Tag Archives: au pairs

Celebrating APIA’s 30th Anniversary with Service

Au Pair in America launched the first U.S. au pair program in 1986. We are celebrating our 30th anniversary this year. Lisa and I discussed ways to celebrate this momentous occasion and came up with a plan for our cluster to carry out 30 Hours of Service in 2016.

Au pairs always enjoy opportunities to take part in service projects. We normally do one or two projects each year as a cluster. This year we are stepping up our game. We are looking for ways to volunteer in a variety of different types of charities (benefitting the homeless, children, animals, the environment, etc.) We will post updates as our projects continue. So, check back to see what we can do when we work together.

We have done one project so far:

April 10 – Making Sandwiches for the Homeless (5 hours of service)


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How are we counting the 30 hours?

We are counting the time our group works on the project together (making sandwiches 1 1/2 hours), time preparing for event and purchasing supplies (2 hours) and time delivering them to DC Central Kitchen (1 1/2 hours.)



Car Seat Safety is a Shared Responsibility

In MD, DC & VA the laws state that children under age 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat that is appropriate for their age, weight and height. Children over age 8 must be properly secured in a vehicle seat belt. (That is more lax than best practice recommendations which suggest children ride in a booster seat until they fit safely into a vehicle seat belt and their feet touch the vehicle floor. This will vary by child and vehicle more than age.)

Car seats and booster seats save lives, there is no doubt about it. But, just having the car seat in the car is not enough.  Car seats and booster seats can only save lives if they are properly installed and used.

Host Parents

  • It is your responsibility to show the au pair how to properly use your car seats and/or booster seats.
  • If you expect her to change seats to different vehicles, show her how to install them properly.
  • If you do not want her to remove and re-install car seats, make that expectation clear.
  • Even if the au pair has a separate car that she is the only one driving the kids in, please check the installation of the seats periodically.

Au Pairs

  • You are responsible for making sure that you understand how to buckle the children safely in their seats and be sure that they are safely buckled in every time you take them in the car with you.
  • The car should not move unless everyone is buckled.
  • Make it a habit to check the seats each time you put the children in to see that the seat is secure and not too loose.
  • If the seat is not working properly or you cannot figure out how to get it tight, ask your host parents as soon as possible.
  • If your host parents have asked you not to remove the car seat(s), please follow that rule.
  • If you need to remove the seat for some reason, ask them for help putting the seat back in.

If you need help installing car seats, find a car seat inspection station near you: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cps/cpsfitting/index.cfm

Holiday & Vacation Reminders

With Memorial Day almost here, I wanted to remind everyone about program rules on holidays and vacations.


  • 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.
  • Au pairs should NOT make plans for holidays without checking with your host family FIRST.

luggage maliasVacation

  • Au pair earns 2 weeks of paid vacation during the course of her year.
  • The host family can pick a week and the au pair can pick a week, if an agreement is not reached.
  • All vacation 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 a ticket.
  • If an au pair travels with their host family, it should be discussed UP FRONT 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.

Important: An au pair MUST have her DS2019 signed PRIOR to her departure from the US. More info. about this can be found on the right side of this page under “Travel Links for Au Pairs.”