Theo’s Baby Music Class.

Ophelia’s Diary.

Being an Au Pair in America is very rich experience and a lot of fun. I love these special moments. One of them is taking a music class with Theo. My host kid Theo is only 14 months old, we took baby music class from several months ago. Host child and  Au Pair class

At first, I though Theo was too young, it would be hard for him to enjoy the class. Actually I was wrong!Host child and  Au Pair class

 Both Theo and I learnt a lot from his music class!Host child and  Au Pair class

Apparently, Theo is a little musician. He can play piano, guitar, drum, xylophone. I am so proud of him! Also, he likes dancing with music. When he cries, music always helps comfort him a lot.Host child and  Au Pair class

There were many babies and toddlers in the music class.Host child and  Au Pair class

Theo made a lot new friends. I met a lot moms and nannies there too. Host child and  Au Pair class This music class is good to train Theo’s music sense. Also, it helped me learn some American popular nursery rhyme. Host child and  Au Pair class I had a lot of fun taking music class with Theo.

Read more stories from Ophelia’s Diary

Being a cultural ambassador within your own home.

The Au Pair program is a cultural and educational exchange program. An au pair year is supposed to be a cultural exchange experience rather than a job.  Many host families become a cultural ambassador within their own home.  The Au Pair may see your family’s behavior as typical of all Americans.family rules

Host children turn into cultural ambassadors too. They help Au Pairs to improve their English and learn American culture.  Besides, for the host kids, being a cultural ambassador means learning acceptance and respecting differences. Kids learn not be afraid of being different, having own strong opinion and to be an individual and build their personalities.

It is our responsibility to be our own cultural ambassadors. It is not easy sometimes because we are all different. Tthe family and Au Pair often follow a different set of norms and behaviors,and practice different culture and religions. Au Pair meeting3

If your actions seem cold to your Au Pair, then she is bound to share those impressions with others.  Whether in our everyday dealings, conversations,  or when just spending time as a family, we are in a  cultural exchange journey together.  Karla

Make your Au Pair happy, show her hospitality, kindness and help her feel at home, try to approach each situation with patience, creativity and a sense of humor,  show your tolerance and respect to her culture and heritage.  It makes sense to do something special with the newest member of your family and learn from each other, for example, celebrate holidays that are either unique to her country, or are unique in how they are celebrated. Au Pairs celebration at penn museum

 Go Au Pair recruits Au Pairs from over 60 different countries. Hosting an Au Pair is a priceless cultural experience for a host family, for their children, and for an Au Pair as well.

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Your Au Pair comes to learn an American lifestyle firsthand and become a part of it  and also to bring her culture in your home.  The Au pair program is very unique program because it is two way cultural exchanges. The Au Pair will leave your home, but take sweet memories of your home and family forever.

Diana, an Au Pair in Excellence from NJ

There are many outstanding Au Pairs from Go Au Pair agency in Philadelphia, Bucks County and NJFour Au Pairs from China out of five Chinese Au Pairs from our cluster were awarded this year. Please read about the Au Pairs  Ophelia,  Adriana,  Hui and Diana bellow – 2014 Au Pair in Excellence Nominees.

Au Pair from China

Today I would like to post about the Au Pair from China, Diana Zhu, who was nominated by her Host Family for the IAPA Au Pair of the Year Award in 2014. 

Au pair party

Diana Zhu is a second year Au Pair with Go Au Pair. Diana lives in NJ with a wonderful host family with two adorable boys. Diana  has really become part of the family. Diana’s family always told me that they truly love having Diana around. Diana often joined her host family for pizza night, Sunday spaghetti, headed down to the shore on weekends, and attended many her extended host family’s events. Also, Diana has taken many classes at Raritan Valley Community College and improved her English. Au Pair contest 6

She is always first to volunteer or help. She has a beautiful smile and a loving personality. Diana’s photo got the second prize in an Au Pair photo contest this year. 

Diana is cheerful, calm, and good with kids.”Her calming personality makes any situation easy to handle, but what is more comforting is we know Diana feels at home with us.”, said Diana’s host mom.

