HOST FAMILY QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER
FEATURED ARTICLES IN THIS EDITION:
Host Family Webinar Series
Au Pair in America is offering 14 host family day webinars throughout the month of October. It is a Department of State requirement for host families to attend a cross-cultural educational event at least once a year.
Join us for an interactive learning experience focused on cultural exchange and the benefits of being part of the Au Pair in America program. Topics include communication, relationship building, cross cultural adaptation and celebrations, generation ‘Z’ and how to succeed as host parents.
Social Distancing – An Ongoing Conversation
As we are all on the learning curve of living in a Pandemic together, it is important that we continue talking to each other about changes, updates and different comfort levels around social distancing. We recommend host parents and au pair talk on a regular basis, especially if there are changes in your local community/state that may impact your everyday life as a family. We continue to advise everyone to follow the CDC guidelines and refer to the most up-to-date travel rules and recommendations. Social distancing is an important ongoing conversation as the world continues to adapt and change!
Health, Safety, & Welfare Reminders
It is crucial that we all do everything we can to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our program participants including host parents, children, and au pairs. This is mostly achieved through our program policies, and Department of State regulations. Checking in and staying connected with each other to ensure ongoing welfare is important. However, emergencies and the unexpected can happen! Au Pair in America has a 24-hour emergency service available every day of the year. If you have a serious problem and your community counselor is not available or it is outside of office hours, you may call 1-800-927-7247.
We suggest that host families and au pair talk about what to do if there is an emergency and make sure that all important contacts and phone numbers are accessible. Here are some other safety topics for discussion that may be important to you
Accident or Medical Emergency:
Host parents and au pairs should review how emergency medical care should be handled for the children and also for the au pair. Download and complete this medical authorization form and keep it in an easy place to remember. Create a list of medical emergency phone numbers (doctor, local hospital or urgent care, trusted neighbor, etc.) and place in a prominent area where anyone can see or reach.
To prepare for any contingencies in these areas, discuss a general protocol for handling certain potential issues that may occur at home. Download a list of helpful questions to ask in case of a household emergency.
Personal Safety and Street Safety
Personal safety is important for everyone, and au pairs especially may be at risk when socializing and traveling alone. The UCLA Police Department cites these 3 basic rules:
- Always stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
- Stay calm and appear confident.
- Trust your instincts and leave a situation as quickly as possible if you feel uncomfortable or at risk.
Preparedness, Survival, and Reporting of Severe Weather-Related Incidents
Regional and seasonal severe weather (e.g., hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires) may cause property damage, serious injury, and loss of human life. We encourage families and au pairs to be aware of the hazards that might impact them during a severe weather event and to monitor information from the local or national weather forecast. Follow any local authority recommendations for evacuation orders. Stay together as a family. If you live in a high risk area for severe weather, make a plan and discuss it as a family.
Whether traveling alone or as a family, it is important to prepare and stay alert during your journey. Review our safe travel tips.
Most importantly, we wish all host families and au pairs a healthy and safe exchange experience!
ABCs of a Successful Year as a Host Family
Learn our very own version of the alphabet! Take a look and find out if you are following the ABCs of hosting.
APPLIANCES – Review directions for all the appliances. Some, like garbage disposals, are not common in other countries. If your au pair has arrived from in person orientation – offer the use of the washer and dryer right away, as many au pairs arrive with a limited wardrobe and have no chance to do laundry at while there.
BATHROOM – If the au pair is sharing a bathroom with family members, discuss scheduling, reasonable length of use, and housekeeping responsibilities.
CALENDAR – Explain the importance of entering classes, meetings, and social activities on the family calendar. Discuss what is acceptable notice for a calendar change.
Cyber Safety – Be Alert!
Unfortunately, scams and fraud are a risk for any of us. Host parents and au pairs should be very cautious of anyone who reaches out to ask for personal information. Do not give personal information to any source not known or verified to YOU. Be careful and be alert. Keep your personal information safe!
Be careful with your:
- Passport information
- Bank information
- Social Security number
- Driving license
- Home Address
Check out our helpful tips for staying safe online!
Free Au Pair Webinars
At Au Pair in America, we not only provide education for au pairs as part of their orientation at the beginning of the program experience, we also offer valuable ongoing training throughout the year. Every week, webinars are offered on a wide variety of child care topics. We encourage au pairs to expand their learning opportunities and to connect with our program trainers and each other.
Au Pairs can view the selection of upcoming webinars being offered and register at any time. Upcoming sessions include:
- Back to School During the Pandemic: Keys to Success for Au Pairs and Host Families
- Long Distance Relationships: Let’s Talk about Them
- Temper Tantrums: When Your Child Feels Out of Control
- No Time for Boredom: Activities to do with Preschoolers
- Talk with a Trainer
Visit our Au Pair Webinar page
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.