My busy but fun life as an Au Pair.

Hey everyone!

It’s been a while, I know… but I’ve had my hands full in the past month.

My life as an Au Pair is busy,  fun, challenging and special every day.

On March 17th we celebrated Joey’s birthday (everyone wearing something green, of course) and he had a blast!

Last week my host family returned from Montego Bay, Jamaica and I was surprised to see how much Joey missed me, he came in and jumped on me like a koala bear (it’s the only way I can describe the way he locked his legs around my waist and his arms around my neck, hahahah). I had spent the week here, going to school, Target and the mall.

I’ve been going to school for my German and Photoshop classes and received my certificates. Something extra to put on my resumé. 😀

On my free time, the movies have been my hiding place. I watched Hunger GamesMirror Mirror and I’m planning to watch The Three Stooges with Joey.

The kids and I get our daily dose of exercise when we go to the basement or in the backyard and play with our swords and throw sticks with the dogs for hours. Hey, it’s better than going to the gym.

Easter was AMAZING. We went to Allison’s parents’ house and I met a lot of great people. When we got home, all the kids wanted was the easter baskets the easter bunny had left them early.

Things were already going great and they got better yesterday when my mother said she’s coming to spend my birthday (May 9th) and mother’s day with me. I loved it!

Well, that’s it for now…but I’ll be back soon with more. So, what cool activities have you done?

Au Pairs making friends

When an Au Pair comes to live with the Host Family it is very important to make friends as soon as possible and stay active. Also, it is the best way to cope with homesickness. For any Au Pair who feels lonely or in need of friends, being proactive and seeking out social events is a good way to meet people.

Go Au Pair’s welcome packet has a list of the Au Pairs in the area with addresses and phones. Au Pairs will meet new friends at the Au Pairs’ meeting. If you live in the Philadelphia or NJ area please check an Au Pair activity schedule.

Au Pair’s friends are in the same situation – they are living  away from their family and friends so they have tons of things in common. Taking care of children all day is hard work and they need a break sometimes. Going out with Aupair friends, spending time together, sharing common experiences and cultural differences over a cup of coffee is the best way to relax.

It is better to make friends with Au Pairs from other countries.  Au Pairs will be forced to speak English and will have the side benefit of learning about their cultures.

Au Pairs also will find many new friends at CollegeTravelling together with new friends through the US and exploring a new country is a wonderful way to relax. Au Pairs may meet new friends alone the way too.

Facebook  is  another way to find friends.  Au Pairs from the Philadelphia and NJ cluster formed a group on facebook and they are always ready to lend a hand. We are one big family and we band together.

Anytime you need a Friend we are here for you!

Au Pairs becoming lifelong friends.

The friendship between Host Families and their Au Pairs are so meaningful and lasting.

From my  experiences working with Host Families and Au Pairs for several years, I see how incredibly powerful Au Pair program is!  Au Pairs become a part of the families, a big sisters/brothers to host family kids.

Au Pairs often develop a life-long friendship with the parents and, especially, with the kids. They become an extended family members. Small kids from a Host Family that came from India called their Au Pair “anty”.
Au Pair program offers what other forms of childcare can’t:  the  benefit of giving the family exposure to other languages, lifestyles, customs and making friends around the world!  The Au Pair program also opens minds and hearts to other cultures and makes kids responsible citizens of the world!

One of  host families from Go Au Pair in Philadelphia had five Au Pairs from South Africa over the years. They continue stay in touch with them. The parents together with their five children are planning to visit South Africa and meet all their five Aupairs.

Luckily, we have facebook and SKYPE  now that brings Au Pairs and Host Family close to each other when the time to leave comes.

The best host family in Go Au Pair Philadelphia

Who would have thought living with a family you’ve only met within 5 months would be so much fun?……well, I had that thought before I joined Go Au Pair.
When I started the program, I always hoped to be matched with a loving and caring family. I’m sure that everyone that joins the Au Pair program also wishes for the same thing. To be honest, for a first time traveller like me, leaving South Africa wasn’t easy.

