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June is Safety Month
KEEPING AU PAIRS & CHILDREN SAFE!
We are seeing a new change in the au pair industry where programs are paying more attention to Safety Issues & Au Pair Training. This is great news for host parents!
- First, in April, 2011, Au Pair in America introduced their new driving course, Preparing to Drive in the United States, for all new au pairs arriving in the States. The AAA course is "one of a kind" and has "been tailored to the needs of the international driver and specific to the safety needs of driving children in a car."
Ruth Ferry, Vice President and Director of Au Pair in America said,
“No matter how much driving experience an au pair may have, preparing to drive in a foreign country can be daunting. Host families and au pairs both benefit from this course as it focuses on child passenger safety, a number one priority of our au pairs.”
- On the heels of Au Pair in America's announcement, Au Pair Care announced its NEW Safety CareTM training program that is intended to beef up the current au pair orientation training mandated by the U.S. Department of State. The enhanced training will provide all au pairs with CPR and First Aid certification training and will include training au pairs how to keep children from having accidents with their new practical safety skills.
Heidi Woehl, Vice President of Au Pair Care said,
“At Au Pair Care, your children’s safety is our top priority," and “That’s why we are investing more in our au pair training programs and continuing safety education so our au pairs will be safer childcare providers.”
National Driving Statistics
- CELL PHONE CALLS: A national phone survey conducted by the National Safety Counsel (NSC) on distracted driving attitudes and behaviors found that the majority of drivers (77%) report answering their phone while driving while 41% report making calls.
- TEXTING: Younger drives, like au pairs, also text when driving. The National Safety Council found that over 25% of all car accidents occur as a result of driver texting! How can host parents best prevent car accidents while their au pairs are driving? Host parents must have this conversation with their au pairs and tell them NO texting while driving.
- DRINKING: 32% of all fatalities in motor vehicle crashes involved a driver under the influence of alcohol (NSC).
We are glad that au pair programs are stepping up to the plate and providing the training needed to keep children safe. We think that this focus on quality over quantity in the au pair industry is a good move and parents should feel better about hosting an au pair and saving substantial money for childcare.
We may see more au pair programs doing more of the same - au pair driving training is long overdue and childcare safety skills needs to be a critical component of any au pair orientation program!