Monthly Archives: March 2021

10 Tips for Vacationing with your Host Family

As an Au Pair, it is great to go along on a host family vacation.  However, being in a different environment does not change your role as an Au Pair. Sometimes it does get confusing and one of the biggest issues is the danger that can be involved when no-one is clear about whose job it is to oversee the kids.

Here are 10 Tips for Vacationing with your Host Family so that everyone has a great time, and the kids are safe!

1.
Tag, your it!
I had a host family with 3 small children tell me that when it was the au pair’s turn to be
responsible for the children (and vice versa) they would tap hands so that there was no
misunderstanding who was in charge. What a great idea!

2.
Yes, a schedule is needed! A few summers ago, I received 2 calls on the same day. One was from a host mother saying that they just returned from vacation and their Au Pair did not work at all and one was from the Au Pair in this family saying she worked all day every day! How interesting is that? Be sure to discuss your Au Pair schedule so that you know when you are off – just like at home.

3.
Travel time/Work time?
You must get there, right?  Getting kids to relax on a long car ride or helping to get boarded on the plane, on time, can be stressful for all the adults! Travel time is not considered work time (unless you are the only person in charge of the children), however, being a kind Au Pair will mean that you cannot wear your earbuds and take a nap the whole trip. Look for ways to be helpful. This will make the travel time better for everyone.

4.
Lazy days! Vacation can bring different behaviors from children – especially children that
will not do well when there is no routine. Ask about any special routine that you will need to be aware of. Be prepared to be patient. Young children will not be themselves and older children who get to stay awake later may get cranky.

5.
Pool Safety!  If vacationing at the beach or around a pool be sure to talk to your host family about
how long the kids can stay at the pool, how often should sunscreen be reapplied? What is the host parent’s expectation of your role at the pool or beach? Do you need to be in the water or is it okay to sit on the side of the pool? Please do not assume your role, get clear directions.

6.
Who is the Boss?
Often summer vacation includes extended family. Can Grandma and Grandpa change the
schedule for the day? If you are uncertain about a change made by someone else, reach out to the host parents to get clarification.

7.
Where did all these kids come from?!
Are you vacationing with the host family’s family and their children too? It is fun to be surrounded by family and fun times. However, you can speak up if you are asked to care for more children than you feel comfortable with.

8.
 Traveling internationally?
Au Pair in America is advising against any international travels for the Au Pair during 2021 even if you are going with your host family. If you arrived on an NIE visa, you will not be able to return to the USA once you leave. Call your community counselor to discuss any plans for international travel during 2021.

9.
Roomies? Vacations are expensive. It may not be possible to have your own private room. Many times, an Au Pair will share space with the host children. Plans can be made so that you have the privacy to change clothes or rest by yourself. If you do not feel comfortable with this, discuss your concerns with the host family before you leave.

  1. Safety First!
    Little kids LOVE exploring a new environment, and everyone is excited and off guard. This makes an accident more likely to happen. An accident can only take a second to happen. Do what you can to prevent accidents; walk with the host parents around your vacation surroundings to discover issues that might be safety concerns. Stairsteps, upstairs windows, sliding doors, patios, and backyard pools all need special attention. Remember the safety of the children is always a priority even when you are off duty.

Working with your host family during vacation time can be tricky, and might require an extra dose of patience, but you will make memories of this experience that you are sure to treasure. You will be able to experience a new place within the USA and learn more about your host family during a relaxed time. Be thankful and express your appreciation to your host family that they chose to include you!

Top 10 Tips – Host Family Guide to a Successful Vacation with your Au Pair.

Top 10 Tips – Host Family Guide to a Successful Working Vacation with your Au Pair.

As a host family, it is great to have your Au Pair along on a vacation. However, there are pitfalls that can happen One of the biggest issues is the danger that can be involved when no-one is clear about whose job it is to oversee the kids.

Here are 10 Tips for Vacationing with your Au Pair so that everyone has a great time, and the kids are safe!

