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.
The back pack is very important to review every day. This is one of the links between school and home for the student. Backpacks quickly become disorganized and notices missed if you do not empty it every day! Here is what we suggest you do every day:
- After the student arrives home, empty the backpack on a table.
- Find the homework. Set it out in the homework area with all the supplies needed to complete the homework.
- Put the lunch box in the kitchen. Empty it, discard the garbage, and see if the child actually ate the lunch that was packed. Wipe out the lunch box. Let the parents know what was not eaten!
- Find all notices sent home with the child. Find anything that needs to be filled out by the parents. If it is your responsibility to keep track of activities, put them on the calendar now. If not, make sure the parents see them.
- Make sure permission slips, fundraisers, book orders, photo notices and anything else that must be signed is done on time. Make sure these items get back in the backpack and the child turns them in on time. If the signed form and money is in the back pack at the end of the day, the child forgot to give it to the teacher. Remind the child, tell the parent!!
- All completed homework must be put in the homework folder in the backpack as soon as the homework is completed. Make sure there is a sturdy folder to put the homework in; the child knows where it is when he or she arrives at school. The homework will stay neater this way!!
- In the morning, recheck for homework. Is it in the folder? Are all permission slips and notices requiring money in the folder in the backpack?
- Make lunch and put the lunch box in the backpack. If the lunch box is in the backpack there is less chance it will be left on the bus!!
- Does the child need to bring anything else to school that day? Maybe he or she needs gym clothes, or something for show and tell. Put it in the backpack!
- At the end of the week, make sure all work sent home is placed out for the parents to see. Any dirty gym clothes are taken out of the backpack and put in the laundry. The back pack and the lunch box should be wiped out and kept clean!!
Source: Cindy Garruba – CC in Long Island, NY
Photo: Jens Rost