AU PAIR QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER
FEATURED ARTICLES IN THIS EDITION:
Fall Is in the Air and Schedules Are Changing
As many parts of the country start to enjoy cooler temperatures and the beauty of the fall season, children are back in school and schedules are changing.
We advise host parents and au pairs to sit down and talk about changes to the schedule, ask questions, make sure all is going smoothly. Review important information together such as car line rules, activity drop-off and pick-up times. This is also a good time to review emergency contact information, phone numbers, and any other important information that should be shared.
Set up a weekly time to touch base and have a chat about how things are going; this gives both the host parents and the au pair an opportunity to ask questions and/or clarify anything special or different about the schedule for the coming week. Keep the communication flowing – it is the best recipe for a successful match.
Regulation Reminder – Keep Us Posted
Sometimes circumstances change after your match has begun; host families move house, sometimes a new baby is expected. This is very important information for us, as we have Department of State regulations tied to the location of the host family home and children under the age of 2 years.
Host families must live within a one hour drive of their community counselor, and au pairs must be infant qualified if there is a child in the home under the age of 2.
Please keep us posted! Let your community counselor know or call the head office if you have any questions about changes.
American Red Cross Scholarship Program
Au Pair in America is proud to partner with the American Red Cross for our child development and child safety training needs. This begins at orientation but does not end there! The Red Cross Scholarship program, available to all au pairs participating in the program, is extremely beneficial to au pairs wishing to expand child safety skills or develop a better understanding of child development. Approved courses include:
- American Red Cross Adult/Pediatric First Aid CPR/AED
- Pediatric First Aid CPR/AED (group class only)
Host families should encourage their au pairs to either join a community class or participate in a cluster class if offered (not available in all areas). Au Pairs should contact their Community Counselors if interested in participating.
Halloween Plans and Safety Tips
Halloween is celebrated across the United States on October 31st. Not all, but most families will participate in some aspect of the Halloween holiday traditions. This might include trick-or-treating, dressing up, and attending Halloween parties. These American cultural activities may be a new experience for au pairs, so it is a good idea to talk about Halloween together and share any special plans.
The tradition of Halloween was carried to America by the immigrating Europeans. Some of the traditions changed a little, though. For example, on Halloween in Europe, some people would carry lanterns made from turnips. In America, pumpkins were more common, so people began putting candles inside them and using them as lanterns. That is why you see jack-‘o-lanterns today.
If trick-or-treating is part of your family celebrations this year, it is very important to review what that looks like together. Every family is different, so talk about it and review the rules. And if you do celebrate, have fun and be safe! Here are our suggestions:
- Adult supervision is essential. Always accompany the children if they are going door-to-door to trick-or-treat.
- Try trick-or-treat-friendly homes. Ensure the children only visit houses with lights on with a Halloween decoration on the lawn or porch.
- Stay outside. Make sure the children don’t go inside someone’s house.
- Remain visible. Dress the children in bright costumes or have them wear reflective strips or carry a glow stick or flashlight. Stay with them at all times.
- Quality-check treats. Check the candy before they eat it. Throw out any candy that is not in its original wrapper or looks like it has been tampered with.
- Say “no” to strangers. Remind the children to never accept a ride or go anywhere with a stranger.
- Have a great time! Finally, make sure the kids have tons of fun and enjoy the night.
Global Awareness – Bringing the World Together
Global Awareness brings expanded educational and cultural opportunities to the forefront for all Au Pair in America participants. With ongoing opportunities to “meet our global neighbor” and build “cross-cultural bridges,” the aim is to encourage better understanding of other cultures, improve communication between cultures, and support the concept of mutual acceptance.
Take a look at some of our Global Awareness stories, events and competitions that help us bring the world together every day. You’ll see how we celebrated Pride Day, Juneteenth, and National Exchange Day earlier this year.
As always, we’re here to support you! Your Community Counselor is your first contact. At Au Pair in America, we take great pride in being able to provide 24-hour support to our program participants. If you cannot reach your Community Counselor and the office is closed, there is always a Regional Program Manager on call for urgent situations. To reach our after-hours emergency line, call 1-800-928-7247 and follow the prompts at the end of the message.