Reading Diana’s host family nomination essay made me tear up. “There is not a day that goes by that we are not thankful for Diana.  She has endured a lot with our family. We have helped her navigate home late in the evening from school, spent time with her on homework, comforted her during Duke’s destruction, and helped her discipline the boys.  And she has kindly spoken about Chinese culture, home and her life and family across the globe.  It seems strange that we would call Diana anything other than family.

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She has volunteered at the Philadelphia marathon, celebrated a very special twenty-third birthday, shared Christmas and a  happy New Year.  We look forward to future milestones like celebrating the Chinese New Year and a family vacation to Aruba.  Although Diana is our first Au Pair, I can confidently say she is the best.  She has a special soul and a light inside her that shines brightly.  This soft-spoken Au Pair from China that will forever be a part of the Migliaro Family has made a mark so bold that we owe her more than the words on this paper”.

Go Au Pair agency recognized six Au Pairs from our cluster out of 45 Au Pairs from Go Au Pair who went above and beyond their job as Au Pairs. Read a press release Au Pairs in Excellence Nomination- Au Pairs stand out.

Congratulations, Diana and other nominees.

From Alaska to Hawaii.

Ophelia’s Diary.

After Christmas, I left Alaska and traveled to Hawaii with my host family.7913_970606370046_652065710_n

Before I started my trips, all my friends told me like this, “ Ophelia, I have never been in Alaska or Hawaii, you are so lucky!” I know I am super lucky to be an Au Pair. Your life experience can be as great as mine if you choose to be an Au Pair. Also, I am a lucky Au Pair, because I chose Go Au Pair agency and Go Au Pair helped me find an amazing family.68882_970564384186_419375946_n

Are you ready to explore Hawaii together with me, now? We went to the island called Maui. During that time, President Obama was in Hawaii too. Unfortunately, we were on different islands.
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Every morning, you can see whales in the water. 

Laying on the beach, listening to the lap of the waves against the seashores. Or just have a nap after you get out of the swimming pool. Life is lazy here.

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The most amazing things I saw was the rainbow. We even saw a double rainbow!

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I am sure the rainbow impressed Theo too. At such a young age, Theo could experience this  great thing, it was so good for him. I hope his life can be as colorful as the rainbow in the future.

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Hawaii is a place after you come, you don’t want to leave anymore.

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I am looking forward to coming back to Hawaii one day.

psb-26Read more stories from Ophelia’s Diary.

A South African Au Pair is a common choice among Host Families

An Au Pair from South Africa is a common choice among Host Families. Many host families choose  Au Pairs from South Africa  because they are good role models for their kids and a big help for their family. South African Au Pairs are independent,  self-motivated and driven to achieve their goals. Their English skills are very well-developed, and they drive from a young age. They are very positive and social people, love the outdoors and animals. Read more about South African Au Pairs.

Au Pair Phila with her host child

Last year the Au Pair Phila from South Africa became Go Au Pair’s 2013 Au Pair in Excellence Winner. Her Host Family from Philadelphia wrote, “Looking back, I know that the day that we matched with Phila was probably one of the luckiest things ever to happen to our family because of the light and love she has brought into our home and for the positive influence she has been on the life and character of my daughters.”Read more about the amazing experience this family is having with an Au Pair Phila

Another South African Au Pair, Carla Maria available to start working full-time on January 21st, 2014. Carla Maria is 19-year-old college student and  infant qualified, and multiples experienced nanny. She can help out with kids’ laundry, light meal prep, keeping kids’ rooms and play spaces clean, and even driving them to activities or helping with homework!

Karla 1She says of this cultural exchange experience, “I want to be an au pair because being able to combine my love for children and travel is the most amazing opportunity I could ever think of. I have cared for many children in the past few years, and I find lots of joy in having children under my care. I have always found myself interested in cultures other than my own.

