On Sunday, December 15th the Suffolk County Cluster of Au Pair in America celebrated the holidays at their Community Counselor Cindy Garruba’s home.
We had an international potluck with au pairs preparing food from their countries. It was fun sharing the traditions and food from all over the world!
We played some games and exchanged gifts.
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.
On a beautiful August afternoon, all 4 Long Island Au Pair in America Clusters canoed on the Nissequogue River. The trip took about 2 hours, and we canoed in with the tide from Kings Park to the Smithtown Paul T. Givens Park.
16 canoes filled with au pairs and 4 Community Counselors paddled along the winding river. Lots of other people were kayaking and canoeing along side us. After the trip, au pairs relaxed waiting for their friends to all finish the route.
Fun day spent with friends! Au Pair cluster activities provide au pairs with time with friends, opportunities to get to know each other and their counselors better. It is an important part of the Au Pair in America experience!
Au Pair in America was invited by GW4W (Global Women for Wellbeing) to their brunch meeting at CBS headquarters in NYC. Liza Galano is a host mom in Suffolk County, Long Island and an organizer of the event. Liza as Senior Director of Ad Sales, leads a team of global technologists in support of CBS’s Network Television division. She asked Cindy Garruba, Senior Community Counselor and Field Rep for APIA to bring materials for her group to learn about how hosting an au pair from APIA can help with working women’s wellbeing.
Cindy was joined by Manhattan Community Counselor, Viki Markle at the event. Both Counselors answered questions and gave out information about APIA.
The topic for the day was Women in Tech – Thriving as a Leader in Tech. The panelists discussed their experiences as leaders and being resilient. 2 acronyms were a focus of the discussion;
Use your VOICE – Voice, Opportunity, Inspiration, Connection, Empowerment
Remember to be KIND to yourself and others – Keep Inspiring Nurturing & Developing
Liza encourages other working parents to put in place a team to help them with childcare. She considers her au pair to be so important to her peace of mind. Currently Liza’s APIA is in her second year with her family. Nadine is from South Africa and is providing 45 hours of childcare, sharing her culture with her host family and experiencing ours.
It was an inspiring event and APIA was happy to be part of it.
Au Pair in America had a great day at Duck Pond Day in Wading River! It was a beautiful day to spend with neighbors in this charming Suffolk County, Long Island village. Music, food and lots of families had tons of fun.
3 Au Pairs helped out with kids coloring pictures of ducks on the pond and applying APIA tattoos. The tattoos were a big hit with all the kids!
Au Pairs from our cluster enjoying a social evening of pizza and fellowship at West Meadow Beach in Stony Brook this May. We enjoyed a beautiful evening with a perfect sunset on the Long Island Sound. Community Counselor Cindy Garruba brought pizza and water bottles, au pairs shared stories about who they are, vacations taken and planned. It was a wonderful time for all.
On Friday, May 17th Cindy attended the English as a Second Language Graduation from Suffolk County Community College for 3 special au pairs. Host families and friends attended, too, to congratulate them.
- The basic rule of playground safety: watch the children at all times, particularly near swings, and climbing equipment.
- Some playgrounds are on school grounds and should be avoided if the school children are outside playing.
- Whenever you go out in warm weather, remember to bring along drinks.
- It is important to apply sunscreen, even if it is hazy.
- Safety around water is particularly important. A child can drown in just a few inches of water. Whenever you are near water you must never leave a child alone – if the phone rings, take them with you or let it ring! Always stay within arm’s reach when the children are in water.