Tag Archives: childcare

Camp Au Pair – Art Experiences

This week’s Camp Au Pair theme is Art Experiences.

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games related to art can all be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Art Experiences pinboard.

Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Get permission from your host parents before any outings and be sure to take all social distancing precautions. Some museums are requiring advanced tickets or have reduced hours due to the pandemic.

  • Art Museums
  • Paint Your Own Pottery Studio
  • Clay and Ceramics Studio

Online Art FunHere is a great website with lots of art activities including ones for older kids.

Webcams – You can do a google search for art websites with webcams. Here are a few to get you started:

Pottery & Ceramics webcam
Glass Blowing webcam

Videos – Look for fun videos on YouTube about drawing and all kinds of art.

Books – Stop by your local library and look for books on famous artists and art.

Check YouTube for books on art being read aloud:

Image: teachkidsart.com

Camp Au Pair – Dinosaurs

This week’s Camp Au Pair theme is Dinosaurs.

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games related to dinosaurs can all be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Dinosaurs pinboard.

Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Get permission from your host parents before any outings and be sure to take all social distancing precautions.

Here are a few places to go that fit this theme:

    • Children’s museum with dinosaur exhibit
    • Natural history museum
    • Nature center with fossils

Toys – Many kids have dinosaur toys already. See what your kids have and think of fun, new ways you can play with these toys with them. Imagine taking a plastic dinosaur and making footprints in play dough to form your own fossils.

Webcam – This NPS Paleontology Lab offers a webcam where you can watch paleontologists remove rock from around fossils. The cam is normally working 9 am-5 pm PST, so 12-8 pm our time.

Videos – Look for fun videos on YouTube about dinosaurs and fossils. Here are a few to get you started.

Movies – The Good Dinosaur, Land Before Time, and Ice Age are all great family movies that fit with this theme. For older kids, consider movies like Journey to the Center of the Earth and Jurassic Park (which is rated PG-13).

Books – Check your kids’ bookshelf for books on dinosaurs.

Photo: krojotak.com

Three Ways for Au Pairs to Stay Red Cross Ready

Being knowledgeable in basic first aid and CPR is important for au pairs (and anyone else caring for children). Au Pair in America’s commitment to infant/child safety begins before au pairs arrive to the U.S., with pre-arrival training and continue throughout the au pair year.

#1 Training At Orientation

Our orientation includes seminars by American Red Cross instructors who provide hands-on demonstrations in infant/child CPR and safety. Printed materials are provided that reinforce the safety information and can be used to review from time to time.

#2 Enroll in a Red Cross Certification Class

After settling into their host community, all au pairs are encouraged to complete an Infant/Child CPR and First Aid certification program. Au Pair in America will pay for this training through the American Red Cross.

Classes are available through the Red Cross. Au Pair in America will pay for the cost of a class providing an au pair has at least six months left on her visa and is taking one of several approved childcare/child safety-related classes, such as Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED. Au pairs should check with their community counselor and host family before signing up. Au Pair in America will register the au pair directly.

To locate a class, visit www.redcross.org/takeaclass. For step-by-step instructions on how to locate a class and have Au Pair in America complete enrollment, click here.

#3 Stay Current on Safety Information

The Official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Available for iPhone and Android devices, this app gives you instant access to the information you need to know to handle the most common first aid emergencies. With videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice, it’s never been easier to know first aid. Download the app for free from the American Red Cross website or in your app store.

Photos: Robin Leon

Back to School Planning

Back to school time is here. This can mean changes to the au pair schedule and possibly to the duties.  It is very important to communicate these changes to avoid problems.

Here is a list of topics to consider discussing:

  • Au pair’s work schedule
  • The children’s school and activity schedules
  • Where the children get dropped off and picked up and who will be doing this
  • What to do if a child is staying home sick, late to school, does not get off the bus (if they are supposed to)
  • Driving laws regarding stopping for school buses
  • How to tell if school has been canceled or delayed for bad weather
  • Add the au pair to your list of people allowed to pick up the kids from school and explain the process
  • What to pack for lunch
  • The routine after school (do they have free time before starting homework, what to give for a snack, any chores, where do they put their backpacks & lunchboxes)
  • How to communicate about what’s going on at school. Your Kids in Care logbook from Au Pair in America can be a great two-way communication tool for keeping track of schedules, afterschool activities and day to day info that needs to be transferred between host parents and au pair.
  • If your au pair will be the one going through the children’s backpack and helping with homework, consider designating an area for putting things that need to be read and/or signed by parents.

Here are some Printable Fill-in-the-Blank School Notes for parents. You can print these out and have them ready for times when the kids are absent, late, have an early dismissal or you need to give permission for something.

Check out Au Pair in America’s Pinterest School Tips and Ideas pinboard for things like organization ideas, back to school traditions, printable lunch box notes, and fun lunch recipes.

 

Thanksgiving in the USA

Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”  Thanksgiving, a uniquely American holiday, dates back to the first European settlers in North America.  After much hardship, illness and hard work, the Pilgrims were finally able to celebrate a successful harvest which they shared with their Native American friends who had helped them through their difficult beginning in America.  Today this day is set aside to feast and to give thanks. This is something we can all share, as we too celebrate our cross-cultural friendships. Enjoy the turkey and all the trimmings!

                                                                                                                                               The early settlers at Thanksgiving:Thanksgiving

 

The most recognized American Thanksgiving by Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

 

 

 

 

A modern day Thanksgiving. Modern Day Thanksgiving

 

Some activities to share with the children :

Maple-Nut-Berry Popcorn Balls ( for children ages 3 and older): Add some chopped walnuts and raspberries, blueberries or blackberries. Add enough melted butter to lightly coat popcorn. Stir. Pour maple syrup over the warm popcorn and stir until all the corn, nuts and berries are covered. Shape the sticky corn into balls and place on a plate to refrigerate until the syrup hardens

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.

