go out and always make sure your phone is charged.There are many options for getting home such as an Uber, Lyft, a Taxi or a Designated Driver (a friend that agrees not to drink and to make sure everyone is safe while consuming alcohol. )( .

Rule No. 3:

DRINK IN MODERATION. Know the alcohol content of your drink. The alcohol content or alcohol by volume (ABV) is a standard measurement of how much alcohol is contained in your drink. Interestingly, there is the same amount of alcohol in:

  • 1 regular beer (340 ml/12 oz)
  • 1 glass of wine (140 ml/5 oz)
  • 1 glass of fortified wine (85 ml/3 oz)
  • 1 shot of spirits (45 ml/1.5 oz)

So count each drink the same, whether it’s a shot of Tequila or a glass of Merlot. Also, a good rule of thumb is that your body digests one drink an hour. So be aware of how much you are consuming and know when enough is enough.

Rule No. 4:

BE SAFE. I want you to have a fulfilling Au pair experience, which will include meeting new friends and even becoming a part of a whole new family. I know how hard each of you work during the week, so when you do have free time I hope that you will have fun and enjoy it, but please BE SMART and keep in mind why you’re here. The experiences you make in America will last a lifetime, so you will want to remember every minute of it.


Trick or Treat: Gluten Free Candy Guide


As many of you already know Halloween is almost here! Halloween is a favorite among many Americans, although it isn’t a nationally recognized holiday and we still have to go to work or school, Halloween is celebrated for its many elaborate traditions. The origin of Halloween dates back to Europe in the eighth century and has since become a secular community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities like trick- or- treating and carving spooky faces into pumpkins. The “treat” part of Halloween is not to be taken lightly. Children will come home from a night of trick- or- treating with buckets of candy. For many children, eating too much candy can lead to sugar high or a just stomach ache, but for those with a gluten intolerance eating too much of the wrong candy can lead to severe consequences.


Many parents believe that avoiding candy in general is the best way to keep a child safe from their allergy. However, there are many candies on the U.S market that are actually gluten free! I have attached a great article to share with your host family to assist in learning about safe candy choices. This will help your host kids partake in the joys of trick or treating and will protect them from the awful effects of their gluten intolerance.  Read this article for the Gluten Free Candy list:

  • Remember to always double check the labels for ingredients to insure your child’s safety

To learn more about Halloween and some safety tips for Au pairs, look at my older blog posts found in  the archive.

Tie Dye Au Pair Cluster Meeting was big success!

I hope everyone had a great time tie dying at our cluster meeting. I love my Red, White and Blue shorts!  This is a very fun activity to share with your older host children, just remember to wear gloves. This is best done outside.

  1. All items must be made of 100% cotton
  2. Make your pattern by folding, twisting or wrapping the item and rubber band it together very tightly. Remember that inside the folds will be  left white.
  3. Soak in soda ash and water for about 20 minutes.
  4. Use two or three coordinating colors for the best results. Wear plastic gloves or you will be tie dyed too!
  5. Place in a zip lock bag and leave for 24 hours.
  6. Take out of bag ( wearing plastic gloves) and lay in the grass and wash off excess dye with a garden hose. The dye will change the color of most hard surfaces, so grass is best.
  7. Wash the item by itself once using cold water. After that you can wash along with other clothes. The item will not bleed onto other clothes.

Send me pictures of your projects with your host kids!

Tie dyeIMG_4142 IMG_4144 IMG_9486 IMG_9489imagejpeg_0IMG_4145

What you need to know about your education requirement!

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