Author Archives: Andrea McMains

10 tips for getting your host child to listen to you!!

My Host child is driving me Crazy! He won’t listen to me and doesn’t do what I ask him to do. 

Have you ever said this sentence? Chances are that if you are caring for a host child, you have!! Caring for children can be difficult and challenging for most adults. If we add the cultural difference and language barrier to this situation- wow! Getting your host child to listen can seem overwhelming at times.

First Cry Parenting has a great video to teach you 10 tips that will greatly improve your ability to get your host children to do what you ask. This will make your role as an Au pair easier and help you to feel less stressed.  Let your host parents know that you watched the video and then ask your host family for tips on how they manage the kids.

 

WEEKEND COURSES APPROVED BY APIA

2020 Weekend Education Classes

2020 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.

There are three main organizations that offer Weekend Classes across the country.  You can search these sites to see upcoming offerings across many locations:

  1. Cultural Hi-ways/ Borough of Manhattan Community college.

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

They have learning local and learning express options.  Classes are focused on history and explorations of locations.

 

  1. Au Pair Weekend https://www.aupairclasses.org/registration-calendar

“Single” classes earn 36 hours in one weekend.  “Double” classes earn 72 hours over 2 weekends.  “Combo” classes earn 72 hours in a single long weekend.  Classes are focused on history and exploration of locations.

 

  1. Classroom Au Pair https://classroomaupair.org/

Classes mainly offered in NJ/ NY area and Florida.  Classes are focused on a range of topics.

 

The following listings are organized by location in the country to help au pairs control airline costs.  It is listed by Northeast, to South, then West options. 

 

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 $340. 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 $285 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.  Occasional 72 hour NYC/ Washington DC/ New Orleans classes are offered for $639.  See site for details.

 

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 + $110 in fees.  72 hours for both classes for $500 +$215 in fees.  covers 3 meals during the weekend, admission to museums, shows, and activities; materials; local transportation) No housing included.  See website for full details.

 

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 – 3 class offerings that change with each semester.  Each class has a 2 or 3 credit option depending on completing a multipage assignment.  2 credit class costs $240, 3 credit course costs $350.  Classes run from 9am – 5:45pm each day.   Overnight accommodations may be available, see site for details.

 

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, when you sign up for both at the same time (“Double”).  No housing provided, see website for full details.

 

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.

 

Jersey City, NJ           Hudson County Community College             https://classroomaupair.org/

Classes offered include acting, cooking, event planning, English, photography, social media, music, as well as destination offerings in Florida.  Pre and Post assignment homework required.  9am – 7pm classes, must attend all hours to get completion certificate.  36 hour/ 3.6 ceu classes from $295 – $345, depending on class.  Transit station, street parking, or lot parking available.  See site for details.

 

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.

 

Philadelphia, PA                    Peirce College                        https://www.campusce.net/learningacrossamerica/course/course.aspx?catId=155

Arts and Diversity: A Focus on Philly’s diverse population and art scene with visit to PA Museum of Art and neighborhood murals. $319 for 36 hours.  See site for 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 or 72 hours.  Prices range from $279 – $629 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

2 class offerings -Make a difference and Discover DC and the United States.  36 hours for 3-day weekend class $295 + $60 (materials and registration fees).  Discount offered for enrolling in multiple classes during registration – 72 hours for $625.  Some meals included, no housing available through the school. Full details on 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.  $375 +$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.

 

Miami, FL                  Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC)

https://www.learningacrossamerica.net/miami

A focus on multiculturalism in Mimi, focusing on history, street murals and unique neighborhoods.  Class takes place from Thursday to Saturday.  Pre and post assignments are required.  $499 tuition includes 3 night hotel stay and some meals.  See site for details.

 

Miramar, FL               Unilatina International College         https://www.unilatina.edu/au-pair-cu-seminar/

60 hour class focusing on Public Speaking Skills, personality awareness, strengths and personal improvement, life planning tools, and stress management skills.  Pre and post assignments.  Class runs Thursday – Sunday, $570 before registration deadline $595 after.    Hotel recommendations available.  See website for more details.

 

Orlando FL     Hudson County Community College            https://classroomaupair.org/walt-disney-world/

The Making of Walt Disney World.  Learn the history and about its influence.  You will visit educational attractions – Epcot and Magic Kingdom.  $495 + 2-day theme park ticket ($237) earns 36 hours.   Includes 2 nights in shared room, 4 meals, transportation to attractions.  See site for details.

