Category Archives: Uncategorized

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!

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/

Au Pair Education Requirement For 2022

Online Education Options for Au Pairs:

Online classes are a great option because many are self-paced. This means that you can do the work whenever it is convenient for your schedule. There is no class time you are required to log into at a specific time.  Many in-person classes will require a Georgia Driver’s license to register. In-person, classes require you to drive the host family car during high traffic times in order to get to the class in time. Most in-person classes are in the evening or on Saturday. In-person classes are expensive and will often cost more than the host family allowance in order to achieve the 72 required hours. Many options for online classes will allow you to audit them for free. 

Education:
Your course will be approved if these things are met:
1. Comes from an accredited college, university or technical college approved by the DOS.
2. The college, university, or technical school must be an American school.
3. Starts before the end of March 31, 2022
4. Have a screenshot of the number of hours you will earn.
5. Provide a certificate or a screenshot of the page that shows you have completed the course. The proof of completion must include your name.  If you choose not to pay for the certificate, it is possible to AUDIT the course for free. You will need to provide screenshots that prove that you completed the whole course. These must be EMAILED to your community counselor.
6. All classes must be finished by the end of your 11th month….30 days before the end of your year. Please submit all certificates at the time you finish them by emailing them to the counselor at her APIA address. Don’t wait to send all at once.
7. 72 hours or 7.2 CEUs must be achieved in order to extend a term.
8. Au pairs in their extension term must also earn 72 hours for a one-year extension or a 9-month extension. 36 hours or 3.6 CEUs for a 6-month extension.
9. Special 6-month extension requires 36 hours or 3.6 CEUs.
10. The education allowance is available to assist with earning certificates or paying tuition for a class. It is not paid directly to the Au pair. Maximum of 500.00 per year for the first term or a 12 month or 9-month extension. Maximum of 250.00 for a 6-month extension. This allowance is only for education and is paid directly to a college.
ALL CLasses must be from an accredited, USA college or university!

Some classes are grouped together and are called a ” Specialization”. This means that each course within the specialization group must be taken and will give a specific amount of hours. Please count each course’s hours to total up how many you will achieve.

Most Popular Search Mechanisms: NOT all classes found will be approved by the State Department. Check with your counselor BEFORE you sign up!

www.coursera.org

www.edx.org

www.ed2go.com/

https://online-learning.harvard.edu/catalog

Most Popular Courses:

The Science of Well Being – www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being

Dog Emotion and Cognition – www.coursera.org/learn/dog-emotion-and-cognition

Interior Design – www.ed2go.com/courses/arts-and-design/graphic-arts/ilc/introduction-to-interior-design

Introduction to Hospitality and Tourism Industry – https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-to-hospitality-and-tourism-industry

Computer Science for Business Professionals – https://online-learning.harvard.edu/course/cs50s-computer-science-business-professionals?delta=0

How to Write an Essay – https://www.edx.org/course/how-to-write-an-essay

Tricky American English Pronunciation – https://www.classcentral.com/course/tricky-american-english-pronunciation-8274

Fundamentals of Supervision and Management – www.ed2go.com/courses/business/soft-skills/ilc/fundamentals-of-supervision-and-management

This course is from the University of Pennsylvania and yields 40 hours. It is self-paced. You can do the work whenever you have time. There is no specific class time.
https://www.coursera.org/learn/careerdevelopment
English for Career Development – https://www.coursera.org/learn/careerdevelopment

Improve your English Communication Skills – https://www.coursera.org/specializations/improve-english?

This is a specialization with multiple courses giving all of the 72 hours when all courses are completed. https://www.coursera.org/specializations/american-english-pronunciation?

Photography – www.ed2go.com/schoolcraft/online-courses/secrets-of-better-photography/

Photography Specialization : https://www.coursera.org/specializations/photography-basics

Culinary Arts – https://classroomaupair.org/intro-to-culinary-arts/

Best Course for 5 Hours:

Fairfax University of America – Online Museum Courses https://www.fxua.edu/sls/programs/non-intensive-esl/#museum-classes

Best ESL/TOEFL Courses:

The University of California at Irvine offers a series of classes: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/intermediate-grammar

International Language Institute – DC – www.ilidc.com

LADO – DC Metro Area – www.lado.com

UCEDA – https://uceda.edu/toefl-preparation/ or https://uceda.edu/aupair/ for ESL classes, too.

