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Au Pairs vs. Nannies vs. Daycare

aupairs-vs-nannies-vs-daycare

Au pairs, nannies, and daycare centers, oh my! There are many considerations to weigh when deciding which childcare option is best for you. 

Our comparison below examines how the different alternatives fulfill the most pressing needs of today’s modern family. 

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Convenient Location

There’s no place like home. With live-in childcare provided by an au pair, you no longer have to juggle coordinating the nanny’s schedule or a nanny share, and you can skip the rush of daycare drop off and pick up.

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Adult to Child Ratio

Your child will receive more focused attention with an au pair or nanny, as the ratio is based solely on the size of your family. Daycares have higher caregiver to child ratios that may be good for children as they approach school age but can be overwhelming for some younger children.

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Cost

AuPairCare costs just under $7.75 an hour, regardless of the number of children in your family. The rates for nannies and daycares are typically set based on the number of children being cared for, with daycares providing little or no discounts for enrolling multiple children in their care.

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Flexible Schedule

Au pairs work 45 hours per week on a schedule that you set with them, giving you flexibility week to week. Most nannies prefer to have a set schedule and may have personal commitments that might conflict with your needs. Daycares typically have set schedules and may charge extra fees for late pickups or schedule changes.

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Training

All au pairs attend Au Pair Academy when they arrive in the U.S., where they receive up-to-date training in CPR, first aid and child development topics right before they join your family. Nannies typically have no formal training requirements and the training requirements for daycare staff can vary significantly depending on their location.

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Regulations

AuPairCare is regulated by the U.S. Department of State and we follow strict guidelines set by this governing body. Independent nannies have no guidelines, nanny agencies are often self-regulated, and daycare centers follow state regulations that can vary widely (but typically include at least annual inspections). We also provide 24/7 local support for all of our families.

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Culture Exchange/Language Learning

Au pairs are unmatched when it comes to cross cultural and language learning opportunities for your children and your family. While this is central to the au pair program, it is a benefit that can be very difficult – and expensive! – to find with the typical nanny or daycare.

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Responsibilities

Since au pairs provide live-in childcare, they are able to help with things many other caregivers may not, like preparing children’s meals, assisting them in getting ready for the day or for bedtime, taking them on outings including lessons and play dates, and so much more.

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