Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hear From an Au Pair: How to Meet People During your Au Pair Year

One of my main concerns when I was thinking about becoming an au pair was "How would I meet new people?" It turned out to be much easier than I thought. Below are four ways I met people in the U.S. and ways you can make new friends as well!

1. Get to Know Other Girls at Au Pair Academy

My fear about meeting people in the United States was calmed almost instantly as I arrived at Au Pair Academy. At first I was just fascinated by how many people who were so different from me ended up in the same place and time starting this new experience! And what I found out was that we were not that different at all, as we shared a common interest; our love for kids, adventures, travel and our enthusiasm to become independent world citizens by deciding to leave our homes for a whole year to experiment and learn another culture.
Some of the people I met at Academy I’m still in touch with four years after those first days of the adventure that changed my life!

2. Take Part in Local Au Pair Events

Once you arrive to your host family’s home, your Area Director will reach out to you. She will help you meet other au pairs in your neighborhood during the monthly activities organized by AuPairCare. Also, in many areas with a large amount of au pairs it is not unusual to find a casual weekly coffee night organized by the au pairs themselves. Attend as many of these events as possible! They are fun, and a great way to integrate yourself into the community.

3. Take Part in Free Community Events

In addition to learning something new and developing your professional career, the courses you take during your program are a great opportunity to meet more people. But don't stop at your required classes. Libraries and community centers are other good places to meet people while you learn. Lots of places organize short one-day courses and activities such as movie nights, volunteering programs, creative writing workshops and many other community events created for public enjoyment and education.

4. Be Social All Around Town

Americans are well known for being very friendly and open people so don’t be surprised if somebody starts a conversation with you in a park while taking care of the kids, waiting in the bus stop or even in line in the supermarket. Take these opportunities! You could meet other au pairs, nannies or parents who could become friends.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Aupair Monthly meetings

Monthly meetings are great times to get together and talk and get to know each other. This month we had a picnic in the park and we took some photos. Every month we do something fun together.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Why choose Aupair Care for your childcare

Once you’ve learned about the benefits and requirements of the au pair program and decided this might be a good fit, it’s time to decide which agency you should go with!
There are lots of choices out there but here at AuPairCare we’re committed to live-in childcare and cultural exchange.  Here are some of the most popular reasons families choose AuPairCare:

Our Au Pairs

Year-round, AuPairCare offers a robust selection of au pairs from all around the world. Becoming an au pair is a rigorous process, and all of our au pairs meet not only the Department of State requirements but extra AuPairCare qualifications as well. Once our au pairs arrive in the US, they attend a 4 day training known as “Au Pair Academy” where we review important development milestones, child safety (including first aid and CPR) and the American way of caregiving. Our Infant Specialized au pairs have a separate but equally intensive training where they focus on the unique needs of babies.  Our reputation abroad is that of the top agency, with au pairs eager to come to the U.S as an AuPairCare au pair.

Transparent Fees

The au pair program can be one of the most affordable childcare solutions out there, and our goal is to make our pricing as transparent as possible so there are no surprises. From application fees to when payments are due, we include all cost information on our website and Family Room portal, and staff is always available to answer any additional questions you may have.

Au Pair Staff

Our staff is truly amazing. Many of our team members have been with the program for 20+ years, and the majority has had au pairs themselves!  Whether you want to speak to a Program Advisor at our headquarters about the basics of our program, or your local Area Director to learn about the other AuPairCare families in your community, our staff are experts in au pair childcare and always available to answer any questions you might have.

We’re Family

When you look through our blog you’ll see tons of stories about host families and au pairs who loved their experience so much they wanted to share it with us. Our participants are funny, kind, caring and excited about cultural exchange. Most of our new families and au pairs came to us on the recommendation of current participants, and in our last survey 97% of participants said they recommend us to others – so request more information today!


