Yearly Archives: 2011

Culture Fest 2011!

                                  Host Families, Au Pairs, Children and all friends are invited to attend


Cultural Fest!


Sponsored by Au Pair In America


Hosted by Hatboro-Horsham Educational Foundation (HHEF)

 Visitors will be treated to the sights, sounds, and flavors from the many cultures that make our world go around.

Area restaurants will provide tastes of their own special cuisine.  There are many international flavors all around us and we will bring them together for this very special celebration.

  Date:  Sunday – May 15, 2011

 Time:  12pm to 3pm

 Place:  Hatboro-Horsham High School

             899 Horsham Road

             Horsham, PA  19044

 Website for directions:

 Please RSVP to your Counselor

Janet Kratzke:

 (Host Family Workshop requirement will be fulfilled by attending this event)

Happy Passover

Passover 2011 begins at sundown on Monday, April 18 and lasts for seven days in Israel and eight days in the rest of the world.



Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) commemorates the formative experience of the Jewish people: their transformation from scattered tribes indentured in Egypt to a nation on the road to redemption. As the Israelites hastily prepared for their precipitous flight from Egypt, they had no time to allow their bread to rise. Instead they baked matza, a flat, yeastless cracker of flour and water.

At the last minute, Pharaoh changed his mind and gave chase; God parted the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to pass through on miraculously dry land while causing the pursuing Egyptians, along with their horses and chariots, to drown in the briny deep.


The seder:
On the first night of Passover (the first two nights, outside of Israel), a ceremonial meal called a Seder  is held, usually in the company of family and friends. The Seder, replete with symbolism, revolves around bringing the Exodus story to life.


The other six days:
The Biblical Song of Songs is read during synagogue services on the Saturday that falls during Passover (the second if there is more than one). On the final night of Passover, some recall the splitting of the Red Sea — which, according to tradition, happened on that day — by gathering to sing songs of praise to God, with a bowl of water on the table before them. Chabad Jews dedicate a special meal on this day to the Messiah, complete with cups of wine

St Patrick’s Day Parade in Philadelphia

The 2011 Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade Returns March 13, With 20,000 Performers In Marching Bands, Dance Groups, Floats And More


The 241st St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place March 13. (Photo courtesy Irish Philadelphia) 

Philadelphia’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is actually the city’s largest parade, with 20,000 participants representing more than 150 groups including marching bands, dance groups, youth groups, Irish associations and floats.

Thousands of festively green-bedecked spectators line the Ben Franklin Parkway to enjoy the parade each year, a religious and cultural celebration of St. Patrick, on the Sunday prior to St. Patrick’s Day (this year’s parade: March 13, beginning at 11 a.m.). The first documented St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Parade in Philadelphia was held in 1771, marking this year’s the 241st year.

The parade begins at 16th and JFK Boulevard before making its way down the Ben Franklin Parkway. Click here for the full parade route. Some best bets for vantage points include Logan Circle and the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where a dance floor will be set up at Eakins Oval.

A series of awards are given to parade performers, ranging from Outstanding Float to the group that best exemplifies the spirit of the parade, so you can weigh your own opinions against the judges’ decisions, revealed Wednesday, April 13, 6-9 p.m. at a ceremony at Finnigan’s Wake.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a Philadelphia tradition, is a celebration not to be missed. If the weather is less than exemplary, you can watch it live on CW Philly 57 from noon to 3 p.m.; it will also stream live on the station’s website. And also check out Hear Philly’s look at St. Patrick’s Day bar tours in Philadelphia for an added layer of holiday fun.

Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade
When: Sunday, March 13, beginning at 11 a.m.
Where: Begins at 16th and JFK Boulevard
Cost: FREE
More info:

Chinatown Brunch-Cluster Meeting

March Multi-Cluster Meeting 

Chinatown Brunch

Date:             Sunday, March 13th  2011

Time:             12 – 2 Please arrive promptly!

Place:            Charles Plaza

243-236 North 10th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

(about a ten minute walk from Market East train station)

Cost: $14 includes lunch, soda, tax and tip

Please bring exact change If possible!


Please respond by March 10th.  I need to give the restaurant an accurate count and they charge us for each reservation.

This is a fun and delicious meeting and a great way to get to know the other au pairs in the area.  We are expecting a group of 80 to 100 au pairs!!


February 2011 Cluster Meeting-Snow tubing

 February 27, 2011

Cluster Meeting

Snow Tubing

Where:  Spring Mountain Ski Area

757 Spring Mount Rd.

Spring Mount, PA 19478


(go to the web site for directions)


When:  Sunday February 27, 2011

Time:  9:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Cost: $20 (this is a discounted group rate)


Please respond by Wednesday, Feb. 23 to Janet Kratzke at or 215 340 7880.  I have to submit a list of names to Spring Mountain so your name or your friend’s names must be on the list to attend.  Please be sure that you are coming because they will charge me if your name is on the list and you do not show up.  They are reserving spots for everyone who is on the list.  You can pay at Spring Mountain the day of the event. 


Please arrive on time so that you can complete the release form before going tubing.  We will have the forms there. Please do not be late because we have to check everyone in before we go out on the hill as a group.  It will be lots of fun and is very safe!!!


