Tag Archives: school

Federal & School Holidays

As you may be aware, the public school children are out of school several days in September and October. These are regular workdays for an au pair, unless your host parents tell you otherwise. As with any “school holiday” start making plans for activities with the kids now.

In addition to holidays in September (Labor Day & Rosh Hashanah,) many public schools are also out additional days for teacher development and the end of the grading period. As with any holiday, it is up to the host family’s schedule whether you will have the holiday off. Please check with your host families before you assume you have this day off. Do not make any travel plans until you have received confirmation that you will not work on this day.

Host parents, please check your schedule to make sure that you are factoring in these hours and make adjustments as needed to stay within the State Department regulations not exceeding 10 hours per day or 45 hours per week (or 30 hours her week for Educare.)

Photo: Dafne Cholet

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.

Reminder: It is illegal in the State of Maryland for a child under the age of 8 to be left alone in the home or car. Please make sure that your drop off routine does not include leaving children under 8 at home or in the car while dropping off another child. Even if a host parent gives permission to do this, it is not allowed, because it is against the law.

What are the Rules for Holidays?

There are no regulations requiring  host families to give au pairs any specific holidays off. In the spirit of the au pair program, many host families will give their au pair the day off on major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, July 4th). Most au pairs look forward to sharing holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas with their host families to truly experience American family life.

There are other federal holidays (usually on Mondays), when many offices and sometimes schools are closed. These are regular workdays for an au pair, unless their host parents tell them otherwise.

There are also days when the children will be home from school. These can be on holidays, special work days for teachers or closures due to bad weather. Host parents and au pairs should review the calendar sent home from school and mark these on the family calendar and/or au pair work schedule. It’s a good idea for au pairs to plan some activities to occupy children who are at home. Keeping kids occupied and engaged can prevent boredom and sibling squabbles.

Au Pairs – Please check with your host parents before you assume you have any holiday off. Do not make any travel plans until you have received confirmation that you will not work on this day.

Host Parents – Please let your au pair know in advance when she will have a holiday off or a day when kids will be home from school, so she may plan accordingly. When there are school days off,  be sure to make adjustments to your au pair’s work schedule  to stay within the State Department regulations: not exceeding 10 hours per day or 45 hours per week (or 30 hours per week for Educare).

Photo: Dafne Cholet

Federal & School Holidays

As you may be aware, the public school children will be off several days in September and October. These are regular workdays for an au pair, unless your host parents tell you otherwise. As with any “school holiday” start making plans for activities with the kids now.

In addition to holiday in September (Labor Day & Rosh Hashanah,) many public schools are also out additional days for teacher development and the end of the grading period. As with any holiday, it is up to the host family’s schedule whether you will have the holiday off. Please check with your host families before you assume you have this day off. Do not make any travel plans until you have received confirmation that you will not work on this day.

Host parents, please check your schedule to make sure that you are factoring in these hours and make adjustments as needed to stay within the State Department regulations not exceeding 10 hours per day or 45 hours per week (or 30 hours her week for Educare.)

Stopping for School Buses

With some schools about to go back in session and many new au pairs who have recently arrived, I wanted to remind everyone about what to do in different situations with school buses. If you have questions, please ask myself or your host parents.

The rules regarding stopping for school buses are:

  • It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing and its’ stop arm is extended.
  • On undivided roadways, with no physical barrier or median, vehicles must stop on both sides of the roadway.
  • Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
  • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and children are getting on or off. Motorists approaching from either direction must wait until the red lights stop flashing before proceeding.

Police, who observe a motorist failing to stop and remained stopped for a school bus, can issue the violator a citation which carries a $570.00 fine and 3 points. There are also cameras on buses and the camera-generated fine is $125. Drivers failing to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk can be issued a citation for $80.00, and drivers failing to exercise due caution when encountering children can be issued a citation for $70.00.

Federal & School Holidays

The public school children will be off several days in September and October. These are regular workdays for an au pair, unless your host parents tell you otherwise. As with any “school holiday” start making plans for activities with the kids now.

In addition to holiday in September (Labor Day & Rosh Hashanah,) many public schools are also out additional days for teacher development and the end of the grading period. As with any holiday, it is up to the host family’s schedule whether you will have the holiday off. Please check with your host families before you assume you have this day off. Do not make any travel plans until you have received confirmation that you will not work on this day.

Host parents, please check your schedule to make sure that you are factoring in these hours and make adjustments as needed to stay within the State Department regulations not exceeding 10 hours per day or 45 hours per week (or 30 hours her week for Educare.)

Stopping for School Buses

With some schools about to go back in session and many new au pairs who have recently arrived, I wanted to remind everyone about what to do in different situations with school buses. If you have questions, please ask myself or your host parents.

school-bus-stop

The rules regarding stopping for school buses are:

  • It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing and its’ stop arm is extended.
  • On undivided roadways, with no physical barrier or median, vehicles must stop on both sides of the roadway.
  • Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
  • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and children are getting on or off. Motorists approaching from either direction must wait until the red lights stop flashing before proceeding.

Police, who observe a motorist failing to stop and remained stopped for a school bus, can issue the violator a citation which carries a $570.00 fine and 3 points. Drivers failing to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk can be issued a citation for $80.00, and drivers failing to exercise due caution when encountering children can be issued a citation for $70.00.

Federal & School Holidays

The public school children will be off several days in September and October. These are regular workdays for an au pair, unless your host parents tell you otherwise. As with any “school holiday” start making plans for activities with the kids now.

In addition to holiday in September (Labor Day & Rosh Hashanah,) many public schools are also out additional days for teacher development and the end of the grading period. As with any holiday, it is up to the host family’s schedule whether you will have the holiday off. Please check with your host families before you assume you have this day off. Do not make any travel plans until you have received confirmation that you will not work on this day.

Host parents, please check your schedule to make sure that you are factoring in these hours and make adjustments as needed to stay within the State Department regulations not exceeding 10 hours per day or 45 hours per week (or 30 hours her week for Educare.)

Stopping for School Buses

With some schools about to go back in session and many new au pairs who have recently arrived, I wanted to remind everyone about what to do in different situations with school buses. If you have questions, please ask myself or your host parents.

school-bus-stop

The rules regarding stopping for school buses are:

  • It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing and its’ stop arm is extended.
  • On undivided roadways, with no physical barrier or median, vehicles must stop on both sides of the roadway.
  • Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
  • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and children are getting on or off. Motorists approaching from either direction must wait until the red lights stop flashing before proceeding.

Police, who observe a motorist failing to stop and remained stopped for a school bus, can issue the violator a citation which carries a $570.00 fine and 3 points. Drivers failing to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk can be issued a citation for $80.00, and drivers failing to exercise due caution when encountering children can be issued a citation for $70.00.

Make Every Day Special – Lunchbox Art

I just saw this on Facebook and I thought it was such a simple idea that could really make your kids day. Imagine if you were a kid and every day when you open your lunch box, you find a different drawing on your sandwich bag.

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 8.53.44 AM

The person who made the designs here just uses colored Sharpie markers on regular ziploc lunch bags. Check out his Flickr album for lots of inspiration. This is something you could start right now at the end of the school year or plan for next school year. The designs can be simple, so you don’t need to be a great artist to make this special. You can decorate the baggies ahead of time or get up early and enjoy some art time before the kids get up. The possibilities are endless! If you give this a try, I would love to see some of your creations, so please share.