Tag Archives: Education Options

Helping Young Children Learn Language

Quinn Dombrowski baby reading

Being an au pair is an important role in a child’s life. When you are caring for young children up to 45 hours per week, there are lots of opportunities to help them learn language. Many host parents are eager for their children to be exposed to more than just English. If this is true of your host parents, you can try the suggestions below, in both English and your native language.

Below are a few tips to start with, for more ideas, check out Ready at Five.

  • Read – Read to them daily, point out pictures and ask questions. Even if they can’t answer the questions, this is still modeling conversation.
  • Talk – Point out objects around them, names of their body parts, explain what you are doing and places you are going. Long before babies can speak, they benefit greatly from being spoken to.
  • Sing – You can sing childhood classics or make up your own silly songs. If you are looking for song ideas, HERE is a great website with lists of songs, lyrics and links to youtube videos* of the songs.  Children’s music is also available at the public library and even on iTunes.
  • Words – As children move from toddlers to preschoolers begin to point out written language.
  • Writing – Toddlers and preschoolers can begin to learn pre-writing skills by drawing with crayons or doing finger paints.

*The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for babies under 18 months of age. For children 18 months to 5 years they recommend no more than 1 hour of high quality content. You can play the songs on youtube for the audio and not necessarily show the screen to the child.

Photo: Quinn Dombrowski (Flickr)

Education Update 2021

Updated June 22, 2021Due to COVID-19, Au Pair in America has temporarily given approval for online/virtual classes, with a few conditions. Au pairs must still produce certificates or other acceptable documentation confirming the completion of the class. Classes must be offered by an accredited U.S. college, university or other post-secondary school and completed by 8/31/21. In September, au pairs will be required to resume in-person classes. If you have any concerns about in person classes, please contact Christine or Lisa.

If in doubt, ask your counselor to check if the school is accredited. All class hours must be completed by the end of your 11th month in the program if you wish to extend.

Online Class Websites – These platforms will list online courses all over the country. These courses come from a variety of sources and some are not accredited. You must be sure you are selecting a course that is from an accredited university.

*This class would be great for au pairs who have already taken or plan to take a PGCC Transition ESL class when things go back to normal. Those classes usually earn 50-60 hours, so this could be enough to complete your education requirement, in combination with one of those classes.

Photo: Nenad Stojkovic

The Au Pair Education Requirement

Au pairs are required to complete 6 credits or 7.2 CEUs or 72 or more hours.

EduCare Companions are required to complete 12 credits or 14.4 CEUs or 144 or more hours.

You may take credit or non-credit classes from an accredited college. Look on the right side of this page under “Education Options” for accredited schools in our cluster area. If you want to take a class at a school not listed here on my blog, please check with me first to make sure it is accredited. Otherwise, it would not count toward your education requirement.

Your host family will pay an education allowance to assist you in completing your education requirement. Au Pairs education allowance – $500, EduCare education allowance – $1000

There are ways to get your credits for just your education allowance, but it will not give you a lot of choices. Normally au pairs will contribute some of their own money ($200+) towards their education.

The APIA Advantage UCLA Course is the only State Dept. approved class with an online component. No other online classes are accepted.

Note: Au pairs are allowed to take one weekend course for up to half their education requirement per contract year. The Department of State views our program as a cultural exchange experience and an au pair going to a campus over the length of a semester alongside her American peers facilitates this while promoting the spirit of the program.

Photo: CollegeDegrees360

Options for those Last Few Education Hours

3324251659_c5b4e7da64How many total classroom hours do you need?

  • Standard au pairs must complete 72 hours or 6 credits or 7.2 CEUs.
  • Educare companions must complete 144 hours or 12 credits or 14.4 CEUs.

Certain combinations of classes can leave you just a few hours short of the requirement.

Here are several options for completing those last few hours. Prices listed are correct as of February 10, 2017 and are subject to change. Consult the university websites for full information.

Virginia International University Saturday Museum Classes
5 hours (.5 CEUs) for $40 (+$20 reg. fee)
Held almost every Saturday morning (10:30am) in DC. Metro accessible locations.
Students will spend a day at a different museum each week and participate in an interactive, themed museum tour facilitated by an ESL instructors.

University of Virgin Islands Experience America through Art Galleries & Museums
5 hours (.5 CEUs) for $40
Held once per month on a Saturday (10 am or 1:30pm) in DC. Metro accessible locations.
Students self guide through a local museum over a 3 hour period and complete an outside assignment. The assignment is creating a detailed pictorial report of the visit, due within 7 days of the course.

