Posts Tagged ‘Childcare’

English: AuPairCare Au pair

AuPairCare (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

To many families the process of matching with and then receiving a Department of State cultural au pair into their home and family seems daunting—but there are many ways that Go Au Pair, one of the eight original au pair agencies approved at the beginning of the DOS program, can make the process easy.

Go Au Pair has nearly 300 au pairs (young adults between 18  and 26 years) around the world who have finished their training and are ready to match. If the au pair is in his/her native country, Go Au Pair’s international staff guides the process of completing the local embassy interview and acquiring the J-1 Visa needed to enter the United States. When the au pair is ready to fly to join his/her Host Family, the international staff coordinates with the Local Area Representative to make the process seamless.

Throughout the year of service, the au pair and the Host Family continue to be supported with necessary local information such as where and how to obtain a Social Security card and a driver’s license. Then, when it is time to return home, the international team springs into action again.

All of this planning  supports the making of wonderful memories for all concerned. Kids who have grown up with au pairs are different—in good ways.

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English: Red Pinterest logo

English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Babies love sensory play as much as Toddlers love to move!

Au Pair Sis has pinned 35 ways to play with your one year old to her Pinterest page. Yes, I know I am a little older than one, but who (of any age) can resist a rainbow gelatin sensory tub? Gelatin and Kool Aid are edible (make them a little sour to limit the amount sthe kiddos actually eat), and the colors are awesome. Using the bathroom for the play room makes clean up a snap.

Want more sensory tubs for your littlest ones? Here’s a link for more, with a chance to subscribe for updates.

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English dialects

English dialects (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

The main page for Go Au Pair on December 6, 2012 contains the following paragraph in the featured blog article “Au Pairs: The childcare choice with no boundaries.”

Not only does Go Au Pair require all of their applicants to take personality tests to help Host Families determine who will be their best fit, but they also search for Au Pairs who have excellent English speaking abilities. In last year’s Au Pair ClearingHouse Awards, Go Au Pair was the only agency to receive an “Excellent” score in the area of “English Skills.”  Go Au Pair ranked in the 90th percentile, and as a result received the “Host Parent’s Blue Ribbon Pick.”

A major cause of breakdown in U.S. families with au pairs is a lack of English skills.


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A page from Loughridge's Dictionary

A page from Loughridge’s Dictionary (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

au pair

[oh pair] noun

 1. a person, usually a young foreign visitor, employed to take care of children, do housework, etc., in exchange for room and board: We sent the children to the beach with the au pair.

After World War II the changing social and economic factors in Europe, especially women’s emancipation, led to a need for inexpensive live-in childcare, where the caregiver is treated like a member of the family.European au pairs are part-time caregivers, and usually part-time students. In the U.S., au pairs may work full-time in addition to their schooling. Au pair means “equal.”

Go Au Pair is a designated provider of au pairs from many countries around the world who come to live and study in the U.S.

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English: A glass bottle of Clicquot Club Ginge...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Early fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. Golden trees and Canada geese flying south fill the heart with joy. But, nasty contagious “bugs” also abound. A simple home remedy to soothe sniffles and tummy aches is Ginger Lemon Ale.

The recipe is simple:

  • 1-2 scoops lemon-flavored electrolyte mix (be sure to check for any recommendations by age)
  • 10 oz bottled ginger ale

Place the scoop(s) in the bottom of a glass or tumbler. Pour in the ginger ale, slowly to allow the extra fizz to settle. Enjoy, and take credit for being a thoughtful cultural au pair.

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Ambersweet oranges, a new cold-resistant orang...

Ambersweet oranges (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

As part of the general movement toward a healthy and green lifestyle, there is an explosion in children’s nutrition.Cultural au pairs and host families may enjoy the process of learning about supplements for the youngest members of the family.

The following products, chosen from among many similar ones, are found in major health food stores. Be sure to consult the child’s pediatrician for any questions regarding suitability.

  • Rhino Gummy Calci-Bears by Nutrition Now are chewy bear-shaped “jelly candies” that contain extra calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. This product won the Chef’s Award for “Best Taste” in 2011 and is gluten-free. The suggested serving size is 2 bears. Each serving provides 20-25% of the Daily Value of calcium, and 50% of the Daily Value of vitamin D for children 2-4 years/4+ years respectively. Grams of sugar per serving are 3, and calories are 15.
  • Animal Parade Kid Greenz by Nature’s Plus contain “broccoli, spinach, and other green foods” as a chewable vitamin. African animal shapes intrigue kids, and this product is gluten free and hypo-allergenic. Daily values of greens are not established for children under or over 4 years of age, and are therefore not reported. Each one animal serving contains 1 gram of sugar and 5 calories.
  • Kids Liquid Dolphin Pals by Country Life provide complete multivitamins and minerals, plus B vitamins, in a gentle liquid with a berry splash flavor. This product is not recommended for children under 2 years of age. 1 teaspoon provides about 50% of many nutritional guidelines for children under 4 years of age, or 25%-30% for children over 4 years of age. Each serving contains 2 grams of sugar and 15 calories.

As part of the research for this article, I felt compelled to taste-test the citrus fruit-flavored Rhino Gummy Calci-Bears and the tropical fruit-flavored Animal Parade Kid Greenz. I confess to an extra serving of each.

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Children are beautiful, but they have a LOT of energy. Sometimes we are busy and stressed. Sometimes we don’t feel well. How do we best handle these times?

Harvard Medical School Gordon Hall of Medicine...

(Harvard Medical School, Gordon Hall, Wikipedia, public domain)

Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., graduated from Harvard Medical School and now practices in Arizona. One of his specialties is mind-body medicine, which offers a lot of help with “stress.” His web page on breathing offers free first aid to cultural au pairs and Host Families.

Dr. Weil’s “4-7-8” breath is the one that most results in relaxation. To begin, place your tongue behind your upper teeth and breathe out completely through your mouth to a count of 8. Close your mouth and breathe in through your nose to a count of 4. Hold to a count of 7, and breathe out again through your mouth. Repeat up to a total of four times, counting on the 8’s. Practice every day, so that relaxed breathing comes naturally when you need it.

You may also teach a child how to count his/her breath. Exaggerate the whoosh when you and your child breathe out together, to make it even more fun. Depending on your child’s age, s/he may not get it quite right, but laughter returns as tightness and tension leave.

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