 

Tampa, FL              Hillsborough Community College                       www.aupairclasses.org

Multiple classes, see website for details.  40 hours for single class costs $599 and 72 hour combo class costs $615 which includes tuition and registration, materials and excursions.  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.  Some meals are covered.  Housing cost depends on length of stay and accommodations chosen.  See site for details.

 

Nashville, TN             Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

https://www.learningacrossamerica.net/nashville

In this course you’ll explore the events that established both Nashville’s robust live music scene and its influential music industry.  Class takes place from Thursday to Saturday.  Pre and post assignments are required.  $495 tuition includes 3 night hotel stay and admissions to museums and earns 36 education hours.  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 Chicago 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.  Earn 36 hours for $355 class, some meals, materials and fees. Discount given for multiple class sign up at registration “Double” classes earn 72 hours for $619.  Pre and post assignments required for completion certificate.  No lodging available see website for full details.

 

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       Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC)

https://www.learningacrossamerica.net/new-orleans

New Orleans is different in so many ways: its history, culture, music and food set it apart from just about any other city in America. Classroom sessions and field trips to some of the sites that reflect all that’s unique about the city including the French Quarter, Garden District and its famous cemeteries is included.  Class runs Thursday – Saturday, $469 for 36 hours and includes 3 nights at local hotel and some meals.  Some sessions earn 72 hours for $739.  See site for details.

 

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.

 

Houston, TX               Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC)            https://www.campusce.net/learningacrossamerica/course/course.aspx?catId=160&fbclid=IwAR2jBDtrO5DjT9pan-wd5yY4AUgDo4pEYITQFHTNYzm_YIgKeSVQyCdLZao

In this class, you will learn about the city’s founding, the way oil has shaped it, and the incredible diversity and culture of the area. Join us to explore the museum district, underground tunnels, famous green spaces, and learn all about The Lone Star State.  36 Hours earned for $309.  See website for details

 

San Antonio, TX                    UCLA Extension                                www.aupairclasses.org/san-antonio

History of San Antonio, with focus on the Alamo, Missions, and urban culture with a dude ranch experience.  Class runs from Thursday to Sunday, earning 72 hours.  $799 includes tuition, course fee, 3 nights lodging, 8 meals, education activities and transportation to airport at departure.  See site for full details

 

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.  72 hours earned over 4 day “Combo” class for $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.  See website for full details.    Some au pairs have complained this class focuses heavily on the Mormon religion that is prevalent in Utah.

 

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 36 hours each- $349. Discount for registering for multiple classes at the same time earning 72 hours for $619. No housing or meals available through the school.  See website for full details.

 

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 36 hour single class, $405 or 72 hours for Double class (2 weekends) for $705 for class, materials/ activities, & registration fee.  No housing provided see website for full details.

 

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 36 hours each – $295 for one or both together for Combo class in a single long weekend for $649. This class involves more written assignments than San Francisco class.  Housing and meals available for an additional fee.  See website for full details.

 

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.

 

 

Avoid Falling Victim to Scammers

There are always people out there who are looking for ways to trick people out of their money and personal information. There have been several new scams recently, so we are going to explain ways to identify scams and how to protect yourself.

SCAM #1 – A caller says they are a contact tracer and you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and asks you to pay for a test kit.

  • Contact tracers will not ask you for payment.

What to do? Do not give any payment information to someone who calls you on the phone.

SCAM #2 – Calls asking for your PIN, password, personal information or a payment. 

  • Your bank will not call you and ask you for your PIN number or password. If the caller states that they are the fraud department of your bank- hang up and call the number for your bank directly. They can trick you by already having your social security number or bank account number. HANG UP!
  • IRS and Social Security Administration will not ask you for payment or personal info over the phone. Government agencies usually handle issues like this by sending a letter.
  • The number shown on caller ID can be manipulated, don’t take that as a sign that a call is legitimate. It can be exactly the number that the agency has. It isn’t- it’s the scammer using that number to scam you.

What to do? Whenever you are in doubt, hang up and call the bank (or company) directly using a number you already have for them.

SCAM #3 – Email asking you to click a link to verify your personal information or share your password or PIN.

  • Be very suspicious of emails asking you to click links.
  • Scammers are very good at creating official-looking emails and webpages.

What to do? Whenever you are in doubt, go directly to the website (not using the link in the email).

SCAM #4 – You see an offer online telling you to send them some money and they will double it or a pop-up ad says that you have won a great prize and just need to give them your information.