Especially knowing that I’m going to a place that I’ve never been, committing myself to staying 365days with people I’ve never met before, not knowing what the other side of the world has got for me could be very scary.
 
But arriving in Philadelphia on the 4-08-2011 and receiving a warm welcome from my host family immediately made the scary go away. The first 5 minutes that I arrived at home, my two kids Olivia & Hannah gave me a grand tour of the house, showing me the drawings they’ve made for me. I realized there and then that I’ve entered a whole new year with a remarkable, mostly unforgettable memory of a life time.
A week after my arrival my family threw me a welcome party which was a great success. I got to meet and make friends. For the whole 5  months that I’ve been with my Host family i have never heard a complaint about how I do my work nor have I had any complaints. Also living in a neighborhood that has such wonderful people just puts the icing on top of my sweet life.
 
The Faux/Griffith family are the best. I would have never asked for a better family because they’re everything I hoped for. I will be forever grateful to them not only for welcoming me in their family, but also for making me feel part the family.

For you that is still on the matching process I wish you all the best. Who knows?….you might find a family that is just like mine.

How to find the best Au Pair.

The Host Mom from Go Au Pair agency, who recently considered hosting an Au Pair, said to me: “I found the best Au Pair, she is an excellent match for us. We really love our Au Pair, she couldn’t be better.  She is loving , enthusiastic, motivated and provides excellent childcare for my children and I am very happy with my choice”

But how to find the best Au Pair for the family?
I asked the host mom, who is lucky to have many great Au Pairs year after year said, “The key is a good match”.

First, my host mom suggested that Host Families should make a list of important qualities, values, and personality traits that would fit in with their family.

Second, my host mom suggested that during the interviewing process, to ask specific questions and give her scenarios to see how the Au Pair responds. A good idea is sending her Family Handbook and asking questions prior to matching.

In addition, she said that  good communication skills, openness to learning new things, and having a positive attitude are a must qualities of good Au Pairs.

Also she said that once the Au Pair arrives, it is important to be patient with her while she learns the family.

And last but not least is building a good relationship with your Au Pair. Host family should make the Au Pair feel that she is a part of their family, feel comfortable and happy in the house.

Please watch the movie and find more information about the program.

Au Pair journal updates “Happy Holidays”

Oh December, December…The happiness you bring!

Holidays are almost here.

The Holiday Party is next Saturday and I am very excited about it.  The Holiday Party  for Go Au Pair Philadelphia, Bucks & Montgomery Counties and parts of NJ cluster is  a big hit every year and this year we will have a very special Holiday Party with gifts exchange, delicious food, lots of games and surprises and then we will see a Holiday Light Show. WOW!

Things have been very agitated around my host family’s house. The holiday shopping is done and there are presents everywhere, the Christmas tree is beautiful and the kids can’t help peeking under it to see if there’s something interesting (it’s a good thing one of them is learning to read and the other is 2 years old).

Speaking of 2 year-olds, Olivia has just learned how to use the potty, she’s a pro! My host mother and I thought it would take a month or more for Livy to understand what she had to do, but the girl is very intelligent and does a little dance every time she goes. It’s adorable.

The kids talk about Christmas everyday and Santa is the hot topic here, bringing him up helps keep Olivia good, she said she’s going to give him chocolate milk and cookies, ‘cause she said she talked to him and he likes it.

Now we just have to teach our newest buddy, a boxer named Bella, that she must do her business in the backyard not in the living room…that’s gonna take a while.

Joey and Olivia are very excited with their new dog. Even Diesel is loving her, he shows that by drooling over her.

Holiday time!  Time to have Fun!  It’s the most wonderful time of the year,,,,,,,

Happy Holidays!

Au Pairs and adopted kids

 December 5, 2011 is INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER DAY.

Au Pairs  from Go Au Pair Philadelphia, Bucks & Montgomery Counties and parts of NJ cluster and I really enjoy volunteering. In the past we have volunteered a lot with an adoption organizations and are planning to volunteer with FRUA again.

