2016 Host Family Nominations

Au Pairs, is your Host Family amazing and do they deserve special recognition?  If so then show them how much you appreciate them by nominating them for the Host Family of the Year Award! It takes a little while to type a nomination or to record a video nomination but it’s worth it. Show your support and make sure your Host Family knows how great you think they are!

THE WINNING NOMINATION WILL RECEIVE:

  • $200 American Express gift card for you
  • $200 American Express gift card for your Host Family

PLUS TWO RUNNER-UP NOMINATION ESSAYS WILL ALSO BE SELECTED AND WILL WIN:

  • $100 American Express gift card for you
  • $100 American Express gift card for your Host Family

 

The deadline to upload your video OR essay and pictures is Sunday, July 17, 2016

For more information and to see sample essays please visit the Facebook Nomination Page.

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GOOD LUCK!

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Memorial Day 2016

Memorial Day is officially celebrated every year on the last Monday of May. This year it falls on Monday, May 30th. Memorial Day was first recognized in 1865 at the end of the civil war. Everyone was relieved that the war was over but in the midst of celebration they also recognized those that lost their lives during the war. It was originally known as Decoration Day but in 1882 the name was changed to Memorial Day and it has had the same name ever since.

Memorial Day is considered a federal holiday. Therefore all non-essential government offices, schools, businesses, and other organizations are typically closed.

Memorial Day is a day dedicated to commemorating all of the service men and women who lost their lives fighting for the freedom of the United States of America. People often visit cemeteries or memorials on Memorial Day or they sometimes participate or watch parades. The date is also traditionally seen as the start of the summer season for various outdoor events. A lot of people choose to hold picnics, cookouts, and/or attend parades throughout the weekend. However, it’s also important to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day which is to recognize those that lost their lives during a war.

Host Families and Au Pairs are encouraged to join in the festivities and embrace the Memorial Day traditions!

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Chinese New Year – 2016

 

Families who have Chinese Au Pairs are likely enjoying the Chinese New Year Festivities!  Just like in the US we have some holidays that are more popular than others; in China the Chinese New Year is an important traditional holiday that last for a few weeks. Some traditions start 8 days prior but the main celebrations start on New Year’s Eve and continue until the 15th day of the Chinese calendar.  In the Gregorian calendar the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year.  This year the Chinese New Year falls on Monday, February 8th, 2016 and we are welcoming the year 4714. This upcoming year is the Year of the Monkey.

Some common traditions include: a reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve, cleaning or cleansing the home in order to sweep away ill fortune while making room for good luck, decorating doors & windows with red colored paper-cuts, lighting firecrackers, giving money in red paper envelopes, and a traditional lantern festival. These are just a few of the more popular traditions.
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Au Pairs are encouraged to share this holiday with their host families and host families are encouraged to embrace the wonderful traditions! Cultural Exchange goes both ways!

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Happy New Year 

Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin)

Gong Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese)

Au Pair of the Year 2015

Sharing Published Content

Host Families,

Has your Au Pair helped you in any way, become an extended part of your family, bonded well with the kids, or gone above and beyond?  If so then show your Au Pair how much you appreciate them by recognizing their efforts and nominating her/him for the IAPA’s Au Pair of the Year Award!!  It takes a little while to type a one page nomination but it’s worth it to show your support and make sure your Au Pair knows how great you think he/she is!
iStock_000003814304Medium[1]The IAPA winner will receive an all-expense paid trip to the IAPA’s Conference which will be held in Atlanta this year.  At the conference they will be officially recognized and presented with both a prize and commemorative award.
There’s more! Go Au Pair will also select two of their best nominations!  The winner that Go Au Pair selects will receive $500 off of the host family’s next full year’s placement fees, a $200 gift card for the family, and a $200 gift card for your Au Pair. The runner-up nomination that Go Au Pair selects will receive a $100 gift card for the family and a $100 gift card for your Au Pair!
Toddlers 8Here’s how to nominate your Au Pair…  The host family should write a 500-850 word essay (usually 1 page single-spaced) describing why your Au Pair is so exceptional.  Here are some nomination topic ideas.  You must also include a few photos of your family & Au Pair.  If you want you can include a video (not required). Simply upload the essays and pictures online no later than Tuesday, January 5th 2016.

Good luck!

HeartSUBMIT NOMINATION

Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving is a special day that’s dedicated to acknowledging the things you appreciate.  Having a Thanksgiving feast roots back to 1621 when the Plymouth Feast was prompted by a good harvest.  It was a way for the Pilgrims to thank Squanto and the other Native Americans for helping them. This first feast was attended by 53 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans.

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The food that most people eat today compares with the food of the first original feast of 1621 – Turkey!  Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Sweet Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, Sweet Corn, various fall vegetables, and Pumpkin Pie.  All of these foods are native to America and were introduced to settlers when they first arrived to the “New World”.

Everyone has a lot to be thankful for every day but on Thanksgiving Americans say an extra prayer of thanks.  It’s important to “Count Your Blessings Not Your Problems”  (quote from Brianna Keenan).