                                                           IMPORTANT:  Please dress very warmly!!  You should wear a warm coat, waterproof pants, hat, gloves, scarf and boots or shoes that can be worn in snow (no heels!!)

Presidents’ Day


Presidents’ Day is celebrated in February to honor two of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. The holiday is celebrated in the United States on the third Monday in February.   George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 and was the first president of the United States.  Abraham Lincoln was president during the Civil War and was born on February 12, 1809.

Most of your host children will be off this week from school.  Traditionally this is a winter break for Long Island schools.  It is a great time to plan some activities in and out of the house with your host children.  Many of the libraries and museums will have special activities for the kids home from school.  Check online and bring your kids to explore these activities. 

flower-craft-free-kids-pop-sticks-easy-patty-pans1Mid winter is a great time for crafts and for board games.  Pull out the games the children received for their holiday gifts and play them together.  Gather the craft supplies and get creative! Dreaming of spring?  How about coloring or painting some pictures of with the kids of spring flowers?  Decorate the room with the colorful pictures!  It might be cold and snowy outside, but inside the flowers are blooming on the walls!  Enjoy!!

Au Pair In America partners with AAA



The most trusted choice for live-in childcare, Au Pair in America has partnered with AAA, the nation’s most trusted name in driver safety and instruction, to offer a custom course specifically designed for au pairs. This course differs from those offered in your community, in that AAA has taken the best of several of their courses, adapted them to be the most accessible to the au pair population, with special focus on driver and child passenger safety.  Key components of the course include:

  • Driver Safety
  • Child passenger safety (car seats, communication, expectations)
  • Communication and traffic devices
  • Vehicle Awareness (understanding what your vehicle is “telling you.”)
  • Reducing Risks while Driving (includes defensive driving techniques, phone/texting issues, and drinking and driving awareness)


This  AAA course designed exclusively for Au Pair In America.  Course includes a combination of lecture, group exercises, video/other media to ensure the maximum understanding to speakers of other languages or newly arrived to the US participants.




All Host Families with au pairs arriving into the USA in 2011 will receive more information about this new course and how their au pair can be enrolled!

Tax Information for Au Pairs



We have been talking about taxes a lot lately and there have been lots of questions. I will continue going over tax questions each month at our Coffee Meetings. 


Here are some of the basic questions:

Who is supposed to file taxes? – All au pairs (even those who don’t owe money)

Will all au pairs have to pay something? – No, it depends on when you arrived and how much money you earned last year.

When are 2010 taxes due? – April 18, 2011

Where can I get the tax form? –  1040NR-EZ Form

Where can I get the instruction booklet?1040NR-EZ Booklet

Where can I get detailed information and see a sample au pair tax form?APIA Tax Info for Au Pairs

What to Keep In the Car Glove Box

 If you are like me, you probably have napkins and straws from fast food restaurants and other assorted items in your glove box in the car.  It can be a nifty storage place, but it’s main purpose is to keep some important documents related to the car. glove box

 It is very important that you keep all of the necessary documents in the car glove box. These items will be necessaryif you are stopped by a police officer or have an auto accident. Not having these items can result in your receiving a ticket (citation) from a police officer. 

 Essential Documents

*Some host parents may tell you to carry these in your wallet instead of keeping them in the car. Follow their instructions.

Helpful Extras

  • Flashlight
  • Tire Pressure Gauge
  • Vehicle Owner’s Manual
  • Map or GPS
  • Tissues and Hand Sanitizer
  • First Aid Kit 

In Your Wallet
Carry your Maryland license or country driver’s license and international driver’s permit with you at all times, especially when you are driving. You should leave your passport and Social Security Card and other documents at home, to reduce the risk of losing them

ABC’s of Winter Fun


A is for Art – try drawing, painting or gluing
B is for Baking – bake a dessert together for dinner
C is for Clay – Use non-hardening clay or play dough to shape and mold
D is for Dance – put on a lively tape
E is for Exercise – be sure to get some everyday
F is for Friends – invite some over
G is for Greenhouse – find a local greenhouse to visit to enjoy the sights and smells
H is for House – make a playhouse from a large appliance box
I is for Ice skating – take the children to a local rink
J is for Jigsaw puzzle – be sure to pick one that isn’t too difficult
K is for Kitchen science – try a safe experiment
L is for Library – borrow some new books
M is for Movie – make one with a video camera, or watch one
N is for Necklace – make one out of cereal or macaroni
O is for Origami – learn to make simple paper creations
P is for Puppets – socks make easy and fun puppets – put on a show!
Q is for Quiet Time – everyone needs some of this
R is for Reading aloud – choose a good book and a comfortable place to sit
S is for Seeds and Suet – put out food for the birds and watch them eat
T is for Tent – make one from old blankets and chairs
U is for Unplugged – do a day with no TV
V is for Variety – try something new everyday
W is for Walk – take one in any weather (be sure to dress appropriately)
X is for Xylophone – make your own with glasses, water and a metal spoon
Y is for Year – make a calendar or scrapbook to remember the year
Z is for Zoo – visit the animals