The event will be a Holiday party for adopted kids on Sunday, February 12, 2012. It is a big hit every year and it truly a joyful time for everyone. We started our preparations and are looking forward to it. To make this party even more special Go Au Pair agency would love to offer the huge discount to adoptive families of $1000 during this event.

We love to volunteer  especially for adopted kids because an Au Pair program and the international adoption programs have a lot of common. They both bring the international scent into the family life as well as open minds and hearts to people around the world.

Volunteering is a great way to help the community around us. It also has many positive benefits for Au Pairs!

  • Gain Experience. Whatever an Au Pair wants to do in her life, there are volunteer opportunities that will allow her to begin gaining experience in that field and to add to your resume.
  • Become a part of the community. An Au Pair will meet a wide range of fellow volunteers and contribute to helping the community you now call home.
  • Meet a new people & make friends. An Au Pair will get to know American life through volunteering.
  • Learn things and develop new talents.Volunteering can help an Au Pair learn a variety of new skills, face new challenges.
  • Bring personal satisfaction. Volunteering with other Au Pairs makes an Au Pair happy and able to feel a reward for helping others.

But most importantly, we will meet kids we already know from previous projects who are waiting to see us and are asking their parents again and again, “when will we see the Au Pairs”.
Volunteering with friends, doing something you like, making many kids happy, it is always amazing!

2011 Photo Contest “Au Pairs Having Fun”

Please help us choose the winners!

2011 Go Au Pair Amateur Photo Competition “Au Pairs Having Fun” has begun!

The participants of the contest are Au Pairs from Go Au Pair Philadelphia, Bucks & Montgomery Counties and parts of NJ cluster.

Please vote and help us find the FINALISTS!

The top 3 winners will receive prizes at our Holiday Party!

All votes must be submitted by December 15, 2011 at midnight.

If you are selected as a finalist, feel free to announce it on facebook, twitter, email your friends and family and get your friends to vote for you!  Good Luck!

How to welcome your new Au Pair.

Here are several tips for the  Host Family  on how to welcome a new Au Pair when she arrives.

  • Have their room ready and clean with a waste paper basket and laundry basket .
  • Prepare a welcome sign made by the children and a small arrival gift or basket
  • Ask about their room (do they have everything they need).
  • Help them call home to let their parents know they are now with their host family
  • Ask them how you can make them feel welcome in regards to cultural differences, food, customs, etc.
  • Spend the entire first week showing them everything in your home and in the neighborhood.
  • Introduce your au pair to your neighbors and friends.
  • Ask your au pair questions about their home, their country, their family, and ask to see the pictures they brought with them.
  • Give her a few days to unpack, rest and become acclimated to the host family’s home.

Help your au pair feel welcome and that they are truly part of your family.

                             

You can find more information about  how to welcome your new Au Pair here

An Au Pair Again

When Au pair program year or two passed by, it is very sad to say goodby to their host family, friends and the LAR.

Many Au Pairs want to come to US again to be an Au Pair and lots of families would love to host their Au Pair again. The US government recently announced that it will allow Au Pairs who successfully completed their first Au Pair program  and are aged between 18 and 26 years old to return as an aupair again.

Go Au Pair offers the Au Pair Again  program.

The Au Pair Again program allows former Au Pairs to return to the U.S. again with their original family or with a new one. Through the Au Pair Again program, Au Pairs must meet the standard Au Pair requirements in addition to providing proof of successful completion of their initial Au Pair program, including the education requirement. You also have to reside outside of the U.S. for at least two consecutive years following the initial program.

Au Pairs may use a different agency than the one used in their initial program. Also, Au Pairs have the option to participate in a different program, such as EduCare, Plus or Premiere as an Au Pair Again.

Au Pairs participating in the Au Pair Again program are required to complete 6 credit hours of education at an accredited, post-secondary university during their first year or 12 hours if participating in the EduCare program.

Au pairs will have the chance to relive memories, meet friends and families and see all those things they missed first time.

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