University of Virgin Islands Fitness Fridays
2 hours (.2 CEUs) for $20
Held once per month on a Friday evening (8 pm) in DC. Metro accessible location.
A fitness class where students will stretch, move and exercise. Register early, space is limited.

Local Community Colleges
Check on our Resource Page under Education Options for links to local community colleges. In the Non-Credit or Continuing Education Catalogs, they will have a variety of small courses in a variety of subjects.

Photo: Ian Lee (Flickr)

The Au Pair Education Requirement

7658288734_de19b54754_zAu pairs are required to complete 6 credits or 8 CEUs or 72 or more hours.

EduCare Companions are required to complete 12 credits or 16 CEUs or 144 or more hours.

You may take credit or non-credit classes from an accredited college. Look on the right side of this page under “Education Options” for accredited schools in our cluster area. If you want to take a class at a school not listed here on my blog, please check with me first to make sure it is accredited. Otherwise, it would not count toward your education requirement.

Your host family will pay an education allowance to assist you in completing your education requirement. Au Pairs education allowance – $500, EduCare education allowance – $1000

There are ways to get your credits for just your education allowance, but it will not give you a lot of choices. Normally au pairs will contribute some of their own money ($200+) towards their education.

The APIA Advantage UCLA Course is the only State Dept. approved class with an online component. No other online classes are accepted.

Note: Au pairs are allowed to take one weekend course for up to half their education requirement per contract year. The Department of State views our program as a cultural exchange experience and an au pair going to a campus over the length of a semester alongside her American peers facilitates this while promoting the spirit of the program.

Photo: CollegeDegrees360

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The Au Pair Education Requirement

Au pairs are required to complete 6 credits or 8 CEUs or 72 or more hours.

EduCare Companions are required to complete 12 credits or 16 CEUs or 144 or more hours.

You may take credit or non-credit classes from an accredited college. Look on the right side of this page under “Education Options” for accredited schools in our cluster area. If you want to take a class at a school not listed here on my blog, please check with me first to make sure it is accredited. Otherwise, it would not count toward your education requirement.

Your host family will pay an education allowance to assist you in completing your education requirement. Au Pairs education allowance – $500, EduCare education allowance – $1000

There are ways to get your credits for just your education allowance, but it will not give you a lot of choices. Normally au pairs will contribute some of their own money ($200+) towards their education.

The APIA Advantage UCLA Course is the only State Dept. approved class with an online component. No other online classes are accepted.

Note: Au pairs should only take one weekend course for their education requirement. Using only weekend courses to meet your education requirement could result in the denial of your extension application (should you decide to extend.)

APIA Advantage Course – UCLA Extension Program

gaThe next UCLA APIA Advantage Course will run from February 6 – June 11. Registration is already open at www.uclaextension.edu/aupairs

The cost of the class is $500 and it satisfies the education requirement for au pairs or half the requirement for EduCare companions.

This 19-week course, specifically designed for au pairs who are required to continue their education as a part of their experience in the U.S., is offered in a blended format–partially a media-rich, self-paced online environment and partially an instructor-led, cohort-based model.

The interdisciplinary course of study includes:

  • U.S. History: Eras 1-5 (up to Civil War and Reconstruction), including mini-modules on economics and geography
  • English-language study, including weekly reading and writing exercises
  • Arts in the U.S., including virtual field trips and activities reflective of historical eras studied by participants
  • U.S. literature: the readings which reflect the eras studied in the U.S. history module
  • Career counseling and interest inventories to determine future directions for the participants.

Participants read lessons, write, share resources, network with one another, and collaborate on special projects, as well as explore web links, play games, and take virtual field trips, all designed to further their understanding of U.S. culture.

The Community Involvement segment of the program takes the au pairs into face-to-face contact with the community. Au pairs will relate these experiences to their academic coursework in American Studies Online.

For further information call (310) 206-6671 or email online@uclaextension.edu

Rike's Review of Sojourner Douglass Interior Design Course

Recently, I asked Rike, a German au pair in our cluster what she thought of the Interior Design Two Weekend Program she completed through Sojourner Douglass College.  Here is a review she was kind enough to write for me. 

I can tell you that I really liked the two weekend classes! I would recommend it to every other Au Pair because you can get your credits in a short time and you can choose more than just one class.

Next to your main course, you have different other little classes you can attend. And you have a big choice so there is something for every flavor.

sd interior class 2My main course was interior design which I really liked because next the theoretical part we were able to practice a lot. We learned how to create a floor plan with all the furniture, colors and lights. The homework for the second weekend was to make the same for a big family living room and then some of us had to present it. Next to this class, I picked for example digital photography, American holidays, travel Spanish, human development or yoga.

