Tag Archives: au pair care

Camp Au Pair In America

 

Keeping kids busy and active is the key to success for those long summer days!

When kids are out of school for the summer, it doesn’t take long for them to become bored. Boredom leads to sibling squabbles and mischief! Children don’t realize how much they miss the routine and predictability in their daily schedule. One solution is to make fun plans to keep them busy! Make Camp Au Pair!

Have a ready list of easy, fun activities that you can do with your host children. Get prepared for the upcoming week by getting a list of what is needed and asking the host parents for help in purchasing your supplies.
Use your Au Pair In America resources to find activities and ideas. Check your Au Pair portal  for “150 Things to Do with Children”. This is jammed with super ideas.

My favorite outside activity is making super planet size bubbles, using a homemade bubble recipe. Ask your host dad to bend wire coat hangers into large circles with a handle. Outside on the driveway, pour the bubble mix into a shallow dish large enough for the circular coat hanger. A clean trash can lid works great. See how large you get can your bubbles to float!

Create your own bubble solution by gently combining 1 cup dish soap, 1 tbsp glycerine and 4 cups water in a large bucket.

Check out Au Pair in America’s Pinterest pages; Summer Fun & Summer Holidays pin boards for even more ideas.

10 fun ideas:
1.Dance-Put on classical music and move like trees or animals!
2.Cook-Freeze juice and make yummy popsicles!
3.Craft-Make a craft out of leftover Popsicle sticks or shells from the beach trip.
4.Make a tent-Use the Kitchen table and a sheet to make a cool place to get out of the sun on a hot day!
5.Dress up-Be Super man or a princess! Have fun pretending.
6. Chalk on the driveway-Endless fun with drawing pictures and hopscotch!
7.Balls-Make up a new  game outside with the ball or just toss or kick
8.Read out loud and use funny voices to make all the characters come alive!
9.Bird watch-See how many kinds of birds you can find in your back yard. Look them up on Google to identify what kind of bird it is. Have a bird watch every day to keep track of them    10. Plant a sunflower– Plant seeds in a super, sunny place and water it every day!

Making A Cardboard Box Car For Your Host Children.

Host Family and Au Pair 2019 EVENT
September 7th
On September 7th we will be meeting with all of the Atlanta APIA host families, children and Au pairs for a special event. Key leaders from APIA will be flying down to visit with us too! We will be attending the British Car Festival here in Norcross.
https://www.atlantabritishcarfayre.com/
The best part is going to be a car contest for all of the Au Pairs and children!
Over the summer, you and your host kids will be making a car out of a large cardboard box. On  SEPTEMBER 7th, Everyone will bring in their cars for a CONTEST!
There will be FIVE winning teams and PRIZES for Five categories
  • Most functional
  • Most cultural
  • Most funny
  • Most sporty
  • Most colorful

This is a wonderful way to entertain the kids this summer when it rains or everyone is tired of the sun!

If you google how to make a car out of a box, you will see some great ideas. The ones that are made to break down and pop back up are really neat. Remember you must transport the car to the event on September 7th with your host family.
Here is some inspiration below and you can google many more ideas with search words like:
bulid a cardboard car.
Here is a great colilapsible car made from a box.

 

Can’t wait to see your creativity!!!!!!!

Tornado Safety For Au pairs and Host Children

Tornado Safety For Au pairs and Host Children

Use the guide below to discuss tornado safety with your host family. Request a meeting to discuss where you would go inside their home and what they expect from you when a warning or a watch is given in your area.

What you need to know about Tornadoes:

What is a Tornado?

tornadoes-5306

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending between, and in contact with, a cloud and the surface of the earth. Tornadoes are generally spawned by thunderstorms, though they have been known to occur without the presence of lightning. The stronger tornadoes attain an awe-inspiring intensity, with wind speeds that exceed 200 mph and in extreme cases may approach 300 mph.

The United States has the highest incidence of tornadoes worldwide, with about 1,000 occurring every year. Tornadoes touch down in the Atlanta area each year.

According to Stu Ostro, a Senior Weather Specialist at The Weather Channel, this is due to the unique geography that brings together polar air from Canada, tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico, and dry air from the Southwest to clash in the middle of the country, producing thunderstorms and the tornadoes they spawn.

