Many families find hosting an au pair is a great way to save money on daycare or hiring a full-time nanny. A reliable au pair provides in-home childcare on a schedule that works for your family. Children also benefit from regular exposure and daily practice of foreign language skills. And many host families form bonds with their au pairs that last long after the program ends!
More Time for You
Hosting an au pair is an excellent option for families looking for a work-life balance. Au pairs provide reliable childcare that frees up time for parents to pursue their personal and professional goals while fostering a sense of open-mindedness in their children, preparing them for a more global view of our world. Au pairs work up to 45 hours weekly on a schedule that meets your family’s needs. They typically participate in all family meals, and many host families invite their au pair to travel with them on vacations. It’s not uncommon for au pairs and host families to continue a close relationship long after their program ends. They may even visit each other’s countries of origin to rekindle old friendships and share new experiences. Hosting an au pair is more affordable than hiring a live-in nanny or babysitter, and it’s much less stressful than dropping off and picking up kids from daycare and extracurricular activities. It’s also a great way to save money during school breaks, holidays, and stormy weather days. Nothing is better than knowing your child is at home with someone you trust instead of being stuck at work or in daycare when sick. This could save you thousands of dollars in unexpected child-related expenses and missed work!
More Time for Yourself
Having extra hands in the home can save you a lot of time. For example, au pairs can help prepare kids for school or sports practice. They can also assist with running errands, scheduling activities, and picking up kids after school or dance class. This frees up your time to focus on homework, extracurriculars, and family outings. Experienced host families find that au pairs also help with household tasks such as laundry, cooking, and tidying children’s rooms. They also bring many customs and traditions from their nations to share with your family. It isn’t uncommon for au pairs and their host families to form a bond that lasts long after the program ends. It’s often a lifelong friendship that includes visits to the au pair’s country of origin and even reunions on holidays! Treat her like a family member to get the most out of your relationship with your au pair. Ensure she understands your expectations and regularly discusses them with her. This helps avoid misunderstandings down the line. For instance, if you want her to use the dishwasher sparingly or if you prefer to have her cook for the family, let her know ahead of time.
More Time for Family
Hosting an au pair gives you a built-in childcare provider. Au pairs are also willing to help with household chores like laundry, shopping, and meal preparation. This allows families to save time on household tasks and make more space for fun family activities, like vacations, sports, or family dinners with extended friends and relatives. Au pairs also bring knowledge about their home countries to share with children, including foods, songs, and holiday customs. Many host families find that their au pairs become like extended family members, and this bond often lasts long after the au pair program ends. Many stay in touch with their au pairs and even visit their au pair’s country of origin for a memorable trip or to rekindle old friendships. It’s important to remember that au pairs are young adults who come to America to live with strangers for a year and need support from the start. You will need to regularly check their progress, ask how they are feeling, invite them on family outings and holiday events, and offer comfort during times of homesickness. In addition, you’ll need to provide your au pair with a private bedroom and meals, as well as a small monthly allowance for pocket money. You’ll also be expected to attend au pair, host family meetings (or “clusters”), and maintain monthly contact with your au pair agency.
More Time for Fun
If you’re a working parent, hosting an au pair can give you time to take the kids out to events or on weekends without having to arrange care. And if you have a child with special needs, having an extra set of hands can make attending school events and community activities easier. Au pairs can work up to 45 hours a week on a schedule that suits the family’s needs, including covering snow and sick days. They’re also flexible enough to pick the children up from school if classes are canceled. This flexibility makes au pairs a cost-effective childcare option for many families. The language immersion au pairs offer is another big draw for many host families. With regular contact with a native speaker, children’s English skills can develop naturally and become more fluent than they would otherwise. This fosters open-mindedness and global connections that can last a lifetime. When you host an au pair, you must communicate expectations and needs. Families should be prepared to talk openly with the agency about things like meal preparation, dietary restrictions, and other issues that could arise. In most cases, the agency will facilitate meetings between host families and au pairs to discuss these topics. Establishing clear boundaries and expectations from the start allows both parties to enjoy their time together with minimal tension.