HOST FAMILY QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER
FEATURED ARTICLES IN THIS EDITION:
❄ Rockin’ Around
The weather outside was frightful, but that didn’t keep APIA community counselors in New York from decorating a gorgeous APIA tree as part of the recent Stony Brook Holiday Festival. They invited APs, HFs, and members of the community to stop by their table for coloring books and “make and take” ornaments.
❄ Mall Madness
We recently hosted an APIA booth as part of a holiday shopping event at a local mall in Virginia. The community counselor shared that the event was super fun, festive, and busy. Her junior helpers (pictured below) passed out APIA info and glitter tattoos (and wowed visitors with their dance moves!).
❄ Merry and Bright
Our CC in the Golden Isles region of Georgia has been spreading the word about the APIA program at events and happenings throughout her community. She attended a Merry Mixer as well as the Festival of the Trees (ornament pic for all you Swifties out there) – APIA was a proud sponsor of both charitable events. Most recently, she also welcomed folks to a production of Elf Jr. at her local playhouse, handing out APIA info and goodies for children in attendance.
❄ Santa?? I know him!
APIA was a proud sponsor of this month’s “Kidtown” event at a Tallahassee bookstore. This very special story time was led by none other than Kris Kringle himself. The community counselor provided hot cocoa and candy canes and earned APIA several shout outs during the event and in the store’s e-newsletter. Oh what fun!
❄ Say it with me, now…
Our community counselor in Maryland shared a host parent response to her monthly reach out ~
“Oh, all is well, and I will never leave your company because you’re amazing.”
Our community counselor in West Virginia was the hostess with the most-est at her town’s screening of the holiday movie classic Home Alone. She partnered with her local Chamber of Commerce to provide popcorn and other APIA treats for the families in a attendance.
❄ Fitness Fun
One of our community counselors in California found a fabulous (and fit!) APIA partner. A spin/yoga studio recently opened nearby, and she offered to provide activities for kids at the studio’s grand opening. She shared, “The craft table was a hit from the 2-year-olds all the way up to the 12-year-olds. Scratch art ornaments and dot marker holiday coloring pages kept the kids entertained with no adult help needed so I could chat with the parents. The APIA crowns were also enjoyed by all and I made keepsake ‘mistletoes’ for the parents of the little ones. I put out the drawstring APIA bags for the kids to take their crafts home in and they can also double as gym bags for the parents.”
❄ Sweet tooth
Our Rhode Island cluster is really cooking! The community counselors recently hosted an APIA Cultural Cookie Exchange.
The community counselor shared, “The party was a HUGE success with 11 families in attendance, 16 baking participants and over 46 guests. We wrapped up the remaining cookies on beautiful, Au Pair in America labeled plates to distribute to the families who were unable to attend. It was a day that truly warmed out hearts and helped make some new friendships.”
What a sweet event!
Thank you to all of the host families and au pairs who joined in these festive events. Happy holidays to all.
Au Pair Webinar Schedule
Au Pair Webinars are designed only the for Au Pairs who are currently in the USA and are offered several times a month. The Au Pair Webinars are interactive and presented live by an Orientation Trainer. Au Pairs have the opportunity to ask questions and offer suggestions to others. There are 41 topics with valuable information to help support Au Pairs while they are living in America.
Global Awareness Successes
Every year Au Pair in America hosts several challenges to showcase our au pairs sharing peace and understanding on their global journey! Take a few minutes to enjoy our Global Awareness Successes of 2023.
Are You Planning to Travel Outside of the USA in 2024?
We know that host families and au pairs enjoy traveling and exploring the world. While we encourage the opportunity to travel, there are very important international travel requirements for au pairs. If you are planning overseas travel together, or as an au pair independently, please review the following information:
- Each au pair receives a DS-2019 form when they match with a host family. This is their certificate of eligibility from the Department of State.
- Travel Validation Form
- DS-2019 Request Form
- A scanned copy of the form is emailed to the au pair after matching. They will need this form at their visa appointment and throughout their program.
- If an au pair has a trip planned to travel internationally, they must receive a travel validation signature on their DS-2019 form from the Stamford office. This signature is not formal permission to travel, it is to ensure good standing on the program.
- The request to receive a travel validation signature must be sent to APIA at least 2-3 weeks prior to traveling by using this form.
- The DS-2019 form is still valid even if the host family information is not up to date. A new DS-2019 form should ONLY be requested if the DS-2019 is lost/damaged and/or the au pair NEEDS the address updated on the current DS-2019 for legal documentation.
- A request for a new DS-2019 would be made here (the turnaround time is 1-3 weeks).
Our program success is based on everyone involved taking care to follow the program rules, requirements, and regulations. Here are a few reminders of the key rules to support all program participants as we all work together toward achieving a successful cross cultural exchange experience:
- The au pair should be paid the (minimum at least) stipend on a weekly basis
- All au pairs are required to participate in the education component of the program and host families must pay the required education allowance
- Au pairs should work no more than 45 hours per week or 30 hours per week if an EduCare au pair
- Au pairs may not work more than 10 hours in one day
- The weekly schedule should include one and one half days off each week
- All au pairs must be given at least one full weekend off each month
- Host families must give a minimum of two weeks paid vacation over one year to each au pai
Make time to talk about the basics together, we strongly encourage a weekly meeting between host parents and au pairs to review the schedule, weekend commitments and time off so that everyone is clear about the expectations. The host family shoudl provide a schedule ahead of time so au pairs can make plans for their free time. Feedback from experienced host families and au pairs tells us that clear communication and making time to talk builds a foundation for a good relationship and a successful match.
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.