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HBN Newsletter 2021

Reflect and look ahead

Dear HBN au pairs and host-families,

We want to thank you for your patience, kindness and support this year. Even though we had to deal with constant restrictions and uncertainties, we can share some positive highlights with you.2021 has again been an exceptional year once again as the coronavirus is still affecting all of us in the whole world. 

• We were able to bring more than 180 au pairs to the Netherlands in the last 12 months!

“We would like to emphasize the importance of this cultural exchange.  Especially in these weary times, bringing different cultures together is meaningful. For young people to experience another lifestyle, another culture and for our host families to live with someone from a different background and culture.

We strongly believe we  offer au pairs a complete cultural exchange and we think the whole experience would be enhanced by visiting a museum, taking a trip to Paris, or simply visiting any of the Dutch cities."

• Last June, we celebrated our 10 years anniversary!

• We were able to host 2 amazing au pair events this year. The Beach Event in July and the Boat Event in September were both a huge success with many au pairs who joined;


Boat event September 2021
 
• We were able to have 5 welcome meetings “Live in Aerdenhout” again in September, October and November. We were finally able to meet all recently arrived au pairs in person again. After all those virtual zoom meetings, we appreciated meeting everyone in person so much more. It is such a better way to share experiences and tips with everyone face to face.

Welcome training sessions 2021
 
 Winter Time Advise for the coming period

As most au pairs come from a warmer climate, they are not used to the cold and darker days during our winter. Also the holiday season and festivities, such as Christmas and New Year’s eve you usually spend with your close friends and family. This may make au pairs feel more homesick than usual. We have gathered a few tips for families and au pairs to help you to enjoy the winter and find beauty in the cold days as well:
 

  •  Ask your au pair to join ‘family time’ more often. Also check if your au pair  has plans for Christmas and New Year’s Eve and invite them to join you for a Christmas dinner and/or New Year’s Eve;
  • Give your au pair complements/positive feedback every now and then. Due to the way Dutch people tend to communicate, sometimes au pairs feel insecure and it seems like they cannot do anything right, even though you are satisfied with her/him;

  • Show interest in your au pair’s cultures; ask questions about how she/he usually celebrate Christmas, if they have any traditions/customs, which kind of food they eat, etc;

  • Do go outside on a daily basis. It is critical to get fresh air because it will provide you with more good/positive energy. It is really nonsense to think the cold weather will result in you catching a cold;

  • Keep a regular sleeping rhythm: going to bed early and getting up early;

  • Take extra vitamin D and try to eat things that carry this vitamin;

  • Take care of each other. The social aspect is extremely important now more than ever. Meet up with other au pairs, help/contact/include other au pairs who have just arrived;
  • Share with your hosts how you feel;  tell them if you are homesick, or feeling down, have less energy, etc. They cannot see how you feel if you do not speak up;

  • Keep a positive mindset. Focus on what you can do instead of what you can't do! Explore the Netherlands by doing outside activities. Visiting musea, bars and restaurants have to wait until after 14 January; 

 

New in the HBN TEAM

Jheny formally joined our team in June of this year. We are delighted that she has decided to stay with us after concluding her internship.

Hello! My name is Jheny Silva, I am originally from Brazil (I guess you can tell by my surname Silva). I am 27 years old and live with friends in The Hague. Before moving to the Netherlands, I lived in Ireland (Dublin) for 2 and a half years. I moved to the Netherlands in 2017 and recently completed my bachelor’s degree in European Studies at The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

I am mainly focused on the au pairs and everything that has to do with them, from the paperwork to their wellbeing. I have some experiences living abroad and being surrounded by different cultures. 

 

Did you know that...
 
  • The days are becoming longer again, the shortest day was 21st of December! 
  • You can share your au pair experience on our Instagram by  “ the Takeover Week". If you are interested in participating as au pair or host family, please let us know & Go follow us on hbnaupair!

  • Au pairs are not legally allowed to perform au pair activities at any address/house other than the one that they are registered on. So, for example, not on a holiday address. Naturally au pairs can join on a family holiday as a family member and will assist in tasks as an adult member of the family;

  • In the Netherlands there is no minimum amount set to an au pair’s pocket money. An au pair receives board and lodging for the activities they do for your host-family. As life in the Netherlands is expensive and it is nice if you are able to travel a bit, HBN has set the pocket money at the legal maximum, which is €340,00;

  • Even if babies/children are asleep during the day, these are legally hours that au pairs are performing au pair tasks, considering that they are not free to do something else. Maybe doing some household chores during this time is a good alternative;

  • Families are not obliged to offer their au pair a transport card (OV-chipkaart) or a museum card. However, we feel it is a really nice gesture (or a Christmas present;-)) to provide your au pair with such a benefit. A monthly train subscription  (weekend free) costs +/- €33,- euros pm. A museum card costs only €64,90 and you are able to visit more than 450 museums in the Netherlands;

  •  If you have been vaccinated in the country of origin, you can activate your CORONA QR code . You need to make an appointment at the GGD in Utrecht by calling +31 (0)30 800 2899. 

 

-Save the date- 

SATURDAY 12 February 2022
HBN ICE SKATING EVENT 

We are looking forward to our annual Ice Skating Event. This will take place in the open air skating hall in Haarlem. Next to the Dutch ice skating experience, we will enjoy hot choco, apple pie, drinks and the famous Dutch “erwtensoep”. 

After skating, we will do a “Dutch Pub quiz” hosted by the best quiz masters in the Netherlands. This was a huge success in 2019 so cross fingers it will be possible. We are very positive it will! 

Ice Skate event 2019
 

We wish you all a very cosy Christmas time together 


 a very happy healthy and inspiring 2022

 

We loved sending you a nice postcard every year with our wishes and a little gift, 

however this year we decided to spend this money on a good cause for the continents we work with most:

South America: Unicef & South Africa: Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

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HBN Au Pair services
Aerdenhoutsduinweg 1
2111 AN AERDENHOUT
+31 23 23 02 162
Support@hbnaupairservices.com