Au Pair – a partner in parenting!

According to  lifesitenews.com the number of children living in single-parent homes has nearly doubled since 1960 and the number of single-parent families is growing.au-pair Bucks Conty 1

Single parents need reliable and cost-effective childcare. By providing childcare at the same cost regardless of the number of children in the household, the au pair program is the perfect option.

An Au Pair becomes an important member and valued addition to the family- a responsible partner in parenting. Having the Au Pair gives the children stability, support, and a life long friend.2014

The Au Pair also gives parent some free time away from the kids. When a single parent is away, the children are in the hands of a trusted person in their own home and with someone they are comfortable with.

The Au Pair follows house rules and parent’s childcare preferences. They provide a partnership in parenting in day-to-day life.

Washington, DC – April 18th & 19th

As apart of the Go Au Pair program, an au pair must complete 72 hours of 6 credit unites over the course of their 12 month placement. With this in mind I signed up for the CULTURAL HIGHWAYS education program which includes 3 classroom sessions at Pierce College, (1x Saturday and 2x Sundays) as well as a tour of Washington, DC. The Washington, DC tour was this weekend (April 18th & 19th) and I absolutely had the time of my life and 100% recommend it to everyone!

Ron Dingman was our tour manager and I hope you are lucky enough to have this wonderful man on your tour! He is so funny and nice and will help you with any question no matter how dumb it may be! (I certainly gave him a run for his money on how many dumb questions he could handle in one weekend).

Our tour bus was departing Philadelphia (30th street station) at 10.10am sharp and I wanted to be on time so I caught the 7:45am train from Colmar statio which was expected to arrive at 30th street station at 8:49am. I only needed a 1 way train ticket which was $7.00.

Upon arrival at 30th street station I met some of the other girls on this trip. They brought snacks and drinks for the long bus ride however as I am extremely poor at the moment I chose the cheaper option which was to go IMG_6010[1]without. In the end I did by 1x 500ml bottle of coke zero which cost me $2.69 at ‘Au Bon Pain’.

We got on the bus and the journey began. There were already other au pairs on the bus who were picked up from places such as New York and New Jersey. We were on the bus for an hour before making our first rest stop At this rest stop I brought my lunch which was ‘Pop Eye Chicken’, I ordered a 3x piece chicken combo which included fries, this cost me, $7.89. After this 30 minute rest break we were back on the road and didn’t stop until 2.00pm for our 2nd and final rest stop at Union Station- I did not purchase anything here as I was not hungry from such a huge lunch!

We left here at 2:35pm to set off to our first landmark which was THE WHITE HOUSE! This was definitely my favourite site of the DC trip! After that we left and went to the LINCOLN MEMORIAL & THE REFLECTION POOL. Both of these were absolutely outstanding! From there we went to the NATIONAL MALL and there we saw the World war 1 and 2 memorial as well as the JFK memorial.

So once we’d seen this we headed to the hotel to check in (We stayed at the Hilton Arlington). The Hotel was absolutely magnificent! Stunning design, gorgeous, furniture, friendly staff and comfortable beds, it was abslolutley perfect!

Essentially I walked in and walked out because a friend I made on the tour wanted to go see a band that was playing called ‘Oh Honey’. The band was playing at the Rock and Roll Hotel and public transport was going to take an hour to get there and so we used ‘Uber’ instead of a taxi/ cab as it was cheaper. The Uber ride was roughly 25 minutes and cost us $20 which is certainly cheaper than any taxi! (Especially as it only ended up being $10 each).IMG_6011[1]

Tickets for the show cost $15 so we purchased those and then went inside, only to find out ‘Oh Honey’ wasn’t playing until 10pm. As we weren’t interested in the opening act we decided to get dinner. We ended up at Impala (just across the road from the Rock and Roll hotel) which was a nice little Mexican restaurant. I ordered a steak with fries and vegetables, with a coke. The meal was fantastic and only cost me $17.90. (Something I will definitely miss when I leave the U.S is free refills!)

