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

A great match with a Chinese Au Pair.

This month China is Go Au Pair’s featured country (a special discount  available for the families who match with an Au Pair from China), therefore I would like to post another story about a great Au Pair program experience of a family who matched with a Chinese Au Pair.

Last summer Gregory L, a single father with two kids who lives in Bucks County, PA, shared his story on my blog. Many people left comments on my blog and asked me to follow up on what happened.

Gregory started his story with explanation why he consider an Au Pair for childcare,” My wife was from China and stayed home with the children.  Then, in early April 2012, she was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer. Sadly, she passed away three weeks later after surgery to try to remove the cancer.”

Gregory said, ” While no one is going to replace their mother, having someone like a big sister, someone who could bridge both cultures, seemed like a viable alternative”.

Henry Greg Nina fly-fishing June-2011

Gregory learned that many single parents considered the Au Pair program and contacted Go Au Pair agency in spring 2012. During the next few months Gregory was continuously looking,  reviewing and speaking with many Au Pair’ candidates to find a mature and responsible Au Pair from China.

Go Au Pair agency is a leading agency for Au Pairs from China.  Go Au Pair’s Placement Coordinator Amanda and I kept in touch with Gregory almost daily.  Finally, Gregory found the one  he was looking for – a lovely, kind Chinese Au Pair named Hui who has a lot of experience with kids and had worked in orphanages.Chinese Au Pair Hui

After speaking many times with Hui on Skype, Gregory gave her an offer and Go Au Pair agency made arrangements that Hui would arrive to the US as soon as possible.

While waiting for Hui’s arrival, Gregory was very busy with many projects: remodeling the house, buying new furniture and amenities for Hui’s room.  The kids were helping to decorate the Au Pair room for Hui, drawing and preparing welcoming pictures.

Henry card to Au Pair pg 2

Gregory and the kids were waiting for Hui’s arrival with anticipation.

Stay tuned for a new entry Waiting for a Chinese Au Pair arrival.

Why does the Au Pair stay in Au Pair’s room all the time ?

Sometimes Host Parents notice that their Au Pair spends most of her free time in Au Pair’s room. What is the reason? There can be many. Guess why?

Not sure? Simply ask her. The Au Pair  may try to figure out how to balance being a family member and being an employee. She may feel that she needs to give the host family space to be a “family” and steps back to Aupair Room.

Most host families want their Au Pair to be a new member of the family, not just an employee. “...I found hard to live with… a girl who disappeared into her room the second her shift was over, and never came out on weekends, even when she was home”.

How to make the Au Pair more a part of the family? Speak with her and let her know that you like her to be around and be a family member. Encourage your Au Pair to spend quality time together, sharing news and watching movies at night.

Invite the Au Pair to movies, games, parties and some events that she might want to attend on weekend.  Ask her in advance if she wants to go on a trip or to a park and the sea-shore together with your family.

An Au Pair room- feel at home

Many host parents, especially parents who are new to the Au Pair program, wonder about the best way to prepare a comfortable and welcoming room that a new Au Pair feels at home right away.  Au Pair’s room is supposed to be clean, properly lighted,  and  nicely furnished and decorated.  That will help the Au Pair adjust to a new life and environment quickly.

How to make an Au Pair feel at home?  Encourage your kids to make handmade cards and welcome signs. You may take some of the photos from your au pair’s application and put them in frames in her room.  Ask the Au Pair what she likes to have in her room. Please read more An Au Pair’s room in the host family home.

The host family may give the Au Pair the freedom to customize her living space on her own so it can be close to the room arrangement she had at home which might help her feel less lonely. That way an Au Pair will have the perfect place to rest, relax and study for classes.

The word “Au Pair” is a French term, which means ”on par” or “equal to”, referring to living on an equal basis, so an Au Pair  lives as an equal member of a host family and should feel at home there.

Spread the love.

“Before you can truly live, you must first learn to love.”
– Jennie Clemans 

Everyone needs love, especially children need to feel loved. Often host parents,  Au Pair and kids speak different love languages. Dr. Gary Chapman says knowing the child’s love language can make all of the difference in relationship.

There are 5 languages of love and usually people respond best to one or maybe two languages. The five languages of love are:

  • Physical touch
  • Words of affirmation
  • Quality time
  • Gifts
  • Acts of service

Physical touch includes high fives, hugs, kisses and snuggling.

