Tag Archives: schedule

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.

 

2018/2019 Winter Vacation: Tips for Success

Photo: m01229 (Flickr)

During the last week of December and first week of January, many host kids will have between ten days to two weeks off from school for winter vacation. The thought of having the kids home for multiple days during the winter can send even the most seasoned childcare giver into a panic. Cold weather, shorter days, extra sugar, later bedtimes, and visiting relatives can be a challenge, but with some pre-planning, you can provide your host kids with a vacation to remember.

Tip #1: Plan Ahead

Tip #2: Dress the Part

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Winter has finally arrived in DC. It’s important to dress for cold weather and to make sure that your host children are dressed warmly too. If this is your first experience with really cold weather, ask your host parents for advice on staying warm. For more info, read this blog post from October: It’s Cold Out There! A 2018 Guide to DC Winter Weather.

Tip #3: Plan a Cozy Day Indoors

  • Staying home for the day? APIA’s Pinterest boards have loads of winter fun and holiday crafts and activities.
  • Help the kids organize their toys and rooms with these suggestions. With mom and dad’s permission, perhaps your host kids can donate some of the toys they have outgrown. This will create more room for the new toys from Santa.
  • Looking for a fun baking activity? Gingerbread is a delicious way to celebrate the season!

Tip #4: Make a Date

Playdates can be a great way for kids to socialize and work on the important skills necessary for being a good friend. Talk with your host family about planning a playdate over winter vacation. With their permission, you can use our cluster list to find an au pair who lives near you and has host kids who are compatible ages with your host kids. If hosting doesn’t work, you can also make plans to meet up at the library for a free story hour or crafting session.

Holidays and Vacation Reminders

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

With the summer travel season fast approaching, here are some reminders about program rules regarding holidays and vacations.

Holidays

  • Host families are not required to give au pairs any specific holidays.
  • Each host family will make different arrangements on holidays; some au pairs will be off and others will be required to work.
  • As holidays approach, it is helpful for host parents to let their au pairs know if they will be off or not, so plans can be made.
  • Au pairs should not make plans for holidays without checking with their host families first.

Vacations

  • 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 pre-planned (at least 4 weeks in advance.)
  • All au pair’s friends and/or family visits should be pre-approved prior to purchasing tickets.
  • If an au pair travels with her host family, discuss in advance the expectations of the trip:
    • If an au pair travels with her host family for work, the host family is required to pay for the au pair’s transportation, lodging, and meals.
    • If an au pair travels with her host family for vacation only and is not required to work, discuss the expectations for her participation in family activities in detail BEFORE the start of the trip.
  • For more information about scheduling vacation time, see APIA’s Tips for Current Host Families: Vacations.

Travel Outside the U.S.

  • During their first year, au pairs are allowed to travel outside of the U.S. and return. However, there are some important steps to take:
    • Au pairs must have their DS2019 signed (travel validation) PRIOR to their departure from the US.
    • It is essential that au pairs make their travel plans to return to the U.S. prior to the expiration date listed on their visa. This date can sometimes be earlier than their actual year end date.
    • More information and the travel validation request form may be found here on the Au Pair in America website.
  • There are limitations on travel outside of the U.S. for second year (extension) au pairs. Please speak with Catherine prior to making travel plans.
  • More information can be found by selecting the Au Pair Resources tab on the top of this page and looking under “Au Pair Travel Outside the US.”

2018 Summer Day Camps

Does it seem like the days are getting longer, but the hours are getting shorter?

Too much to do and never enough time to do it all? Continue reading

2017 Winter Vacation Battle Plan

Photo: m01229 (Flickr)

Photo: m01229 (Flickr)

During the last weeks of December, many host kids will have between ten days to two weeks off from school for winter vacation. The thought of having the kids home for multiple days during the winter can send even the most seasoned childcare giver into a panic. Cold weather, shorter days, extra sugar, later bedtimes, and visiting relatives can be a challenge, but with some pre-planning, you can provide your host kids with a vacation to remember.

Tip #1: Plan Ahead

Tip #2: Dress the Part

Winter has finally arrived in DC. It’s important to dress for cold weather and to make sure that your host children are dressed warmly too. If this is your first experience with really cold weather, ask your host parents for advice on staying warm. For more info, read this blog post from October: It’s Cold Out There! A 2017 Guide to DC Winter Weather.

Tip #3: Plan a Cozy Day Indoors

  • Staying home for the day? APIA’s Pinterest boards have loads of winter fun and holiday crafts and activities.
  • Help the kids organize their toys and rooms with these suggestions. With mom and dad’s permission, perhaps your host kids can donate some of the toys they have outgrown. This will create more room for the new toys from Santa.
  • Looking for a fun baking activity? Gingerbread is a delicious way to celebrate the season!

Tip #4: Make a Date

Playdates can be a great way for kids to socialize and work on the important skills necessary to being a good friend. Talk with your host family about planning a playdate over winter vacation. With their permission, you can use our cluster list to find an au pair who lives near you and has host kids who are compatible ages with your host kids. If hosting doesn’t work, you can also make plans to meet up at the library for a free story hour or crafting session.