We headed to the concert at 9.00pm and listened to the opening act ‘Public’ and then obviously the main act ‘Oh Honey’. I had never seen this band before however I had a really good night and I could not recommend them enough !!

We left at midnight after a meet and greet with the band and caught an ‘Uber’ ride back to the hotel. As it was later in the night and rides were in highIMG_5680[1]er demand the total price ended up being $30, and so the two of us split it, spending $15.00 each. The rest of the night I spent with my room mates.

The next morning we got u

p at 8am as the bus was leaving at 9:15am. I got ready as quickly as possible however did not have time for breakfast which was totally disapointing as I was really looking forward to having something from Ihop for the first time.

We departed with our luggage loaded on the bus at 9:15pm and our first stop was the AIR FORCE MEMORIAL. We spent 20 minutes there before being dropped at the National Mall and being given 3 hours of free time. I chose to see the WASHINGTON MONUMENT as well as the HOLOCAUST MUSEUM- both attractions were free.

Before leaving the girls and I got lunch and sat on the grass to eat it. I got McDonalds from a pop up stand as there was nothing else around and this cost me $5.70.

We departed Washington, DC at 2.55pm exactly only making one stop on the way home where I did not purchase anything as I was well and truely broke and wasn’t hungry anyway.

We arrived at 30th street station at 6:40pm and I waited until 7:11pm for my train home to Colmar station where I drove home from.

This trip is well recommended to all au pairs! The cost of the classes and trip in total is $369 which is coverIMG_6004[1]ed by your host family. You make so many friends, irreplaceable memories and have so much fun! Could not recommend it enough!

Au Pair’s trip to Washington DC

Ophelia’s Diary.

I took the Washington DC Educational Trip class  for the Au Pairs which included three classes and a tour. The final project for the class was designing your own Monument and then we had the tour to Washington DC with Cultural Hi-Ways. I just came back from a two days trip to Washington DC and look forward to sharing about the trip.

Au Pair Philadelphia

I met a lot Au Pairs from different countries, which was so awesome!Au Pair from Go Au pair

There are so many great things to seen DC, two days just too short for us. All my Au Pair friends love DC so much, we don’t want to come back at all.

 

On Saturday afternoon, we visited the World War ⅡMemorial, the Vietnam Wall, Lincoln Memorial, Korean Memorial.

Au Pair from Go Au pair

Also, we took a lot pictures at the Capitol Building and White House.aupairs

I always seeing these famous places in TV show.IMG_5268

I am so glad I could see them in person now.Au Pair from Go Au pair

My Au pairs friends and I were just so happy.

Au Pairs from Go Au pair

As we already learnt the history about DC in our class, it helped us enjoy this tour a lot.Au Pair from Go Au pair
On Sunday, we visit Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian Institution.Au Pairs from Go Au pair

I just can’t wait to share more details with you!

Read more stories from Ophelia’s Diary

Au Pairs can travel to Niagara Falls and earn educational credits.

Cultural Hi-Ways offers an educational tour (earning 45 class hours) to Niagara Falls for  the Au Pairs  who live close to Philadelphia. The  educational trip includes attending 3 classes at Villanova University, Philadelphia and a three-day trip to Niagara Falls.Au Pair in Canada

Niagara Falls are one of the most exciting places in the world.  During the trip au-pairs will  explore one of the most amazing wonders of the nature and learn the history, geography, landmarks, arts and customs of Niagara Falls as well.  The Au Pairs will learn about fascinating cultures and locales through classroom lectures, films, articles and discussions while improving their English comprehension skills. It is a great opportunity to explore one of the most amazing places in the US,  and also make new friends, take hundred of photos and build unforgettable memories.

Class Dates: – SUNDAY August 25, SATURDAY September 7, and SUNDAY September 22, 2013

Tour Dates: – Friday September 27 to Sunday September 29, 2013aupairs niagara trip

After Au Pairs complete the three-day class sessions, they will participate in a weekend tour to Niagara Falls. The cost is $419 (includes classroom sessions + tour + travel to and hotel in Niagara Falls). Au Pairs who completed the course (including the tour) will obtain a CERTIFICATE stating they have earned 45 class hours.

