Category Archives: Au Pair

Au Pair`s Personal Safety

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We do NOT want to scare you, but we would like you to realize that Ireland could be just as dangerous as any other country around the world. And because we would like you to have a nice experience during your stay in Ireland, we are publishing some useful tips and safety information that will help you stay safe.

As we said – these tips are not intended to scare you, but to make you aware of some simple things you can do to prevent being the victim of attack or any other type of crime.

On the Street

Awareness is your first line of defense! Most people think of kicks to the groin and blocking punches when they hear the term “self-defense.” However, true self-defense begins long before any actual physical contact.
The first, and probably most important, component in self-defense is awareness: awareness of yourself, your surroundings, and your potential attacker’s likely strategies. The criminal’s primary strategy is to use the advantage of surprise. Studies have shown that criminals are adept at choosing targets that appear to be unaware of what is going on around them. By being aware of your surroundings and by projecting a “force presence,” many altercations which are commonplace on the street can be avoided.

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* pay attention to what is going on around you and be aware of people near you.
* don’t hitchhike (means getting a ride with strangers.)
* be very careful using outside ATMs at night or in unfamiliar surroundings.
* when walking, face the oncoming traffic. It will be harder for someone to pull you into a car and abduct you. You can also see cars coming in your lane.
* tell someone where you’ll be and what time you’re supposed to return, or if you will be with someone you don’t know well.
* don’t overload yourself with packages. If you must have your hands full, visualize how you would respond if approached, how you would get your hands free, etc.
* don’t wear music headphones while walking or jogging.
* don’t read while walking or standing on the street.
* if you wear a purse with a shoulder strap, be prepared to let it go if snatched. Otherwise you may be hurt if the mugger knocks you down and drags you while fleeing with your purse.

General Safety Tips

Use your “Sixth sense”, “Gut instinct” or whatever you call it! Your intuition is a powerful subconscious insight into situations and people. All of us, especially women, have this gift, but very few of us pay attention to it. Learn to trust this power and use it to your full advantage. Avoid a person or a situation which does not “feel” safe–you’re probably right.

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* listen to and act on your intuition. It’s better to be safe and risk a little embarrassment, than stay in an uncomfortable situation that may be unsafe.
* if you are in danger or being attacked and want to get help, call 999 (Garda – Irish POLICE). If you have bad feeling you can always ask someone to walk you to the first store, where you can wait and get sure someone is following you
* have your keys ready when approaching your car or building. It will help you get in faster.
* vary your routine: drive or walk different routes every day. If you suspect that someone is following you, by foot or in a car, don’t go home (or they will know where you live). Go to a trusted neighbor or to a public place to call garda, or go directly to the garda station.
* do not label keys with your name or any identification.
* don’t talk about your social life or vacation plans where strangers can overhear you.
* carry your cell phone with you at all times.

Nights Out

It is important that you are aware that people have been known to put drugs into women’s drinks at bars and at parties – all around the world, not only in Ireland! Please read these tips, to avoid becoming a victim.

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* use the buddy system. Do not go out alone and don’t leave your friends.
* get your own drink – don’t take it from complete stranger.
* watch your drink being poured and do not leave it unattended.
* don’t drink from a large open container, like a punch bowl.
* don’t drink anything that has an unusual taste, especially a salty taste.
* don’t share drinks.
* don’t leave a party with someone you just met. If you do, tell your friends where are you going and who are you going with.
* warn others about high-risk situations.