Tornadoes can come one at a time, or in clusters, and they can vary greatly in length, width, direction of travel, and speed. They can leave a path 50 yards wide or over a mile wide. They may touch down for only a matter of seconds, or remain in contact with the ground for over an hour.

How do I know if a tornado will touch down where I live?

The National Weather Service broadcasts severe weather conditions on radio, TV, or on NOAA Weather Radio.  Every host family should have a NOAA weather radio in the home or a weather alert app on their phone. The radio or phone app makes a loud alert sound, letting you know there is an emergency.  Ask your host parents to make sure your have this app. Some areas of Atlanta have outside warning sirens. This is a very loud alert sound outside. The siren is activated when a tornado has been sighted in the specific area.

iWit_FtWorthClouds_980x551

How does an au pair in your home know there is a watch or warning?

A tornado WATCH means conditions are right for a tornado to occur.  A tornado WARNING means a tornado has been sighted in the posted area or is visible on radar.  A location of the sighting is normally given along with its projected movement.

Become familiar with your specific area. What part of Atlanta do you live? What is the county that you live in? What is the closest major highway or street?  Become familiar with the television channel that will give you details of where a tornado is touching down. During a tornado warning, listen out for info about your area on television.

A Tornado watch has been issued. What Do I do?

723586main1_GOES-20130130-1825UTC-6_980x551satellite picture of a tornado

FOR TORNADO WATCHES:

Stay tuned to a local radio or television station or your NOAA Weather Radio. Your phone app can also be helpful.  Local news stations on CBS, ABC and NBC all have very sophisticated technology used by the weather person to give information about the potential for a tornado in a specific area.  Call your host parents for advice about picking up children who are not at home.

Bring all children inside.

DO NOT SEEK SHELTER UNDER A TREE OUTSIDE.

Bring Pets to their safe place.

Secure any loose objects outdoors, or move them inside

Survey local structures for the most suitable shelter

Stay in communication with the host parents to help you decide if the warning will become more serious.    Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms. Look for the following danger signs:

Dark, often greenish sky

Large hail

A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)

Loud roar, similar to a freight train.

A Warning Is Issued What Do I need to do?

When a tornado warning has been issued, you may have very little time to prepare. How you respond now is critical. OBEY ADVISORIES PROMPTLY! ACT QUICKLY!

In A Frame Home

Seek shelter in the lowest level of your home (basement or storm cellar). If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway, a smaller inner room, or a closet. Keep away from all windows.

Make sure you have a portable radio for information while you are in the safe room. Cover your head and eyes with a blanket or jacket to protect against flying debris and broken glass. Instruct the children to do the same. If you have a bicycle helmet this is ideal!  You can cover yourself with a mattress, but don’t waste time moving mattresses around.

Keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier.

Multiple tornadoes can emerge from the same storm.

If a tornado has hit your area,  do not go out until officials say it is safe. Most injuries from tornadoes occur due to flying debris or down gas or electric connections.

Keep yourself and the children calm. Sing or talk to keep young children distracted. The storm will pass by soon!

If you are outside:

Try to get inside and seek out a small protected space with no windows.

Avoid large-span roof areas such as school gymnasiums, arenas, or shopping malls.

If no inside protection is available, get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.

Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.

If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands

If you cannot get inside a car, crouch for protection beside a strong structure, or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area and cover your head and neck with your arms or a piece of clothing.

Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.

Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.

Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

If you are in a car:

Ideally, you should avoid driving when tornadoes or other kinds of dangerous weather threaten, as a vehicle is a very unsafe place to be. If, however, this is not possible, stay as calm as possible, and assess the situation.

The best choice is to take shelter immediately in a nearby building.

If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.

If no building is near, one option might be to get out of the car and lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area that is of sufficient depth to provide protection from the wind If you do so, beware of water runoff from heavy rain that could pose a hazard, get as far away from the vehicle as possible, and shield your head from flying debris.

Do not leave a building to attempt to “escape” a tornado.

If you are already in a sturdy building, do not get in a vehicle to try to outrun a tornado.

This information was obtained in Weather Channel web site. For more information go to:  http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

 

Top 10 Tips – Au Pair Guide to a Successful Working Vacation With Your Host Family.