EFI Online – https://www.eng4intl.com/daytime-evening-classes-overview/toefl-ibt-prep/

Kenton County Adult ESL – https://www.kentonesl.org/

Community College of Allegheny County – Grammar Refresher – https://www.ed2go.com/ccac/online-courses/grammar-refresher

Zoni Language Center – Intermediate Conversations – www.zoni.edu/intensive-english-program/

Hudson County Community College – English Skills for Real Life Situations – https://classroomaupair.org/english

Prince Georges Community College – ESL – https://www.pgcc.edu/go/adulteducationesl/

Fairfax Universtiy of America – https://www.fxua.edu/sls/programs/non-intensive-esl/

Georgia Tech Language Institute – https://esl.gatech.edu/additional-programs/short-courses

International Language Institute – www.ilidc.com

https://www.ed2go.com/courses/language/languages/ilc/speed-spanish

https://www.coursera.org/specializations/learn-spanish

More Popular Choices:

Teaching English courses: https://www.coursera.org/learn/tesol-writing

Learning Across America and Learning Express – https://www.learningacrossamerica.net/find-your-class

Classroom Au Pair – www.classroomaupair.org

Psychology Classes:

Yale University: One course gives 15 hours https://www.coursera.org/learn/introduction-psychology?recoOrder=5&utm_medium=email&utm_source=recommendations&utm_campaign=Kl0YwECzEeuTnfsZ4aha4w

Penn State University: five courses in the specialization giving 80 hours. https://www.coursera.org/specializations/positivepsychology?recoOrder=8&utm_medium=email&utm_source=recommendations&utm_campaign=Kl0YwECzEeuTnfsZ4aha4w

Wesleyan Unversity 38 hours https://www.coursera.org/learn/social-psychology?

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.
To be prepared for the written test and road test, study sections 5 and 7 about Georgia driving laws and road signage.
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.

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

Let’s Talk! Reminders and tips about communicating with your Community Counselor.

Communication with your Community Counselor

It is very important to stay in communication with your counselor. Without at least monthly conversations, it is impossible for your counselor to know what is going well for you or what you need help with. The State Department of our Government sets the rules for which APIA must follow. One of those rules is that you must have at least one communication with your counselor per month. Most of our communication will take place at our monthly meetings. If you do not attend a cluster meeting, it is important that you talk with your counselor that month and discuss how your year is going.

Cluster meetings are mandatory. This is part of your contract with APIA. You will not always be able to attend. The following are reasons that you might not attend a cluster meeting:

  • You are sick.
  • You have an education class.
  • Your host family has a conflict in the schedule.
  • You are concerned about the cost of the meeting.

These are the only acceptable excuses. If you must miss a meeting for one of the above reasons, please call and let me know. If you miss more than three meetings during your year, I will not be able to give you a good recommendation in reference to your participation with APIA.

There are other times you MUST call and talk with your counselor:

  • When you go on vacation with your family or on your own.
  • To report any accidents: car, personal, in the home, with host children
  • If you are involved in an incident in which the police or firemen are present: fire, accident, robbery, etc.
  • If there are any concerns with the host family which harm you in any physical or emotional way.
  • If any incident occurs with you which may compromise your completion of the year.
  • If your host mom is expecting a new baby.
  • If your host family plans to move.

Many common questions can be answered without calling your counselor.

The official website for Au Pair in America ( www.aupairinamerica.com then scroll to the bottom and click ” current Au pair”) is a great place to search for interesting facts or important information. Our cluster blog site is also a great place to find the answer you are looking for. The following are examples of questions you can answer on the website or on our blog.

