In our previous posts we told you about our experiences at the training school (here you can find Susa’s), but now we would like to tell you more objectively what happen in the first 3 days of training! We believe that the topics are always the same, just with a different schedule, because Susa had a schedule and Marty another one! Below a list of all the topics and later we will give you more details on how the days work.
- Rules and responsibilities of an au pair
- Kids development, distinctive traits of every group age
- Kids Safety (car, places with water, other situations)
- CPR and first aid
- General information about America and American culture
- Create a positive environment with the host family, avoid fights and how to handle the communication with the family.
- Driving in the United States
Once landed in the States a shuttle will come pick you up and will drop you off at your Hotel, which is just outside Manhattan.Once arrived the staff will welcome you, you will follow a small introduction in which you will get the most important info and the hotel rules, you will be divided in team, they will assign you your room and if you want you can sign up for Tuesday’s night NYC’s tour.
On Monday you will have plenty free time to rest, socialize with the people that were on the shuttle with you and your new roommates.
On Tuesday, alarm is at 6,00am, even if classes don’t start until 8,00am, so you have about two hours to get ready and have breakfast .
To start there is AuPairCare and it staff introduction, they will give you some useful info and then you get some free time to socialize. Classes are taken into a big room with round tables, and people of each table are asked to introduce themselves and bond.
In the afternoon participants are divided in groups (based on the kids’ age they are going to take care of) and are taught some normal behaviors of the kids belonging to that age group. Susa was in the one 8-12 and Mapu in the one 5-8. Both of them had to make a poster, with other girls, about a kid developmental milestone. In you have many kids of different ages, it is recommended to pick the group of the kid you feel more insecure about!
Classes end at 4,00pm in order to give you enough time to get ready for NYC’s tour that is going to last until 10,00pm.
During the tour you have the chance to see some of the most famous neighborhood and bars like: Times Square (just one hour to take a walk and eat something), Upper East Side, Central Park (just a couple of minutes to take some pics) Brooklyn and the liberty Statues from far away.
Notice that Susa’s and Mapu’s tours were very different. Susa stopped at Central Park and time to time the bus was stopping to let people taking pics, while Marty saw almost nothing because the bus was speeding too much).
Wednesday you have to consign the pre-departure project that will be evaluated by the staff and the two best are going to win another NYC’s tour for only 7$ and a 5$ Starbucks gift card. The winners will be announced at the end of the classes.
In the morning people are asked to mix the tables, so that you can meet new people and speak more English (that because in the first place people set with their compatriots). In Susa’s case Wednesday was a particular day, because they did an activity that foresaw dressing up a member of the table as Uncle Sam with improvised material, to celebrate the 4th of July.
In the afternoon you are divided again into groups (this time susa was part of the 4-6 and Mapu was always in the same) and you are going to be taught other typical behaviors. The class is structured as a debate in which you confront yourself with other girls and you can ask or answer questions.
For Susa the lunch was a typical 4th of July barbecue, since everything was organized for that celebration, while for Mapu was a Brazilian meal.
Classes end at 5,00pm to let who wants take a second NYC’s tour while the others can just relax.
At the end of the day the staff will give some homework that consist in choosing some useful activities for the developmental milestone and then modify them to make them suitable for one or more kids. Homework were actually never checked.
Alarm is at 6,00am again, but this time you just have enough time to get ready, eat breakfast and pack your stuff because you have to check out the room.
The morning consists in a theory class about first aid: CPR, medicate a wound, what to do in case poisoning.
Lunch was for both Susa and Mapu an Italian meal with pasta /ragù and cheese sauce), pizza with different toppings, veggies and fruits. Lunch will be early for those that have to catch a connecting flight.
From 1,00pm on, families living in the area will arrive at the hotel to pick up their au pairs.
- There is a breakfast buffet and you can choose among millions of things, so don’t worry because you will find something you will like for sure. Generally the food is good, but we don’t recommend pancake and waffle.</
- Dinner menu is standard for everybody and, as you can see in the pic, is a little bit expensive. It is up to you decided if you wanna eat in the hotel restaurant or buy something at the supermarket. The first night Susa had pizza and it was ok, Mapu went eating somewhere outside.
- Be ready to stay 24/7 with the air conditioning on.
- There is wifi, but it doesn’t work very well, especially where you have the classes.
- The group color they are going to give you depends on where your host family lives. Ex: blu and red around NYC, gold for the infant qualified, Purple and turquoise for the au pair on the west coast and so on.
- Every time somebody interacts during the class, its color team will get some points. The team that as more points, on Tuesday doesn’t follow any class, but has a special activity.
- At the end of the training school each member of the team that has more points will get a 5$ Starbucks gift card.
- If you wanna go somewhere after the classes, the hotel’s shuttle can drive you to the closest Wal-Mart or to a Mall where there are lots of restaurant. The price of each ride is 1$.