Monthly Archives: May 2022

Host Family Hints to Help Your Au Pair Match Flourish

Host parents have many responsibilities and are often very busy. Hosting an au pair can provide help with a large part of the childcare related responsibilities. Below are a few simple things you can do to help your au pair match flourish.

Treat Your Au Pair Like a Family Member – Au pairs who feel appreciated and included as a member of their host family tend to see their host children as family members and feel very invested in their happiness and success.

Stay on Top of Payments –  Au pairs can feel very uncomfortable if they need to ask for their weekly stipend payment. This can also make them feel like their work is not appreciated or you are unconcerned about their needs. Add a recurring weekly event on your calendar, use payment apps or automatic bank transfer to schedule your au pair’s stipend payment and give yourself one less thing to remember.

The same is true for their transportation costs to cluster meetings and classes. Au pairs let their host family know about the costs but some host parents don’t always follow through and reimburse them. Here’s a blog post with information and tips on how to handle transportation costs.

Communication – Make time every couple of weeks for a check-in conversation. This provides your au pair a time to bring up questions or concerns which she may be hesitant to bring up when she see’s how busy you are day to day. It’s also a good time for discussing any concerns you have as well as planning for upcoming events or schedule changes. 

Photo: Shared by an APIA Host Family

 

Au Pair Hint For Success – Finish your Year Strong

In the final months of your au pair year, it can be tempting to become relaxed in the way you complete your duties. You may be thinking about your travel month, returning home and the next chapter of your life. That can be exciting and sometimes a little overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to talk with your host family, community counselor and friends if you need support.

You have done a wonderful job and made it so far! Don’t forget you are still an important part of your host family and they are still counting on you in these final months of your program.

Holiday & Vacation Reminders

“Rest and be thankful.” – William Wordsworth

Holidays and vacations are a great opportunity to rest, recharge and explore the U.S.

Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of the summer travel season. Here are some reminders about program rules regarding holidays, vacations, and international travel.

Holidays

  • Host families are not required to give au pairs off on any specific holidays.
  • 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

  • During the pandemic, it is important that au pairs and host families discuss what travel and activities are an acceptable level of risk before plans are made.
  • Au pairs earn 2 weeks of paid vacation during the course of their year.
  • Vacation time should be mutually agreed upon.
  • All vacations should be preplanned (at least 4 weeks in advance).
  • All au pair’s friends and/or family visits/vacations should be pre-approved prior to purchasing tickets.
  • 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.
  • If an au pair travels with the host family to work, the host family is required to pay for her transportation, lodging, and meals. Regulations still apply while on vacation (i.e. not working more than 10 hours/day and 45 hours/week, minimum 1 1/2 days off, and private bedroom).

Travel Outside of the U.S.

Check out this blog post with current information on international travel.

 

Photo: Leah Kelly from Pexels

 

Travel Outside of the U.S.

10 Things to Know Before You Go

  1. There is always some risk with traveling outside of the U.S., as re-entry is at the discretion of the port of entry agent. APIA recommends that au pairs and host families discuss the risks and decide whether they are comfortable.
  2. Please review the appropriate checklist(s) from APIA, as you make your travel plans.
  3. All Au Pairs must mail their original DS-2019 along with a Travel Validation Request Form to APIA, at least 3-4 weeks prior to international travel. Check out this blog post for step-by-step instructions on how to send this in the mail. Note: The travel validation ensures that you are in good standing with the program, it is not formal permission to travel. 
  4. Year 1 Au Pairs must have a valid visa to travel internationally and plan to return to the U.S. prior to the date their visa says it expires. This can be different from the actual program end date.
  5. Year 2 Au Pairs may visit Canada, Mexico, and the adjacent islands due to the Automatic Revalidation Policy. No other international travel is allowed in Year 2.
  6. Year 3 Au Pairs (special extension) are not permitted to travel internationally.
  7. All Au Pairs must independently research whether they will need an additional visitor’s visa for their destination. This will depend on their nationality and travel destination.
  8. Only fully vaccinated travelers will be admitted into the U.S. This means that all foreign visitors must be vaccinated against COVID-19 and must show proof of vaccination before boarding a U.S.-bound airline.
  9. All Au Pairs will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before they travel by air into the United States. They must show the negative result to the airline before boarding the flight. This test is not for a medical reason, so it will not be covered by insurance and you will need to cover the cost yourself.
  10. When you return to the U.S. you should follow CDC and local guidelines regarding quarantine and testing.

Photo: Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8th

Mother’s Day recognizes mothers, motherhood, and maternal bonds in general, as well as the positive contributions that they make to society. It is celebrated in the United States on the second Sunday in May. It was established by Anna Jarvis, with the first official Mother’s Day was celebrated at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908.

You will find lots of fun ideas for projects you can make with your host children on the Au Pair in America Mother’s Day pinboard.

Photo: Mike van Dalen (Flickr)