Fall happenings

After a very busy summer of welcoming over 20 new au pairs, everyone is settling in with their host families. While the au pairs continue to get acquainted with Atlanta and their new cultural exchange experiences, their LCC is preparing for her 3rd baby in 3.5 years!  Our December meeting may have an addition and who would I trust more holding a new baby than my wonderful au pairs! Our November au pair meeting (REQUIRED!) is November 17 at 8 pm. Our December meeting is scheduled for December 15th. As always, au pairs are welcome to go to another LCC’s meeting if they so choose, they just need to let me know.


I thought I’d repost something I send to new host families about things to consider in the first few weeks. I hope this is helpful to au pairs and host families (and potential host families!!)

Some things to do in the first two weeks with your au pair. These are not in order of importance and are just an idea of some important things to address early. Thank you to some of our seasoned host moms who have told me what they do in the first weeks of an au pair’s arrival. Please anyone feel free to send me suggestions/comments to make this more comprehensive for new host families or for good reminders for veterans.
1. Give her your host family handbook. She can spend some of her down time during those first  days reading it and preparing questions for you. She can also more easily   translate something written than she can your verbal direction. Review the document attached about SETTLING IN WITH YOUR NEW AU PAIR. IF you don’t have one completed and would like a copy of some other families’ handbooks, let me know and I will forward a pdf.
2. Have her make copies of her insurance card and I.D. for you. Have her give you the contact information for her family. Keep a file for her in the event that she needs medical care or there is a family emergency. Cultural Care has all of this information as well but if you need it quickly, it is helpful to have it.

3. Have her begin reading the Georgia Driver’s manual (attached). Begin driving practice with her. Remember this is the single biggest challenge most families face and while it can be frustrating, it is a skill that can be taught. Driving rules in the U.S. differ from anywhere else in the world and our cars are SO much bigger. This is all an adjustment and confidence can be low for the au pair because she knows the consequences of her either not learning to drive your car well or getting into an accident. Many host families elect to purchase driving lessons, though this is NOT required. If you choose to do so, ask for an instructor who speaks your au pair’s native language to expedite learning. Previously recommended by host families are Alfa driving school

4. During her second week here, go into your host family account and retrieve her social security documentation. Print it off and take her to the social security office. http://www.ssa.gov/for a location near you but I have heard good things about the Franklin Road office in Marietta: 1415 Franklin Rd SE Marietta (800) 772-1213. Have her bring every piece of ID/documentation with her just in case (ID, Passport, DS forms)

  • Unless your au pair’s English is near perfect, I really recommend going with her to apply for her social security card. Unfortunately, some employees aren’t always patient with people with an accent.
  • She should receive her social security card within 30 days.
  • Once she receives her social security card, she can be eligible to take her Georgia Driver’s License.
  • Note: she is legally allowed to drive with her International license but if she extends, she will have to have the GA license on the exact day her extension begins (one year from the day she arrived IN the U.S- not to your family).
5.  Begin looking into classes for her educational requirement. Have her look online for affordable classes. Our au pairs in our group have been happy with classes at Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Kennesaw State University and Georgia Perimeter College.
  • Educational Websites: Finding an affordable option to meet the educational component can be difficult. The following website provides additional resources to families searching for an affordable option that meets with the parameters of the regulations. Please note that just because an institution is not on these lists does not mean it won’t meet the proper accreditations needed. If a family or au pair has a question about accreditation and the school is not on these websites, please direct them to apeducation@culturalcare.com. Useful websites to find post-secondary accredited institutions are:http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx and http://www.chea.org/search/default.asp.


6. Go ahead and check to see if your family physician is in network for your au pair. http://www.aetna.com/docfind/erika  This will prevent any last minute scrambling should your au pair suddenly become ill or need a doctor for any reason. If your doctor is not in network for your au pair, have the au pair list the names of a few doctors and their numbers in the event she needs it quickly. Too often au pairs forget to do this and get hit with exorbitant bills.
7. Open a bank account. Families seem to have the easiest time with Bank Of America because of their international experience but please go where you are comfortable. While the au pair doesn’t technically need to have her social security card to open an account, some families have said it makes the process easier. Other families have had no problem opening a checking account for their au pair at their banking institution with just their cultural care documentation (ID, passport, DS forms).
8. I have also attached something you can find in your host family account, but a little more information on taxes and financial matters.
9. Teach her how to use your home alarm, dishwasher, garage door opener. Please do not assume she will know how to do these things and remember how much technology (and convenience) we have compared to au pairs from less urban or affluent areas.
10. Set up her cell phone. It is your choice what type of phone and plan to give her. Please just communicate clearly to her how many minutes/text messages she can use. Communicate what happens if she goes over the allowed plan.
11. Remember that I will contact you each month to see how you are. If at any point you would like to speak to a veteran host mom about questions or concerns, please let me know and I’ll put you in touch with someone.
12. If any of your friends remark on how awesome life looks with your au pair, refer them directly to me (not through the website) and if they sign on, I will ensure you receive a $350 referral bonus.

Sunday, 10 November 2013 8:33 PM


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