Tag Archives: internet

Privacy & Personal Information Online

We live in a time of constant sharing through social media. We often share pictures, plans of somewhere we are going or rants about problems, without thinking much about who will see it and what could be the consequences.

Before clicking “post”, stop to think:

  • Am I violating someone’s privacy?
  • Am I sharing personal info. that could put me in danger?
  • Would I want my current or a future employer to see this?

This will help protect your privacy and safety as well as that of your host family. It is important to respect your host family’s privacy and not share personal details and information.  This applies to all kinds of situations, including: personal conversations, email and social websites.

For your own safety, it is a good idea to be careful what personal information you share about yourself as well. You should not give out information like your telephone number and address to people you don’t know. Safer to meet a new friend in a public place, than to give them your address before knowing them.

Once you post something on the internet (even if you later delete it), it can show up elsewhere.  Unless you have specific permission from your host family, you should never post pictures of them, their children or their home on the internet.

If you have a blog or website where you post in your native language, remember there is translation software. So, even if you say it in your native language, be sure it is not something that might be misinterpreted in translation or something you will regret saying.

Au Pair Technology Tips

Imagine if you went to the hospital and the doctors and nurses were more interested in texting or tweeting than caring for you. How would that make you feel, about yourself and about them?  Would you think you were getting the treatment you deserved?  Would you feel like paying the bill after your stay?

Life as an au pair is a fine balance between employee and family member. You live with your host family and participate with them as a member of the family, but you also have clear responsibilities as a childcare provider.

Being a childcare provider is a very important job because you are helping to shape our next generation. What message are you sending to your host kids when you would rather interact with a computer than with them? How will they feel about themselves and about you? Children feel as though everything is about them. They will see this as a rejection of them and they will be more likely to act out.

Not paying enough attention to your host kids poses safety concerns too. Accidents happen, but when an adult caregiver is close by and appropriately supervising children, the chances of a major injury are dramatically reduced.

When you are working, you should not do any of the following:

  • Texting
  • Talking on the phone
  • Chatting online
  • Using Skype or FaceTime
  • Messaging
  • Emailing
  • Tweeting
  • Updating your status on Facebook or any other social media site
  • Using Snapchat, WhatsApp or any other app or social media site
  • Watching videos on YouTube
  • Uploading photos on Instagram
  • Using the phone or tablet while driving
  • Exceptions- the only time it’s okay to use your computer, phone, tablet, etc. is when your host parents have given your specific permission to text or call them, help your host children find a pre-approved website (like Nickjr.com), or some other job-related task that your host family has asked you to complete. When in doubt- ask your host parents.

Finally, please do not text, scroll through Facebook, answer your phone, etc. when eating meals with your host family or talking with your host parents. Even if you think you’re a great multi-tasker, your host family will think you are being rude.

Going unplugged during work may seem impossible, but think about this — even if you work 45 hours a week, you still have 123 hours left in the week for all of that other stuff, or about 70 hours (if you are getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night).

Host Parents – Please be clear about what you consider acceptable technology use during work hours to avoid misunderstandings. Your au pair is most likely very accustomed to being plugged in at all times. Her intention is not to be rude, but she might not realize how her actions will be perceived. Please use this information as an opportunity to begin a dialogue on the issue.

(Adapted from Christine Connally’s blog post, Going Unplugged During Work Hours)

Au Pair Technology Tips

Imagine if you went to the hospital and the doctors and nurses were more interested in texting or tweeting than caring for you. How would that make you feel, about yourself and about them?  Would you think that you were getting the treatment you deserved?  Would you feel like paying the bill after your stay?

Life as an au pair is a fine balance between employee and family member. You live with your host family and participate with them as a member of the family, but you also have clear responsibilities as a childcare provider.

Being a childcare provider is a very important job because you are helping to shape our next generation. What message are you sending to your host kids when you would rather interact with a computer than with them? How will they feel about themselves and about you? Children feel as though everything is about them. They will see this as a rejection of them and they will be more likely to act out.

Not paying enough attention to your host kids poses safety concerns too. Accidents happen, but when an adult caregiver is close by and appropriately supervising children, the chances of a major injury are dramatically reduced.

When you are working, you should not do any of the following:

  • Texting
  • Talking to friends on the phone
  • Chatting with friends online
  • Using Skype or FaceTime
  • Messaging
  • Emailing
  • Tweeting
  • Updating your status on Facebook or any other social media site
  • Using Snapchat, WhatsApp or any other app or social media site
  • Watching videos on YouTube
  • Uploading photos on Instagram
  • Playing Pokemon Go
  • Using the phone or tablet while driving
  • Exceptions- the only time it’s okay to use your computer, phone, tablet, etc. is when your host parents have given your specific permission to text or call them, help your host children find a pre-approved website (like Nickjr.com), or some other job-related task that your host family has asked you to complete. When in doubt- ask your host parents.