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Great time to get an Aupair

Take advantage of this great promotion and get an Aupair for the summer and by the time school starts

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

5 Things Your Nanny or Au Pair Wish You Knew

As a parent, you know that caring for children is tough business. Those sweet little faces need love, attention, and lots of activities to keep them busy. So you can imagine that choosing to work as a nanny or au pair in another person’s home is a rewarding but often difficult job. To make their life a little easier (and your home run a bit more smoothly), we asked a few nannies and au pairs to tell us the top 5 things they wish you knew.
  1. It’s so much easier as a team. Parents, you may have experienced this yourselves: one parent unintentionally undermines the other when it comes to discipline. It is crucial that you work with your nanny to make sure everyone is on the same page and supportive of disciplinary decisions. Showing your kids that you respect your nanny by following through on a punishment she gave sends the message that she is an authority figure. It also makes her job much easier the next time she tells little Johnny that if he does not stop spitting, he’ll be in time out. He’ll quickly remember that even though mommy came home, she made him stay until he had done his time and apologized.
  2. She is a professional. This means she’ll do a great job, take on some extra projects and keep things organized. It also means that she deserves support, consideration and respect. Respect of course means how you speak to her, but also respect for her time, things and interests. If you say you’ll be home at 6pm, be home at 6pm and be sure you send a quick text if you are running a few minutes late. Give ample notice when plans change and try to accommodate special requests, knowing she will do the same.
  3. The little details make all the difference. Imagine spending all day with a cranky toddler, who doesn’t want to eat much and just wants to be held. Then, when mom comes home and nanny reports the days’ events, mom says, “Oh, I’m not surprised. We noticed last night she is getting a new molar”. Yikes – wouldn’t this information have been helpful to your nanny before her day started? Even if she lives in your home, the little details about your day or your child’s current health may not be obvious to her, so it’s important to convey those details. As awesome as your nanny or au pair is, she is not a mind-reader, so it’s crucial to share everything both verbally and on paper.
  4. She has a plan. Not only does your nanny or au pair have a plan for each day, but it is likely one that you have helped her to craft. So whenever possible, respect that plan and try not to throw a wrench in. Give her ample notice when things will be a little different and try not to throw out last minute schedule or activity changes. It’s also important to remember that while she might not do things exactly as you would, if your kids are happy and responding well, her method might be the best way. This is a tough one to admit, but sometimes a nanny’s time in the trenches has taught her a few things even mom and dad had not considered.
  5. She is a person, too. It sounds a little silly, but it is true! Your au pair may read, sing, act – it could be anything, but the fact is that she has a life outside of your family and great talents and ideas to share. Your whole family can learn from her and grow as a result. Take some time to get to know her unique interests and encourage her to share these with your kids.
Now that you are armed with these insider tips, put them to use. Acknowledge your nanny or au pair’s hard work and commit to investing in the relationship. You’ve chosen the perfect childcare provider – now make the most of it and in the process give even more to your kids.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

She’s not just a childcare provider, she’s a member of our family. She’s my parenting partner.

My friends have a nanny. She’s nothing short of amazing. She does the kids’ laundry, packs their lunches, makes baby food, organizes toys, you name it. She arrives 10 minutes early and often stays a few extra minutes at the end of the day to let the parents take off their shoes and change into “parent mode” after they get home from a stressful day in the office. I only hear good things.
What I don’t hear is this:
“My nanny subscribed to a parenting website so she could get additional tips and tricks on how to potty train my kids”
“My nanny celebrated her birthday with us and posted photos of the cupcakes she and my kids made on her social media”
“My nanny changed her plans this weekend to come on an Easter Egg hunt with our family”
These are the things I experience hosting an au pair. She’s not just a childcare provider, she’s a member of our family. She’s my parenting partner.

She’s our 3rd party, objective opinion when my husband and I are arguing about where to hang the new piece of wall art we just brought. She spends time while the kids are napping looking up ways to help our children’s development or fun crafts she can do with them that afternoon. She created a Facebook group to send the grandparents photos of the kids daily. She went out shopping with her au pair friends and came home with fun things to do with our kids rather than new clothes (don’t get me wrong, she likes to shop for clothes too). This is who I want watching my kids. Someone invested in not just a job, but a family. I am grateful each day when I leave my kids for work that someone who loves them that much is taking care of them every day.