Facts…

Escape is always your best option. What if the unthinkable happens? You are
suddenly confronted by a predator who demands that you go with him in a car, or
into an alley, or a building. It would seem prudent to obey, but you must
never leave the primary crime scene.
You are far more likely to be attacked
or seriously injured if you go with the predator than if you run away (even if
he promises not to hurt you). Run away, yell for help, throw a rock through a
store or car window – do whatever you can to attract attention. And if the
criminal is after your purse or other material items, throw them away while you
run.
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It’s your right to fight! Unfortunately, no matter how diligently you practice awareness and avoidance techniques, you may find yourself in a physical confrontation. Whether or not you have self-defense training, and no matter what your age or physical condition, it is important to understand that you CAN and SHOULD defend yourself physically. You have both the moral and legal right to do so, even if the attacker is only threatening you and hasn’t struck first. Many women worry that they will anger the attacker and get hurt worse if they defend themselves, but statistics clearly show that your odds of survival are far greater if you do fight back. Aim for the eyes first and the groin second! Remember, though, to use the element of surprise to your advantage–strike quickly and strong as you can – you may only get one chance!

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Pepper spray like other self-defense aids, can be a useful tool. However, it is important to understand that there can be significant drawbacks to its use. For example, did you know that it doesn’t work on everyone? Surprisingly, 15-20% of people will not be incapacitated even by a full-face spray. Also, if you’re carrying it in your purse, you will only waste time and alert the attackers to your intention while you fumble for it. You also need to be careful not to spray yourself, which is not so hard when you are nervous or in case of a strong wind! Never depend on any self-defense tool or weapon to stop an attacker. Trust your body and your wits, which you can always depend on in the event of an attack.

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How to enjoy your free time as an Au Pair?

Of course in the Au Pair’s world not everything is linked to work and more work. You can also enjoy your free time taking advantage of this wonderful experience abroad.

You have plenty of options to do while you are inside you experience.
Firstly you may have offered language classes in order to obtain better language skills. This represents a very crucial point due to the vast majority of the people who want to go abroad as an Au Pair do that because of becoming proficient in one second language. These classes will help you to increase your level of adaptation to the new country you are living in and of course when you manage to acquire new language skills your chances to get a better work will be increased due to your better CV an experience.

Another attractive option is traveling. When you are in other country one of the most enriching things you can do is traveling around because this way you are going to get a deeper knowledge about the country and the culture of the people and of course you are going to enjoy of memorable spots and landscapes.
You will have a wide range of options from stillness places to dynamic environments in which you can socialize with other people. Do not miss the chance to travel because for sure is going to be one of the most beautiful things during your Au Pair experience.

You also can travel not only by yourself but with the family. For example some families enjoy along with the Au Pair of unforgettable holidays and this is also a precious opportunity to build up a good relationship with the family knowing more about each other and sharing moments that for sure you will also remember in the future.

Another leisure activity you may allowed to do is for instance some families would pay you some kind of “package” for going to the gym or practise some sport to keep the shape. This way you can release stress at the same time you are keeping yourself healthy.

Definitely being an Au Pair is not only related with working all the day. You also need to treat yourself well performing different activities, knowing more people and enjoying the experience so if you are thinking about having an international experience do not think twice about it and give a try to this Au Pair experience.

Remember that this kind of experiences may be once in lifetime and you need to take advantage of any opportunity which can offer you learning a new language and interacting with a new culture.

Keep in mind that being an Au Pair could be your very first step to find a job and of course if you love kids and really like spending time together with them, this program will offer you an amazing experience first-hand that will increase your abilities at the same time you will be spending one of the best times in your life.

See full article here.

Back to school

School year is coming and once school begins children ages 5 or 6 and up have homework. Some children complete their homework without any adult help while other children need lots of support.

Homework is important because it helps children practice and strengthen academic skills, teaches time management, initiative, self-reliance, and resourcefulness. Homework also teaches children responsibility, the sense of accountability for mistakes and successes, and a respect for authority outside the home.

