According to Safe Kids USA, fires and burns are the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 14 and under. Recognizing this, on April 21 area Cultural Care au pairs and host families from the towns of Maple Grove, Elk River, Rogers, and Brooklyn Park, met at the Champlin Fire Station for a fire safety meeting and tour hosted by Cultural Care Au Pair and a local firefighter.
According to Local Childcare Coordinator Tracie Kapaun, educating au pairs on fire safety is a top priority for parents. "Au pairs are often the primary caregivers for many local families during the day and in the evenings as well. Fire safety training is important because it reinforces their knowledge of what to do if there is an emergency, starting with getting themselves and the children out of the house should a fire break out."
The training is part of Cultural Care Au Pair’s ongoing Continuing Safety Education Program (CSEP), which requires local childcare coordinators to review safety education with au pairs throughout their year-long stay in the United States. Au pairs also learn safety protocol during their 4-day stay at the Cultural Care Au Pair training school in New York before they arrive to their host families’ homes.
The Northwest Metro au pairs together represent the countries of Germany, and Brazil. Kapaun, a resident of Champlin, supports area parents and au pairs by advising them of educational opportunities, as well as organizing fun activities for the entire extended family to enjoy.
"I am always looking for ways to make safety training and education fun for our au pairs," said Kapaun. According to Kapaun, the tour allowed host families and au pairs the opportunity to learn how the fire department handles emergency calls and gave the children an opportunity to explore the fire trucks and hear the sirens. "When you invite an au pair into your home, programs like these assure that you leave your children in the most capable hands possible. It is comforting as a parent to know that your children are with a caregiver you can trust."