  1.  Tag, your it!                                                                                                                                             I had a host family with 3 small children tell me that when it was the au pair’s turn to be
    responsible for the children (and vice versa) they would tap hands so that there was no
    misunderstanding who was in charge. What a great idea!
  2. Yes, a schedule is needed!                                                                                                                   A few summers ago, I received 2 calls on the same day. One was from a host mother saying that they just returned from vacation and their Au Pair did not work at all and one was from the Au Pair in this family saying she worked all day every day! How interesting is that? Be sure to give your Au Pair a schedule of when she is working so that she knows when she is off – just like home. It is important for her to know when she can go relax at the beach – without having to ask if she is free. Make a tentative schedule and discuss your expectations ahead of the vacation. It is always possible to readjust when you are there.
  3. Travel time/Work time?
    Do you consider travel time to be your au pair’s work time, or can she put her earbuds in and take a nap? This is something you want to define ahead of time.
  4. Lazy days!                                                                                                                                                  Vacation can bring different behaviors from children – especially children that
    will not do well when there is no routine. Talk to your Au Pair about your children and the things you found have worked on past vacations. If you like to have a routine on vacation let her know that, too.
  5. Pool Safety!                                                                                                                                              If vacationing at the beach or around a pool be sure to talk to your Au Pair about
    how long they can stay at the pool, how often should sunscreen be reapplied, do you want your Au Pair in the water or is it okay to sit on the side of the pool? Please do not assume your au pair knows your expectations.
  6. Who is the Boss?
    Often summer vacation includes extended family. Can Grandma and Grandpa change the
    schedule for the day? Make sure your Au Pair knows who gives her responsibilities for the day and communicate that to all parties involved.
  7. Where did all these kids come from?!
    Are you vacationing with your kids, your brother’s kids, your sister’s kids and do they expect
    your Au Pair to watch them, too? If this is the case – this needs to be spelled out ahead of time so that the Au Pair can let you know whether she is comfortable. Also, is it safe for her to be watching more than your children in an unfamiliar location?
  8. Traveling internationally?
    Au Pair in America is advising against any international travels for the Au Pair during 2021. If your Au Pair arrived on an NIE visa, she will not be able to return to the USA once she leaves. Call your community counselor to discuss any plans for international travel with your Au Pair during 2021.
  9. Roomies?
    Will your Au Pair have to share a hotel room while on vacation? Make sure you discuss ahead of
    time what the accommodations will be on the trip so that you eliminate any surprises (your au
    pair should not be expected to share a room with her host parents).
  10. Safety First!
    Communication with your Au Pair is paramount on vacation. When you are all in unfamiliar
    surroundings with different schedules and different expectations – things can go wrong. Be sure that the safety of your children is number one in everyone’s mind. Take a tour of your surroundings and discuss any concerning issues. Making sure everyone knows whose turn it is to watch for the kids and what they are watching out for. These tips can ensure a  successful vacation with memories to last!

 

Everything you need to know about HOW TO GET A GEORGIA DRIVER”S LICENSE

HOW TO GET A GEORGIA DRIVER’S LICENSE

There are two tests that must be completed to receive a Georgia driver’s license. The first is the written or knowledge exam and the second is the skills test or road’s test. All non-US citizens who are residing in the state for more than thirty days are considered residents and are required to obtain a Class C Driver’s License in order to drive in Georgia.  https://dds.georgia.gov/information-non-us-citizens

Beginning April 12, 2021- No appointment is needed for the first written test. The first written exam can be accomplished at soon as the Au pair has received the SS card.  This is offered in multiple locations including Cumming, Alpharetta, Canton, Norcross, Marietta, Kennesaw, and BlueRidge which are closest to our cluster. Check business hours for the location of your choice. All customer centers are closed on Monday and close at lunchtime at 12pm on Saturday. All will be closed on Federal and State holidays.
The Road’s Test or Skills Test is taken after the learner’s permit is issued. The Au pair does not have to hold the learner’s permit for any length of time. The Road’s Test can be taken immediately. The Road’s test requires an appointment. The appointments are in high demand and appointment times can be scarce.  The appointment can be made ahead.
It is possible to make the Road’s test appointment before the learner’s permit is obtained. This is accomplished by not making an online account first and simply setting the road’s test appointment. Speak with your community counselor to learn more about setting this up.
Please note: A licensed GA driver will need to drive the Au pair to the ROADS test. The registration and current car insurance must be provided. The licensed driver will stay in the car with the Au pair during the test.