Support, encouragement, patience and guidance are basic in helping children with their homework. Not every type of help will work with each child. Here are a few ideas:

  • Agree on a quiet place to do homework.
  • Check with Host Parents if the television, music or computer can be on while the child is doing homework.
  • Agree on a reasonable homework schedule. Should homework be done after school or after dinner or after a short break before dinner?
  • Should home privileges be taken away form a child that doesn’t complete homework or puts it off?
  • Can the child use the computer, talk on the phone or get together with friends before homework is done?
  • Try to determine how long the child can keep concentrating on work. It may be best to build breaks into the homework schedule.
  • Avoid getting into a power struggle over homework.
  • Ask your host parents for ideas if you are having a problem.
  • Helping with homework can be frustrating for everyone involved. Do not get angry, try to remain patient.
  • Let your host parents know if you think the amount of homework is overwhelming the child.
  • Never do the homework for the child.
  • Be enthusiastic and positive when the child makes a good effort.

Do you have a child with homework and a younger child who has none? Sometimes younger siblings wish for “homework.” If this is the case you can give the younger child an “assignment” while the older child does his homework. Colouring a picture or cutting pictures out of a magazine are activities that may help a younger child to feel like he or she is also doing homework.

What to do when a child doesn’t want to sleep at night?

Many two year old kids have problems with falling asleep at night . Today we will try to show you where the problem comes from and how to solve it.

There are many disturbing factors that keeps  your toddler out of bed in the evening . Most common ones are:

  • room decorations at child’s room,
  • unwillingness to stay alone in a dark room and the reluctance of separation from parents,
  • the fear of going to sleep because of the nightmares.

The child refuses  to lie down to sleep and starts  infinite number of requests for drinking, food, a goodnight kiss, reading books, telling stories, etc. The goal  of this is, of course,to make parents stay as long as possible. Not all of the requests are fake, but remember to fulfill them within reason and at some point end this avalanche of needs, leave the room and give the child time to fall asleep.

You can aslo give a good night hug, leave the child in the room to fall asleep, and ignore the constant cry from the room. If your child is tired or knows from previous experience that the mother will not come in any more that evening, this method may be effective. The only exception is the situation when the child is actually just afraid to be in the room and reacts with fear and tears. In this case, we should stay in the room until our toddler falls asleep.

Changing parent roles is also very effective in the evening. Let your husband take care of the child before going to sleep. Such exchange of roles usually influences the attitude of a toddler so that he or she gives up many of their requests. It also appears that he or she is more likely to fall asleep.

If the reason for the reluctance to sleep are nightmares, you must figure out what is their cause. Typically, nightmares are caused by too much experience and lessons learned during the day, nervous atmosphere at home, or a change that has occurred in the child’s life (eg going to the nursery, changing nannies, moving in or out). Another reason may associated with the imagination, your child can not yet explain the rational aspects of their ideas, and therefore it begins to be afraid.

Evening rituals two year old

 Introduce a number of habits that will have to be made before your child safely could go to bed. These are called rituals and you can not count on the fact that the child will give up or forget about them. It will be a long time integral point of the evening sleep.

Entering the child’s rituals is associated among other things with the reluctance to make any changes in its environment, and applies to the whole process of going to bed and falling asleep. Therefore, the daily activities will include for example:

  • arrangement of toys in the correct order,
  • appropriate arrangement of pillows and toys chosen by the child, which will fell asleep,
  • read fairy tales in the correct order,
  • listen to them, and not the other lullabies.

Rituals can begin to relate to the bath and related activities. Every child in this case has its own individual tastes, more or less surprising.

Do not fight the evening rituals for children, because it is a natural way for every child to sleep without stress and in a natural way. The only way by which you can help yourself and your child to go to sleep faster, is to simplify the operations associated with bathing, undressing for a bath, lying down to sleep.

Falling asleep children aged 3-5 years

The older the child, the more you easily falls asleep. As time begins, read  stories in a quie voice, play he soothing music. The only thing good to avoid, is allowing your child to play loud just before bedtime, it can disrupt a quiet position in bed and make troubles in falling asleep. Sometimes the child is just willing to talk to mom and dad about their experiences, dreams and problems. It is a very good time for quiet conversation.

Realities of being an Au Pair

Did you ever wonder what are the realities of being an Au Pair?  Are there only positive aspects of this job?  Read the article written by one of our Au Pairs.