  • When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

What to do? Do not give your personal information or any money to people you don’t know.

SCAM #5 – You receive a call and you are told to stay on the phone while you go transfer or withdraw money from the bank and if you don’t you will be arrested or your bank account seized.

  • They are using the idea that this is an urgent situation to make you act quickly without thinking to avoid the consequence they have told you.

What to do? Do not follow their instructions.

 

Whenever you are in doubt, do not do as the caller or email asks. Check with your host parents or community counselor.

One other note: It is very important to keep your social security number private. There are very few situations where you will need to share this (bank, IRS, motor vehicles). Those are times you are taking an action and need to provide it. There is not a legitimate time where someone would be calling you on the phone or emailing you asking for that number.

Image: Canva.com

Southern Traditions for Fourth of July Celebrations!

 

Happy Fourth of July!

No other holiday can provide such a uniquely American experience. Being in the USA on Fourth of July can be wonderful and exciting anywhere in the USA. I hope that you enjoy this day with your host family. Here in the south, experience The Fourth with our southern traditions!!

Here are a couple of things you will want to accomplish:

Follow the Peachtree Road Racepeachtree race

 

Eat Watermelon outside and don’t worry if it drips down your arm!eating watermelon

See fireworks. Google closest Fourth of July fireworks to me. There will be HUGE fireworks at NewTown Park in John’s creek, Will’s Park in Alpharetta, Search your city to find the nearest “Fourth of July fireworks” to you!

 

 

fireworks

Hold a sparkler.

sparkler

Have a picnic with lots of friends.

picnic

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

house with bunting

Run in a potato sack race with your host children.

http://www.ehow.com/how_12554_hold-potato-sack.html

Ask an American Friend what the fourth of July means to them.

natiospridethankyousoldiers2

On this night with fireworks soaring and families gathering checkered blankets, you will see a sense of pride and respect in their eyes. Pride in a country where being free is everything…… and respect for all those who give themselves to protect that freedom. I hope you enjoy our Fourth of July!

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?
Two steps must be accomplished before you travel out of the USA.  1.You must determine if you need a visitor’s visa to enter the country that you want to visit. 2. And, your DS2019 form must be signed. Even, if you are going with your host family, your DS2019 form must be signed for travel.  The original form must be mailed back to the office and signed. Then, it is mailed back to you. This process takes 3-4 weeks!  If you are in your second year, the rules are different. Please make sure you are knowledgeable about the restrictions for year-year travel.

*Au Pairs who will be away from the host family’s primary address for more than three weeks should contact your community counselor to discuss this. 

Travel Validation Form

Year 1 International Travel Checklist

Year 2 International Travel Checklist

Automatic Revalidation Checklist

9. Roomies? Vacations are expensive. It may not be possible to have your own private room, but you should have your own private bed.  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. You should feel comfortable with your ability to have private time. If you do not feel comfortable with their plan, 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!

Vacation and Holidays for the Au Pair.

Summertime is a busy travel season for host families. Here are some reminders about program rules regarding holidays and vacations.

 

Holidays

  • Host families are not required to give au pairs any specific holidays. However, if you know that you will be home, a holiday day off can be a nice reward for an Au pair!
  • Each host family will make different arrangements for holidays, some au pairs will be off and others will be required to work.
  • Au pairs should not make plans for holidays without checking with their host family first.

Vacations

  • An Au pair earns 11 days of paid vacation during the course of her year. An Au Pair who always has the weekends free will earn 10 days of paid vacation.
  • Vacation time should be mutually agreed upon before it is taken.
  • All vacations should be preplanned (at least 4-12 weeks in advance.) This can allow time to coordinate the au pair’s weekend off for the month and her vacation days.
  • Time cannot be made up in the remaining week if the vacation is taken with individual days.
  • All au pair’s friends and/or family visits/vacations should be pre-approved prior to purchasing tickets. Some host families will not be comfortable with guests visiting during work hours. It might be best to coordinate the Au Pair vacation with guests’ plans to visit.
  • If an au pair travels with her host family, it should be discussed in advance whether this is the au pair’s vacation or if she is working. A schedule is necessary for work during the host family vacation.
  • If an au pair travels with the host family to work, the host family is required to pay for her transportation, lodging, and meals. Her Lodging should ensure her privacy.
  • An Au Pair cannot be away from the host family’s primary residence for longer than 3 weeks.
  • Year 2 Au Pairs cannot travel internationally with the exception of Canada, Mexico, and some adjacent Caribbean islands.

