Au Pairs often find themselves driving the kids around to activities. Be sure to know the rules of the road in order to be safe and avoid getting a fine. The rules regarding stopping for school buses are:
- Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to load or unload children. You should slow down and prepare to stop the car.
- 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.
- It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing and its’ stop arm is extended. Vehicles must stop on both sides of the roadway. Failure to stop can result in high fines which the au pair has to pay, not the host family.
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.
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.
*Some host parents may tell you to carry these in your wallet instead of keeping them in the car. Follow their instructions.
- 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
There are different ways to handle the little expenses that may 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 that.
- 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.
- 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.