Tag Archives: host parents

Handling Expenses

Host parents often ask for suggestions on how best to handle common expenses that occur as au pairs are caring for the children.

Miscellaneous Expenses

There are different ways to handle the little day to day expenses that come up.  Things like when an au pair takes the kids out for ice cream or picks up a gallon of milk.  Some families keep a cookie jar fund, a little cash that they set aside weekly or monthly for these types of expenses. Others give their au pair a prepaid debit card for this purpose. Below are some suggestions for avoiding problems with expenses.

Host Families

  • It’s important to be clear about how long this money should last and what types of expenses are approved.
  • Let the au pair know whether or not you expect receipts.

Au Pairs

  • Only spend the money on approved expenses.
  • If it is something you are not sure about, ask first.
  • Put your receipts in the cookie jar in place of the money to avoid any confusion.

Gas and Fare Cards 

Host families are responsible for the au pair’s transportation costs: to and from classes, cluster meetings and when driving the kids.

It is a good idea to figure out how much gas an au pair will use for these trips and either put gas in the car or give a gas allowance.   If your au pair is riding to classes or cluster meetings with another au pair, you should offer to share the cost of gas.

Au pairs are responsible for their own transportation at all other times.  You should replace the amount of gas used for personal use.

Photo: Andrea Travillian

Happy Veterans Day

veterans_dayVeterans Day, formerly Armistice Day, is an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans.

It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)

October 4-10 is Fire Prevention Week

Click here to read more fire safety tips on the FEMA website

Click here to read more fire safety tips on the FEMA website

Here are some Fire Safety Tips from http://www.usfa.fema.gov/:

Control Kids’ Access to Fire

  • Keep all matches and lighters out of the hands of children. If possible, keep these sources of fire in locked drawers. Consider buying only “child-proof” lighters—but be aware that no product is completely child-proof.
  • Children as young as two years old can strike matches and start fires.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.
  • Teach children not to pick up matches or lighters they may find. Instead, they should tell an adult immediately.

Fire Safety at Home

  • Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, especially near sleeping areas.
  • Smoke alarms should be kept clean of dust by regularly vacuuming over and around them.
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. And replace the entire unit after ten years of service, or as the manufacturer recommends.
  • Families should plan and practice two escape routes from each room of their home.

Photo: Tony Alter

Handling Expenses

Miscellaneous Expenses

There are different ways to handle the little day to day expenses that come up.  Things like when an au pair takes the kids out for ice cream or picks up a gallon of milk.  Some families keep a cookie jar fund, a little cash that they set aside weekly or monthly for this kind of expenses.  Here are some suggestions for avoiding problems with expenses.

Host Families

  • It’s important to be clear about how long this money should last and what types of expenses are approved.
  • Let the au pair know whether or not you expect receipts.
  • Au Pairs

  • Only spend the money on approved expenses.
  • If it is something you are not sure about, ask first.
  • Put your receipts in the cookie jar in place of the money to avoid any confusion.
  • Gas and Fare Cards

    Host families are responsible for the au pair’s transportation costs:

  • to and from classes and cluster meetings
  • driving the kids
  • It is a good idea to figure out how much gas an au pair will use for these trips and either put gas in the car or give a gas allowance.   If your au pair is riding to classes or cluster meetings with another au pair, you should offer to share the cost of gas.

    Au pairs are responsible for their own transportation at all other times.  You should replace the amount of gas used for personal use.

    Photo: Andrea Travillian

    Holiday & Vacation Reminders

    With Memorial Day almost here, I wanted to remind everyone about program rules on 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.
    • 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.”