Important: If an au pair is traveling outside of the U.S., she must have her DS2019 signed (travel validation) PRIOR to her departure from the US.  This can take up to 4 weeks to process. A visitor’s visa may also be needed for the country you are visiting.

More information about international travel may be found with these resources:

Travel Validation Form

Year 1 International Travel Checklist

Year 2 International Travel Checklist

Automatic Revalidation Checklist

Drowning is FAST AND SILENT. Four Tips to prevent drowning!

DId you know that drowning is the number 1 cause of accidental death for children under 5 and a leading cause for ages 1-14?
 Drowning is FAST AND SILENT. Drowning happens to all types of families and in all kinds of water- bathtubs, pools, lakes, ponds, rivers, beaches, and even buckets and toilets. The good news is that drowning is PREVENTABLE.
The big four tips for water safety:
1. 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. Never trust a child who says they will stay away from the pool while you go to the restroom or back to the car…. Take them with you!
2. Whenever children under age 5 are in or around water, an adult – preferably one who knows how to swim should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”
3. 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.
4. If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.

Sun Safety Tips for Au Pairs from Macroni Kids

summersafety.jpg

 

 

Everyone loves summer, especially children.

But while you’re planning some family fun in the sun, be sure to make safety a top priority. Accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 in the United States, and the summer months bring with them a unique set of risks.

Keep reading for 5 tips to keep your kids safe this summer.

#1: BE SMART WITH SUN SAFETY FOR KIDS

Sunburn, dehydration and sun or heat stroke are among the hot-weather risks parents need to be aware of when young children are playing outside.

  • Sunburn. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or above, at least 30 minutes before letting children go outside.
    • Reapply every 2 hours, or after swimming or sweating.
    • The sun’s UV rays can penetrate clouds, so you still need protection on overcast days.
    • Have kids wear protective gear, such as sunglasses with UV protection, a hat and tight-knit cotton clothing.
  • Dehydration. Provide plenty of water when kids are engaged in outdoor activities, and avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks.
  • Sun or heat stroke. Plan outdoor activities for earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon when possible. It’s safest to stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.

Babies are at greater risk from excessive sun exposure. Protect your infant with lightweight clothes with long sleeves and legs, a wide-brimmed hat, and a lightweight blanket. Apply baby sunscreen, and choose a stroller with a large canopy to shield those harmful rays.

#2: COOL OFF WITH WATER SAFETY FOR KIDS

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4 in the U.S., and over half of all drownings occur in the summer.

Adult supervision and other water safety habits are essential, whether you’re planning a trip to the beach, a day at the lake or just an afternoon splash in the neighborhood pool.

  • We really cannot emphasize this enough: there is no substitute for adult supervision. Never let children swim without an adult or lifeguard on duty.
    • Inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties” provide a false sense of security. Keep young children within arm’s reach at all times while in or near water.
    • Never leave children unattended at the pool for any reason — that includes turning your head to answer the phone, read a book or converse with other adults.
    • Likewise, never leave children unattended in a hot tub.
  • Obey all posted rules at public pools or other swimming areas — especially those pertaining to running and horseplay. Keep wheeled toys away from the water’s edge. Observe all diving rules.
  • If you have a pool at home, keep it securely covered when not in use, and protect it with a childproof fence and locking gate. Don’t allow diving from the side of the pool. A hot tub should have a locking lid.
  • Learn CPR and other First Aid so you’re prepared in the event of an accident.
  • Children must wear a properly-fitting life jacket at all times while riding on a boat, and adults must never consume alcohol while operating a boat.

#3: PREVENT INJURIES WITH PLAYGROUND, CAR AND BIKE SAFETY

Summertime brings with it road trips and lots of outdoor adventures. Don’t let all those fun outings end in tragedy or a trip to the hospital.

  • 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 be properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat for their height and weight.
  • NEVER leave children in a parked car, even for a few minutes. In Georgia heat, it only takes a few minutes for children to die in a car. “Look before you Lock”— what is in the backseat! 
  • 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.
  • 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.

#4: 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.

#5: 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

See full article at

https://alpharetta.macaronikid.com/articles/5b19339ca3600634584d781a/have-fun-in-the-sun-with-these-summer-safety-tips-for-kids

Tips For Driving Safely During Your Au Pair Year

Au Pair Driving Tips. Keep Safe! 