2017 Summer Day Camps

Illustration: www.hikingArtist.com (Flickr)

Illustration: www.hikingArtist.com (Flickr)

Does it seem like the days are getting longer, but the hours are getting shorter?

Too much to do and never enough time to do it all? Continue reading

Winter Vacation Battle Plan (2016)

Photo: m01229 (Flickr)

Photo: m01229 (Flickr)

During the last weeks of December, many host kids will have between ten days to two weeks off from school for winter vacation. The thought of having the kids home for multiple days during the winter can send even the most seasoned childcare giver into a panic. Cold weather, shorter days, extra sugar, later bedtimes, and visiting relatives can be a challenge, but with some pre-planning, you can provide your host kids with a vacation to remember.

Tip #1: Plan Ahead

  • Take advantage of your host children’s free time. Pull out your calendar and read the Capital City Au Pair’s Winter Fun for DC Kids (2016-2017)  post for hundreds of holiday and winter-themed events going on right here in DC.
  • Play tourist with your host kids. Again, use the free time to explore DC. (Use the DC Guides section to help.) We live in an amazing city!

Tip #2: Dress the Part

Winter has finally arrived in DC. It’s important to dress for cold weather and to make sure that your host children are dressed warmly too. If this is your first experience with really cold weather, ask your host parents for advice on staying warm. For more info, read this blog post from October: It’s Cold Out There! A Guide to Dressing for Winter Weather.

Tip #3: Plan a Cozy Day Indoors

  • Staying home for the day? APIA’s Pinterest boards have loads of winter fun and holiday crafts and activities.
  • Help the kids organize their toys and rooms with these suggestions. With mom and dad’s permission, perhaps your host kids can donate some of the toys they have outgrown. This will create more room for the new toys from Santa.
  • Looking for a fun baking activity? Gingerbread is a delicious way to celebrate the season!

Tip #4: Make a Date

Playdates can be a great way for kids to socialize and work on the important skills necessary to being a good friend. Talk with your host family about planning a playdate over winter vacation. With their permission, you can use our cluster list to find an au pair who lives near you and has host kids who are compatible ages with your host kids. If hosting doesn’t work, you can also make plans to meet up at the library for a free story hour or crafting session.

 

Back-to-School Tips for Au Pairs

It may still feel like summer outside, but back-to-school season has arrived. Here are a few things to think about as we turn our attention to September.

  1. Weekly meetings:  These are a perfect time for you to sit down with your host parents and review the weekly schedule, the children’s behavior, and other issues. APIA strongly encourages these meetings. If they’re not happening at your house, let me know and I’ll speak with your host parents.
  2.  Schedule:  September is almost here. What does that mean for you? Now is the perfect time to review your work schedule and family agreements and think about how life might change this autumn. Bring up questions you have about these changes in your weekly meetings.
  3. School: Can you answer all of these questions? If not, ask your host parents, so you will know what to do.
    • What are the children’s school and activity schedules  (including school holidays, teacher work days)
    • How does school drop-off and pick-up work?  Have you been added to the list of people allowed to pick up the kids from school>
    • What do you do if a child is staying home sick, is late to school, or is dismissed early?
    • How do you know if school has been cancelled or delayed for bad weather?
    • What should you pack for the children’s lunches?
    • What is the after-school routine (do they have free time before starting homework, what to give for snack, any chores, where do they put their backpacks & lunchboxes)?
    • How should you communicate with your host parents about what’s going on at school?
    • Are there any other changes in routines, bedtimes, and meals?
  4. Technology:  Smart phones are great tools for staying in touch with your host family, finding directions, scheduling playdates, keeping track of your schedule, and taking pictures of your host kids to share with their parents. However, remember that you should never use your phone for anything else during work hours. Don’t do it. For more technology tips, read this blog post. 

 

Back-to-School Tips for Host Parents

While it still feels like summer outside, store shelves are stocked with notebooks and pens, school crossing guards are directing traffic, and Facebook feeds are full of grinning kids happily headed off to school. Yes, Back-to-School Season has arrived!

Along with the scramble to find missing backpacks, use this time of year to review your family routines, tweaking them for your children’s new schedules. Also, consider how your children have matured since last year, and how they can show their increased maturity with new responsibilities.

It’s very important to communicate with your au pair any changes to her routine schedule and duties. Consider the following discussion topics for your weekly meeting:

  • Au pair’s work schedule
  • The children’s school and activity schedules  (school holidays, teacher work days)
  • School drop-off and pick-up (how does this work and who does it). Be sure to add your au pair to your list of people allowed to pick up the kids from school
  • What to do if a child is staying home sick, late to school, dismissed early
  • How to tell if school has been cancelled or delayed for bad weather
  • What to pack for lunch
  • After school routine (do they have free time before starting homework, what to give for snack, any chores, where do they put their backpacks & lunchboxes)
  • How to communicate about what’s going on at school (Kids in Care Log Books are available upon request from APIA)
  • Any other changes in routines, bedtimes, meals, and job duties.

You may find the following articles helpful in considering your plan for the school year:

2016 Summer Day Camps in DC

Illustration: www.hikingArtist.com (Flickr)

Illustration: www.hikingArtist.com (Flickr)

Does it seem like the days are getting longer, but the hours are getting shorter?

Too much to do and never enough time to do it all? Continue reading