Some people want to go to a foreign country to gain confidence in the spoken language of the country. This is very common now as companies want workers with at least one other European language. Others know that they love working with children at home so would like to try it abroad.

The program does not suit all types of people. Some people would rather work in a commercial setting with a proper wage and pay for their own accommodation, food etc.

You would need to be a family oriented person. Joining a family for a particular length of time is a big thing to do. The family are closely connected and you are a total stranger to them at the beginning. Naturally, you would feel anxious trying your best to fit in. Sometimes there can be a simple personality clash with the Au Pair and the parents. Every country has its own culture and understanding of how to live on a daily basis. There are differences regarding simple things like what an Irish family like to eat for breakfast and what an Italian family eat for breakfast. You have to be an open-minded person to embrace the changes and make the most of your stay.

Children all over the world are similar in many ways. They all like to play, have fun and explore the world around them. If you deal very well with children in one country you can with children in another country. The problem a lot of the time are the demands children make. You cannot give them everything they want. Respect must be put in place. The do’s and don’ts must be made clear. The family should ensure that you have respect for the children and the children have respect for you. They know their own children better than anyone else so they should give you tips on how to handle them when on your own. If you are not given proper instructions by the host family in question you will probably feel stressed and under pressure. Feelings like these are not healthy for anyone. Nobody can be expected to fully adapt to a new environment straight away so the Au Pair is to make sure there isn’t unrealistic demands being put on them.

In some cases families can take advantage of having you child mind for them such as not being clear about working hours, free time and rules. The conditions are different in every family and the expectations every family has for you differ greatly.  Before you go if the conditions are discussed thoroughly things should run smoothly. Be advised that working as an Au Pair is not a paid holiday but a chance to experience a whole new culture while looking after children. It can be a truly beneficial experience if you make it one!

The whole article is published here.

 

Play with the kids! Some tips :)

Which were your favourites games when you were a 3 or 4? Can you remember? Did you like puzzles, drawing or making up stories?

You can use all these games to play with your kids. For sure they’ll love them! But we might help you a little bit finding the most sutiable game for you and your children.

First of all, did you know there are more than one kind of play? There are many different types of play and children can be involved in more than one type at the same time. Children usually show preferences for one kind of game, but it is important that they play a variety of games involving many types of learning and development.

These are the different kind of play a child between 2-6 years of age can experience:

  • Physical play – physical, exploratory, manipulative or constructive play. Your kids can dance differents kinds of music, run, jump or crawl, play football or frisbee, do puzzles, jigsaws, threading or build with blocks. This kind of play involves bodily movements and control, practicing motor skills and using their abilities in order to find what things feel like and what can be done with them.

  • Creative play – Like creating collages, making models or instruments and paiting. You can join the kids and create everything you can imagine and more. This type of play allows children to explore and use several kinds of materials in order to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas. They’ll enjoy being creative!

  • Pretend play – pretend, dramatic, make-believe, role and fantasy play involves kids using their imagination. They can pretend with objects, actions or situations. As they grow, their play becomes more complex. They make up stories and scenarios and act real or fantasy events. Early literary and numeracy events, such as making lists and menus and play for cinema tickets, are very common. Small world play makes children use small-scale representations or real things and socio-dramatic play makes them play with other children or adults so they can make friends, negotiate with others or develop their communication skills.
  • Games with rules – try with games such as card games, Bingo, computer games or word and number games. Also, allow children to play with their own rules, more flexible and join them in pretend plays, for example, everyone has to knock before coming in. language is rellay important in these kind of games as children explain, question and negotiate the rules.

  • Language play – Try some games with the kids such as I spy, Words beginning with… or I went to the sop and I bought… Find rhyming words, say tongue twisters (She sells sea shells by the seashore), make up stories or read and toalk about stories using comments and questions. These type of play involves children playing with sounds and words. They love jokes and funny stories!