Finally, please do not text, scroll through Facebook, answer your phone, etc. when eating meals with your host family or talking with your host parents. Even if you think you’re a great multi-tasker, your host family will think you are being rude.

Going unplugged during work may seem impossible, but think about this — even if you work 45 hours a week, you still have 123 hours left in the week for all of that other stuff, or about 70 hours (if you are getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night).

Host Parents – Please be clear about what you consider acceptable technology use during work hours to avoid misunderstandings. Your au pair is most likely very accustomed to being plugged in at all times. Her intention is not to be rude, but she might not realize how her actions will be perceived. Please use this information as an opportunity to begin a dialogue on the issue.

(Adapted from Christine Connally’s blog post, Going Unplugged During Work Hours)

Technology Tips for Au Pairs

Imagine if you went to the hospital and the doctors and nurses were more interested in texting or tweeting than caring for you. How would that make you feel, about yourself and about them?  Would you think that you were getting the treatment you deserved?  Would you feel like paying the bill after your stay?

Life as an au pair is a fine balance between employee and family member. You live with your host family and participate with them as a member of the family, but you also have clear responsibilities as a childcare provider.

Being a childcare provider is a very important job because you are helping to shape our next generation. What message are you sending to your host kids when you would rather interact with a computer than with them? How will they feel about themselves and about you? Children feel as though everything is about them. They will see this as a rejection of them and they will be more likely to act out.

Not paying enough attention to your host kids poses safety concerns too. Accidents happen, but when an adult caregiver is close by and appropriately supervising children, the chances of a major injury are dramatically reduced.

When you are working, you should not do any of the following:

  • Texting
  • Talking to friends on the phone
  • Chatting with friends online
  • Using Skype or FaceTime
  • Messaging
  • Emailing
  • Tweeting
  • Updating your status on Facebook or any other social media
  • Using Snapchat, WhatsApp or any other app or social media site
  • Watching videos on YouTube
  • Uploading photos on Instagram
  • Playing Pokemon Go
  • Using the phone or tablet while driving
  • Exceptions- the only time it’s okay to use your computer, phone, tablet, etc. is when your host parents have given your specific permission to text or call them, help your host children find a pre-approved website (like Nickjr.com), or some other job-related task that your host family has asked you to complete. When in doubt- ask your host parents.

Finally, please do not text, scroll through Facebook, answer your phone, etc. when eating meals with your host family or talking with your host parents. Even if you think you’re a great multi-tasker, your host family will think you are being rude.

Going unplugged during work may seem impossible, but think about this — even if you work 45 hours a week, you still have 123 hours left in the week for all of that other stuff, or about 70 hours (if you are getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night).

Host Parents – Please be clear about what you consider acceptable technology use during work hours to avoid misunderstandings. Your au pair is most likely very accustomed to being plugged in at all times. Her intention is not to be rude, but she might not realize how her actions will be perceived. Please use this information as an opportunity to begin a dialogue on the issue.

(Adapted from Christine Connally’s blog post, Going Unplugged During Work Hours)

New Incentive Program for Au Pair Webinars

Image: The Sales Whisperer (Flickr)

Image: The Sales Whisperer (Flickr)

Each month, APIA’s Orientation Team offers free webinars designed to help our au pairs make the most of their year in the US. Au Pairs describe the webinars as fun and educational. Topics include travel tips, working vacations, communicating with your host family, activity ideas, homesickness, and much more. Continue reading

July, August, and September Webinars for Au Pairs

Image: The Sales Whisperer (Flickr)

Image: The Sales Whisperer (Flickr)

These FREE and informative webinars are designed specifically for you and are hosted by your orientation trainers. Topics include travel tips, working vacations, communicating with your host family, activity ideas, homesickness, and much more. Don’t miss these important tips that will help you get the most out of your year! Continue reading

Privacy, Personal Information & The Internet

fb-twitter-youtubeJust a reminder about how important it is to respect your host family’s privacy and not share personal details and information.  This applies to all kinds of situations, including: personal conversations, email and social websites.

For your own safety, it is a good idea to be careful what personal information you share about yourself as well. You should not be giving out information like your telephone number and address to people you don’t know.

Once you post something on the internet (even if you later delete it), it can show up elsewhere.  Unless you have specific permission from the host family, you should not post pictures of them, their children or their home on the internet.

If you have a blog or website where you post in your native language, remember there is translation software.  So, even if you say it in your native language, be sure it is not something you will regret.

Texting and Child Care

Photo: Sjoerd Lammers (flickr)

Photo: Sjoerd Lammers (flickr)

These two do not go together – Ever.

Across the world, children are being injured at increasing rates. Many of these accidents are due to the simple fact that care providers are spending more time looking at their phones than keeping close watch on the children. In the time that it takes to look and respond to one text message, a child could sustain a serious injury. Remember to always keep close watch on the child, keep the phone in your pocket.

Please read this before you choose to text while providing care.