Au Pair in America brings its unique brand of childcare and cultural awareness to local families.

Community counselor, Kristy Gerke, will profile host families and au pairs each month. This first blog introduces Au Pair in America and provides links to discover more information about the program.

It is an exciting time in north Oakland county ... jobs are coming back, the housing market is looking up, and families are already making decisions about childcare and schools for September.I am pleased to announce that Au Pair in America (AIPA) is growing in Oakland county, especially areas such as Lake Orion and Oakland Township. I am two months into my role as a community counselor for APIA and my goal with this blog is to provide an honest monthly profile of my host families and their au pairs ... including the good and the not-so-good.APIA screens eager and skilled young women between the ages of 18 and 26 from around the world, who will join your family and care for your children during a mutually rewarding, year-long cultural exchange experience. APIA was the first organization to be designated by the U.S. Government to offer a legal au pair program. Since 1986, they have placed more than 56,000 au pairs with American host families across the country.My role as a community counselor is to provide assistance and support from the start to prospective host families seeking information about APIA; to new host families searching for their "perfect" au pair; and to seasoned host families needing mediation. I also provide support to new au pairs before they even arrive in the United States through emails and Facebook. Current au pairs attend monthly cluster (that's APIA for my geographical area) meetings, and other outings, where we gather for activities and talk. Au pairs at the end of their stay have their own special excitement, and sadness, about returning to their home country but also saying goodbye to their "families." The word family is not taken lightly. The word "au pair" means "on par" with the family. Au pairs become part of the family with all the ups and downs that go with it. My goal with this blog is to profile host families and their au pairs to discover what the au pair experience, from both sides, is really all about.If you cannot wait for the first installment, please click on the link provided to find out more information about how an au pair can not only provide childcare but can bring a lifetime of cultural awareness to your family. http://www.aupairinamerica.com/Until next month ...

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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