 

You can find more information here.

 

Pay attention to our blog, we will write more tips for kids of other ages pretty soon.

Join us in our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for more information and tips!!

The Au-Pair is not employee! Welcome a new member of family!

I met during my stay in Ireland many people, who asked me “where do you work?” . I simply answered in the Au Pair agency. For my suprise they didn´t know what the role of Au Pair is. The typical reaction was “Oh, Nanny!”. And it is, my dear friends, wrong!

So the first important thing. The Au-Pair is NOT a nanny. The nanny is a normal type of job, that you pay someone as employee for the work. You have to keep contract  rules. You have to keep minimal wage, holidays etc.

The Au Pair is NOT an employee. Usually the girl is part of a family as a big sister.The Au Pair is in your family as a member of family. So she lives with family. The Au Pair usually comes to your country (in our case Ireland) to learn a new culture, language and gain a new experience. The Au Pair wants to work with children and help family with light housework. For this help the Au Pair is paid weekly. She hasn´t got a salary but pocket money. It is not say how much pocket must be, but it should be in Ireland around 85-100 euro a week.  Ordinarily the Au Pair works around 35 hours and have two days off- usually weekends. But this is an individual issue.

The Au Pair as a new member of family has own bedroom, a bathroom can be shared. The cost of living and food  is providing for free.

What is the main task ?

•- Help the family with light household duties’;
•- Share your own culture with the host family;
•- Help to play with the children;
•- Help with cooking;
•- Driving children if requested;
•- Safety of the children;
– collect children from school
Take part in family activities.

The Au Pairs usually travel,  attend language courses,  meet other Au Pair in their free time.

Sounds interesting for you? Want to get a new member of family?  Cara International helps you find good one! Just ring 00353 94 9289802.

Au Pair weekend in Ireland with Cara International

Cara International, the Au Pair agency is going to organize weekend for Au Pairs. The main programme is walking festival in Foxford, Wood and Mill visitor centre, traditional pub with irish music and Turlough museum with irish country life. Are you Au Pair and want to meet friends? Join us and have fun!

The event is going to be in middle of October 22-23rd October in county Mayo! The programme is following:

Accomodation is situated in Castlebar by the lake. See  www. loughlannagh.ie.

If you are interested and want to join us, please contact:

marketing@carainternational.net

skype: carainternational

Tel: 00 353 94 9289802


Cara International participated Bump and Beyond Fair in Castlebar!

Cara International partcipated  Bump and Beyond Fair on Sunday 4th September  in the event centre at Breaffy House Resort in Castlebar. The event was created for new or expeciting parents.

The visitors should get know information about Au Pairs and about our services.  On Sunday you could speak with a director of Cara International- Caroline Joyce.

The visitors were interested in Au Pair services. Usually they hadn´t known,  there is a possibility to get the Au Pair. Actually the Au Pairs from Europe are interested to come to Ireland. They want to improve English,  get know the culture, meet friendly Irish people and be part of Irish families.

But the Au Pair is not nanny. The Au pair is not a professional. She is a big sister of children.The Au Pairs have experience with children when they did babysitting, took care of younger sibling or did training in kindergarten for furure teaching children . Cara International do interview with Au Pairs and give traning materials to Au Pairs.

 The Aupair doesn´t earn salary, but pocket money. It is around 85-100 euro a week. It can be cheaper option, because the nannies are expensive for many families.

For more information read this article.

The Au Pair is a perfect chance for busy parents with children between 1-15 years old. The Au Pair can be a big help for your household. She can do light housework such as ironing, cleaning, hoovering etc. She can cook light meal for your children. But mainly she takes care about your children – plays games, draws pictures, makes creativity things, does sport etc.

Even if you like go out during the evening-  for dinner, go to cinema or theather, have a drink with your friends – you can ask for babysitting. The Au Pair usually babysitt twice a week.

We enjoyed the afternoon with parents very much!