What to expect during the Road’s Test:

Learn what skills will be tested during the Road’s test.
*Many driving instruction agencies are licensed to provide the Georgia Road’s/skills test after completing their driver’s training classes. This may be easier than setting up the road test through the Georgia driver’s service for the State of Georgia.  For more information, please see the blog.
To be prepared for the written test and road test, study sections 5 and 7 about Georgia driving laws and road signage.
Practice taking the written exam:

Documents Required                                                                                         

Documentation showing your identity and legal presence in the USA:

  1. DS2019 form ( Verify that the form is signed at the bottom by Au pair and shows current host family address)
  2. Passport
  3. I-94 card  (print out from the cbp website).
  4. Social Security Card
  5. Participation letter can be printed directly from the Au pair portal.
  6. International driver’s permit
  7. Original country license ( this should be returned to you).
  8. Two forms of proof of Georgia residence: 1. Au Pair Participation letter ( print from the Au Pair portal) AND 2. choose one of the following ways to prove your residency:
  • Bank statement with Au pair name and host family address dated within 6 months of the appointment date.
  • Save Social Social Security card information when it arrives through the mail showing Au pair name and host family address- this must be dated within 6 months of the appointment time.
  • Print your insurance card from the CISI website with your name and host family address on the card https://www.mycisi.com/CISIPortalWeb/pub/login.aspx?PT=GEN

For more information regarding the Georgia Driver’s License refer to our Blog under life in the USA

Where to take your Georgia driver’s written and roads tests?

Two test must be taken: A knowledge test and a skills test.  No appointment is necessary for the knowledge exam, but wait times can be long.  An appointment must be made to take the roads test. Test can be made 120 days ahead. Save confirmation emails and appointment numbers. The written exam can be made as soon as the social security card is obtained. 

 The Roads test does not have to be taken in the same location. Please research all available appointments close enough to drive from the host family home. A licensed driver will need to drive the Au pair to the Road’s Test, if she has been issued a temporary permit. 

Class C Driver’s License

 

Search for driving distance from your host family’s home using this link. Ask your host family which location is closest to your home.       https://dds.georgia.gov/locations/customer-service-center

 These are the locations most often used. Some may be too far from your location.

All are open Tuesday to Friday. Some are open on Saturdays 8am-12pm. The offices will be closed on holidays. CHECK the hours of operation for the specific office BEFORE you go.

Alpharetta Does not offer the Roads Test, Written test only- 1575 Maxwell Road   Alpharetta, GA 30009 Saturday 7:30am 12pm

Canton right off 575 behind library- Brown Industrial Parkway, Suite 200 Canton GA. 30114 

Cumming 400 Aquatic Circle Cumming GA. 30040 Saturday 8am-12pm

Marietta  1605 County Services Pkwy  Marietta, GA 30008  Saturday 7:30am

Gainsville 1010 Aviation Blvd  Gainesville, GA 30501  Saturday 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Cartersville  1304 Joe Frank Harris Pkwy  Cartersville, GA 30121 Saturday 8:00am-12:00pm

Kennesaw-Saturday7:30-12pm  3690 Old 41 Hwy NW  Kennesaw, GA 30144

Norcross/Peachtree Corners- Saturday 7:30 to 12pm 2211 Beaver Ruin Rd Norcross, Georgia 30071

Blue Ridge This office is not open on Saturday211 Industrial Blvd, Blue Ridge, GA 30513

[Directions]

Information obtained at www.dds.ga.gov