 

 

Top 10 Tips – Au Pair Guide to a Successful Working Vacation with your Host Family
Prepared by Joan Barth, Orientation Leader, APIA

Traveling with your host family can be a wonderful adventure and significant part of your
cultural exchange experience. When it is a ‘working vacation’ (you do not have a choice about
participating) there are some things that you and your family can do to help the vacation go
smoothly for all.
10. Vacation Stages: Think about a working vacation as a three-part experience and that you
have a role in each stage. The parts are: Pre-Vacation Preparation, The Vacation, and Re-Entry.
Going on vacation is great, but there’s a lot of work on either end. You are part of the vacation
team.
9. Pre-Vacation: Think about how you can help the host parents, how you can prepare the kids
and how you can prepare yourself.
8. Helping the parents: Can you pack for the children? Can you prepare snacks? Can you
entertain the children while the host parents pack? Can you do some errands for the parents?
7. Preparing the children: It’s more than packing. Can you be an educator and get books or go
online to research the area you will visit? Can you help the children to organize/collect their
media and entertainment for the trip? How about making a busy bag for smaller children?
Involve the children in deciding on and preparing snacks for the trip.
6. Preparing yourself: Ask your host parents for information about the trip. You will feel
better if you know the details. Those details might include: the exact dates of the trip, location
and contact information, will any other friends or family members be joining, is special clothing
or equipment needed? More questions: are there any special events (anniversary celebrations,
reunions), what about the work schedule, how can I plan for my free time? Take care of
business: International Travel? Check on visa and DS2019 requirements. Notify your counselor
of your travel plans and ask your counselor to connect you with a counselor in the area you will
visit so that you can meet other au pairs. Research the area so that you can fully enjoy your free
time.
5. Good to know: Program rules for hours, free days, and pay are the same when you are on a
working vacation. However, it’s also important to recognize that a change in location and
schedules may require some flexibility on everyone’s part.
4. General Safety Issues: Everything is different when you are en route to your vacation
destination and at the destination. Therefore, everyone (host parents and au pairs) need to be
very clear about who is responsible for each child AT ALL TIMES. Do not make any
assumptions about this. Be sure to have a very clear discussion and system for assigning
responsibility at all times. Have a safety plan for amusement parks and other activities. If
everyone is in charge, then no one is in charge – and that’s when problems occur. When you
arrive at your destination be sure to conduct a safety review of the hotel room or cottage with
your host parents. That might include checking that doors, windows and electrical outlets are
safe for your little ones.
3. Water safety: You must always be with your child. Be certain that you, your host parents
and your older children have a clear understanding of water rules and expectations for them, too.
Don’t forget sunscreen for your kids and that it needs to be reapplied. And, of course, don’t
forget sunscreen for yourself!
2. Travel safety for you: Please remember that this is a new location for you, too, and it’s
important to follow basic safety rules. Ask your host parents for advice about areas you might
visit and how to safely get to them. What’s the best/safest transport? Let people know where you
are going – we care about you. A stranger is a stranger, even in an exotic location.
1. Re-Entry: Travel is fun and it’s exhausting for everyone – please remember to offer help
unloading the car, unpacking, putting in some laundry or keeping the children entertained while
your host parents attend to these tasks. And, of course, saying thank you goes a long way.

Do you have the desire to teach English?

If you have the desire to teach English to speakers of other languages, enhance your career with Global TESOL Certificate program

Teacher

The Global TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certificate is a training program designed for individuals who want to teach English in a non-public school setting within or outside of the United States. Unlike basic TESOL courses available online, this is an in-depth program that includes observing TESOL classrooms and practicing with other students.

The course modules in this classroom program will give you a solid theoretical foundation for teaching English, as well as hands-on classroom experience and job-searching skills. You will learn about intercultural communication, linguistics, and curriculum and lesson plan development. Successful completion of the program will prepare you to work as a teacher, trainer, tutor or cross-cultural communicator both at home and abroad.

Many au pairs have used the TESOL certificate to enhance their future careers or to begin a career once returning home. picture of teacher

Learn more about TESOL by going to the continuing education menu of the college or university closest to your host family.

Kennesaw College has a classroom format that is taught on 16 Saturdays from 9am to 4pm

https://kennesaw.augusoft.net/index.cfm?method=course.classinformation&coursenumber=QLAN3102

 

This is what au pair Danni has said about her experience earning her TESOL Certificate:

Danni T.jpg revised for blog

“I have been taking the TESOL course from the UGA university since last November and it has been wonderful for me. I think the program encourages students to think about practical application of learning not just about understanding of course materials by doing case studies or analysis on target subjects. Throughout the program the assignments involve both individual and group study so that it prepares the students not only work alone but also work together. I also appreciate the fact that the program teaches technical aspects of teaching English as a second language but also ethical aspects which cannot be ignored. The program is well organized with all requirements made clear from the start and it is evident that a great deal of thought and energy are put into the instruction of each course. I really recommend this course to all girls that wish to have more knowledge in the teaching field.