 

These issues are ones that often happen for Au pairs. Use caution and don’t let it happen to you!

The most important thing to remember is to be honest with your host family. If something happens while you are driving- immediately tell your host family. Most hosts will forgive you, but if they discover that you did not tell them, this can lead to a rematch or your having to go home early. 

Driving late at night is dangerous because of drunk drivers on the road. In Georgia, after 3am for every five cars that pass you, three of those five drivers have been drinking alcohol. Host families often have car curfews because of this reason.

If you have one beer or one glass of wine or one mixed liquor drink and you drive within one hour—you will test positive for alcohol and can be charged for a DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol). Age 21 is the legal age to drink alcohol in the USA. If you do drink alcohol while out, use Lyft or Uber to safely return home.

USA police departments make a lot of money when they find someone drinking and driving. They are LOOKING for any excuse to pull you over and test you. If you are arrested for driving while drinking, you or your family back home will need to get you out of jail. APIA will NOT get you out of jail. This is about $7000.00 and then you will need to go home.

If you damage someone else’s car, and no-one is hurt, you still must call the police.  You must stop, move the car and exchange names and insurance info. Take pictures of the car and the damage you made and any damage other than yours on their car. If you have hit a parked car with no driver, take pictures and leave your name and host family phone number. Failing to do these things, and not stopping is considered ” leaving the scene of an accident”. The penalty for this is five years in jail and several thousand dollars in fines.

Driving in the rain or on wet streets increases your likelihood of having an accident. Sometimes it is best to stay home, if you know bad weather is on the way.

Make a system for checking behind the car before backing up. Use the rear view mirrors, but also look behind the car before getting in. When in a driveway, look for children, dogs, shrubs or toys. Most Au pair accidents involve backing up.

When entering a busy street or highway from a parking lot, look for the nearest exit with a traffic light and go there to enter the street. Trying to cross a busy street with no signal is dangerous.

At intersections, look twice before pulling out.

If someone is yelling or honking at you to enter a busy street or intersection, ignore them and wait until you are confident. Accidents happen when you are pressured to move when you are not ready.

Parking a big American car in a small American space is difficult. Practice parking in small spaces outside your host family home with trash cans. Your host family will respect your efforts to be responsible.

Do not hold/talk with your cell phone while driving. This is a law in Georgia. Do not listen to earphones to hear music from your cell phone.

Traffic along busy shopping malls requires special caution. Go slower and do not try to change lanes. Avoid these areas at holiday times.

If you realize you are about to miss your turn, let it pass by. You can safely turn around and go back, but trying to make a last-minute maneuver will cause an accident.

Never turn your head to speak to another person in the car. Children will cry and misbehave, but you must keep your eyes on the road ahead.

If your car runs off the road, don’t panic. Turning the steering wheel sharply to get back on the road will cause the car to turn over or cross into the on-coming traffic. Instead, slow down and travel off the road until you can safely and slowly return back to the road.

While traveling in a neighborhood, use caution and go very slowly. Dogs and children can quickly dart in front of you.

Never let the gas get lower than half a tank. Running out of gas can put you and your host family children in danger. Use your own money and give the receipt to the host family.

Many intersections now have automatic cameras that take pictures of everyone going through the light. If you enter the intersection on a yellow light, and it turns red while you are beneath it, you will be ticketed. Never slam on brakes when approaching the yellow light. Slow down and use caution to stop appropriately.

Be mindful of school zones. The fine for speeding here is very high.

Be mindful of school buses. When you see the yellow flashing light, prepare to stop.

When you see that a police car is pulled over on the side of the road. Merge into the other lane or slow down to make sure the police officer is safe. This is called the “Move Over Law”.

Your host family can require you to pay 500.00 towards any damage that is caused to their car while you are driving. Be a responsible driver and study the situations that you are not certain about. Ask questions to clear up any confusion and always use caution.

For your information: Chapter (or section 5 and 7) have detailed information about the laws and road signs.

https://online.flipbuilder.com/hatf/oknz/

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?
    The DS-2019 form must be signed for any international travel ( if to the Au pair’s home country). This process takes 3-4 weeks. See the Travel Validation form on our blog for how to do this. PLan ahead! It is the Aupair and Host family responsibility to research what visa will be needed to enter into the country you will be traveling to. Any cost related to a  delayed return to the USA are not paid by APIA.
  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 have a private bed).
  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!