Au Pair Niagara

Enjoy your trip to a beautiful Niagara Falls and complete your education!

A Chinese Au Pair story.

This is the third part, read the first part A great match with a Chinese Au Pair and the second part Waiting for a Chinese Au Pair arrival.

The Au Pair from China Hui is sharing her story after being an Au Pair 7 months in the USA with a single father Gregory and his two kids.

By the Au Pair Hui.

Time goes by so fast, it is already half of the year since I came here. I still remember after Au Pair training, in New York,  my host dad drove me from New York home. We got home and waited kids from a school bus. That was my first time really see them.

They really look more cute and beautiful than on Skype : ) !Look, Nina almost as same tall as me.

Au Pair Hui

Awesome! This is my first time for Halloween!

Au Pair Hui China.

They were writing Chinese calligraphy. Every Sunday we go Chinese school together, and I also help the kids learn Chinese at home.Au Pair Hui China3

Do something funny. Ha, Ha, Ha!Au Pair Hui China7

They like dumping so much! We tried to make dumping by ourselves. We were successful! They look great and delicious,  right?Au Pair Hui China 8

My host dad always drives me to the station while I go to visit my sister. Every time he and kids wait for the train with me and until I get on the train.Au Pair Hui China2

Au Pairs traveling and studying

 

Cultural Hi-Ways gives Au Pairs an opportunity to study and travel. 99% of Cultural Hi-Ways’ guests are Au Pairs. Au Pairs can sign up to join any of the weekend tours and have a great time.

Cultural Hi-Ways is a partner with the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), it means that Au Pairs can add an educational element to their weekend tours.  Au Pairs can earn educational credit in a fun, creative environment. They can study in the classroom then learn from personal experience by visiting the destination you have studied! 

Included in the tuition price:

  • 2 or 3 classroom sessions (depending on the course you choose to sign up for) held at Villanova University, in the Philadelphia area
  • A weekend tour to the destination studied – provided by Cultural Hi-Ways
  • Upon successful completion of the classroom sessions, homework assignments and the tour, a certificate of completion will be awarded for either 3.5 CEU’s (35 hours) or 4.5 CEU’s (45 hours).  The number of hours/CEU’s earned will depend on the course you sign up for

If Au Pairs need to earn educational credit, they can select course listings at BMCC website , (under Personal Development select Learning Across America) and sign up for one of the Learning Across America courses offered in Philadelphia. If they don’t need to earn education but would like a fun weekend away with a great group of au pairs, they can sign up for just the tour on the Cultural Hi-Ways website

Upcoming courses/tours available to Philadelphia Au Pairs:

Montreal, Canada

May 9-12, 2013
Tuition Price paid to BMCC (tour is included): $469
First class begins Sunday, March 17
Tour only price if you don’t need education (sign up on the Cultural Hi-Ways website) $329

Niagara Falls

June 14-16, 2013
First class begins Sunday, April 28

Tuition Price paid to BMCC (tour is included): $419
Tour only price if you don’t need education (sign up on the Cultural Hi-Ways website): $279

Au Pair’s trip to Washington DC

Cultural Hi-Ways offers educational tour( earning 35 class hours) to Washington DC for Au Pairs that includes attending 2 classes in Philadelphia and the trip to Washington DC.

WashingtonDC
Class Dates:Sunday, February 24 & Sunday, March 3, 2013 in Villanova University. The aupairs will learn about American culture through classroom lectures, films, articles and discussions while improving their English comprehension skills.

After Au Pairs complete  two day class session, they will join a weekend tour to Washington, DC

Tour days: March 23-24, 2013 During the trip au-pairs will learn the history, landmarks, arts and customs of Washington, DC , make new friends, take hundred of photos and explore new places. In the journey Au Pairs will visit the Vietnam Wall, Lincoln Memorial, Korean Memorial and World War II Memorial, stop to see the Capitol Building and White House and many other interesting places.
The cost is $319 (includes classes & the tour)white-house-lg

Au Pairs who completed the course (including the tour) will obtain a CERTIFICATE stating they have earned 35 class hours.