Besides, the professors within the TESOL program are extremely knowledgeable professionals within the field who offer students a well-rounded education through their various areas of interest. Currently, I am taking my last module on Saturdays and I have found the TESOL course to be both informative and fun. This course gives you all the tools needed to become an effective teacher plus you’ll have a lot of fun at the same time.”

Danni T. fromBrazil

Au pair In America

Why is the Food For New Year’s Day Special?

Shared from the East Cobb, GA Patch

Georgia’s New Year’s Meal: Pork, Greens And Black-Eyed Peas

Here’s why we eat what we do on New Year’s Day — plus a greens recipe from Chef Kevin Gillespie’s restaurant, Revival.

By Doug Gross, Patch Staff | Dec 29, 2017 3:50 pm ET

 

 

ATLANTA, GA — On New Year’s Day in Georgia, there’s little question what will be on many folks’ dinner tables.

In Italy, they’ll eat lentils. Japanese kitchens will be serving up Soba noodles and folks of Scandinavian origin will be wolfing down pickled herring. But, in the American South, it’s pork, greens, corn bread and black-eyed peas that will be filling the bellies of hungry New Year’s revelers.

But how did we come by this specific meal? Well, separating fact from fiction when tracking down traditions can be tricky business. But here’s a look at what we know about the Southern New Year’s meal.

Pork

In the South, we are not alone in making pork a New Year’s staple. Folks all over the country, with ancestors from all over the world, make some variation of this dish.

Why? Many believe it’s because pigs root forward — toward the future — unlike, say, a chicken, which scratches backward, toward the past.

“And sauerkraut with pork was eaten for good luck on New Year’s Day, because, as the (Pennsylvania) Dutch say, ‘the pig roots forward’,” wrote historian William Woys Weaver wrote in “Sauerkraut Yankees,” a Pennsylvania Dutch cookbook with recipes dating back to 1848.

There may be a seasonal reason for this tradition, too. Throughout history, pigs would have been butchered in the fall, when the weather was cooler, meaning there would be plenty of fresh cuts come the new year.

Black-Eyed Peas

According to one popular story, black-eyed peas became a symbol of luck in the South during the Civil War. According to this legend, during Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s march toward Savannah, his troops confiscated all the food they could find, but ignored black-eyed peas because they were considered animal feed.

That made them one of the only edible foods left behind and, therefore, a “lucky” food.

Some historians, though, question that story. The peas originated in West Africa and were introduced in the Southern United states around the 17th Century, so the association could have African roots. Hoppin’ John, the combination of seasoned black-eyed peas and rice, almost certainly has its roots in that region.

And, another theory suggests the tradition sprung from early Southern Jewish communities because of the peas’ similarity to a food mentioned as a New Year’s meal in the Talmud.

Greens

We’re usually talking collard greens here, although mustards or turnips will do. But, greens are a Southern New Year’s staple, for sure.

Pretty much everybody at least agrees on what this one means — green means money and eating greens at the beginning of the year means you’ll have a prosperous 365 days ahead.

“Some folks consider the black-eyed peas to represent coins and the greens to represent folding money, a la cash, while others simply consider it general good luck to eat them,” Dan Gillotte, chief Executive Grocer at Austin, Texas’s Wheatsville Food Co-Op, said to Mic.com.

Cornbread

Cornbread has the least documented origin story among the New Year’s Day meal selection. The general consensus is that the golden carb represents real gold — another omen for financial success in the coming year.

We suspect it might actually just be that cornbread is delicious with greens, black-eyed peas and pork. And that’s just fine by us.

If all this has got you hankering to make your own New Year’s meal, Revival— chef Kevin Gillespie’s Southern-style restaurant in Decatur — was kind enough to share their recipe for smokped greens with Patch. Let us know if you whip up a batch!