Words of affirmation include words of praise, encouragement, guidance and support.

Quality time is focused on spending time together—listening, walking and playing.

Gifts can be a powerful expression of love.

Acts of service are focused on appreciation of help.

It is important to understand and apply the language of love kids respond best to. The knowledge of the 5 Love Languages makes it easier to give and receive love.

Spread the love!

An Au Pair’s room in the host family home.

People frequently misspell  the word Au Pair  as “au par”, “au paire”, “opair”, “au per”,  “au paring” and confuse the meaning. The word “Au Pair” is a French term, which means “on par” or “equal to”, referring to living on an equal basis, so an Au Pair  lives as an equal member of a host family and should feel at home there.

How to make an Au Pair feel at home?  Please read more in the article How to welcome your new au pair.

It is very important to prepare a comfortable and welcoming room for the Au Pair. The adequately sized room is supposed to be clean and properly lighted, has a comfortable bed, a writing desk with a chair, a closet or a wardrobe,  and a cupboard with drawers or shelves. The Au Pair must have easy access to a bathroom or have her own.

A private room gives the Au Pair the perfect place to study for classes without interruption and have personal discussions with her family and friends without feeling as though everyone is listening or watching.

The Au Pair’s room must have a lock on her door because the Au Pair needs privacy.  In changing clothes, an Au Pair will feel more comfortable if she has a place to do these things in private with the door locked. No cameras are allowed in an Au Pair’s room.

To make the Au Pair feel like she is welcomed and loved, put in the Au Pair’s room a small welcome basket on her arrival. The gift basket may contain some bath gels/lotions for her bathroom, empty picture frames, sweets or chocolates, and flowers. The host family may give the Au Pair the freedom to customize her living space on her own, to decorate her room with some pictures and posters.

Host families often ask what additional they may provide to their Au Pairs, do they need to put a TV or a computer in the Au Pair’s room. It depends. I have asked Au Pairs from Go Au Pair cluster in the Philadelphia and NJ area to  name material things they can’t live without (doesn’t include family, friends, etc.)

Dear Au Pair,  

Please take your time and vote.

It is very important to help the Au Pair feel comfortable and happy in the host family house and her room. The Au Pair will appreciate the efforts and will return the favour with her loving and reliable service.

Things An Au Pair Can’t Live Without

New host families often ask me what they may provide to their Au Pairs in addition to board and stipend. They want to know if there is anything else they may offer to their Au Pair as an appreciation for her/his hard work.

Some host families may choose to provide to the Au Pair a computer and Internet access, a cell phone and use of a car for her/his spare time.  Some families may consider providing a personal computer  and TV in the Au Pair room, a membership to a sport club and a chance to travel with the family for free. It depends on the family’s resources and on what the Au Pair is interested in.

Here are 20 things Americans can’t live without 🙂

I asked Au Pairs from Go Au Pair cluster from the Philadelphia and NJ area to  name material things they can’t live without (doesn’t include family, friends, etc.)

Dear Au Pair,  What’s on your list?

What are you glad you have in your life or you really need to have as an Au Pair? I believe your host family will be glad to know that. Here is a long list of “an Au Pairs life necessities” I wrote collectively with Au Pairs from my cluster.

Please take your time and vote.


Au Pair’s tax return

Dear Au Pairs, if you haven’t done your tax return already, it’s about time to complete it! You have to file your tax return until April 17, 2012.

All Au Pairs are required to file U.S. individual income tax returns.

It is the law to file a tax return and report earnings made during a calendar year. The U.S. Department of Labor has determined that the au pair stipend constitutes “wages” because an employer-employee relationship exists between the Au Pair and his/her Host Family. These wages are therefore subject to federal taxation.

Most Au Pairs who have been in the US for at least 18 weeks in a calendar year will meet the minimum requirement to pay taxes The Exemption Deduction is $3700 for 2011.

Please notice that Go Au Pair agency and Local Area Representatives are not licensed tax advisers and cannot provide official tax advice. For the most recent and only official information about Au Pair’s  taxes,  please see the IRS website and consult your tax adviser.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the government agency that collects federal income taxes. Read more about  Au Pair’s Taxes here. Please  stop at any tax service professional for more information. There are plenty of them, you can find one near you easily using H&R Block website.