Carla Van Tonder South Africa

Carla has been described as bubbly, outgoing, reliable, mature and responsibleCarla Maria also says she enjoys dancing, artwork, bicycling, computers, doing hair, shopping, traveling, cooking, camping, watching movies, baking and ice skating.

Au Pair s.africa flagGo Au Pair features a country each month.  This month Go Au Pair’s feature country is South Africa and the families who match with Carla Maria or  any other Au Pair from South Africa will receive $100 off the program fees in addition to other discounts available.

Happy one year old birthday, my dearest Theo!

Ophelia’s Diary.

Happy Birthday, Theo!

1 st birtday

 I want you to know that you are forever  in my heart, and I will always love you!

This movie is a special present to you!

Time flies so fast. Theo is one year old now! I have been his Au Pair for almost six months. I am so glad I can watch Theo growing up day by day. In the last six months we had so many good memories. We played together everyday.

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We had stories time. We went to music class every Wednesday morning. We walked around the river, parks and museum. We went to the ocean and snow world.9(1) Theo enjoyed the edible feature of snow

The funnest thing is watching Theo eat him dinner everyday. He used to cover all the food on his face and body. But now he is very good at it. Theo loves eating! He is even love eating sand! Can you imagine how cute this baby is?19 Theo _ eats_ avocado

Recently Theo taught me how to make funny faces. He is a genius at this. He learnt by himself. Then he started to teach us.

Thei Ist bday

 I am teaching him to speak Chinese now.

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 I am so glad we can learn from each other.

Host child Theo outside (2)

I hope Theo can be happy everyday. We all love you!

Read more stories from Ophelia’s Diary.

My first Christmas in the US with Ice and Snow!

Ophelia’s Diary.

It was  my first Au Pair‘s Christmas being far away from my family in China, and I had  my first Christmas in a world of ice and snow -in Alaska. My host family is originally from Alaska, so we came there together before the holiday.

I got a lot of gifts from my host family. Especially, from a grandma, she gave me a lot of scarves, bags and chocolates. Also, I got a kindle from her, this will help me improve my reading and writing abilities a lot.opening Christams gifts

After Christmas dinner, we built gingerbread house together. I was in a group with Sam. We built very pretty house. Our house won the second.

Au pair made a gingerbread houseMy host parents won the first! Their house showed how lovely this family is. I am glad I can live with this No.1 family.host parents's house

Another interesting story in Alaska was I made a good friend whose name is Maggie. She is grandma’s dog.
Au pair with a dog Maggie

Maggie is so sweet, every time when I saw her, I couldn’t help giving her a big hug. I had a two hours long walk with grandma and Maggie. We all enjoyed the pretty view of this snow world.

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Read more stories from Ophelia’s Diary.

Happy Thanksgiving!

At this time of Thanksgiving we pause to count our blessings.It is time to express a special greeting of Thanksgiving to the people we sincerely appreciate.

Dear Host Families and Au Pairs! I am deeply thankful and extend to you my best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!thanksgivings

Dear Au Pair, It is a special American tradition of giving thanks on Thanksgiving! Today all the thanks are to you! Here are many reasons that the Host Families are thankful for.

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THANK YOU VERY MUCH

…for willingness to come into our lives
…for sharing your adventure with us
…for being an essential member and valued addition to our family
…for your hard work to care for the kids
…for your patience and understanding
…for inspiring and teaching kids every moment
…for being a positive role model for the kids
…for opening kids’ eyes to the world outside of the U.S. and helping them to learn a new language
…for giving us an opportunity to relax, have a date and time for ourselves
…for cooking delicious dishes from your country and sharing with us the secrets
…for willingness to help when we were too timid to ask you
…for capturing the treasured memories and pictures of our family
…for unforgettable cultural experience you brought into our home
Thank you for what you have given to our family!

Thank you for being outstanding an Au Pair :-)

Dear host family! If you feel that you host an outstanding Au Pair, please nominate her for the prestigious Au Pair of the Year Award!

Helpful Tips for Au Pairs

Below are the tips that may be useful during an Au Pair Journey, check them out and post your own advice below!