Revival’s Hickory-Smoked Local Greens

  • 1 qt. double chicken stock
  • 1 large sweet onion (baseball sized)
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 1 big pinch dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 big pinch salt
  • 1 big pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. butter, cut into small chunks
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 bunches greens (collards, black kale, Siberian kale, mustard greens, turnip greens)
  1. Bring stock to just under a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Peel and slice onion very thin (use a mandolin if available). Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper to stock. Using an immersion blender, add butter one piece at a time. This will emulsify and look creamy. Add vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. It should seem aggressively seasoned. Pour liquid into a semi-shallow heat-proof dish (preferably metal).
  2. Separately, blanch and shock the greens of your choice (a blend is great). Squeeze out excess water.
  3. Add the greens to the liquid, really packing them in as they get smaller. The liquid should just barely cover the greens.
  4. Put the dish above a wood-burning grill. The grill should stay around 180 degrees. Cook for 6 hours, stirring periodically to be sure the greens on the bottom get stirred up to the top. Cool greens in the liquid overnight (Do not skip this step!). Warm up the greens and liquid serve.

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!

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.

Driving in the rain or on wet streets increases your likelihood of having an accident.

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”.

Love in the USA-What Every Au Pair Needs To Know

Love in the USA

What Every Au Pair Needs To Know

 

 

Love in the USA for an Au Pair can be difficult.  Au pairs are independent young women who by their very nature are adventurous. Moving away from home, country, culture, friends and family takes a brave heart! This spirit of adventure also plays out while here, meeting and making new friends, and sometimes new love.  Here are some of the challenges that one must consider for that relationship in the USA.

  1. Meeting men is easy, deciding who is worthy is hard.     Dancers

Social media can be dangerous, filled with those who want to prey on a lonely heart. Bars and pubs, can be a place where date rape drugs can easily be used.

Never meet a man for the first time alone. Take several friends along and let them help you “judge” his intention. When out never leave your drink unattended and never drink something that you didn’t see poured from its original container.  Drink responsibly, in the presence of those you don’t know.  Never leave a bar with someone you just met. Stick with your friends, and take care of each other.

  1. While independent in spirit, Au Pairs live in a host family’s home. Host families have a responsibility to protect themselves and you. Many will have rules about who comes and goes in their home and who drives their car. Before you overstep the boundary as a live-in Au Pair, ask your host family how they feel about your dating, what rules they would like to discuss with you. Never bring home a stranger to your host home. Be respectful of the young age of your host children, and their understanding of love and sex. Keep in mind that your culture may be more relaxed about this subject than Americans. Every host family has their own way of discussing this with their children. If you have made a special relationship and feel confident about your new love, ask the host family to meet your new partner.

3.Love sick, it can happen! Don’t let it cause you to lose focus on your goals as an Au Pair. Caring for children is a very important job. Your host family trusts you with their children. Make their safety and happiness your main priority.

caregivers and kids

4.Protect your health. If you are sexually active, being mindful of sexually transmitted disease is important. As well as, preventing an unwanted pregnancy. Many diseasing are unnoticeable and can go undetected for years, causing issues with having children later in life and in some cases can lead to some forms of female cancers.  Be smart and learn how to protect yourself.

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center/GA

http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/dhw-womens-health

 

5.“I do” Getting Married is wonderful, just not when you are an Au Pair.  The rules for the cultural exchange visa in which your Au Pair year is based, does not allow an Au Pair to be married. Getting married, would automatically end your year, along with your medical insurance. Let a professional advisor guide you on how to best coordinate your end of Au Pair year and a marriage. There are many legal complexities. Speak with your community counselor and host family and be open about your intentions to get married. We want you to be happy and can help to support your goal.

married hands

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay Safe while indulging in Alcohol

 

                                       great_gatsby

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

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

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

                                        we-want-beer

Rule No.1:

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

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

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

 

Rule No. 2:

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

Rule No. 3:

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

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

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

Rule No. 4:

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

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Vacation Information for Au Pairs

Vacation Information For Au Pairs

Planning a holiday while you are enjoying time in the USA as an Au Pair is exciting. There are a few things to keep in mind to allow your travel to happen smoothly.

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

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

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

It is not necessary to return home to renew your visa to extend your program year. You will be granted a new DS2019 form by the State Department, giving legal status to stay within the USA for up t0 12 months. Au Pairs are advised against saving up your vacation days to renew a visa. Many times the new visa is denied. The Au pair is not allowed to re-enter to finish the program when this happens. https://www.aupairinamerica.com/resources/travel_and_flights/travel_visa.asp

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