Free help in preparing a return is also available nationwide from IRS-sponsored volunteers.  The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is designed to help low-income taxpayers. For more information, go to IRS.gov and enter keyword “VITA” in the upper right corner.

If an Au Pair chooses not to file taxes it could prevent her from obtaining a visa in the future.

The readers’ favorite posts from my blog.

As you may know that Go Au Pair‘s blog reached 20.000 page views recently. This blog was started in September 2010 mostly to support Host Families and Au Pairs in Philadelphia and suburbs, Montgomery, Bucks County and close NJ .

In 2011 this blog participated in Top 100 International Exchange & Experience Blogs 2011, was chosen as a number 32 and received a button ” 100 top blogs.”

I would like to share my statistics and I hope it will be helpful for new readers.

Here are the post that were more popular during blog time.

Nomination
A New Family?
go AU PAIR Philadelphia Amateur Photo Contest “Au Pairs Having Fun”
Video game addiction, is it real?
About
From an Au Pair mom
Photo Contest
My Au Pair Year
Welcome!
Events
Host family rules
2012 Au Pair Activity Schedule
An Au Pair and the educational requirements.
An Au Pair, a long lost cousin from another country.
A Brazilian Festival in Philadelphia. Com certeza!
My happy and sad Christmas.
Asking your future Au Pair the right questions.
No doubt that nanny cost has almost doubled. Lets talk about childcare cost.
Communication between Host Parents and Au Pair.
Will hosting an Au Pair impact my marriage?
You know you’re an Au Pair in the USA when…
Cookie class
Go Au Pair in Philadelphia and close NJ. Welcome to our world!
My Au Pair work
Being a great Au Pair
Nanny costs in Philadelphia and NJ
An Au Pair for a single parent.
Bonding with the children.
My Au Pair journey begins.
Party Time!
If I don’t like my au pair
My Au Pair’s First Vacation.
How can a young Au Pair be a good caregiver?
New Au Pair Event
Which country is the best au pair from?
Maybe in distance, but never in heart.

 

These posts became popular recently.

A Brazilian Festival in Philadelphia. Com certeza!
My beautiful Brazil, Lindo maravilhosa!
Host family rules
Male Au Pairs or mannies
Au Pairs traveling outside of the USA
The Heart Cake for my Host Mother
An Au Pair and the educational requirements.
Host Family handbook for an Au Pair

I have also about 600 comments, I appreciate my blog’s readers stopping by, reading posts and leaving comments.

Most of my readers are from the USA: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, California, New York, Utah, Virginia, Delaware and other states. Also many people from United Kingdom, Colombia, Canada, Germany, Brazil, India, Russian Federation, South Africa,  Australia, Netherlands, France and 115 other countries read this blog.

I like writing a blog and as much as you enjoy reading it. I also hope that my blog is helpful and you can find many useful information here. You may noticed that  the sidebar has The Host family Library and The Au Pair Library.

As my cluster expanded very fast, I believe, this blog helped many families to get to know Go Au Pair cluster in the Philly and NJ area better and make the decision to join us as a host family.

I want to say thanks for checking out my blog  and come back soon.

An Au Pair from Philadelphia Received Go Au Pair’s exclusive Au Pair in Excellence Award.

Ying Song, an Au Pair from Philadelphia, has been awarded Go Au Pair’s Au Pair in Excellence Award.  The Au Pair in Excellence Award is only awarded to a select few Au Pairs each year.  In addition to the Au Pair in Excellence Certificate, Ying will receive a prize from Go Au Pair.

Ying is an Au Pair from China. She is very busy taking care of three teenage girls, driving , cooking dinner and helping her host mom.

Ying is also a very dedicated student.   She said that her host mom has inspired her to become a nurse, and she has begun taking the required classes to enter a nursing program here in the United States.

Ying has traveled together with her family many places in the United States. They recently returned from a Christmas trip to Disney World.

Her mom said,”the thing I appreciate the most is Ying’s willingness to pitch in and help around the house.  I have three sixth grade girls, so there is a lot of activity in the house all the time.  Ying has a calm manner that sets a good example for the girls.  She is also the first one up from the table after meals to start cleaning up, and is the first one up on Saturdays to start getting laundry organized.  She is a wonderful role model for my girls, and I hope that at least some of her initiative rubs off on them! We are indeed fortunate to have such a wonderful young woman with us!”

Congratulations, Ying, on your receiving Go Au Pair’s Au Pair in Excellence Award!

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