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  • Open Your Mind. You can learn a lot from your host family, your Au Pairs friends from different countries and the people around you.  Just listen and enjoy the encounters with people from a different culture. Get out of your comfort zone and enjoy the unknown.
  • RespectLearn to respect your family’s ways.   Different cultures and families have their own reasons and ways of doing things. Just because the children are raised differently than you were or will raise your children, does not make it wrong.  Respect and follow the host family’s house rules.
  • Trust. To get the most out of your experience, open up to those who are around you. Your host parents  may become trusted mentors that you can easily confide in. Your Local Area Representative, Au Pair Sis and your Au Pairs friends are part of the supported network, you can relay on.
  • Speak up. You need to tell your host family if something is wrong because otherwise they have no way of finding out.  If you don’t know something, ask!  No question is a bad question. Your host family is your main resource for any questions and problems you have while living  together.
  • Have fun. Find out your kids interests and what they like to do.  Plan many activities and have fun together. This will make your job very rewarding and easy. Go out with your host family and friends, Explore new places, go to museums, cultural events, shows,  and concerts. Plan your time ahead, make a list of your favorite place to visit.  Stay connected with other Au Pairs and Au Pair Sis on facebook. Stay positive, outgoing, and enthusiastic.

  • Enjoy your Au Pair Year!

 

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The Allure of Using an Au Pair.

I would like to introduce today our special guest blogger Stephanie who is one of the writers for houstonnanny.com 

When it comes to the care of your child, you want to make sure that the person you hired is right for your family dynamic. Although using a nanny from a service can provide a peace of mind as most of them have been screened before hire, the Au Pair could be a logical choice. Au Pairs are screened just as well, if not better, than some nanny services. Why should you consider an Au Pair instead of a traditional nanny?

1. Cheaper – For the most part, an Au Pair is much cheaper to maintain than a nanny who requires a paycheck. Essentially, this person becomes a kind of extended family member who helps out around the house and lives under your roof. While they require an “allowance” and room and board, the cost of an Au Pair can still be considerably less than what you would spend on a nanny.Save_Money

2. Connections – For a nanny, the job is purely professional. Many refuse to become attached to families and treat the experience as more of an employer-employee relationship. For many families, this is a logical practice. However, children are more likely to respond to a person that can relate to them on an emotional level. It is easier to build a connection with an Au Pair simply for the fact that they are not in your home for a paycheck.
I like my aupair 3. Cultural Exposure – For many Au Pairs, living in your location is a new experience. You are able to show her how your culture interacts with the world. In turn, she can expose her culture to your family – which can lead to an insight to understanding her people. Sharing knowledge can go a long way to understanding each other and seeing situations through a different perspective can benefit in peaceful interaction.

4. Live In – Although there are some nannies that will live in the home of a client family, Au Pairs have no choice. You are opening your home to these individuals giving you a peace of mind that your home is cared for. Although the Au Pair’s responsibilities are less than what a contracted nanny would be, this person can help out in ways you may have never thought of previously.
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5. Satisfying – An Au Pair is simply more than a live-in care provider for your children. She is learning about the area you live in. You are essentially helping yourself by helping her learn more about your culture. When it is time for your Au Pair to move on, you can feel satisfied that you are helping someone learn what it means to be a part of your own culture. Although Au Pairs usually only stay in a single locale for 12-months, a great deal can be accomplished. The hardest thing will be to let go of the positive influence she could have infused the family with.

The Au Pair is not a servant or a regular employee. It is more akin to inviting a cousin to live with you for a year in order to help around the house if your life is hectic. If you would invite your cousin to go out to dinner with the family or on a vacation during the summer, you should do so with the Au Pair. She is there to help and learn, not wait on you hand and foot.

Author Bio:

Stephanie has many years of experience as a nanny. She has always loved children and has continuously been involved in childcare activities. Currently she is one of the writers for houstonnanny.com. If you want to get in touch with her, you can email her at stephanie. Houstonnanny @ gmail. com.

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