The teachers are very nice and really good and I never had the feeling to get bored although two full days of studying were very exhausting. The first day of study starts Saturday morning at 9am. Before that everybody arrives and gets their keys for the room. I liked the lodging a lot, the rooms are comfortable. You share it with another Au Pair.

sd interior classAt the first weekend I got to know one of the girls and we decided to take a room together for the second one. The food is also very good and abound. 😉 Between the classes you can always get a snack and there was a huge diversity for the main meals.

The studying part on Saturday ends at about 7 in the evening. After dinner there is a group activity with all Au Pairs and later they offer voluntary activities like karaoke or watching a movie. I didn’t join this because I was too tired. The second day also starts at 9am and basically ends at about 6pm.

The only thing I didn’t like was the homework (of course). We had to write a 5 page essay for both weekends and for the second one the floorplan in addition which was a lot of work and needed much time. But besides this, it is really worth it and for me it was better then to sit in a classroom one or to times a week or for a couple of hours at the weekends.

UCLA Au Pair in America Advantage Course

Time is running out to register for the Spring Session of the APIA Advantage Course through UCLA.  The class begins is March 28.ucla

 

This class is a great option for:

  • Serious students who want to master a university level class and earn credits from a major US university.
  • Those who are curious about the events that have shaped culture and history, and who would like a taste of the part women have played in US history.
  • Those who want to get involved and be a part of the community where they live.
  • Self-starters who will make the most of a more flexible, independent style of learning.

Looking for ways to satisfy your education requirement?  Have you thought about the APIA Advantage program?  By taking this course, you can complete your education for just $500 (or half of the requirement for EduCare) and learn so much about America and the community where you live.  The next session will run from March 28 until August 1,  2011. There’s still time to enroll. Register at www.uclaextension.edu/aupairs

2011 Sojourner Douglass Weekend Courses

I have had lots of au pairs take the Sojourner Douglass weekend courses and they have been very pleased.  They have told me that the instructors and staff are helpful and professional, the courses are interesting and the facilities are nice.  Below you will find information on their upcoming course offerings.

Sojourner Douglass College, Division of Professional and Continuing Studies

The full 2011 schedule is available and posted on their website.  The winter courses are filling up quickly.

The following are offered as Two Weekend Programs:

  • Interior Design
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Foreign Languages
    • Travel Spanish
    • Travel French

  New for 2011, Non-lodging courses:

  • Microsoft Software Certification:
    • Word
    • Excel 
    • PowerPoint
  • Art History Course that occurs in Washington, DC
  • Volunteerism Course 

 

Registration is ongoing and can be completed online by visiting www.weekendprogram.org Early registration is encouraged. For more information about our courses please visit the website

2011 Schedule of Weekend Classes (subject to change based on enrollment)

January 8-9, 2011 – TOEFL Review Course

January 8-9, 2011 – American Language and Culture,

January 22-23, 2011 – American Government and Personal Development

January 22-23, 2011 – Computer Software/Certification: Word (Non-lodging Course)

January 22-23 and March 12-13, 2011 – Interior Design Two Weekend Program

March 5-6, 2011 – American Culture and Tourism

March 5-6 and May 7-8, 2011 – Hospitality and Tourism Two Weekend Program

March 12-13, 2011 – American Language and Culture

March 12-13 and April 9-10, 2011 – Travel Spanish Two Weekend Course

March 12-13 and April 30-May 1, 2011 – English as a Second Language Two Weekend Course

March 12-13, 2011 – Computer Software/Certification: PowerPoint (Non-lodging Course)

March 12, 19, 26 – Art History (Non-lodging Course), Washington, D.C.

April 2-3, 2011 – Caring for Special Needs Children and American Culture

April 2-3 and June 11-12, 2011 – Child Care Two Weekend Program

April 9-10, 2011 – Understanding American Language Culture and Government 

April 30 and May 1 – Volunteerism in America (Non-lodging Course)

May 7-8, 2011 – American Culture and Personal Development

May 7-8 and June 11-12, 2011 – Travel French Two Weekend Program

May 14, 21, 28 – Art History (Non-lodging Course), Washington, D.C.

  

To register visit our new website:  www.weekendprogram.org

Please note the location of Weekend Courses:

The Conference Center at the Maritime Institute

692 Maritime Boulevard Linthicum, MD 21090-1952

(410)-859-5700 Front Desk ext 0

For questions call Angela Garnett, Program Coordinator at 301-213-2404 or email: info@weekendprogram.org