There are a lot of things to be thankful for:

  • Your Family
  • Your Friends
  • Having a Job
  • Health for yourself and those around you
  • Having Food To Eat
  • Having Shelter and a Roof Over Your Head
  • Being Able To Enjoy Nature
  • Having Freedom
  • Having Technology
  • I’m sure everyone at Go Au Pair, the host families, and Au Pairs are all thankful for Cultural Exchange!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Black Friday Experience

SALEA lot of people love shopping and everyone enjoys a discount/sale but the day after Thanksgiving takes sale shopping to a whole new level!  People spend time preparing for this in advance, they wake up very early, and stand in line for hours before the stores even open.  For some Au Pairs this will be their first time experiencing the biggest shopping day of the year. The concept of shopping with chaos is definitely unique!

If you do plan to go shopping it’s important to plan ahead.  Sift through all of the ad papers or visit websites like bfads.net , make a list of the items you’re interested in, make a list of the store hours, and plan out which stores you’ll go to first.  Also don’t forget to check out the Saturday & Sunday sales as well because there are huge savings throughout the entire weekend.  When you head out to the stores only purchase the items on your list.  After all if it’s not on sale you can get it another day without the crowds!

bankHave fun shopping and saving!

National Adoption Week

The entire month of November is National Adoption Awareness Month, this upcoming week is National Adoption Week, and today is Adoption Day.  It’s a very exciting time for any family that has adopted a child or that is thinking about adoption. Anyone can adopt and those that have adopted realize just how wonderful it is to be able to complete your family!

NATIONAL ADOPTION AWARENESS MONTH
November is recognized as National Adoption Awareness Month.  Activities and celebrations are kicked off with a Presidential Proclamation but continue throughout the month with local programs, events, and activities.  National Adoption Month is a time to celebrate the family unit and to bring awareness that there are hundreds of thousands of children in foster care homes that are waiting to be adopted.  Every child deserves a permanent home with a loving family!

NATIONAL ADOPTION WEEK
This special week starts the Sunday before Thanksgiving and ends the following Saturday.  Originally this was only recognized in the state of Massachusetts.  Later it became a national movement with an official proclamation. Unfortunately it often gets lost in the hype of Thanksgiving and many communities choose not to do much for National Adoption Week. Adoption Awareness Month and Adoption Day are typically more popular.

ADOPTION DAY
The Saturday before Thanksgiving is Adoption Day.  It is a large scale movement that is dedicated to an effort of raising awareness for children in foster care. Courts and communities around the U.S. come together and work to finalize thousands of pending adoptions. This annual event has fulfilled the dreams of thousands of children!  This year the National Adoption Day Coalition expects approximately 4,500 children in foster care will be adopted!
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I want to be sure to bring attention to cross-cultural adoptions and international adoptions. Sometimes an adopted child will struggle with their identity and might need a little extra reassurance. However, an adopted child that knows about their own culture typically builds confidence instead of making them feel different. If you want to encourage cultural awareness and you also need child care, then an Au Pair will be an amazing addition to your home!  Having an Au Pair helps the entire family.  Not only does the child receive cultural awareness but the parents are also exposed to their child’s native culture!
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Congratulations to all of the children that have been adopted and to all of the families that have welcomed a child into their family!

Child Safety & Prevention

November is Child Safety & Prevention Month!  Make sure your home is as safe as possible.  Prevention is the best defense to any accident.  It’s a good idea to get down to the eye level of your child and go around your home looking for potential hazards.  The specific needs for your home will vary especially depending on your child’s age.
Here are some tips For Infants, Toddlers, & Preschoolers:

  • Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
  • Have a well-stocked first aid kit on hand just in case.
  • Put outlet covers on every outlet and in every room of your home.  This includes the rooms your child doesn’t normally go in to, just in case they go exploring!
  • Lock everything… cupboards, cleaning supplies, medicine cabinets, etc.
  • Put safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs before your child even crawls.
  • Place safety corner cushions on any sharp or protruding furniture corners.  Also anchor any furniture that could fall.
  • Keep cords out of reach.  This includes electrical cords as well as cords/strings from window blinds.
  • Avoid choking hazards by making sure coins, bottle caps, buttons, magnets, small toys that are made for 3 & up, and other miscellaneous small items are all kept out of reach. Also, for those that are old enough to eat table food make sure to cut it up into small enough pieces.  Hot Dogs and grapes are the top two food choking hazards.
  • Make sure your child’s car seat is installed properly.  Also when placing your child in their car seat, be sure the belts are tightly fastened.
  • Never leave a child alone around the water.  This includes baths, pools, lakes, ponds, etc.  A small child can drown in just a couple inches of water and within just a few seconds.
  • Your water heater should be set no higher than 120’F to avoid burns.  Always check your child’s bath water, with your forearm, before putting them in.
  • Bedtime safety is very important.  Remove all soft bedding including pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and any other soft items until your child is older.  Also be sure to keep pets out of your child’s room.
  • Post a phone list that includes emergency contacts, poison control, non-emergency police, and 911.

This is just a brief list.  There are many other things you can do to promote child safety and prevent accidents.
First aid kitGo Au Pair requires all Au Pairs to complete 32 hours of child care training. The training topics include child development, child safety, and a special infant-specific section.  There is also an optional three-day Introductory Workshop in New York, of which additional skills are taught (CPR & First Aid for example).

Safety is important!  Prevent accidents and try to keep your child safe!

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