Watch the video

Go Au Pair or Nanny?

The Au Pair program is a childcare option for families who are looking

live in childcare
bi-lingual childcare
flexible childcare
quality childcare
affordable childcare
and a cultural childcare experience.

Many of my host families found the Au Pair program because they were looking for a better child care option. Au Pairs provide a stable child care, but host parents get so much more than that!  They get scheduling flexibility, very reasonable and affordable pay rates for the Au Pairs, and the added benefit of giving their family broader exposure to other languages, lifestyles, and customs.

Why choose Au Pair and Go Au Pair agency?  I think that there are many reasons:

Convenience- schedules you choose, Au Pair child care provides the convenience.

Affordability -a budget you choose, Au Pair child care is the affordable child care.

Cultureculture you choose, Au Pair child care is an unforgettable experience for family.

Professionals -a friendly, knowledgeable and quality Go Au Pair staff provide personalized support to your family;

EaseGo Au Pair’s staff, partners and tools make Au Pair child care the easy option.

Go Au Pair is providing to Host Families affordable childcare more than 24 years from qualified Au Pairs. Au Pairs from our agency have been internationally recognized through IAPA award many times.

Host families from my cluster wrote several reviews about Go Au Pair service about  high quality services  “I personally had very good experience with Go Au Pair local area representative for this area ( Philadelphia , NJ). Read Go Au Pair Host Family testimonials.

How to avoid impulse shopping

Au Pairs live with host family with full  board accommodation and are able to go to American college for free and also earn money.

Some Au Pairs are looking to save money for college, a car or starting business when they come home. So avoid impulsive purchases – this is the most insidious enemy of your frugality.


How to deal with an uncontrollable desire to waste money?

Put the cost in the amount of energy expended. Calculate how much money you earn per hour and the next time you want to buy something, count how many wasted hours of your life is the thing. If you do not mind the money, at least spare your time.

Be aware of your goals. Surely you have some major financial goal.

Plan your purchases. Follow the plan, rather than momentum. Such a little thing like a shopping list can significantly reduce your costs.

Set a rule of thirty days. Decide for yourself that the interval between your purchases must be at least thirty days. Of course, this rule does not apply to food and other necessities such as medicines, for example.
Outsmart your impulses. Bring as much cash as you plan to spend. Then even if you are want to buy another useless thing, you simply won’t be able to do it.

Ask questions. Before you buy something, ask yourself a question. Will this purchase improve your life? Be honest with yourself, and you can better control your budget, because impulsive buying is wasteful .

New year, New Host Mom and New Au Pair

A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece.
– Ludwig Erhard (1897 – 1977)

One of the keys to a successful year for a host family and an Au Pair is good communication.

When new Au Pair come to Host families she will  need a lot of supervising at the beginning. The amount of time and training in the first month directly affects the type of relationship Host family has the entire year.

Here are some tips that will help the year with your au pair go smoothly.

  • Be welcoming, that means being warm, friendly, and reasonably attentive.
  • Model, model, model…set the example in our house of how you want to see your au pair fit into your family
  • Spend the first weekend reviewing Host family handbook for an au pair  together with your au pair.
  • Teach them to operate all appliances to make sure they know how to do it.
  • Show them how to cook basic things for your children
  • Teach your au pair what to do in case of power failure, tornado warning, etc.
  • Be sure to give your au pair a written schedule for the first week and every week thereafter.
  • Help them to get their Social Security card and bank account right away
  • Try to get them out driving as soon as possible (during the first week is best)
  • Bond with your au pair, as you want them to bond with your children
  • It is never acceptable to yell at your au pair, talk to them as an adult with respect.
  • Show appreciation. Say “thank you” all the time even if they do not.
  • Keep having regular chats and be willing to listen to your Au Pair.

Good communication is the key to a great year.

Having weekly meetings helps to prevent small problems from becoming big problems.

Good Luck!

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