Thanks for your work as an au pair!

Dear Au Pairs,   I wanted to take a second today to thank you for working so hard. I do know that you have a very hard job.   Your job, although hard, is really one of the most valuable I know.   You have an impact on the little people you care for. They are learning from you, even when you are not teaching. They learn to smile when days are hard. They learn to speak softly even when you are angry. They learn to take the news of a mistake graciously and make it better next time. They learn that the telling the truth is always the best thing to do. They learn about you!   They also learn that our country is not the only country. We may be different , but we  are all alike in the most important of ways.   You are so important to your host family and your host children. Sometimes we may forget to tell you!   If you are having a hard day, I hope you will know the next one will be better!   Thanks for all that you do! Your counselor, Andrea

Taking an education course is important!

Taking an education course is important!

The education component of the au pair program is a requirement of the State Department of the United States. The State department gives authorization for all au pair programs to exist.  When an au pair does not achieve her requirement, this puts all au pair agencies at risk. Completing your education hours is an important part of being an au pair and is required by your contract with Au Pair In America. Taking a course will provide yet another level of experience during your year and yields many skills that you can use to further your personal goals. You may also make new friends and professional contacts! I hope you enjoy your educational courses. If you need assistance finding a course or have questions, please call or email your counselor.

 Some Important Tips:

  • Any course can be taken as long as it is taught from a college, university or technical college. Only those schools approved by the State department can be accepted. All of the schools listed on your resource page on the au pair web-site are accepted http://www.aupairinamerica.com/state/georgia.asp
  •  Your counselor can clarify any questions about a school.
  • The only online course currently being accepted by the State department is the UCLA au pair advantage online course. NO other on line course can be accepted.
  • No courses that require long distance travel are accepted by the State Separtment. This would be a course offered in a different state that requires a flight to travel.
  • 72-80 hours of education is required for standard au pairs.
  • 144-160 hours for Educare au pairs.
  • For a second year au pair, 36-40 hours is required for a six month extension and 72-80 hours for a nine or twelve month extension.
  •  Credits and hours are different. Count the hours you are in a classroom.
  • At the end of your course, send your community counselor your documents showing the name of the school and the hours that you have achieved. Check your certificate. Some certificates do not show the number of hours. If the hours are not present on the certificate, you will need a letter from the school stating how many hours you have achieved. This information is needed by your counselor to insure your end of year completion bonus and flight home.
  • Host families reimburse tuition costs and costs of related materials (books and supplies) up to $500 for the first year. EduCare companions are reimbursed up to $1000 for the first year. If it will cost you more than $500 (or $1000 for EduCare) to meet the requirement, you must pay the additional expense, so plan carefully.
  • Your host family is required to provide transportation, including gasoline, parking, or public transportation costs (if applicable) to and from classes in your community. The cost of transportation is in addition to the $500/$1000 allocated to tuition and related fees. It is your host family’s responsibility to provide transportation or cover the transportation costs until you complete your educational requirement, even if the $500 education allowance has already been spent.
  • To extend your first au pair term, you will need to have proof of 72 hours. Send the documentation to your community counselor as soon as possible. You should plan to have your education requirement finished at the time you request an extension. This happens approximately three months before the end of your first term. Au pair In America requires 72 hours to be able to extend your au pair term. Without 72 hours, Au Pair In America will not accept your application to extend and you must go home at the end of your first year.

 If you want to extend,   All proof of education must be given to your counselor before your deadline to extend. Approximatley three months before the end of your year.

 

 Your counselor is the best person to ask questions about your education requirement. Courses and colleges are constantly changing. Your counselor is always researching new and exciting courses that are appropriate for you.  If you are aware of a new resource, please let your counselor know!

 For more information about your education requirement visit http://www.aupairinamerica.com/resources/life_in_the_us/education.asp#1

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. Here in the south, be sure to 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 about it dripping down your arm!eating watermelon

See fireworks.

fireworks

Hold a sparkler.

sparkler

 

 

 

 

 

Have a picnic with fried chicken and 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 on red and white checkered blankets, you will see in their eyes a sense of pride and respect. 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!

Au pair In America Cultural Fair and Food'n Fun Festival


aupair logo

The Atlanta Clusters of Au Pair In America are delighted to join with the Dunwoody/ Sandy Springs Community Assistance Center on May 19th for their Food’ n Fun festival from 1:00pm to 4:00pm The festival is an effort to raise awareness, food and funds to combat hunger and homelessness in our community.

Au Pair in America will present our Au pair Cultural Fair during the festival. This is a wonderful opportunity to share the American spirit of volunteerism with our au pairs while they share their country pride! bth_world_flags_400

All Au pairs will be grouping together to showcase their countries in the Au pair In America Cultural Fair. Host families from all clusters are invited to participate. General admission is a donation of $5.00 or a bag of groceries per person.

Families and au pairs are encouraged to join the walk portion of the festival. This is a great way to support the efforts of the community action center.

Registration and information is below.

Food `n Fun Festival. http://www.ourcac.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=78&Itemid=151

Join us for CAC’s 1st Annual Food `n Fun Festival Sunday, May 19, 2013 from 1pm-4pm
at the
Morgan Falls Athletic Complex
in Sandy Springs! Event Location: Morgan Falls Athletic Complex, 450 Morgan Falls Rd, Sandy Springs GA