Au pair Arrival “To Do” List
To do list when you arrive to your family:
1. Get a social security card – https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf
as soon as you can. You will need this number to obtain a WA driver’s license,to sign up for some schools and for tax purposes.
The nearest Social Security offices are in Downtown Seattle at:
915 Second Avenue #901 · (800) 772-1213
To obtain a SS # you will need to bring with you:
• • Your passport
• • Printed form I-94
• • DS-2019 form with your current families address on it
• • Social Security letter (also called letter of participation) to be found in your account and the family’s account at www.culturalcare.com
When you receive the number in the mail, keep the envelope it came in, as it may be used as proof of address as well.
2. Open a bank account.
To have a free checking account the AP needs:
• Foreign ID = passport
• DS-2019 form
• Social Security card if you have it already.
• Electronic Transfer of $500 or more per month by host family
• OR if NOT electronic transfer then:
proof of enrollment in a college. A document proving acceptance into the college can be a screen shot of the classes they are enrolled in.
3. Get your cell phone ready: Host Families need to provide a cell phone to their au pairs, so they can communicate with them (Voice and Text). If you bring your own cell phone, then you should ask your host family how to activate it. There are several cell phone carriers in Seattle (Verizon, T-mobil, At&T, Sprint).
4. Start looking into classes you may like to take: Most schools start classes in September and January, but there are some classes you can start taking in April or over the summer. Take a look at the links on this web page for educational opportunities. Keep in mind that the school you are attending must be accredited, but the class does not have to give you credits for it. 12 hours of class time is 1 credit, which means you need a minimum of 72 hours class time. Online classes are not accredited, and therefore will not count towards your credits.
When you register for Continuing Education Classes pay for a CEU form which you will need at the end of classes to have signed by teachers at the end of the quarter and uploaded to your Cultural Care account.
Visit the Helpful Links of this website – Education
5. Au-Pair monthly meetings are mandatory: REMEMBER: you can only skip a meeting if you are sick, are in school and on vacation and have proof. You may not go to another LCC meeting just because you have a friend in the group and don’t feel like going to mine. This is my way of contacting you every month and making sure that things are going smooth with your family. The other LCC will not be able to help you if problems arise. I have no problem if you go to other LCC meetings in addition to mine, so please plan ahead to attend all meetings.
6. TAXES: Every Au Pair has to file taxes between January and April every year.
I suggest you put away $12 every week for your taxes so that when you do have to file you are prepared to pay. A great way to save for this is to open a savings account along with your checking account and deposit the $12 out of your weekly stipend into the savings account. You will earn a small interest on the money in the account and in most cases you will have enough or more money then you will need for taxes.
7. Start Studying for the Driver’s License Test:
by picking up a manual from a local Department of Motor Vehicle office or downloading it from http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/guide.html.
You can practice the written test online at
You will first need to pass the written test before you can take the driving test. You should get your license within 60 days of entering the United States.
Bring with you:
• DS-2019 form,
• international and home license,
• letter of participation from your account,
• Aetna Insurance card and
• social security number.
Schedule your driving test in advance. If you don’t pass it the first time, you can go back a week later to take it again. It is important that you bring your glasses if you have to wear them while driving, as an eye test will also be performed.
Get a Washington State Identification Card if you don’t plan to drive. You can get this at the Department of Licensing, and you will need to bring the same paperwork as for a Driver’s License. Be sure to allow plenty of time when you go, as you may have to wait in line.
8. Learn about our local bus system, Metro Transit.
9. Au Pair online account contact information needs to be updated with your new cell phone number
10. Print your Aetna Medical Card.
11. Make copies of ALL your Important Documents Once you have all your documents ready, make copies and place them in an envelop. Ask your host family to keep it in a safe place. If any original goes missing it might be helpful to have a copy. These include but are not restricted to:
- Passport and J-1 Visa
- Any other visas found in your passport
- Erika and Aetna card
- International Driver’s License
- WA Driver’s License
- Social Security Card
12. Last but not least: Go out, make friends and have fun. Refer to the au pair list I sent you. Just by going to the local Starbucks you will meet other au pairs from everywhere. When dropping off kids at school or other activities, at parks, on the bus, etc. you will run into other au pairs. Don’t be afraid to approach them. Making friends is an important part of your experience and a great way to learn more about fun things to do in Seattle!
(2016 text provided by LCC Marta Pena , modified by LCC Carla Johnson in 10/2017)
Tuesday, 24 October 2017 11:20 AM