Tag Archives: au pairs

Hints for Success – Handling Expenses

Host parents often ask for suggestions on how best to handle common expenses that occur as au pairs are caring for the children.

Miscellaneous Expenses

There are different ways to handle the little day-to-day expenses that come up.  Things like when an au pair takes the kids out for ice cream or picks up a gallon of milk.  Some families keep a cookie jar fund, a little cash that they set aside weekly or monthly for these types of expenses. Others give their au pair a prepaid debit card for this purpose. Below are some suggestions for avoiding problems with expenses.

Host Families

  • It’s important to be clear about how long this money should last and what types of expenses are approved.
  • Let the au pair know whether or not you expect receipts.

Au Pairs

  • Only spend the money on approved expenses.
  • If it is something you are not sure about, ask first.
  • Put your receipts in the cookie jar in place of the money to avoid any confusion.

Gas, Uber & Metro 

Host families are responsible for the au pair’s transportation costs: to and from classes, cluster meetings, and when driving the kids.

It is a good idea to figure out how much gas an au pair will use for these trips and either put gas in the car or give a gas allowance.   If your au pair is riding to classes or cluster meetings with another au pair, you should offer to share the cost of gas.

Au pairs are responsible for their own transportation at all other times.  You should replace the amount of gas used for personal use.

Photo: Andrea Travillian

Social Distancing: 5 Online Adventures for Kids

Reading, playing, and doing art projects are always great ways to entertain children and keep them physically active and learning. It’s a good idea to limit screen time. But, in this time of social distancing, technology can play an important role in allowing kids to see and connect with the world outside of their homes. Many online resources are popping up to create those opportunities.

Here are five to get you started:

And if kids have questions about the coronavirus, Live Science has created an ultimate kids’ guide to the new coronavirus that has lots of information and is appropriate for school-aged kids.

Why Are Cluster Meetings Important?


Recent cluster meetings have included touring the US Capitol and outdoor movie screenings.

Cluster meetings are an integral part of an au pair’s experience in America and au pairs are highly encouraged to attend.  Au Pair in America requires that counselors provide a cluster meeting per month.  Our cluster meetings are scheduled on weekdays and weekends, in order to accommodate the varied schedules of the host families in our area.

Cluster meetings offer the opportunity to:

  • Enjoy the many wonderful places and activities in and around Washington, DC
  • Meet one another, make new friends from other countries and socialize
  • Develop a relationship with your counselor
  • Celebrate American holidays, welcome and say farewell to other au pairs
  • Learn child development and safety tips
  • Support each other by sharing experiences
Our cluster volunteered to make sarthndwiches for Martha's Table

Our cluster volunteered to make sandwiches for Martha’s Table

International Potluck Dinner with Guest Speaker (Photo Credit: Christie Jorge-Tresolini)

International Potluck Dinner with Guest Speaker (Photo Credit: Christie Jorge-Tresolini)

Cluster meetings are an important part of an au pair’s cultural exchange. While it’s understood that sometimes work conflicts make this impossible, host parents are encouraged to free up their schedules so that au pairs can attend. 

Upcoming cluster meetings are listed in cluster newsletters and posted in the DCC Host Families Facebook Group and the Cluster DCC Facebook Group (for au pairs) so that they can be added to the family calendar.

Au pairs are expected to attend cluster meetings and should contact their counselor prior to the meeting if they cannot attend. Host families are expected to provide the time and transportation for the au pair to attend cluster meetings. Au pairs and host families are encouraged to offer cluster meeting ideas.

A Few of Our Fun and Informative Meetings

Autumn Cluster Meetings

Summer Cluster Meetings

Adams Morgan Movie Night

2016 DC Cultural Fair

US Capitol Tour

Disney on Ice 

Holiday Cluster Meeting

Volunteering by Making Sandwiches

Potomac Sunset Cruise

APIA Regional Scavenger Hunt at the Zoo

Host Family/Au Pair Picnic