  • Where can I go to the doctor?
  • What do I need to get my driver’s license?
  • What do I need to travel to another country?
  • How do I pay my USA taxes?
  • What activity can I do with my host children?                                                                              Your counselor is always glad to communicate with you. You are always welcome to contact your counselor. Here are some things to remember:
  • It might not be possible for her to speak to you or to respond to your text at the exact time you want.
  • If your counselor does not answer the phone, she may be in a meeting or talking with someone else. If this is the case, you will reach her voice mail. Voice mail in the USA is an important way businesses operate.
  • Your Counselor will not know that you called if you do not leave a message. Please call once and leave a message.
  • Do not call or text multiple times. It is only necessary to leave one voice mail or text message within a 24 hour time.
  • Please don’t feel shy about your English skills. Your counselor is in the habit of listening to au pair messages and she will be able to understand you.
  •  If you have an emergency, your counselor will call you back as soon as she receives your message. If you cannot wait on your counselor with an immediate emergency, call the after-hours emergency number for Au pair In America and follow the prompts for emergency assistance.
  • If you are calling to say hi or with a question, she will return your call within 24 hours.
  • Most counselors have set office hours. If you call or text outside of these hours, and you do not have an emergency, she will call you back on the next business day.
  • Resist texting after hours or on the weekend. Send an email and your counselor will answer this when she returns to work on the next business day.     

 

 

Counselors love talking with au pairs and look forward to hearing how your year is going!  Counselors also love hearing about ideas for cluster meetings. So, call soon!!

Facts about Flu Vaccination! What Every Au Pair Should Know.

The information contained in this article was obtained from The Centers for Disease Control And Prevention. For more information, please go to https://www.cdc.gov/flu/

The best way to protect yourself and your host family against influenza (flu) is to get a flu vaccine. Flu is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, or even death. CDC recommends everyone six months and older get an annual flu vaccine.

Au pairs can get a flu vaccination at many locations( urgent care centers, Pharmacies, Doctor’s office, Public health centers.) Costco and your county health clinic may offer the best cost.

The average cost is 20 to 40 dollars. Au Pair insurance will not cover the cost of flu vaccination. Most host families will gladly pay for your flu shot.

 

What are some key reasons to get a flu vaccine?

  • Flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu illnesses, hospitalization, and even death in children and young adults.
  • While some people who get vaccinated still get sick, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness.
  • A vaccine is cheaper than the illness. The average cost for a patient with flu is minimal $1000.00
  • 3.7 days to 5.7 days is the average length of time someone is not able to work due to being sick with the Flu.
  • Having a complicated Flu illness could end your Au Pair term early.

Misconceptions about the Flu Vaccine:

Can a flu vaccine give you the flu?

No, flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines given with a needle (i.e., flu shots) are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ (killed) and that therefore are not infectious, or b) using only a single gene from a flu virus (as opposed to the full virus) in order to produce an immune response without causing infection.

Is it better to get the flu than the flu vaccine?

No. Flu can be a serious disease, particularly among young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes. Any flu infection can carry a risk of serious complications, hospitalization or death, even among otherwise healthy children and adults.  Most people suffering from flu illness miss 4 to 7 days of work and will spend $250.00 to 1000.00 dollars in health care costs (http://theweek.com/articles/471450/cost-getting-flu-by-numbers.) Therefore, getting vaccinated is a safer and less costly choice than risking illness to obtain immune protection.

Is the flu vaccine safe?                                               
Flu vaccines have a good safety record. Hundreds of millions of
Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years.
Extensive research supports the safety of seasonal flu vaccines.
Each year, CDC works with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) and other partners to ensure the highest safety standards for
flu vaccines. More information about the safety of flu vaccines is
available at www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/vaccinesafety.htm.

What are the side effects of flu vaccines?
Flu shots: Flu shots are made using killed flu viruses (for inactivated
vaccines), or without flu virus at all (for the recombinant vaccine). So,
you cannot get flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that may
occur include soreness, redness and/or swelling where the shot was
given, low-grade fever, and aches. If these problems occur, they are usually mild and go away on their own, but serious reactions are also possible. Almost all people who receive flu vaccine have no serious problems from it.
When and Where to get vaccinated?       
You should get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, as long
as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue throughout
flu season, even in January or later.