Monday, November 3, 2014

Au Pairs

Au Pairs?

As a mother of 3 young children (and one more on the way), I can deeply relate to the conundrum of feeling pulled in so many directions.  Do I go back to work full-time, try to find part-time work, stay home with my kids?  Do I send them to daycare or hire a nanny?  Can I even afford to do these things?  How will I balance it all and stay sane at the same time?

When it comes to full-time childcare, forget day care and nannies (especially if you have 2 or more children).  There is a better option – au pairs.  What is an au pair?  Simply put, it’s a live-in nanny from a foreign country who can provide up to 45 hours of care per week in exchange for room and board, program fees and a very affordable weekly stipend (program/stipend costs average $362 a week per family).  The care is as flexible as you need it to be, which is wonderful for families that have changing schedules or gaps of time when care is needed.  In addition to flexibility, you can choose an au pair that speaks a specific language or comes from a certain part of the world and have them share their culture and language with your children.  No more driving around town dropping off and picking up the kids, no more runny noses all year long from daycare and it’s much more affordable than a local nanny who will charge upwards of $20/hour for 2 or more children (that would cost $900 a week for 45 hours of care). 

Au pairs have been in the US since 1986 when Au Pair in America piloted this wonderful cultural exchange program.  I hired an au pair when I moved to San Diego almost 2 years ago to help with my 3 children while I worked part-time and my husband deployed.  What an incredible experience.  I got the help I needed with the kids so that I could continue working, I had another adult in the house while my husband was gone and my children loved having another caring adult at home.  As a bonus, they even learned some Portuguese!

 To learn more about au pairs you can visit the Au Pair in America web site here: or contact me directly at or 202-280-9255

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